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Wings Over Scotland


The missing numbers round

Posted on December 13, 2016 by

We often say here on Wings that our job is to teach people to instantly recognise the sneaky tricks used by the media to try to create false impressions without saying things that are technically untrue. (Because despite the tiny size they’re allowed to print corrections at, they’re still rather embarrassing.)

A key technique is to look at a headline or story and immediately ask what you’re NOT being told. So here’s an easy example from today’s Scottish Daily Mail.

65trains

What’s been left out there, readers?

The answer, of course, is “any sort of context for the figure of 65”. You’re clearly expected to think that it’s a lot, but at no point does the article specify how many trains run every day, so there’s no easy way of telling what percentage 65 trains is.

It’s not until halfway down the last column, when most people have stopped reading, that the Mail lets a Scottish Government spokesman provide a clue:

“ScotRail operates 58,700 services every four weeks”

Let’s do the arithmetic, then. 58,700 every 28 days is 2,096 trains a day. Which means, as the spokesman goes on to note, that just 3.1% are being seriously delayed or cancelled, which means that 96.9% are running on time or with shorter delays (mostly under five minutes).

Now, obviously “97% of trains running more or less on time” would be a comically ridiculous reason to demand the resignation of a minister, as the Mail does on page 14, let alone the fact that more than half of delays are caused by Network Rail, which is outside the Scottish Government’s control.

mailyousaf

(Just for fun, the paper also throws in a paragraph citing an inaccurate Tory smear story against Humza Yousaf that was comprehensively debunked by the Evening Times almost a fortnight ago, and swiftly deleted from the Scottish Conservatives website by embarrassingly hapless rentaquote galoot Jackson Carlaw.)

etyousaf

But as long as you leave out any inconvenient facts from which readers could glean some vital perspective, the truth is no barrier to telling lies.

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    1. bobajock says:

      With 96 odd percent I would expect a knighthood… Check out London today. Total meltdown.

      Colonial masters dont like it up em!

    2. Mik Johnstone says:

      Ahh, the good auld daily fail, why print good auld fashioned truths and facts, and figures, when you can just go all out printing barefaced lies by omission…

    3. Betty Boop says:

      We alert readers know never to trust a headline. We know this because Stu impressed it upon us – we even have badges to prove it!

    4. Macart says:

      The value of these lessons is that once taught they’re never forgotten.

      I simply can’t take much of the mainstream media seriously at all these days. Its by far easier to mistrust everything they say from the get go and work backwards after some research.

      And that is the sad truth of it really. Guilty till proven innocent. Why? Because they’ve earned it.

    5. Yerkitbreeks says:

      But this gets to Chomsky’s 80% many of whom will vote

    6. Breeks says:

      So Scottish Labour spend all their spare time trainspotting these days. Ah, bless.

    7. mike cassidy says:

      Headlines!

      We don’t need no stinking headlines!

    8. Glamaig says:

      Scotrail was held up as a shining example (of how to resolve guards dispute) this morning on Radio 4 (not aimed at Scottish audience).

      97% is a fantastic performance. The service is much better than it was 15 years ago and they even give you compensation if its a serious delay – in the past you got eff all.

    9. Training Day says:

      Doubtless the Mail will be calling for the resignation of Chris Grayling today given the Southern Rail strike.

      Or at the very least styling Grayling as an ‘almost laughably incompetent Transport Minister’.

      Won’t they?

    10. Black Joan says:

      Meanwhile in Englandshire, nae trains at all on Southern Rail. Again.

      Is the Mail calling for Grayling to be sacked?

    11. Grouse Beater says:

      24 of Wings topics have a typo error in them.

      This prodigious website should close down. It is clearly incapable of writing a sentence without an error in it.

      Obviously Stuart Campbell is inept and should resign immediately.

      Since its inception Wings has published hundreds of topics without any errors in them.

    12. dandy dons 1903 says:

      More fake news from The Heil.

    13. Ali says:

      of course what we need is figures from other eras to compare. No doubt it will turn out to be the best ever level of service

    14. Jiminy Cricket says:

      There are two issues here…

      1. The obvious one with obvious knee-jerk responses:
      Humza and the SNP getting hammered by the MSM – with the use of dodgy and/or uncontextualised stats – for a problem that is not of their making nor, realistically, within their power to resolve.

      2. The quality and reliability of Scotland’s rail service.

      Point 1 notwithstanding, this is simply not acceptable. I’ve been a daily commuter on the Fife circle for 10 years now. For most of the time, the trains run reasonably close to time – hence the apparently positive statistics. When things go wrong, however, it’s usually during peak hours, when customers pay through tghe nose for the inconvenience. Let’s face it, being half an hour late for a shopping spree in Edinburgh is hardly the end of the world. But half an hour’s delay in the morning is likely to make you late for work. If that happens often enough, there are usually consequences, and not for Scotrail. In the past fortnight, there have been 6 times that my trains have been cancelled or significantly delayed or stop-skipped. Yes thats right, stop-skipped *after* the big hoo-ha in the MSM from Scotrail promising never to do this again!

      To make matters worse, no help or advice or comfort is ever offered beyond the glib ‘Scotrail would like to apologise for any inconvenience. Scotrail also refuse point blank to arrange replacement buses or taxis – even to intermediate hub-stations, where trains are known to be stopping. And although there is an online compensation scheme, this is clearly set up to obfusticate and reduce the compensation that Scotrail should be passing on to customers.

      On top of all of this, the trains are shabby, and physically dirty.

      So let’s please not lose sight of the wood for the trees, and make sure that Scotrail gets all of the criticism it deserves.

    15. galamcennalath says:

      When did news reporting evolve into manipulative propaganda and down right lies?

      Has it always been this way? I used to read newspapers and assume they were actually reporting news. There was always opinion, but I used to feel this was kept apart from news.

      To be honest, it is only in the last few years in the context of the Scottish constitutional crisis I have been more aware.

      Really, are things worse now? Perhaps they have always been this way and I didn’t see it. I have a horrible feeling they might have been!

      There is another aspect. In the past I didn’t follow politics and events quite so intensely. To be honest, I thought it mattered less in my day to day life.

      Which brings me to the point I’m trying to make. A huge chunk of the Scottish population are now, as I was. They get on with life and push politics to the side. Most vote, but between elections give it little thought. They digest small doses of easily acquired and neatly packaged news, and gossip.

      The message we need to get out most is – politics matters to everyone. It clearly matters to those with power and influence. They will take every opportunity to manipulate those who are less informed. For me, this is the flaw in democracy. The more informed a population, the better democracy works. There are those who know the opposite is true!

    16. jamero66 says:

      “We often say here on Wings that our job is to teach people to instantly recognise the sneaky tricks used by the media…”

      I think that most of us who read Wings are now adept at this and although it is imperative that these invaluable Wings articles continue to be published we must be wary of falling into the talking to ourselves trap.

      Media bias is undoubtedly the greatest hurdle to independence, and it is likely that Indyref2 will be announced next year.

      I have found my media bias examples fall on deaf ears with unionist when siting SNP or Indy stories, however if I highlight a blatant bias story which is non-SNP or non-Indy then the content is far better received and the job of discrediting or biased media is done. Only then am I able to slip in the odd SNP/Indy bias story.

      One step at a time, and please remember our job is not to convince ourselves but to convince others of media bias.

    17. jdman says:

      Betty Boop
      “we even have badges to prove it!”

      Im still on the knots badge! 🙁

    18. heedtracker says:

      Is UKOK hackdom in Scotland holding down SNP vote or propping up the SLab,SCon,SLibDem er, opposition? Both maybe.

    19. Bob Mack says:

      Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme.as the French would say.

      You either have to admire their tenacity, or pity their stupidity in keeping this nonsense going. Personally I am the latter.

    20. harry mcaye says:

      And still I see people buying this lying shite. Idiots!

    21. Greannach says:

      If only Scotland’s minister for railways was as dynamic and competent as England’s, we’d have a rail syste the envy of the world. Oh… hang on…

    22. Glamaig says:

      galamcennalath says:
      13 December, 2016 at 10:44 am
      ‘When did news reporting evolve into manipulative propaganda and down right lies?

      Has it always been this way?’

      On occasions I’ve lifted flooring in the house I’ve found sheets of old newspapers underneath. Scotsman from the 60’s were certainly written in a totally different style. More terse, better written, seemed to be just reporting what was going on. Better spelling and grammar too. Whether its propaganda and lies though, I cant tell.

    23. sassenach says:

      A perfect example of the Daily Heil agenda in action.

      This article is easily understood and should be circulated far and wide – but not to worry the Burd will be investigating this evening (won’t she….??).

    24. Kevin says:

      ‘But this gets to Chomsky’s 80% many of whom will vote’..

      Well as the Daily Mail have been doing this stuff for decades, and Scotland is a predominant SNP stronghold, it appears Scotland either doesn’t read the Daily Mail or they “buy it for the sport pages”..

      And decades ago we didn’t have brilliant investigative journalists exposing such makey-uppy stuff and working tirelessly on behalf of Scots. Great work, Stu

    25. Sandy says:

      The laughably incompetent Mail describing someone else as laughably incompetent is just laughable, quite frankly.

    26. North chiel says:

      The media bias continues unabated . As I see it the unionist controlled
      media medium term strategy is to completely undermine the Scottish government
      on ” day job” issues. Hence the unabated attacks on Scottish NHS,
      Education, transport ( rail recently), and the next one coming up Local government.
      All these orchestrated together ahead of next years local government
      elections with the sole aim of ” engineering” a CRISIS immediately prior to
      council elections next year. Each and every council retain Ines under
      unionist control will be acclaimed thereafter as a massive defeat for the SNP government
      with this then being used to undermine the First Minister in the ” real battle” over
      the Europe issue and the constitution.

    27. mogabee says:

      Insidious gossip dressed up by reporters to incite public ire against government Minister.

      We’ve seen this before, it’s getting worse because jobs at papers are on the line!

      Handy hint: Newspapers are good for soaking up water after a kitchen leak…not for much else.

    28. Capella says:

      Another excellent article. Without context, 65 late trains does sound a lot.
      But 3% late, often because of failings in Network Rail, is an excellent record. Humza Yousaf wins the Best Transport Minster of the Year award.
      Meanwhile, in London, where over £5000 a year, per person, is spent on transport, misery, chaos, strikes! BBC has a running commentary. Oddly, no calls for their Transport Minister to resign.
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-38292300

    29. sassenach says:

      Yes, there’s a coordinated campaign against the Scottish government already well under way, and I’m hoping that maybe SNP powder is being kept dry for mid January when the Supreme Court ruling is known.

      Perhaps that may be the starting block to go on the offensive, I hope so.

    30. Proud Cybernat says:

      Well done, Rev, for once again highlighting the hyperbole being screamed at us from the hysterical colonial media.

      Yes, colonial media, we hear you. Now feck off.

      Of course, hyperbolic rubbish like this is all about ‘holding the line’. It is not intended for the ‘political enlightened’.

      While it is important to point this stuff out and to educate the WoS readership to be wary of colonial media headlines (broadcast or in print), I think the really great stuff WoS produces are those well-researched articles from its many columnists that go on the attack against the Yoon establishment. I feel the article above, while very important, has us reacting to ‘their’ agenda.

      We need to set our own agenda–and attack them with it. Put THEM on the back foot.

    31. Arbroath1320 says:

      Oh look it is Tuesday and there is no news to report so the *cough* Scottish Daily Heil goes with a story that claims the Scottish rail network is the shittiest throughout Europe!

      Oh wait a minute that can’t be correct … can it?

      3.1% of trains on the Scottish rail network are delayed or seriously delayed and a ridiculous excuse of a newspaper goes hell for leather calling for Humza Yousaf to be sacked. … BORING!

      If only someone at this paper 😀 had the gumption to use a calculator, something they know nothing about obviously, then they would find out that the rest of the train services, 96.9% of the daily services, run on time. SHOCK …HORROR!

      So once you reach the end of the article, if you have the strength to do so, you actually find out the Scottish Daily Heil is calling for Humza Yousaf to resign because 96.9% of the daily rail service runs on time! 😀

      I wonder how the network dan suff is doing these days? 😉

    32. SOG says:

      Rev Stu – one point about the delays may be that a disproportionate number occur on Sundays, when maintenance work is done. Of course the previous adminitrations left the railways in fine fettle, didn’t they. I truly don’t know about either factor. I might hazard a guess.

    33. galamcennalath says:

      sassenach says:

      … starting block to go on the offensive …

      Proud Cybernat says:

      … set our own agenda–and attack them with it.

      I agree, up till now we have all been reactive to Yoon output. We need to be more aggressive.

      Unionist politicians are reneging on single market commitments. Labour trying to dig up the rotting corpse of federalism. The Ruthites pretending not to be London Tories. The media pretending the LibDems matter. The BBC no longer hiding bias. Newspapers lying and manipulating. All ripe to be called out and pilloried!

    34. Proud Cybernat says:

      The Daily Mail would be doing well if 3.1% of its news ‘stories’ were reported accurately.

      Pot, kettle and all that.

      There’s a quiet battle for hearts and minds going on here. And the Establisment and its colonial media are losing it.

    35. heedtracker says:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04l4w6j

      Gorbachev explains how UKOK media are a bunch of nutters basically, highly politicised, exploited by a few super rich nutters for all kinds of rich dudes stuff. “Bureaucrats have stolen the nation’s riches”

      Trump’s new US Foreign Sec, Rex Tillerson, Exxon Mobil CEO, does massive oil and gas deals with Vlad.

    36. heedtracker says:

      Meanwhile in teamGB, future First Minister Dr Scott Thinks, hike taxes in Scotland, it’s the SLabour way to UKOK greatness n shit.

      Scott Arthur ?@DrScottThinks 4h4 hours ago
      Scottish Budget now means no excuses for the government.. and nowhere for the SNP to hide

    37. Bill Dale says:

      A related article deconstructing BBC propaganda can be found on this link to Media Lens

      http://medialens.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=834:bbc-propaganda-watch-tell-tale-signs-that-slip-through-the-cracks&catid=54:alerts-2016&Itemid=248

      Well worth a read for another perspective on how the BBC disseminates establishment propaganda.

    38. Doug says:

      http://www.networkrail.co.uk/about/performance/

      The equivalent for England and Wales is 4.2%, I think (with the equivalent period last year being 3.4% and with an adjusted average of 3.8%)

      Grayling must resign etc…

    39. Dr Ew says:

      That’s numberwang!

    40. Arbroath1320 says:

      Sorry for O/T but it’s that time of year again folks. I’ve just done what I can with a wee £10 donation.

      https://www.itison.com/Dundee/deals/buy-a-homeless-person-xmas-dinner-social-bite-4

      No one deserves to go without this, allegedly, festive season.

    41. jake says:

      It’s nearly Christmas, so here’s a wee poem for you originally penned by Humbert Wolfe:

      You cannot hope
      to bribe or twist,
      thank God! the
      British journalist.

      But, seeing what
      the man will do
      unbribed, there’s
      no occasion to.

    42. jake says:

      It’s coming up for Christmas, so here’s a wee poem for you originally penned by Humbert Wolfe:

      You cannot hope
      to bribe or twist,
      thank God! the
      British journalist.

      But, seeing what
      the man will do
      unbribed, there’s
      no occasion to.

    43. JohnG says:

      Today Scottish school teacher numbers are up by more than 250 compared to last year. What’s the BBC Scotland headline on their website? “Teacher numbers drop in 12 council areas”. They go on to say “But in 12 local authorities the numbers fell, with the largest percentage drop in Moray, which has highlighted recruitment problems in the past.” However they forget to mention that the drop in Moray is just 2%.

    44. James Westland says:

      Any tabloid headline that begins with the word “NOW” is almost invariably a lie.

      “Now they want to ban XXX”
      “Now they want to let in more XXX”
      “Now 65 trains….”

      These vermin have really got it in for Humza havent they?

    45. GrahamB says:

      … and let’s not forget dear old Auntie Beeb’s daily contributions to the propaganda war. Today they go with “Teacher numbers drop in 12 council areas” at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-38288652 however the full story is that overall teacher numbers increased by over 250 and 12 out of 31 council areas represents a minority.
      When did anyone last hear a good news story on BBC Shortbread that didn’t have a “BUT” tacked on at the end.
      The unionist MSM have a small circulation among folk who are unlikely to change whereas the Beeb gets beamed into peoples homes and onto mobile devices so they are the real threat. However, as the Rev says the general public need to be taught to look beyond the headline!

    46. DerekM says:

      This 3% is probably near me where the ancient bridges are finally being worked on by Network Rail,just so happens that both the high line and the low line run right through my home town Falkirk.

      Oh we are not getting spanking new bridges by the way they are just doing their usual and patching up the old ones which can no longer take the number of trains or the weight of the traffic going over.

      Presently they are working just outside Grahamston station moving towards the Stirling road bridge and have just finished we think the Hope street bridge after about a years work,we think they are deliberately taking their time as the three bridges at Camelon are on the horizon and god know how they are going to fix up those ancient relics and right after that is the dreaded tunnels,if you have ever been in the tunnels(not in a train) you will know that men with stove pipe hats built them for steam engines you can still see the black soot lining the sandstone tunnel walls,must have been worked on at least 20 times in my lifetime.

      Quite an engineering feat by the stove pipe hat chaps, though fit for purpose in the 21st century they are not,ever wondered why the trains slow to a crawl miles away from the station.

      Would love to see the costs involved in patching up these old museum pieces probably find it is cheaper to build new ones.

    47. Artyhetty says:

      I just looked up Southern Rail on twitter. The strike is on today, Wednesday and Friday! I think we should all share this on twitter and facebook etc. Or maybe it is splashed all over the english rags on the shelves of shops in Scotland? Or maybe not. Oh and they have strikes planned for the xmas and new year period as well.

    48. GrahamB says:

      P.S. on reading the Beeb teacher numbers story more carefully it transpires that it’s teacher/pupil ratios that are worse in 12 council areas and in two of those areas teacher numbers increased so their negative headline should be “Teacher numbers drop in TEN council areas”.

    49. Luigi says:

      DerekM says:

      13 December, 2016 at 12:37 pm

      Indeed. Compare the pennies they have spent on national rail structure in Scotland in the past 100 years with the billions upon billions spent on London underground extensions, London crossrail and earmarked for the proposed London-Manchester HST line.

      It would be interesting to compare the money invested in London underground with that spent on the Clockwork Orange in Glasgow (since they were both started around the same time).

      By the way, Ireland has a spanking new Dublin Metro system (not to mention hundreds of miles of new, top grade motorway.

      We are so lucky under the unbearable weight of those broad shoulders of the union. 🙁

    50. Arbroath1320 says:

      As the geese are getting really fat these days thought I might just leave this here.

      12 days before Xmas BIG news stories are:
      1) Southern Rail on strike
      2) Post Office to go on Strike
      3) Argos drivers on Strike
      Merry Xmas???

      Just a wee tweet I sent. 😀

    51. ClanDonald says:

      Surely those claims against Humza Yousaf are actionable? If I was him I’d be requesting that Jackson Carlaw and the Daily Mail get their cheque books out.

    52. Greannach says:

      Just wondering when Neil Findlay MSP is going to tweet that his 0914 Southern Trains service from Addis Ababa to Golspie has failed to turn up at Fauldhouse.

      Have you no shame, Humza Yousaf?

    53. Hoss Mackintosh says:

      I think Humza is doing a great job.

      Give Abellio a year or two and the train services will be transformed once they have got more lines electrified and the new modern rolling stock.

      What I am really looking forward to is Humza opening the new Forth Bridge.

      I will be there with a large saltire!

    54. heedtracker says:

      Much the same from Murdoch goonshow. Only in the Scotland region of greater England are we treated to far right reprobates demanding higher taxes. Or, great life in teamGB, pay extra for the privilege vile seps.

      http://archive.is/7hQkS

      And that’s the big problem waiting in store for the SNP Government. Just like on education, there is no place to hide now. No more moaning about nasty Tories in London cutting Scotland’s pocket money. They have the power to do something about it.

      If they want to increase benefits, they can. If they want to spend more on schools or hospitals or roads or councils or anything else, they can.”

    55. galamcennalath says:

      Talking about media, queue to going a bit O/T, Derek Bateman has a very inciteful piece on the latest at BBC Shortbread. The new woman in charge might just be more of the same old same.

      http://derekbateman.scot/2016/12/13/a-man-writes/

      When trying to explain the BBC’s abysmal performance in Scotland, Derek always opts for the ‘cock up theory’, while the rest of us err towards ‘conspiracy’. Still, he knows more about it than most.

    56. Iain says:

      Have a look at this in today’s Scotsman. The key part of the headline is mischievously placed in quotes, but there is no such quote from Nicola Sturgeon in the ‘story’. Of course it has sent the daily bloggers (on the payroll of Conservative Central Office?) into their usual frenzy. http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/nicola-sturgeon/nicola-sturgeon-tempted-to-let-snp-candidates-stand-in-england-1-4316088

    57. Croompenstein says:

      When are they going to raise my income tax so I will give up on this dream of independence and fall thankfully in to the arms of teamgb… 🙂

      And I don’t know how Humza can sleep at night, vile frankly…

    58. Capella says:

      For comparison – Southern Rail Stirke in numbers:
      http://bbc.in/2gvEShj

    59. Robert Peffers says:

      @Glamaig says: 13 December, 2016 at 11:08 am:

      “On occasions I’ve lifted flooring in the house I’ve found sheets of old newspapers underneath. Scotsman from the 60’s were certainly written in a totally different style. More terse, better written, seemed to be just reporting what was going on. Better spelling and grammar too. Whether its propaganda and lies though, I cant tell.”

      I can, though, Glamaig. I used to buy the Scotsman every morning on my way to work.

      This began in 1952 when the Scotsman was a well respected international broadsheet. You could pick up a copy in every main airport throughout the World. This continued into the 1970s when the Scotsman began to change on it’s way down the stank.

      There were indeed the biased and misleading stories but there was a plain distinction that every alert reader knew about.

      The political bias was confined to the named Editorial Column and to what were then actual, named, “Columnists”, and readers knew the individual Editor’s and Columnist’s particular bias.

      Then there were the mainly unnamed reporters and you could, more or less, trust that they faithfully reported the actual news.

      Furthermore, back then, the NUJ, (National Union of Journalists), were the real regulators and woe betide an owner, editor or anyone else for that matter, who attempted to unduly influence a reporter’s report.

      The clue is in the title, “Reporter”, for that was not than just an empty title – it was also a job description.

      There was also another group of, (mainly), named writers in the papers – “Correspondents”, these were classed such as , “Foreign Correspondents”, but also such things as Art, Theatre, Music and so on. These Correspondents were mainly freelance but that was not the case with the main, “Foreign Correspondents”.

      So there you go – there was bias but you knew where it came from and who had the bias.

    60. Breeks says:

      Trump, the “businessman” President, has just wiped $3.5 billion off Lockheed Martin shares in a few hours over his tweet about the cost of the F35. Kerching.

      Doesn’t look great for the QE Carriers. If only the UK had its own fighter jet with VTOL capacity that was compatible with carrier operations…. maybe something with a proven track record,… something with battle honours, and proven success and reliability under fire… nope. Can’t think of anything.

      And there was the UK press slagging off the Russians for keeping their obsolete rust bucket warships at battle readiness with one hit capacity to sink a carrier, you know, just in case something happened before their replacement was ready for service. That’s the elusive Russian fleet that was so easily picked up by SEWB, Scotland’s Early Warning Binoculars, the UK replacement for Nimrod Early Warning Radar. Then to be sent packing by two men a rowing boat with a loud hailer. That’s the UK’s replacement for inshore patrol… Oh wait… oh no. My mistake. That is the UK’s standard inshore patrol capacity.

      There is just no end to the things the UK has sold off prematurely. Keep you eyes on Autotrader… For Sale. 2 Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers. Unused. Aircraft not included.

    61. Gary45% says:

      The big problem with the Yoons(politicians, media and EBC etc) is they still treat Halyruid as a pretendy wee parliament.
      A wee step up to get to big school( Westminster) is their vision of politics in Scotland.
      I wouldn’t trust any of the them to turn on a water tap, after all you can train monkeys to do that which is far to advanced for the opposition.
      As for the gutter press(includes every one of them by the way), I am beyond words.
      The SNP government are doing big joindy up adult politics, in Scotland and Wastemonter, and the opposition can’t handle it. FACT
      Here’s a headline for the shitey news? papers, and the even shiteyer media.
      The middle of December nae snaw, nae skiing, it’s Nicla Sturjins fault. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did, useless fkn nobody’s.
      Apologies, rant over.
      Oh aye Malcolm Chisolm was all right, should have been in the SNP.

    62. DerekM says:

      @ Luigi

      Aye Luigi what has happened the last 20 years in the beautiful Republic of Ireland is very impressive,and i know i bang on about how every Scot should go and take a look at how a small independent from British rule country has transformed itself,especially when you consider they do not have the natural resources that Scotland has,but its true every Scot should visit then come back and be very angry at the UK and vote Yes to independence.

      It borders on criminal what the union has done with Scottish infrastructure,some might think they do not want us to be competitive.

    63. Robert Peffers says:

      @mogabee says: 13 December, 2016 at 11:18 am:

      ” … Handy hint: Newspapers are good for soaking up water after a kitchen leak…not for much else.”

      Yeah! But! VAX Wet&Dry Vacuums do a far better job and they can clean carpets and upholstery too.

      I’ll get my overalls.

    64. Dan Huil says:

      Daily Fail: Zinoviev Letter No. 233,987

    65. heedtracker says:

      Breeks says:
      13 December, 2016 at 1:40 pm
      Trump, the “businessman” President, has just wiped $3.5 billion off Lockheed Martin shares in a few hours over his tweet about the cost of the F35. Kerching.

      It ok, its ok. BBC r4 lunchtime news gimps just gave Farage a whole soap box of UKIP shite and Farage says Trump’s going to give the UK the greatest free trade deal ever and there are 200 hundred more countries what want to do the same.

      Heil Trump.

      BBC r4 also found Belgian’s to say they too do not want to be ordered around by Germany. Corrupt BBC knows no depths, here and abroad, on expenses.

      Are there 200 hundred countries on planet Earth anyway? Just not Europe though.

    66. heedtracker says:

      This dude’s live on facebook right the noo, live Brexit debate at Abertay uni. Guess who’s bad, who’s really really bad…2 minutes is enough of Dr Walton.

      http://no2np.org/dr-stuart-waiton-named-person-law-degrades-the-very-meaning-of-privacy/

    67. Macart says:

      @jdman

    68. Ghillie says:

      I smell desperation (being polite!)

    69. Macart says:

      @jdman

      DAMMIT! Ferkin screen lag.

      As I wiz sayin’… Your posts should appear over on WGD now John. 🙂

    70. jdman says:

      Mcart
      fits up? 🙂

    71. Sinky says:

      AT the Daily Mail we take great pride in the quality of our journalism. All our journalists are required to observe the Editors’ Code of Practice and the Mail is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), the regulatory body for the Press set up in response to the Leveson Inquiry. We aim to correct any errors as promptly as possible.

      If you wish to report an inaccuracy, please email corrections [at] dailymail [dot] co [dot] uk. To make a formal complaint under IPSO rules please go to http://www.dailymail.co.uk/ readerseditor where you will find an easyto-use complaints form. You can also write to Readers’ Editor, Scottish Daily Mail, 20 Waterloo Street, Glasgow G2 6GB or contact IPSO directly at ipso.co.uk

      JUST SAYING as a letter was sent about their errors over SNP MPs expenses was not printed whereas 12 yoon letters attacking the MPs were printed the following day.

    72. Macart says:

      @jdman

      You were stuck in a spam filter. :roll:

    73. K1 says:

      They’re gunning for Humza, wonder why…one of the most competent, articulate and charismatic politicians in Scotland…this is a smear campaign we’re witnessing pure and simple. It’s got fuck all to do with trains running on time that’s clear. Their attempt to undermine his him is an attempt of political assassination…they view him as a threat…serious threat. Wonder why?

    74. heedtracker says:

      Pinned Tweet
      Kezia Dugdale ?@kezdugdale 4h4 hours ago
      A rampant lionness roars on the Scottish Parliament’s new tax powers

      Over photo of a mouse.

      Kez can’t even spell, lioness, for gawds sake. But SLab are shrieking SNP bad at eductationerising us though. Well that was last week.

    75. heedtracker says:

      Lionness Kez and this weeks news stand of SNP bad, featuring

      Kezia Dugdale Retweeted
      Scottish Labour ?@scottishlabour 4h4 hours ago
      REVEALED: SNP cuts spending per pupil by 8%. Read @kezdugdale in the @Daily_Record today:

      My Morrisons is a great shop, really lovely staff, and they used to have a giant full wall newsstand, with books, as you go in the main entrance. But its all been scrapped and their newsstand is now a little cart on wheels that they can push out of the way. Its not surprising.

    76. galamcennalath says:

      DerekM says:

      It borders on criminal what the union has done with Scottish infrastructure,some might think they do not want us to be competitive.

      Ever since the discovery of oil, and its implications as covered in McCrone, I believe stifling Scotland’s economy has been policy. And now, with each step closer to full independence we take, it is becoming even more apparent.

    77. bjsalba says:

      O/T

      Just had a new neighbout try to tell me that only 3 countries (one of which was, he said, the UK contributing 9 Billion) make a net contribution to the EU budget. When I asked him where he got the information from he said “Common Knowledge”. He ia WRONG. Surprise, surprise!

      If anyone ants the correct figures look here
      http://english.eu.dk/en/faq/faq/net_contribution

      There are actually 10 countries making net contriburions in – and yes UK is one of them coming in at not 9Bn but under 5Bn.

      Oh, by the way, is anybody aware that the EU27 has already worked on their future budget (without the UK)?

      They have figured things out. Has westminser?

    78. Proud Cybernat says:

      “And now, with each step closer to full independence we take, it is becoming even more apparent.”

      Aye. And every single Yoon Party in this country (controlled by their Imperial London overlords) was utterly complicit in that ‘policy’ of keeping Scotland in its box, never to get too ahead of ourselves, to feel we could ever do better. Keep us down. Keep us down. Keep us fucking suppressed at ALL costs. And totally in the dark about or immense wealth to boot.

      Gits!!

      The ONLY political party in this country of Scotland that is totally focussed in improving the lot of every person living here is the National Party of Scotland (aka SNP).

      The other political parties PRETEND to be interested in doing good things for Scotland whilst they send £billions back to Westminster because they can’t think how to spend it. The Yoon parties are not interested in Scotland or its people–they are interested ONLY in party advantage and THEMSELVES.

      Period.

    79. Dr Jim says:

      The Daily Express or the Mail or any of them really

      Headline:

      And now here is our interpretation of the news as we would like it to be in order to encourage folk not to have faith in the SNP Guv because we don’t like them and we want Labour back even to the detriment of the country, but we don’t care about that as long as things go back to the way they were when Scotland was shit but we all were shit together and we knew our place

      See that’s not snappy enough, can’t print that!

    80. Glamaig says:

      bjsalba says:
      13 December, 2016 at 2:38 pm
      There are actually 10 countries making net contriburions in – and yes UK is one of them coming in at not 9Bn but under 5Bn.

      Not very much to make such a fuss about is it. To put it in perspective, its less than the planned spend on the refurbishment of the Palace of Westminster.

    81. Richard MacKinnon says:

      Lets be honest, Humza is hopeless. Most of the delays are down to Railtrack not Scotrail. I don’t think he has grasped it, Railtrack are responsible for stations, track, signalling and overhead line equipment, in other words the infrastructure. Someone needs to explain this to Humza. Photo shoots of our Transport Minister in a Scotrail base ball cap is not going to keep that nasty unionist media pack from the door.

    82. Marcia says:

      I think the Transport Minister should resign now. Yesterday I got held up in traffic on my way to the station to catch the train to Carnoustie. I thought I would just make it if the train was a bit late. Nope. It left on time. 🙁 So much for believing newspapers.

    83. Dr Jim says:

      O/T But I had to share this

      The FM SGuv is putting money and facilities in to help with Mental Health work so a guy Tweets this:

      “I have mental health issues and I don’t want help from them”

      A hilarity tear ran all the way down my face and I’m still creased up at the ridiculous lengths some folk go to to say SNP Baad before they’ve even thought about what’s coming out of their mouths

      Dear Oh Deary me!

    84. Fred says:

      Anent the attacks on Humza, there could be a racist element here considering who this shit comes from!

    85. heedtracker says:

      Richard MacKinnon says:
      13 December, 2016 at 3:08 pm
      Lets be honest, Humza is hopeless.

      If its not him, its some other misfortunate in Scotland. He is getting the UKOK hackdom Salmond treatment alright though. Its just part of the job in Scotland.

      If you want to be treated like a UKOK god of teamGB, be a tory like Ruthie Babes, thick, ignorant, cringing flip flopper voting in all kinds of human misery on people with nothing, its all to the good on planet toryboy. All of the above apply to SLabour’s ever dwindling crew of enraged yoons and SLabstainers but that all ends at Carlisle. Cross border, its JC v v bad.

      Such is the toryboy media freak show in the mental as anything tory yew kay zone:D

    86. Iain Ross says:

      “It borders on criminal what the union has done with Scottish infrastructure,some might think they do not want us to be competitive.”

      I think this is definitely the case but I think in the past it was just ignorance but post 2014 it has become a bit more deliberate.

      Take the situation with renewable energy. We have a situation where the UK parties (basically the Tories) have for various reasons decided to press ahead with Nuclear, which in one sense is bizarre given the open ended costing and who is involved.

      In Scotland we have been trying to establish a renewables industry but without any control over energy policy. Now due to chronic under investment from central government we have infrastructure issues in that the grid, is well not a grid for all of our country. In addition we have the grid charging system which discriminates against producers in Scotland (note, funny how the Tories believe in the free market but only when it does not penalises their core voters).

      As such the Tories (UK) hold the whip hand and have now completely undermined the renewables industry here by withdrawing pricing support. In fact worse than that, they have refused to move forward with grid interconnectors by calling for needs case reviews despite the fact that these already exist; the goal being to kick development in the long grass, thus choke off demand and then later they can claim that there is no requirement to proceed due to lack of demand. Highly cynical but of course allows them to claim that they didn’t block anything.

      In addition to that in order to meet various commitments they are going ahead with an interconnector to Norway to access their green energy and interestingly enough this is going to connect into England not Scotland.

      So there you have it, rather than in invest in their own country (Scotland), help create employment in fragile remote areas and potentially help re-industrialise Scotland with a world leading industry they would rather have Nuclear and imported green energy and have us all paying foreign governments for the privilege.

      I know people involved with this and they tell me that their interaction with the UK Government is strained. The response they get (if they get one!) is of indifference and at times it is almost if they are taking pleasure from undermining the industry.

      For what it is worth I think this is now deliberate and political in that the UK establishment do not want us to have any asset such as this and by destabilising development at every turn they score points against the SNP.

      It is such a shame that this is happening and I am yet to hear a reasonable explanation from any Scottish unionist, I mean how do you defend what is happening here? You can’t but I suppose like I saw last night from some troll the answer would be something along the lines off, ‘I do not care about Scotland, it is not a country and should never be a country, I am British and the UK is my country, that and stopping the Separatists is all that matters’ ………

    87. Free Scotland says:

      When I reached the last column of the article, and read that, over the last year, just 3.1 per cent of services had been subject to cancellation or significant delay, I wondered how that figure tied in with the second paragraph of the article, which states:

      New analysis revealed an increase of almost 20 per cent in cancellations and significant delays over the past two consecutive four-week periods.

      Then the penny dropped: the key part of the second paragraph comes right at the end, where the writer – who is as fly as a bag of weasels – uses the expression “the past two consecutive four-week periods.” Why not “the past eight weeks”? Because the writer has taken the number of new cancellations or significant delays in the first four-week period and compared it with the number of new cancellations or significant delays in the second four-week period, just to see if there has been any change. So, if, for example, there were 5 new cancellations in the first four-week period and 6 new cancellations in the second four-week period, that represents an increase of 20 per cent “over the past two consecutive four-week periods.”

    88. jdman says:

      Macart
      “You were stuck in a spam filter. ”
      What?
      on WGD?

    89. Cuilean says:

      You’re certainly training us well on MSM’s massaging of facts!

      e.g. Couple of weeks ago, neo-liberal BBC and Sky were heralding the ‘generosity’ of UK’s public schools who were going to gift to the less well off, (ie most of us) up to 10,000 free places.

      The key words there are ‘up to’. Similar to the old shop sales con, when you think you are going to get 70% off a pair of jeans but when you get to the check out, you actually only get 10% off. When you query this, that’s when the shop assistant points at the words ‘Up To’ beside the words’70% Off’ on their sale signs and you realise you are not getting such a bargain after all.

      So ‘up to’ 10,000 new places can in fact be less than 10,000 new places, maybe even just 10, or 500 or 5000 new places. In fact it is completely meaningless but sounds a great deal on the surface.

      The MSM also forgot to put in context that, as UK public schools (like Eton) get tax breaks as listed ‘charities’ it is in fact we, the UK public, who are generously subsidizing the richest people in the UK who can afford to send their kids to Eton and not, as the BBC (the mouth piece of the British Establishment), would have us believe, the richest people in the UK philanthropically supporting the poor.

      Aye. That’ll be the day.

    90. Macart says:

      @jdman

      Ayup!

      Doing some routine maintenance and found 3 in there from t’other day. Anyroads, cleared them and popped them on. Hopefully should be fine now. 🙂

    91. jdman says:

      Macart
      I thought it was something like that, cheers for fixing it. 🙂

    92. Iain More says:

      Ah trains and this on the day when the Yoon Union of Train Drivers have gone on strike in deepest darkest Yoonland darn sowf. But of course it is all the SNP SGs fault. Lets just say I almost weet masell laughing today when I heard about that train drivers strike on Southern Yoon rail.

      I haven’t had my irony bypass yet so somebody in the SNP SG must resign!

    93. Breeks says:

      Farage has Free Trade Deals lined up with 200 countries? What, for nylon stockings, silk drawers, petrol coupons and real eggs? Or is it maybe 60 years of US Army surplus? Maybe everbody will have to start smoking 40 a day again and driving around in jeeps.

      Nigel Farage having 200 Trade Deals sounds as plausible as £350 million a week spent in the NHS in England. Nobody is going to fall for tha…. oh wait.

      For a bit of balance, maybe I’ll ask Lockheed Martin what they think of Trade Deals with Donald Trump.

    94. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      galamcennalath @ 13:08:

      …going a bit O/T, Derek Bateman has a very inciteful piece…

      “Insightful”, I hope. Not time for the pitchforks and burning torches quite yet, even though it is tempting at times!

      His preference for the “cock up theory” makes sense, given that the fair lady’s contenders, two other Shortbread insiders, are apparently both accountants.

      For creative programme-making decisions? I mean, really…

    95. Robert Kerr says:

      @Fred

      Yes I have thought that as well.

      The Yoons can’t allow an inclusive SNP Government with an ethnic Minister to exist. Can they?

      The SNP is a “Nationalist” Party with “Blut und Boden” as it’s “raison d’être”. isn’t it?

      The Yoons want to force Nicola to sack Humza.

      Barstewards!

    96. orri says:

      That second 4 week period would include some days where temperatures were sub-zero?

      Also wonder what strikes and work to rules might do to trains running late should there be a deliberate attempt at generating a fall in performance in order to further unionist political aims.

    97. Famous15 says:

      On infrastructure,compare say Madeira (a department of Portugal and in the EC) with Scotland.They have more tunnels in Funchal than in the whole of Scotland. The money came from the EC and Lisbon supported their applications for grants.

      Why did London not give the same support to say the Scottish Highlands? (Sorry I forgot that footbridge in Inverness LOL )

    98. Dan Huil says:

      @Iain Ross 3:26pm

      Very interesting post. Britnats are trying to create an economic desert in Scotland whilst calling it a benefit of union. The SG cannot be ignorant of such britnat tactics. They have to do something politically radical, and soon, if Scotland is to survive. Never mind getting Westminster’s approval [!] of IndyRef2, the SG should hold a vote on independence in Holyrood in the spring of 2017.

    99. orri says:

      http://www.networkrail.co.uk/about/performance/

      Looks like you can guarantee that about this time of year railways get worse. Winter is Coming.

    100. Big Jock says:

      Germany and Switzerland run at 97% I just checked! We are 1% behind the two most punctual services in Europe.

    101. Stu Mac says:

      @galamcennalath
      Derek always opts for the ‘cock up theory’, while the rest of us err towards ‘conspiracy’. Still, he knows more about it than most.
      ========================

      There is a third possibility – “groupthink” people from same backgrounds with similar prejudices think and publish via an unspoken agenda – one that needn’t be mentioned because they already think the “right” way. So no need for conspiracy. However a certain amount of dishonesty as can be seen from some of the stories. (I believe Chomsky wrote about something similar).

    102. manandboy says:

      A successful renewables industry in Scotland, with all the benefits it would bring, would force the Scottish electorate some way to change its mind and realise that Scotland could easily be self-sufficient. Westminster don’t want that – it would be a step toward Independence.

    103. galamcennalath says:

      Robert J. Sutherland says:

      … inciteful ….. “Insightful”, I hope. Not time for the pitchforks and burning torches quite yet, even though it is tempting at times!

      Ha ha, yes not quite yet 🙂

    104. Thepnr says:

      I’m getting a bit concerned about this non stop propaganda onslaught. It was bad enough pre-referendum and yet it seems to me to be even worse now.

      They don’t appear to care what lies they print, the topics chosen and the vetting of the public who Call Kaye resulting in an “ordinary listener” in Scotland believing she/he are actually hearing views that are representatives of even their neighbour.

      Look at the state of Question Time, what a godawful mess, predominantly right wing panels with a predominantly right wing audience and we all know now how the audience was handpicked.

      I am worried, I’m worried because too few are paying attention or even care, slowly, slowly at least here in Scotland people are beginning to notice summits up.

      The sleekit handed way that the media and politicians work makes me want to puke, this very story resulted in a Slabber press Release or was it the other way round?

      Labour using the most right paper in the UK to get their message across in Scotland is just F’Kin bizarre?? Have they gone completely mad? I can only guess so unless they are relying on the likes of the BBC taking their lead from the Mail as most likely Kaye will do tomorrow.

      I am worried, the manipulation of the UK population has been underway for years, probably since Blair who Thatcher described as her “greatest achievement”. He proved it and now what’s left of the Labour party won’t even oppose the government on Brexit.

      I’m worried, very, very worried.

      Scotland must be persuaded to vote YES, we can escape this madness only if we do so. When that next Referendum is announced those of us who know what is coming if we fail to do so must persuade others to see the TRUTH.

      We worked hard last time, I guess I’m saying this IS an all or nothing gamble, you all know that as well as I do.

      We need to start positive action right now, a quiet word here, pointing out some facts there. Let’s work on those closest to us that voted No. That’s our best bet.

      A quiet revolution.

    105. Ronnie says:

      @Richard McKinnon 3:08pm – “Railtrack” ceased to exist in 2003 after going bust and being placed in administration. The infrastructure owner/operator is Network Rail, a company limited by guarantee and wholly owned by the UK Department for Transport, control of which is reserved to Westminster.

    106. Proud Cybernat says:

      I’m sure Ruthie will be along at FMQs to ask the First Minister what she intends to do about the mess of the railways and when we can expect the rail strikes to end.

      Only to later kick the shit out of her adviser when she realises she’s been advised on the rail strikes in England.

      Y ou know–like she did last time with the NHS in England.

    107. The Man in the Jar says:

      None of this is new. I was watching a documentary on Clyde built ships presented by the excellent David Hayman. The subject of the episode was the Confederate Blockade Runners built on the Clyde. These were unarmed paddle steamers adapted to run the blockade of Confederate ports during the American civil war. Glasgow shipyards were making a fortune building these ships as fast as they could launch them. There was alot of money involved as up to £4million profit could be made (in todays money) per run. The Confederate Navy had an office in Scotland to arrange specifications and to make payment to the shipyards.

      The thing was that these ships prolonged the American civil War by about two years and consequently tens of thousands died unnecessarily. Surprisingly it was the Scottish working classes that protested against the Confederates and Slavery. I say surprisingly because it was the blockade of Confederate ports that prevented the export of cotton and many weavers lost their livelihood because of the blockade. However they chose to back the Union States in their bid to outlaw slavery above their own personal gain.

      Imagine my surprise when it transpired that two prominent Scottish newspapers came out in Support of the Confederate forces. Imagine my further astonishment that the newspapers in question turned out to be The Scotsman and The Herald. Well, well, well!

      The program is available on the BBC iplayer well worth a watch.

    108. R-type Grunt says:

      FFS!!!

    109. Nigel says:

      Lies and more lies. Also, it’s really a pity for ScotRail staff who are dedicated and work hard in all sorts of conditions, 24 hours a day to keep a good service running. Many railway men are loyal to the union, but I know of many who have changed their minds since the ScotRail witch hunt began a few weeks’ ago.

    110. yesindyref2 says:

      97% of trains running more or less on time

      Well, errrr, no actually. The article DOES specify “which doesn’t include delays under half-an-hour”.

      The article is good but incorrect.

    111. Lenny Hartley says:

      Proud Cybernat regarding Ruthie Buffalo Gal and her tendency to lie in Parliament.
      I exchanged emails with my MSP (snp) asking why she was not being brought to account and made to apologise to Parliament. The long and short of it is that he said they can’t do anything about it. I was not happy about his response so I went to see him at his last Surgery. He confirmed that they could do nothing and it was up to an individual’s conscience whether they lied in Parliament. I asked him what he was going to do about it, he said there is nothing I can do, I said yes there is, you are theGovernment , change the Fkin law. I eagerly await legislation being introduced that forbids Msp’s lying in Parliament , I also believe in Santa Claus, bunch of chancers the lot of them.

    112. Clive Scott says:

      Am pleased to see increasing numbers of readers are beating me to it and rearranging news stands to cover up the Daily Mail with The National.

    113. Capella says:

      By Thursday it will be “The Budget” – doom and gloom.

      Today’s Scottish edition of the I newspaper has a picture of Derek Mackay with the headline “Scotland’s economy trailing behind rest of the UK.” Growth was 0.7% – compared to 2.2% for the “UK as a whole”.

      No explanation offered as to how these figures are calculated. The report is from “one of the nation’s most respected think tanks” – the Fraser of Allander Institute. Is that the think-tank headed by Brian Ashcroft, husband of former Labour Leader. Wendy Alexander?

    114. Gary45% says:

      After years of dithering, doing what the Imperial masters at Westminster told them,and treating Scotland like the Sunday pub league, the yoons made a complete arse of running Scotland, and they know it.
      The SNP on the other hand has taken the Scottish Government into the Champions league, and the medja can’t hack it.
      Simples.

      Oh Aye, Humza’s beard has caused the melting of the Polar ice cap, SNP baad

    115. Proud Cybernat says:

      “Scotland’s economy trailing behind rest of the UK.” Growth was 0.7% – compared to 2.2% for the “UK as a whole”.

      Which will have all the Yoons ecstatic, naturally.

      “I don’t care if UK Gov policies screw over Scotland and I end up losing my job because of it. It’ll be worth it cos I’ll still be British.”

      Note: ‘British’ translates as ‘Second class English’.

    116. heedtracker says:

      Nigel Farage having 200 Trade Deals sounds as plausible as £350 million a week spent in the NHS in England. Nobody is going to fall for tha…. oh wait.”

      Its still a bit or lot of culture shock listening to BBC gimps fluffing a git like Farage, thankfully. Any SNP is treated rather differently by our chums in BBC England, as we know but the radio BBC crew have gone tory mentalist.

      Tories like Farage can more or less say anything the like now on the radio. You have to make your own mind up when you hear the interview EU ministers and MEP’s.

      Presumably we’ll have to eventually Leave by 2019 EU elections but its long time to have listen to planet toryboy wailing away on the execrable BBC about what absolute rotters they are for not giving the UK special deals and extended art 50 stuff.

    117. RogerM says:

      I’m sorry but 3% of trains being cancelled or more than half an hour late is not a good record. That doesn’t mean 97% are on time. It may be better than trains in England mind you but that’s not saying much.

      As someone who has to use Scotrail on a daily basis (unlike the author) I can tell you it is pretty awful. The staff seem totally demoralised and don’t much care about providing a decent service (and considering the way they’ve been treated who can blame them?).

      If you want to pretend everything is rosy go ahead but eventually people will think you have as little regard for truth as the Mail.

    118. Joan of Alba says:

      “Now, obviously “97% of trains running more or less on time” would be a comically ridiculous reason to demand the resignation of a minister, as the Mail does on page 14, let alone the fact that more than half of delays are caused by Network Rail, which is outside the Scottish Government’s control.”

      That’s not entirely accurate. Performance ISN’T great. PPM times massage the figures to a level of acceptability which isn’t reflected in real life arrivals and departures. If your train repeatedly arrives 4 minutes late it’s classed as on time. In fact right time performance for Scotrail for the current period is an embarrassing 49.7%.

      According to the same period’s figures Network Rail were responsible for 54% of all delays in Scotland. You might be forgiven for thinking that casts Abellio Scotrail in a slightly better light and that it paints Network Rail as a shambolic organisation which is dragging Abellio’s performance down. That’s not exactly true.

      When the railway was privatised one of the biggest cottage industries created was that of allocating and deflecting blame, or delay attribution. Railtrack as it was, and then Network Rail were made contractually liable for many of the delays which happen on the railway even though they may be to a certain extent outwith their control.

      A blocked drain on a road causes the road to flood and the water cascades onto the railway and floods the railway delaying trains: that’s Network Rails fault. Trespassers climb over a fence and onto the railway, causing trains to be delayed as they are stopped and warned: that’s Network Rails fault. Children throwing stones at trains means drivers have to be stopped and advised: that’s Network Rail’s fault. People driving their car through level crossings, high vehicles striking bridges, people committing suicide, snow, rain, even storm force winds are Network Rails fault. These are a contractual necessity because at the end of the day somebody has to pay; in effect much of the delay which is Network Rails fault is down to accounting, not bad practice or poor maintenance.

      That’s not to say Network Rail are blame free, far from it. But with every minute of delay having to be paid for, it’s worth ensuring that Network Rail are left holding the bag.

      Train Operators are paid a compensatory amount if Network Rail delay their trains by more than 5 minutes, but don’t have to pay up any money to passengers unless their train is more than 30 minutes late! This is not chicken feed and it runs to hundreds of millions of pounds across the industry. If a train operator such as Abellio Scotrail is able to stall and argue about specific delays that they have caused for long enough, those minutes are eventually shared with Network Rail so that the taxpayer stumps up rather than them. How fair is that?

      If Scotland is able to move to a position of publicly owned trains then we must look to a better model than the current one which is failing to deliver a clear account of who is responsible for delays and why they occur, and this could be almost certainly eradicated if we could have a fully nationalised railway where trains and track come under one management structure.

    119. Dorothy Devine says:

      OT Would someone tell me why I am watching STV news?

      It is in the words of the poet, utter shite.

      Is there anyone willing to remind the Westminster MPs , that we did not see the carnage inflicted on Iraq , we did not see the bodies and body parts . We did not see the dead of Afghanistan or the carnage of Libya .

      Our bombs and bullets are no kinder than the other sides and we cannot claim the moral high ground on any front.

    120. Undeadshaun says:

      RogerM says.

      “The staff seem totally demoralised and don’t much care about providing a decent service”

      Sorry but this doesn’t reflect my experience of the service. I had lost tickets whilst at station called scotrail and was emailed a code to my phone for replacement tickets from machine.

      I would call that excellent customer service.

    121. Chess man. says:

      Regarding, “cover ups” re-Clive Scott @5.44: I asked the girl in WHSmiths Sauchiehall st, “Do you have any ‘Nationals’ left?” The plastic newspaper holder had loads of D’Records and about 7 ‘The Times’ left. She stooped down to floor level to uncover a messy ‘Country Life’ and “Hey presto” hidden underneath were 5 of the ‘The National’. She handed me them to choose one, and then, as I went to put the other 4 on the rack at HEAD height, she grabbed the others and walked off towards the office!?

    122. Dan Huil says:

      @Undeadshaun 6:26pm

      I agree. I often use Scotrail and the effiency and helpfulness of staff is excellent. Perhaps some people would like to see Scotrail brought down to Southern Rail’s level for their own political reasons, in the same way they’d like to see the level of all journalism sink down to the pits of the Daily Fail. It’s just another variance of the britnat “divide and rule” strategy.

    123. One_Scot says:

      ‘I’m sorry but 3% of trains being cancelled or more than half an hour late is not a good record. That doesn’t mean 97% are on time’

      Eh, have you even read the post?

      [‘which means that 96.9% are running on time or with shorter delays (mostly under five minutes).’]

      ‘If you want to pretend everything is rosy go ahead but eventually people will think you have as little regard for truth as the Mail.’

      By all means have your say, but just don’t talk balls, it’s not a good look.

    124. harry mcaye says:

      O/T Dorothy – STV News are under the impression that Bellshill=Motherwell. The DHL depot was in Motherwell so they said. I thought, that’s funny, I’m sure I’ve seen that very building in Bellshill. Then camera shows sign outside depot “Bellshill”. How bad is that? Two completely separate towns. You expect that sort of stuff from down south when anything within 20 miles of Glasgow is classed as Glasgow.

      Mind you, it’s not just down south; the BBC Scotland arts woman, Pauline McLean recently said that the first T in the Park was held in Glasgow when it was actually held at the Hamilton end of Strathclyde Park.

    125. louis.b.argyll says:

      We live in a bloody weird country.

      Too many Tories for too damn long, with only more right wing rulers on the cards for several generations, except.. before they drag us up the creek with them..

      ..just enough of us will REASON that SELF DETERMINATION for Scotland will help ALL THE PEOPLES OF THESE ISLANDS.

    126. rogerM says:

      We can argue about anecdotes but what’s the point? According to this link someone posted above:

      http://www.networkrail.co.uk/about/performance/

      In 2015/16 Scotrail had 83.3% of trains run on time, with a UK average of 84.3%, in 2016/17 it was 86.1% with a UK average of 85.1%

      Going by the right time figures less than half of Scotrail’s trains ran on time in the last two years. The average lateness is however, lower than in England and Wales. It would be nice to see these figures compared to other countries but I haven’t time at present.

      So things are improving and we’re around the UK average. But that’s not saying much. Let’s not pretend Scotrail is doing really well by reporting only certain facts and missing out the wider context. Otherwise we’re no better than the Mail.

    127. RogerM says:

      Yes, I read the post. It said.

      “97% of trains running more or less on time”

      When I’m 25 minutes late for work I’ll just tell my boss I’m more or less on time.

    128. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      I’m surprised nobody has stuck the following links onto this page.

      The first two give a ‘live’ updated PPM (Public Performance Measure) for the different railway regions in the UK. The last one gives an explanation.

      I usually dip into the first two, two or three times a day. Scotrail usually sits at 90+%; if it drops below that, there is usually a reason somewhere on the network.

      For example, looking at the breakdown for Scotrail at the first link just now, it’s showing 86% but when you look at the graph (by clicking on the Scotrail bar) you see that something went wrong with the Strathclyde PTE diesel service today.

      I can’t do anything about the service but it’s interesting to keep an eye on what’s going on.

      http://www.liveppm.co.uk/

      http://trains.im/ppm/

      http://www.networkrail.co.uk/about/performance/

    129. Joan of Alba says:

      One_Scot says:
      13 December, 2016 at 6:47 pm
      ‘I’m sorry but 3% of trains being cancelled or more than half an hour late is not a good record. That doesn’t mean 97% are on time’

      Eh, have you even read the post?

      [‘which means that 96.9% are running on time or with shorter delays (mostly under five minutes).’]

    130. K1 says:

      Fred and Robert Kerr…aye that’s my take too…don’t like this attack on Humza at all…smacks of racism. But we cannae ‘prove it’…yet.

    131. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      OK – sorry. I thought I had read all the posts today but missed that the last link had been posted a couple of times.

    132. Dan Huil says:

      “We can argue about anecdotes but what’s the point?”

      “When I’m 25 minutes late for work I’ll just tell my boss I’m more or less on time.”

      No anecdote there then.

    133. One_Scot says:

      First point, no one said 97% of trains run on time, and secondly, by all means tell your boss that you are ‘more or less on time’ when you are 25 minutes late. You would be factually correct.

      Any other things you need help with, just ask.

    134. Thepnr says:

      Ok this is a year out of date, I could not find a more recent one as I don’t believe such a thing as this now exists.

      Here is a link to the performance of all train companies in the UK for spring 2015.

      Scotrail more than holding it’s own. This is a true comparison, that’s what we’re not getting from the media.

      http://www.transportfocus.org.uk/research-publications/publications/national-rail-passenger-survey-nrps-spring-2015-performance-and-satisfaction-by-train-company/

      You need to download and you have graphs for every company for that period.

    135. Andrew Mclean says:

      I drive to work,
      Mostly I get in + or minus 5 to 10 min,
      But I am never late, so, and I have been that boss, If you Roger were to arrive consistently late and tried the trains nor ever running on time crap with me , the shoogily nail your jacket was hanging on would fail. Get out your bed and get an earlier train!

      Two weeks ago I got the train, I had one exchange, but I missed the connection and had to wait 20 min, but I was not late, I used common sense and made allowances.

    136. Ken500 says:

      The SNP Scottish Gov is spending £5Million on the railways. Including new rolling stock.
      The Journey from London to Birminham is 1.30hour. The comparable journey from Glasgow/Edinburgh to Aberdeen is 2.30hours. Fifty years of Labour. The Tories are borrowing and spending £100Billion on HS2. Scotland has to pay a % of the loan repayments. £3Billion a year.

      BBC Scotland again not comparing the drop in teachers nos from 2007 with the drop in pupil nos of as a % of the population.

      The Tories at Westminster have cut Education and NHS funding.

      The Tories have cut the Scottish Block Grant 5% a year since 2010. It is now cut £3Billion a year. The Tories mismanagement (Osbourne) has lost Scotland £Billions (£30Billion) and thousands of jobs in the Oil & Gas sector. Enough to pay for an excellent NHS/Education and Rail service. Taxing the Oil sector at 60% to 80% when the price had fallen 75%. It is now 40% since Jan 2016.

      BBC appealing for aid for Yemen. Westminster Gov supported and supplied the Saudis with the arms that caused the crisis. Total hypocrites. The Unionists refused to vote against it. The Tory/Unionist liars.

      BBC One Show now lying about the farming situation on Arran. It was the London Supreme Court that uphold the decision. Would Sarah Mack and her family give up their farm to another tenant? Hypocrites. Don’t sign a lease you do not want to uphold. Giving tenants sitting rights can often deter landowners from extending leases. The Scottish Gov has supported £Millions of land buy outs. More than land that was cleared.

    137. Dan Huil says:

      https://munguin.wordpress.com/2016/12/13/helping-out-the-sun/#comments

      Apparently in today’s Sun there is a cut-out-and-keep guide on what terrorists look like. I think britnat politicians and britnats in Scotland’s media have a cut-out-and-keep guide to non-white members of the SNP.

    138. Thepnr says:

      @RogerM

      Virgin rail Scotland/London service had 5% trains more than 30 minutes late and 3% cancelled in the weeks Oct 16th to Nov 12th.

      I know we are not comparing like with like but WILL SOMEONE GET THE FIGURES FOR ALL THE COMPANIES FFS!

    139. One_Scot says:

      ‘Otherwise we’re no better than the Mail.’

      By all means compare yourself to the Mail, but don’t include me in your denigration.

    140. Dave MacIntyre says:

      Just yesterday I tried to buy a National at a local co-op at 9am and, having failed to see any, asked a member of staff, who checked her list,and told me they only had two in stock that day.

      Anyway, all two of them were either already sold or hidden beneath a huge pile of Daily Mails.

      Can’t be many nationalists in Bonnyrigg she said! I replied to say that can’t possibly be true and we agreed that the other papers were all tory rags.

      This just shows that it is still incredibly difficult to get a different message out there.

      How to get more shops to stock The National and how to get “free” Metros off public transport?

    141. Andrew Mclean says:

      Big Jock

      I think you will find that it’s less than 0.3% as punctual
      As the Swiss. Actually that is Shockingly good, Nicola must resign or something!

    142. Dr Jim says:

      Why aren’t the media screeching for the resignation of the English Guv in England over their abject failure to match Scotlands good record on practically everything considering they keep Scotlands finances before sharing some of our own money with us and then calling it a “Grant” which they cut every freaking year no matter how much money we produce

      So for those who want to moan about the SG for their own political objectives try moving to Birmingham where half my family lives and trains only even turn up half the time let alone being late, or the Union’s out on strike again, or the workers are off “Sick”

      The only people who can do anything perfect 100% of the time are Yoons moaning griping and girning because it’s all they have, they get instructions and updates on how to do it from the Mail and Express

      Only the headlines mind, small printing’s hard for them unless there are accompanying pictures or a Royal visit to an Independent country who told the UK to go and take a flying you know what to itself but God forbid the very thought of Scotland on the verge of withdrawing it’s financial support from the sinkhole that is England and it’s blind hatred and panic to keep the propaganda crap pumping out

    143. stewartb says:

      Whilst daily figures on rail service performance are ‘interesting’, I suggest that running averages may be more meaningful.

      The source at the link below defines the metrics being used across the UK and surely gives all the performance stats one needs for a full, meaningful analysis. It also includes a section which attributes performance shortfalls to either Network Rail’s responsibility or to the operating company:

      http://www.networkrail.co.uk/about/performance/

      (Apologies if I’m repeating a link someone has already given.)

    144. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Thepnr at 7:16 pm

      You typed,
      “but WILL SOMEONE GET THE FIGURES FOR ALL THE COMPANIES FFS!”

      Check out my post at 7.02pm.

      http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-missing-numbers-round/comment-page-1/#comment-2212195

    145. Dan Huil says:

      Quite a few bbc misreporting Scotland stickers in Elgin BTW.

    146. Domhnall Dods says:

      I’m in London today. Utterly chaos to the extent that I’ve had to abandon my planned flight home and book one from a different airport. No one at the mail is calling for ministers to resign. Funny that.

    147. Gary45% says:

      As a proud follower of WoS, if this makes me a cybernat, it is certainly better than being a cybertwat.
      Guitars out of tune, that Humza’s to blame again.

    148. galamcennalath says:

      “‘Otherwise we’re no better than the Mail.”

      Jeez, I have never encountered anyone on the Yes/SNP/Green/SG side who is event remotely as warped and deranged as the Mail!

    149. HandandShrimp says:

      I find these days that the criticism from Rennie or Gray or some Tory or other is little more than an a faint irritating whine. I almost automatically block it out because it is irrelevant and devoid of substance. They might as well call for Humza to resign because it might rain tomorrow.

      Is the Mail calling for Grayling to resign?

    150. Ken500 says:

      Why aren’t the MSM calling for the resignation of Theresa May and the illegal Tory Gov. Rail strikes, mail strikes, A & E, social care, Education NHS collapsing in England. Illegal wars. Banking fraud and tax evasion. Still illegally bombing. The Gov of the BoE even publishing inequality graphs. Caused sinceThatcher by the Westminster Gov. The useless, ignorant, incompetent Westminster Unionists and their members.

      Rumbles complaining about the AWPR being held up. The 3rd rare reject whose Party blocked the AWPR for over eleven years. Allowing a lying Green masquerading as a LibDem to chair an infrastructure committee. Blocking the expansion of the Airport and illegally blocking a Golf Development supported by the majority. Wasting £Millions of public money. The lying LibDems telling folk to take the bus, to avoid the chaos and congestion they had caused. Where there were no bus services. People being hours late for work. Changing the connection plans so the AWPR did not go near (Lord?) Nicol Stephen’s parent’s home. Costing £Millions.

    151. Ken500 says:

      The National etc is supposed to be re ordered according to the sales on the till. Once goods are sold out they are increasingly re ordered. It could be working to a close budget (no waste). The National hierarchy only publishes a limited no of copies. Distribution might be a problem. They are usually sold out by afternoon.

      The Westminster Gov supporting MSM by £Millions of adverts and printing Gov/political pamphlets and propaganda paid for by public money. It gives them more profit from public funding. Newsquest a US company makes profits from publishing literature for (private) education worldwide. Most newspaper groups are publishing companies. Dirty Desmond had links to the US mafia. Now publishes Elle/Hello Sold a TV Channel. Non Dom tax evaders licensed by the UK Gov.

    152. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Thepnr @ 16:50:

      Labour using the most right paper in the UK to get their message across in Scotland

      Yes, I’ve also commented on this absurdity. They just can’t help themselves from reminding people just who they think their friends are. And wonder why they can’t stop sliding into well-deserved irrelevance.

      They are not alone, alas. Main contender for F***wit of the Year Alex Neil got a big spread on the front cover of The Times the other day over Brexit. He wants to kow-tow to his London masters over that, since it’s far more important to him than independence and the opinion of the people of Scotland.

      Meanwhile, their rightwing “friends” are sniggering up their sleeves as they can’t believe their luck at having so many useful idiots to do their heavy lifting for them.

      You are right to be so concerned. Scotland is getting the same drip-drip-drip of negative propaganda from the MSM that the EU got, while we are idling in getting our message across.

      What we could really use, I believe, is a freesheet, a kind of indy Metro that would undercut the yoon dead tree press, 15p copies, freebies and all, and get through to more non-political folk.

    153. heedtracker says:

      Rumbles complaining about the AWPR being held up. The 3rd rare reject whose Party blocked the AWPR for over eleven years.

      Aberdeen yoon council have blocked modern infrastructure for the whole are for 5 decades. Good old Wullie Young, chums are responsible for no development of the whole of the north and north east of Scotland but they enjoy trolling opposition too, with someone elses money.

      Wullie’s £105+ million Marischal Square Development white elephant now has “New Aberdeen” billboards plastered all over the place. Well SLab have done everything possible to fcuk the old Aberdeen.

      Listening to the yoon council rage at SNP education record, blame them for terrible roads, as they piss away hundreds of millions on their white elephants, is enough to drive you crazy. You want to hear what Aberdonians say about the whole yoon shebang council.

    154. Breeks says:

      Jings. We face the prospect of being dragged out of Europe, losing access to a massive free market which respects the integrity of our branded products, losing access to all the European funding and support which helps develop our infrastructure and business innovations, being plunged into a world of trading subject to trade tariffs and export controls, or foreign visitors, students, and residents from other countries might be expelled from the country, and require visas to return. We find ourselves chained to a sociopathic madman who has just committed himself to massive economic upheaval and instability without being able to articulate any good reason for doing it beyond a dislike for swarthy foreign types, and having no plan, no plan whatsoever what to do next.
      The Scottish nation is poised to see its democratic expression of will thrown under a bus, because we are outnumbered by madmen south of the border who kid themselves, and many of us too, that Scottish sovereign will simply doesn’t count for anything, because it doesn’t actually exist.

      That’s all fine, carry on chaps, but feck me, some trains are late. Quick! Fire! Police! Ambulance! Call the feckin newspapers! Get that BBC reporter to the scene! Call out the National Guard! Holy shit, saints preserve us. (Just not St Andrew, who is obviously much too political because he’d surely vote SNP and turn up carrying a saltire). Somebody’s head is gonna roll for this. If you don’t send him out, we’re gonna come and get him… Fetch me the tar bucket and eiderdown quilt!

      Does anybody have the phone number for Scottish Court of Session, and the extension for Constitutional Sovereignty Department? I’ve had enough of this “Give us this day, our daily shite”. It’s gone on for too long now. It’s not funny anymore.

      Oh, and then I’ll need the number for the UN if anybody has it handy. What time is it in NewYork?

    155. Stoker says:

      WOS archive links now over on O/T.

    156. heedtracker says:

      How it works on planet toryboy, local toryboy. Liddle’s one of the most aggressive tory liggers at the P&J but Aberdeen’s by-pass has been ditched by an endless parade of unionist tories for 4+ decades. Who do they blame now?

      https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/aberdeen/1112134/crucial-section-of-awpr-delayed-by-as-much-as-a-year/

      Wont archive.is. Its getting UKOK dirtier by the day alright.

    157. Tam Jardine says:

      stewartb

      Interesting link. So the analysis for Scotland finds that the split in causes of delay are as follows:

      Infrastructure: 21%
      Operations & Other: 16%
      External (inc. weather, fatalities etc.): 16%
      Total percentage under Network Rail’s remit: 54%

      Train operator caused to self: 38%

      Caused by other passenger train operators: 5%

      Caused by freight train operators: 3%

      I haven’t read the daily mail piece yet but must say that the press and opposition are doing a great job in persuading the public that if it travels on rails it is Humza’s entire responsibility.

      They are also doing a very effective job in playing down and ignoring the absolutely unprecedented (in living memory) investment in upgrading the rail network in Scotland including new stations, upgraded stations, electrification, a new line and (in the pipeline) new trains.

      They are also doing a fine job in keeping the massive difficulties other rail networks and operators in the UK are suffering from in order to avoid that important context. Ask anyone who uses Southern Rail if they think Humza should lose his job.

      People have short memories- more has been done to improve rail transport in the last decade than in the previous, what: 40, 50, 60 years combined?

      It is of course extremely frustrating if your train is cancelled or delayed. Now folk have a minister who is working hard to improve matters amongst the wider transport remit. Previously there was no-one answerable and no point in getting angry as nothing changed.

      Responsibility according to the above is shared between Humza, Chris Grayling, Abellio and other train operators.

      Remember the good old labour days when Alistair Darling was in charge? or Douglas Alexander? John Prescott? The golden age of our rail network!

      Or the tory years (during which they punted the profitable bit and kept the toxic bit in public hands)? The railways (and transport in general in the UK) were so great that there were no fewer than 11 Sec of States for Transport during the blue period.

      Anyone remember Norman Fowler apologising to the public in Scotland for the state of the rail network? Did David Howell or Tom King address the Scottish people and vow to work harder to solve the issues with the network up here? Was Nicholas Ridley sweating blood trying to drive down those cancellations. Was Cecil Parkinson listening intently to the Scottish public?

      Was Malcolm Rifkind pilloried for a single train breaking down?

      Did the BBC Scotsman, the Record, the Herald, the Express and the Daily Mail carry out a concerted effort to sack John MacGregor when he was responsible for railways in Scotland during privatisation? The guy who had done everything in his power to rob us in his stint at the Treasury years before… was he having sleepless nights about overcrowding on the Edinburgh to Queen Street line?

      OF COURSE NOT! None of them gave a shit.

      Amazingly we have a decent, intelligent man taking more than his fair share of responsibility over the railway in Scotland who genuinely cares. He is presiding over amazing improvement to a much neglected infrastructure. What he is not able to do is perform miracles to reverse many decades of chronic lack of investment.

      If anyone thinks Humza deserves the sack they need to travel back in time to days gone by and ask Nicholas Ridley or Norman Fowler to apologise to the Commons because the 9.15 Waverly to Queen Street broke down.

    158. rogerM says:

      Dan Huil says:
      13 December, 2016 at 7:08 pm
      “We can argue about anecdotes but what’s the point?”

      “When I’m 25 minutes late for work I’ll just tell my boss I’m more or less on time.”

      No anecdote there then.

      Correct. You may want to look up anecdote.

    159. Gary45% says:

      Tam Jardine@8.54
      Well Said.
      100% behind Humza.

    160. Roughian says:

      Ken500.
      One show about Arran farmers. Question, who’s fault is it?
      Answer Scottish Government ( assumed SNP).
      Later voice over says the legislation put through by previous administration. Not previous Labour administration.
      However the EBC cover their arses if pulled up for bias.

    161. Still Positive. says:

      Like others on here I have suspected from the beginning that racism and religious hatred have been two of the motivators behind this witch-hunt.

      Humza is not only from an Asian background but he is also a Muslim who wears a kilt to be sworn in to the Scottish Parliament taking his oath in both Urdu and English.

      I have never met him but a friend has on numerous occasions and she says he is a genuine, decent guy. I believe he is because he comes across as being so and regularly has Q and A sessions on FB.

      I guess the xenophobic papers can’t stand that.

    162. Fred says:

      Sounds like Roger the fuckin dodger to me!

    163. Artyhetty says:

      Tam Jardine@8.54pm

      Well said. The unionists, have neglected Scotland to the point of even keeping our infrastructure behind the times, with deliberate underinvestment.

      The unionist rags are hoping that their shitty lies stick, they will go to great lengths to undermine the progressive work of the SNP, who are working within the restraints of WM rule and enforced austerity.

      It will take a while to mend a neglected Scotland after 300+ years of being shackled to our southern neighbour.

      Tory and Labour just cannot stand to see Scotland being improved, being rebuilt, invested in and taken into the 21st century. That is the real disgrace, to withhold and deliberately suppress investment and improvement, which has been WM policy for far too long. No thanks to a union which destroys lives. We want a life affirming, modern, forward looking country and it is beginning to take shape, against huge odds.

    164. Lenny Hartley says:

      Re Arran Farmers, It was Ross Finnie that screwed up the Legislation, giving the Chinless Wanker FForde and his fellow Landlords the opportunity via the Supreme Court in London to over turn the Scots Law on the matter. The present Scottish Government cannot comment as there is an ongoing court case on the matter (For compensation) They also cannot change the Legislation otherwise they will be in trouble again under the ECHR.

      The Chinless Wanker Fforde is a complete knob, his 90 odd year old mother doesn’t even trust him to get her gravestone right, she has it already with all the details filled in apart from year of death, The Farm will go to the dogs like everything else he touches, My best mates home was demolished by him over twenty years ago so that he could build a bunkhouse and the family offered alternative accommodation in a prefab building with no insulation. the site where the houses were is still empty There are countless homes on Arran gone to ruin because of his mismanagement.

    165. Dr Jim says:

      Irony can be at times wickedly pleasing

      William Blakes house is crumbling beyond repair

    166. freedo says:

      I’m with Breeks on this. There is no doubt in my mind that what the Nation is faced with is nothing less than a disaster on a scale not experienced since 1707.
      I concur with all his concerns about what faces the Nation of Scotland in the light of current ‘British’ political posturing.
      There appears to be no coherent plan for British Exit from the European Union, or if there is one, it is conveniently obscured by statements and observations which are at odds to one and another from those who are purportedly responsible for conducting the means for ‘Britain’ to execute an exit from the European Union.
      The range and extent of the problems which Breeks expressed are without a doubt something that all of us should take heed of and perhaps consider them as a matter of more importance than the insignificant trash of railway timings. It’s like “chaff” to divert incoming destructive fire. Make no mistake, I value what Humza is doing, but it is not of significance relative to the bigger problem. Nor, may I say, is bleating about how one, probably useless, council inexpertly lavishes considerable amounts on questionable projects while apparently ignoring real social needs.
      Stuff like this can, and would, be more readily dealt with in a country which has the unique power to do so.
      It strikes me that all of us should concentrate our efforts on the main aim INDEPENDENCE.
      Any adversarial activity should be toward those and their agents who conspire against it.
      VOTE SNP

    167. K1 says:

      Really old game everyone recognises, simply attend, willfully avoid noticbly weak erroneous rhetoric.

    168. mealer says:

      Humza is a hero in our struggle for independence.

    169. heedtracker says:

      Now they’ve come for Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh. Its dirty business this teamGB life.

      http://archive.is/jt7Iz

    170. heedtracker says:

      Daily Record’s the place to be for all your SNP bad smear campaigning. First Humza now Tasmina. Its probably not a coincidence from creeps like Crichton Torquil.

      http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/taxman-targets-assets-rising-snp-9452155

      archive.is wont work tonight

    171. Chic McGregor says:

      OT
      Second major hypocrisy sickener in two days.

      To the following diatribe by Samantha Powers my reply is simply:

      Dresden
      Hiroshima
      Nagasaki
      My Lai massacre
      Agent Orange
      Napalm
      Arming and training the Mujahideen in Afghanastan
      Mujahideen becoming Al Qaeda
      Iraq catastrophies 1&~2 millions killed.
      Libya
      Arming and training ISIS
      Fake anti ISIS Syrian intervention by air.

      http://www.joe.ie/news/is-there-literally-nothing-that-can-shame-you-un-ambassadors-powerful-words-to-syria-russia-and-iran/570745

      The first one was British reporters reporting on the far right groups in Europe and criticising them for threatening to deprt Islamic refugees.

      I am currently moving from a position of just wanting Scotland to leave the UK to attain normal levels of self determination to an actual feeling of disgust and shame at being British.

    172. Dan Huil says:

      britnat hypocrisy over bombing of Yemen by Saudis using british ordinance

      sickening

    173. freedo says:

      If there’s guilt so be it, but one does wonder how many cases were leapfrogged to arrive at this one!

    174. Chic McGregor says:

      @Dan Huil

      Yeah, that as well.

      Tell me, when exactly did Britain and America become the bad guys?

    175. Valerie says:

      @Chic McGregor

      I have felt shame for a number of years specifically about the UK role in killing.

      People can try and spin these mi!itary misadventures how they like, the fact is that this country is around the second largest seller of arms in the world, so how can anyone with a modicum of compassion excuse what is happening?

      Around two thirds of the UK arms sales end up in the Middle East. Oh but, we must intervene because Assad is anti democratic, says the UK, who has a mediaeval system, dominated by rich Eton types.

      Oh but Assad is killing his own, says the country condemned by a UN report for their treatment of disabled, where food banks are a growth industry, where we have the working poor, where child abuse permeates every section of society.

      Its going to get worse. This afternoon in the Commons, BoJo laid all this country’s failings in Syria, on the fact that bombing didn’t go ahead in 2013. When he was asked if aid could be air dropped, he said no, too difficult. But I’m assuming they can still drop bombs, as we have never heard of our withdrawal.

      The West are raging that régime overthrow has failed, up the anti Russian rhetoric, sell more arms etc., get involved in more misadventure

      Ordinary folk have no idea how much bullshit is being funded by our MoD to control the media narrative via cash hungry mercenaries on the ground, and on social media. It makes me ill.

    176. O/T but absolutely compelling. This is 52 minutes that nobody should miss. It exposes the biggest lie that the world has ever been told

      l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwebtv.un.org%2Fwatch%2Fpermanent-mission-of-the-syrian-arab-republic-to-the-united-nations-press-conference-9-december-2016%2F5241732190001&h=JAQF_Tt5d

    177. Dr Jim says:

      I know a guy who knew a guy who did a bad thing once and I have on occasion littered by throwing a fag end into the gutter

      I am a SNP member and I admit my guilt

      Before the Daily Record unmasks me for the low life I truly am

    178. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Valerie –

      Hear hear.

      As a wee experiment earlier I tweeted that I was just about to switch on the radio for GMS, and was wondering how long it would be before some ‘SNP Baaaaad’ came out of it.

      I switched the radio on at 6.20 precisely. Lots of stuff about Aleppo, massacres, executions in the street, warnings, you name it. Apocalyptic stuff.

      And then, ‘Scottish Schools Crumbling…Swinney Under Fire…Sturgeon coming under pressure…’

      Four minutes it took before it started. Almost bang-on. Four. Minutes. And that was turning it on totally at random.

      Makes ye wonder what’s the longest anyone can listen to that show without getting similar. It’s relentless.

    179. Ken500 says:

      Ignorant ‘journalists’ still lying about testing. They should take a lie detector test, which they would fail. It would appear most of them have never been in a school in their lives, They can’t do Maths (percentages etc)or research properly and only publish Unionist Party hand outs without any question.

      20% of pupils have additional needs. Some will never be able to pass tests (norm) as per se. Some are geniuses who will never spell or do basic Maths.They will never pass a maths test or get qualifications but are mathematical geniuses. Some are on the spectrum with amazing ability but would not pass a test on many levels. Everything in the modern world was invented or discovered by those on the spectrum. Of amazing abilities but many can’t spell or pass a basic test. Despite being above average of ability. e,g. Silicon Valley. Many with proper support will go on to have outstanding careers in their specialist areas of exceptional talent. Yet some will never pass a basic matgs or spelling test as per standard. (Norm). Many go on to have exceptional ‘careers’.

      Unlike some dunce ‘journalists’ who insult the intelligences of the majority of people, including the families, friends, teachers and other academics who give people the additional necessary support they need. More psychological testing is needed to identify additional needs, Not random unnecessary testing of no consequence. Computers and calculators give help. Invented by people on the spectrum. The move to older parenthood and social/lifestyle change increases the needs for additional support.

      Many politicians/journalists appear to be ignorant of the basic facts. The teachers need more training in additional needs, to help all pupils. It is not the pupils or the teachers who are at fault. It is the unnecessary testing that is not needed. Some more pupils can achieve their full potential and their talents and ability can be nurtured. Scottish students also got to College where additional needs pupils can get more support and take up apprenticeships and learn skills or a trade. Tradespeople can earn a comfortable living.

      Poverty can hold children back. The Westminster Gov has just increased child poverty with cuts to essential benefits affecting the vulnerable, especially women and children. While Oxbridge Unionists wear disgusting trousers and reward themselves and their associates with £Billions of plundered public money.

      Westminster are cutting £3Billion (savings?) from the English education budget? The illegally elected Westminster Gov trying to destroy the world economy. Still arming and supporting absolute despot Monarchies and apartheid States. Still bombing the Middle East to bits while refusing to supply aid. After what they have done causing the worst migrant crisis in Europe since 11WW wasting £TrillionS and maiming and killing millions. Chilcot another wasted whitewash Report. Tony Blair did lie to Parliament. The Tories committed electoral fraud in 31 Constituencies. The Oxbridge criminals. How much was wasted on their taxpayer funded education. Funded 2000 to 1 of every other University.

      The money spent on the illegal wars could have funded a proper education system in the world. Instead of costing £Trillions and untold misery and death. Ignorant, would be dunce ‘journalists’ should concentrate on that instead of knocking Scottish education. One of the best in the world. Half of the population go to University. Another 50% of students are reciprocal EU students, foreign who pay the full amount Or students from elsewhere getting a subsidised education for which their Gov refuses to pay. They would rather illegally bomb the world to bits. ‘Psycho bastard’ dunces and their sycophantic lying Press.

    180. Ken500 says:

      BBC full of Dunces. Oxbridge parasites wasting public money.

      There are 150 Universities in the UK. Pop 62Million

      90 Universities in Japan. Population 100Milluon

      2200 Universities in China. Pop 1.2Billion.

      BBC dunces try doing a bit of research. Failure on every score.

    181. Ken500 says:

      The Scottish Education system and democratic intent shaped the modern world. Medical. Wireless, TV, telecommunications which lead on to the internet.

      Scottish invention shaped the modern world. Recognised by China and the rest of the world etc but not recognised by the Unionists dunces on BBC Scotland. The ‘enemy of the people’. Why don’t they take a hike. Go out into the world and try and make a living. Instead of making up nonsense, and talking themselves out of a job. Destroying their own industry. Losers. A national disgrace. Enemies of the truth.

    182. Luigi says:

      It’s strange. All this sustained, fanatical effort by the British MSM to nail an SNP politician. I don’t recall them being so determined whenever a Yoon politician screws up (not that their SNP target has actually done anything wrong). I suspect there is a small, dedicated unit of dopes researchers faithfully digging the dirt, any dirt on their chosen targets.

      Strange, strange. If I was not so utterly convinced of the fairness and objectivity of the British MSM, I would say that they don’t seem to like the SNP very much. 🙂

    183. Dorothy Devine says:

      Chic and Valerie, I join you in the disgust, shame and hypocrisy of the Westminster /Washington cabal.

      I watched that Power woman ask the question and I was in total disbelief at the lack of self awareness show – give that wifie a mirror.

    184. Nana says:

      Posted business insider twice sorry.

      http://www.thecanary.co/2016/12/13/government-try-break-law-time-workers-fighting-safety/

      Electoral College member files lawsuit to block Donald Trump presidency
      http://archive.is/azeaS

      Brexit could hit trade relations between Britain and the U.S
      http://archive.is/QS8Lk

      https://twitter.com/TasminaSheikh/status/808816962352676864

    185. Ken500 says:

      M15 Oxbridge parasites wasting public money and campaigning against the people, on the illegal instructions of the illegal Westminster Gov. Criminals one and all with honours and decoration in the unelected HoL. Most of them should be in jail.

    186. heedtracker says:

      Start the SNP bad Graun way. Severin Carrell says SNP bad, usual bad photo of FN Sturgeon,

      “Private finance initiative
      Scottish auditors to investigate £9bn private finance bill
      Audit Scotland and the Accounts Commission to evaluate whether projects offer public value for money after NPD programme breached EU rules”

      Its never going to end til they get the SNP out, or…

    187. Joan of Alba says:

      I’ve made two posts on this subject already, none seem to have been approved yet.

      “Tam Jardine says:
      13 December, 2016 at 8:54 pm
      stewartb

      Interesting link. So the analysis for Scotland finds that the split in causes of delay are as follows:

      Infrastructure: 21%
      Operations & Other: 16%
      External (inc. weather, fatalities etc.): 16%
      Total percentage under Network Rail’s remit: 54%

      Train operator caused to self: 38%

      Caused by other passenger train operators: 5%

      Caused by freight train operators: 3%”

      Thanks for posting this, it backs up what I have been saying all along: Abellio tried to play the “Blame Network Rail” game as they are “responsible” for over 50% of delays. The figures above show that of that 54%, only 37% is down to Network Rail fault or error. The other 16% is down to “External” factors meaning these are outwith their control but are attributed to them for accounting purposes as part of the franchise agreement.
      Incidentally if Scotrail or any other train runner argue about a particular delay that they are responsible for for long enough, after three months if it is still unresolved it is split 50/50 with Network Rail. In reality Scotrails delays are not as low as they appear and Network Rails are lower than we told.

    188. Brian Powell says:

      Are the Scottish auditors really ‘investigating’, suggesting something wrong has been done, or is it the job they were appointed to do, looking at spending?

      The Guardian turns out to be feeble in the face of Brexit so wags to rheumatic fingers at the Scottish Government.

    189. Ken500 says:

      Finland -Pop 5million – 10 Universities + colleges

      Scotland – Pop 5 million – 15 Universities (50% more) + colleges.

      BBC Dunces. Incompetent ignoramouses.

    190. Ken500 says:

      Guardian + MSM Dunces – incompetent ignoramouses

    191. heedtracker says:

      Brian Powell says:
      14 December, 2016 at 8:29 am
      Are the Scottish auditors really ‘investigating’, suggesting something wrong has been done, or is it the job they were appointed to do, looking at spending?

      It is a £932bn PFI debt under their sad FM Sturgeon photo. Sad? pensive, worried, scared, of The mighty Gaurdian.

      Legal errors with NPD finance have been estimated to cost Nicola Sturgeon’s government an extra £932bn. Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA
      Severin Carrell Scotland editor
      Wednesday 14 December 2016 07.00 GMT

      Near trillion quid PFI debt is probably another Crash Gordon legacy but who knows or cares. SNP bad.

    192. heedtracker says:

      Also from Graun today,

      Scottish politics Michelle Thomson

      Wednesday 14 December 2016 08.24 GMT

      MP Michelle Thomson reported to prosecutors over alleged mortgage fraud
      Thomson, who is suspended from the SNP, is one of five people reported to Scottish prosecutors in relation to property deals

      Is there a referendum in Scotland next week or what?

    193. Socrates MacSporran says:

      The chances are, the Unionist MSM would conveniently look the other way when it happened, but, given the concerted efforts to undermine and discredit Mesdames Thomson and McGarry, the publicity, which shut-up as quickly as it opened-up re Chris Law and now the publicity re Tasmina, isn’t it about time the SNP MPs at Westminster went on the front foot and hit back.

      Ken 500 seldom fails to mention the suggestions of electoral fraud involving the Tories – why isn’t the SNP’s Westminster Group organising and bringing pressure to bear on this matter, by repeatedly raising it in the House?

      Eventually, even the Labour Party will wake-up and realise, there is a story there. Eventually, some paper – The Mirror or The Guardian – will break ranks and have a go at the Tories too.

      If nothing else, it might make the Tories stop and think: “Hey, they are onto us, we had maybe better be careful for a while”.

      I have long felt, the SNP are playing too-nice with the rabid pack across the House and to their right. Time to get nasty back at the nasty parties.

    194. Ken500 says:

      The constant white noise, brainwashing by the MSM dunces on behalf of the Westminster Unionist Oxbridge, criminal dunces. Creating annoyance, chaos and havoc around the world. Destroying the world economy. Most of them should be in jail. Does the English education system hold some blame? Oxbridge funded 2000 to 1 of all universities. Helping the criminal elite to misuse and abuse £Trillions of taxpayers money. Borrowing and spending like there is no tomorrow.

    195. Robert Kerr says:

      I repeat my comment re Humza’s targeting.

      Now they go for Tasmina. A muslim female high profile SNP competent!

      Even worse she tried out the Tory party and then SLAB before the SNP.

      Can’t have that you know!

      The SNP cannot be an inclusive party with these wrong sort of people in it! Surely not!

      Let’s target and smear!

    196. Les Wilson says:

      Michelle Thomson. It has to be considered that the dark powers of the Westminster elites have instructed the police to hold on to the idea of charges, and to follow them through when the timing is best to hit the SNP.

      Whether or not there are any chances of the charges sticking, that does not matter to them. By the time charges are dropped their anti SNP strategy will have been used to all limits available.

      There is NOTHING they will not do to bring the SNP down, the whole media cabal and govern departments are all in with this view. The SNP really needs to bite back, International monitors need to be put in place, they need to be the right ones. Ones that are not UK minded.

      A program of public awareness needs to be put in place, not only by the SNP but spread by us, the public. The SNP cannot get the airtime or media support to expose this shameless propaganda, outright lies and false flags of the Government organised anti democracy movement in Scotland.

      We need to have mass meetings, we need to get organised, we need to get active in spreading the truth about this outrage in every way we can. We need to defeat this corrupt and utterly devious plot against us.

    197. Ken500 says:

      The SNP brought the Blair criminality to Westminster. The Westminster Unionists abstained or voted against it. The SNP (Scotland) outvoted 10 to 1 in Westminster, That is why obviously the SNP in Westminster can do little against it. They are even limited in what Bills they can take to the UK Parliament. It is a numbers game.

      The electorate can change by voting for Independence the next time. It is not the SNP’s fault when given the opportunity, a majority voted NO. If the Tories had not committed electoral fraud. The SNP would have held the balance of power in Westminster. That would have brought an entirely different regime. There would not have been an EU Ref and no Brexit. Damaging the economy, which the Tories cannot maintain. There will have to be a GE the Tories will lose. Others will have to sort their mess. Or another YES Independence Ref. Leave them to it.

      The Labour Party are useless. Absolutely no opposition. They collude with the Tories at every opportunity. Then deny and complain.

    198. Breeks says:

      OT kinda….

      http://www.cer.org.uk/insights/theresa-may-and-her-six-pack-difficult-deals

      This was a link first posted by Nana round about 6 months ago. It’s worth a read again just to refresh the memory, and then ask yourself what tangible progress has been made on any front in the intervening period.

      Because from where I sit as a pro European, nothing has changed.

    199. heedtracker says:

      We need to defeat this corrupt and utterly devious plot against us.

      Its all self defeating. Council elections next year are clearly the UKOK line in the sand, another one.

      England just does not want to give up control of Scotland. Who can blame them. And its not like they’ve never left any country without a fight.

    200. Fred says:

      Nana, thanks for the links hen!

      Wonder if Roger the Todger made it to work on time this morning?

    201. Ken500 says:

      The Guardian, Times, Telegraph etc has a very low readership in Scotland. Almost non existent. It is only the political pundits who take any notice of the nonsense they produce. The BBC drones are more noticeable but viewers/listeners nos show they are turning most folk off. The electorate continues to vote and support the SNP, with good reason in Scotland. The MSM just becomes an annoyance because the majority see and experience the SNP good governance. In difficult circumstances of constraint. Outwith their authority, affected because of Westminster Gov restraint of the Scottish economy. It is just a matter of time. The internet makes a difference to counter the bias and lies.

    202. Nana says:

      @ Fred

      Poor Roger somewhere on a train to nowhere

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZndMjqFNTMo

      Posted business insider twice, here’s the link I meant to post earlier.

      Alex Salmond due to meet Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels
      http://archive.is/JZW5m

    203. heraldnomore says:

      As this wretched year of 2016 comes closer to an end I finally get the chance to read the words of one I will truly miss, and to open the pages of Ian Bell’s RLS biog, Dreams of Exile.

      Written of a quarter century ago, he puts a quote as a byline to Chapter One, taken from a letter RLS sent to S R Crockett:

      “The name of my native land is not ‘North Britain’ whatever may be the name of yours”

    204. Ken500 says:

      In the early 90’s when teacher vacancies were falling because of the falling no of pupils (pro rata – the Pill 1960’s). The reference was if an applicant could speak Gaelic and play the piano that was an advantage. (Joke)

    205. Les Wilson says:

      Westminster has it’s fingers all over Scotland, every area.
      The council elections are their most immediate target, however their main target is the SG. It is no longer invisible and they do not care, they must have their way.

      Only our determination will stop this, we cannot waiver, we need to challenge this corrupt state. Winning Indy2 is a MUST for Scotland if we fail, we aint seen anything yet.

    206. defo says:

      Nana
      Not featuring highly in the MSM, but he’s in Brussels for this.
      Meeting Junkers is a bonus.

      http://www.ideasforeurope.eu/conference/coppieters-awards-2016-to-honor-alex-salmond/

    207. Dorothy Devine says:

      Putin bashing goes on unabated with the criminally puerile claims that he influenced Brexit , Trumps election and will work to get the also bashed Corbyn elected in the next GE.

      I wonder if this Russian president, so able to influence everything, could be prevailed upon to influence another referendum???

    208. defo says:

      Nana
      Soz, I missed your later post. I’ll get back under my rock.. 🙂

    209. galamcennalath says:

      Nana says:

      Alex Salmond due to meet Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels

      … Mr Salmond … will receive the Coppieters Award in recognition of his “dedication and advocacy for Scotland’s right to redefine its political future among a European family of nations”.

      Yoons will not like to hear that!

    210. Nana says:

      @defo

      Thanks for this link, much better than the one I posted

      http://www.ideasforeurope.eu/conference/coppieters-awards-2016-to-honor-alex-salmond/

    211. Ken500 says:

      The Tories high taxes in Scotland. Unequal and illegal. Taxing the Oil sector at 60% to 80% when the price had fallen 75%. Losing thousands of jobs in Scotland and £Billions of revenues. The Tories know full well about high taxes in Scotland. They cause them. Scotland raises (pro rata) more than the rest of the UK but has to pay £Billions of loan repayments on UK Gov borrowing and spending in London S/E. Hammond has borrowed another £600Billion from the Chinese being spent in London S/E.

      The Scottish Block Grant has been cut every year since 2010., Now cut £3Billion a year. The Tories have cut the NHS/Education budget. Now trying to increase Council tax to make up the difference. Income tax is supposed to be a more progressive tax. HMRC is not fit for purpose. Colluding in major illegal tax evasion by foreign multinationals and harassing individuals and small businesses to death.

    212. DerekM says:

      With this award, Coppieters foundation will recognize Mr Salmond’s dedication and advocacy for Scotland’s right to redefine its political future among a European family of nations. His contribution to advancing Scotland’s democratic case for devolution and independence has re-energised the people of Scotland, Europe and beyond.

      He embodies a respect for cultural diversity, peace, democracy, cooperation and a united Europe, just like Maurits Coppieters himself. Through his leadership, he has helped transform Scotland into a fair, open and democratic society.

      Yes i like this we tend to forget our little insurrection has had a knock on effect not just in Scotland 🙂

      Though the last sentence would be great if it were correct but we are working on it indyref2 🙂

      Thanks for the link defo yoons will be raging over this i foresee many ruptured yoon blood vessels from shrieking like banshees.

    213. Neil Cook says:

      Surely if all independence supporters paid the license money to an independent Scottish TV channel on the Internet we could raise enough money to make it a success and get the real news across.

      I would gladly contribute as the only news I get now is on wings and through social media. I won’t buy the National as the end owner is a Unionist so won’t fund it as profits would go to his other papers!!
      If the independence movement can’t create a decent news channel it’s back to the walls and lets scare the pensioners again.
      The only news channel for me is RT with their slant on UK news but at least it’s 100% better than the horseshit on UK TV.
      The people I meet are really brainwashed and if the Beeb said it was Martians that caused Brexit they would believe it, they are some really thick people in Scotland who have more interest in Strictly, soaps , x factor and all the other crap than the fact the Country is being raped !!

    214. Robert Kerr says:

      @galamcennalath

      I note that Tasmina is also in Brussels to receive the award on behalf of the SNP.

      Now we know that the smear on Tasmina was deliberately orchestrated now!

      This really is war against our Country.

      I am past angry.

    215. BJ says:

      According to Wikipedia. “Carlaw worked for 25 years as a car salesman. He was joint head of FirstFord car dealership in the west of Scotland until it was placed into receivership in November 2002.[1] He was also a director of Wylies (Automotive Services) until it went into administration in February 2003.[2]”

      Embarrassingly Hapless Rentaquote Tory Galoot Jackson Carlaw.

      Perfect description

    216. heedtracker says:

      Another creepy slice of vote tory spin from neo fascist Voice of the North Press and Journal.

      http://archive.is/iRH9L

      “If universities are to take this as an opportunity and make a bigger contribution to the UK’s export economy in doing so, we need to see positive and meaningful change on immigration from the UK Government so we can restore our competitiveness in the recruitment of international students.
      “Universities are a key sector of the Scottish economy, contributing over £7 billion every year.

      Tories have seriously damaged Scottish HE in several ways but its all to placate middle England’s UKIPers and get the foreigner, sorry, “control our borders.”

    217. DerekM says:

      lol your links are awesome as well Nana i just have this bad habit of reading from the bottom of the page up 🙂

    218. Marcia says:

      DerekM

      Nothing wrong with that, I do that when it is a long thread.

    219. gus1940 says:

      O/T

      YouGov are advertising for new Panel Members in today’s on-line Scotsman.

      Interesting choice of place for their quest.

      It just increases my suspicion that one of the main weapons for The Bad Guys in Indyref2 will be the ‘Opinion Polls’ which will be used NOT to reflect opinions as is their traditional raison d’etre but to INFLUENCE public opinion.

    220. DerekM says:

      @ Marcia

      So i am not alone that is reassuring Marcia thanks lol

    221. Betty Boop says:

      This month, folk seem to be taking notice of what mainstream, “western” media are up to. The agendas and lies are being exposed.

      Can I put a wee reminder on here about the crowdfunder to produce 50,000 DVDs of the “London Callng” video, the aim being public distribution. The crowdfunder seems to have stalled a bit.

      http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/london-calling-50-000-dvds#/

      A couple of other items which have come to attention include Canadian journalist, Eve Bartlett at the Syria – Sovereignty and Peace, Press Conference: United Nations, 9 Dec.:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1VNQGsiP8M

      Also, this from the actor, Denzil Washington:

      http://www.twitter.com/deray/status/808655462824558592?s=07

      Never a truer word…

    222. Betty Boop says:

      @ DerekM, 10:18am

      Me too!

      and yes, Nana is, just generally, awesome 🙂

    223. Phronesis says:

      The spheres of influence on child health and well-being that responsible government must direct its policies if we are to leave the next generation in good health

      ‘Family and parent environment – Fundamental to healthy child development and attachment is the family/household environment, the health and wellbeing of the child’s parents (or main carers) and crucially, consistent love and care.

      Learning environment – Early years settings and schools exert critical influences on children’s development and future outcomes.

      Neighbourhood environment – The neighbourhoods in which children and young people live and socialise have significant impacts on their day-to-day lives and their health and wellbeing.

      Socioeconomic context – The health and wellbeing of children is directly influenced by material circumstances. Socioeconomic factors interact with and impact across children’s family, learning and neighbourhood environments’

      http://www.gcph.co.uk/publications/658_health_and_early_years_children_and_young_people_a_gcph_synthesis

      Scotland’s government is doing just- that developing its policies ‘in line with international evidence, the importance of economic, environmental and social factors on health’ .Even with its limited powers (the most devolved parliament in the world should have control of more than 15% of its welfare budget- road signs aren’t really capable of tackling child poverty) it is trying to address decades of mismanagement of Scotland’s assets and capabilities that has resulted in this;

      ‘Compared with England & Wales, and adjusting for differences in poverty and deprivation (the main causes of poor health in any society), 5,000 more people die every year in Scotland than should be the case. This excess level of mortality is particularly pronounced in and around the country’s largest city, Glasgow: although poor health in Glasgow is principally explained by its high levels of poverty and deprivation, mortality in the city is much higher than would be expected for such levels of deprivation, and much higher than in other UK comparable cities such as Liverpool and Manchester’

      http://www.gcph.co.uk/publications/635_history_politics_and_vulnerability_explaining_excess_mortality

      The challenge remains- to move from ‘word to deed’. But who is trusted to speak to that agenda- a SG that puts Scotland at the heart of its policies or the WM regime that sees Scotland as a voting/political irrelevance?

      ‘Action to address Glasgow’s and Scotland’s health inequalities is urgently needed. To achieve a shift ‘from word to deed’ – from policy to action – will require greater attention to the health impacts of a range of policies and action at all levels to reduce inequalities in power and resources…

      Relative poverty rates are higher in Glasgow than in Scotland as a whole already. Austerity measures in general, and the current implementation and extensions to welfare reform, are likely to exacerbate poverty locally and nationally. Further rises in relative and absolute measures of income related poverty are predicted across the UK. In Scotland, income-related poverty rates affecting children are predicted to rise sharply and increases in poverty are predicted for both working-age parents and non-parents. Poor households with children and poor working-age households are expected to be most affected by tax and benefit reform’

      http://www.gcph.co.uk/publications/621_glasgow_health_in_a_changing_city

      Whilst SG is tackling the consequences of the democratic neglect of Scotland, WM Govt should examine its conscience when it comes to determining the future for the millions of children living in debt ridden households in England & Wales- from word to deed.

      ‘Government must make sure that children’s benefits and tax credits are accessible to families who need them and are sufficient to meet the costs of children in a family – whether families are in or out of work. This would ensure that children’s welfare is protected and that families are not forced to take on debt in the first place’

      http://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/the-debt-trap-end-the-damage-to-children

    224. Nana says:

      @DerekM

      I do that myself. If I did not there would be no links in the morning and no shirts ironed, dinner made etc etc haha

      Did anyone see this mentioned on the bbc, herald anywhere?

      http://www.transport.gov.scot/news/scotland%E2%80%99s-road-safety-framework-wins-international-acclaim

    225. DerekM says:

      ot

      London calling you tube vid,i am not sure if they are using youtube to gain advertising revenue but just in case they are could all you wingers please remember to subscribe to the channel and like it,every penny counts guys 😉

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXQYuLUAbyw

    226. DerekM says:

      cont…should probably mention subscribing to a youtube channel costs you nothing,never figured out why the call it subscribe.

    227. Ken500 says:

      BBC promoting Thatcher who started the inequality in Britain. Is there no end to their shame?

      Still shamelessly promoting the devastation in Syria caused by the Westminster Unionists. Disgusting pieces of nonsense. They have been at it for over 100 years. Their behaviour is appalling.

    228. Dan Huil says:

      It’s getting more obvious by the day: Scotland’s true friends are on the other side of la Manche.

    229. DerekM says:

      Wings Over Scotland
      ?@WingsScotland
      Congratulations if you had “education” in the sweepstake for this week’s media SNPBAD theme:

      Oh man i had oil 🙁

      Maybe next week lmao

    230. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Point 1 notwithstanding, this is simply not acceptable. I’ve been a daily commuter on the Fife circle for 10 years now. For most of the time, the trains run reasonably close to time – hence the apparently positive statistics. When things go wrong, however, it’s usually during peak hours, when customers pay through tghe nose for the inconvenience.”

      Firstly, I suspect you have no evidence for that last line. Obviously the delays YOU’RE going to notice are the peak-hours ones when you’re using the trains, but the plural of anecdote is not data.

      But secondly, and more to the point, shit happens. What can a train company possibly do if the signals fail, or an engine breaks down, or some poor sod throws themselves onto the tracks? No corporate or government strategy on Earth can stop those things making your train late. If your employer is going to discipline you for that, your problem is with an unreasonable employer, not ScotRail.

      And if the service is so unreliable that you’re late frequently, then sorry, but that’s a known issue that YOU should be dealing with, either by finding another way to get to work or by getting an earlier train to give yourself some wiggle room. Trains are late all the time everywhere. I’d estimate that one in three trains I try to get from Bath Spa are late, usually by 5 to 15 minutes. But the press down here aren’t constantly screaming for the Transport Minister’s head.

    231. Richard MacKinnon says:

      Ronnie 1457 13/12/16,
      Your right its called Network Rail these days, but the point I make is valid. It appears Humza has not got a grasp of his brief, he should be defending the Scotrail contractor by attacking Network Rail and an infrastrucure not fit for purpose. The Edinburgh Glasgow line is at suturation point. You cannot run any more trains on it even if the rolling stock was avaiable. Humza doesnt seem to understand this. He should be forcing the issue rather than trying to defend Scotrail’s performance. Keith Brown should have a word with him. He new his brief.
      Humza Yousuf looks like an amateur to me. God help him when the weather gets bad.
      The whole SNPs performance on transport is poor generally. Before the Channel Tunnel was built the original plan was to run a nightly service from Glasgow and Edinburgh straight into Paris and Brussels, by passing London on the way. That was shelved during construction. Where have you heard a SNP politician challenge HS2 with a call to finish the original channel tunnel plan?

    232. Fred says:

      @ Neil Cook, the National is sixty fuckin pence! who gives a shit who owns it?

    233. clipper says:

      Chic McGregor 12.05

      “I am currently moving from a position of just wanting Scotland to leave the UK to attain normal levels of self determination to an actual feeling of disgust and shame at being British.”

      Christ what took you so feckin long?

    234. Fred says:

      @ Phronesis, Glasgow’s middle class has been drifting across the city boundary since pre WW2, into well-heeled suburbs like Bearsden, Milngavie, Bishopbriggs, Stepps, Newton Mearns, etc, etc! which ring Glasgow, pay their tax to the counties but work in the city. Had Glasgow been permitted to expand to take in this natural growth we wouldn’t have these mortality figures. I believe Maryhill has the second lowest lifespan in Scotland while on the other side of a dotted line on the map, Milngavie & Bearsden enjoy the greatest longevity. It’s a doughnut situation & comparisons with English cities are odious.

    235. clipper says:

      Dorothy Devine 7.46am

      Samantha Power isn’t a “wifie” she’s a neocon psychopath. They don’t do self awareness.

    236. yesindyref2 says:

      @Richard MacKinnon
      The SNP do NOT have responsibility for cross-border rail, that is the UK Government, as it is for Channel Tunnel crossings. All the SNP (Scottish Government – Transport Scotland – Scotrail) can do is “provide input from a Scottish perspective on reserved rail issues”

      http://www.transport.gov.scot/rail/rail-policy-and-strategy

      As far as Network Rail is concerned, it is FUNDED by Transport Scotland, but not devolved at all, and Yousaf who you are unimpressed with would selcome it to be devolved and under his remit.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-38129607

      As far as HS2 is concerned, there would be Barnett Consequentials and Scotland should receive a nearly full perventage of that, as the benefit to Scotland is small, very small. I believe this has been accepted and the current figure from memory is that Scotland would pay 3% as part of “UK infrastructure”, but get Barnett for the rest.

    237. clipper says:

      Sorry forgot to add this to last post. This has the potential to change more than a few minds if distributed effectively.

      https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/london-calling-50-000-dvds#/

      Remember each DVD (50,000 apparently) could potentially be seen by at least several people so even taking into account unionists who preferred to be lied to rather than know the truth who destroy some copies the effect could still be shall we say significant?

    238. Richard MacKinnon says:

      yesindyref2 1243,
      I dont know what Barnett has to do with the points I am trying to make. Or what the funding for Network Rail has to do with it.
      Point 1 – Humza’s problems are self inflicted. He does not have a good grasp of his responsibilities and therefore comes over as defensive in interviews when he should be much more confident of his brief. That is how it appears to me. Compared to Keith Brown he looks as I said, an amateur. May be others see this differently.
      I know that there are SNP supporters that refuse to accept any criticism of The Party and that the SNP government is omnipotent. Common sense and experience tell me to speak up when things are going bad. That way you have a chance of turning a situation around.
      Point 2 re HS2. Proposed by the Tories to run a high speed line between Birmingham and London at a cost of 10s of billions. Maybe you know more about this than I do but for the moment, leave the Barnett formula aside. Had I been advising the SNP government at the time of these proposals I would have reminded all that one of the advantages put forward by Margaret Thatchers government for the original channel tunnel was that this would establish a train link from Scotland directly into Europe. That part of the scheme was dropped during construction. This is common knowledge or should be. As you know the reality is that Scots need to change trains in London to travel through the tunnel. This should be the corner stone of a campaign – to finish the original plan (linking Scotland to Europe) before HS2 is ever allowed to go ahead. Did you hear that argument even mentioned when David Cameron first proposed HS2? I didnt.
      I see 56 SNP MPs at Westminster and the only one that has impressed me is Angus Robertson. The rest look to be playing at being at the big parliament. I see a third term SNP government at the kiddy on parliamnet at Holyrood. Apart from Nicola Sturgeon the rest are? A bit of honesty please.

    239. yesindyref2 says:

      @Richard MacKinnon
      Barnett consequentials are good, if England wants to spend money, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also get to spend money. Hoepfully not on some stupid vanity HS between Edinburgh and Glasgow to save 5 minutes, but on the network generally – which is what the UK Gov should do as well. Yes I followed HS and Crossrail.

      Yousaf might be being pushed around a bit but perhaps he’s quite happy to be pushed in the direction of a public service tender similar to Calmac’s. And perhaps opposition support for getting NR devolved. And he can say “Well, that’s what you all wanted”. Channel Tunnel? Well, from Scotland, who really cares if they have to change in London? How many more than a handful would get any real benefit?

      As far as criticising the SNP you should see some of my posts in the Herald. Curiously I’m getting NO voters at times defending the Scottish Government against me. Good stuff!

    240. Muscleguy says:

      @Chic McGregor

      i grew up and was educated in New Zealand, including a fairly balanced education on the Maori wars and how they were fomented by the settlers so the Maori land could be sequestered. In the mind 19thC Waikato Maori had flax mills lining the Waikato river (think the Rhine) and were exporting potatoes and sweet potatoes to the Sydney colony via Port Waikato at the river mouth. All that was swept away. You can’t have darkies prospering, eh what?

      The Auckland colony had so little land that at one point land prices were higher than in Central London. There are still tiny lanes which come off Queen St in the centre as legacies from that time.

      Maori taught the British trench warfare, the adapted their fortified pas, with firing trenches and communicating trenches so the women could reload the muskets. The colonial forces would work for weeks to drag artillery and supplies to put a pa under siege, the Maori would defend it for a while, bleed them then one morning they would be gone to set up a new pa elsewhere.

      There’s a pa preserved in Northland which is underground with bunkers to protect the defenders from mortars.

      In recent decades the NZ government has worked to overturn many of the dodgy land deals and confiscations and pay compensation to the iwi (tribes) and many have set up in business. Tidying Britain’s dirty work.

    241. Chic McGregor says:

      Muscleguy,

      I’ve been to NZ a couple of times and am aware of some of the history.

      Yes another example of British imperialism, but in fairness it should be pointed out that the indigenous population of NZ have fared considerably better than that of those other two main colonial areas of Britain, North America and Australia.

      Another surprising fact I found was that the Maori have only been there since about the time of Wallace so only about 350 years before Tasman’s arrival.

    242. Muscleguy says:

      Maori fared better because they had a Treaty with the British Crown, the Treaty of Waitangi which is regarded as the founding of New Zealand. Our national day is Waitangi Day.

      The wars were to an extent due to Maori objecting to breaches of the Treaty. This went on into the last Century. In a cause celebre a piece of Maori land in Raglan was taken by the Crown in WWII for defense purposes with a promise to give it back again. Instead it was sold and a golf course built on it.

      Initial Maori settlement of Aotearoa was in roughly 1200 ACE so more like 450 years before Tasman, who never landed in NZ, scared of the locals. He was too far out to sea to notice Cook Strait so thought there was one large landmass.

      The three cardinal points of the Polynesian triangle: Aotearoa/Hawai’i and Rapanui were all settled relatively late because the Polynesians had first to develop the ability to sail across the wind, an ability which is necessary to have to reach them from the Central Pacific.

      Have you ever noticed that European sailing rigs went from square rigged in the early 1900s to the lanteen rigged clippers of mid Century with Polynesian style forward and aft aligned triangular sails? That was learned from Polynesian sailors, the most accomplished blue water sailors the world has ever produced. They found every single even half way habitable (Henderson Island) scrap of land in an ocean that covers 1/3 of the earth’s surface.

      They ‘discovered’ America from the West. They must have made landfall somewhere in Central America because they came back with the sweet potato. They are now credited with spreading the coconut and may well have traded coconuts for the sweet potatoes. They would not have attempted to settle as their cultural impetus was to find new uninhabited lands.

      By the time the Europeans got to New Zealand that sweet potato had already been adapted to temperate NZ climates, though it still won’t grow in most of the South Island. The Kumera is rounder, paler (creamy white) and less fibrous than tropical sweet potatoes. It roasts and makes chips most deliciously. It is perhaps the main thing I miss from NZ.

    243. Hamish100 says:

      “..I’m always late for work –its the snp fault”.

      No its your fault.Get oot your bed earlier.

    244. Richard MacKinnon says:

      I have no reply to this,
      yesindyref2 . 14 December, 2016 at 2:52 pm.

      “Channel Tunnel? Well, from Scotland, who really cares if they have to change in London? How many more than a handful would get any real benefit?”.

      I am an old man. i am tired. I will leave it for others to decide. who is right here?

    245. Richard MacKinnon says:

      yesindyref2 0252,
      I think a direct train link to the continent is important. If we are a part of Europe we should be able to get on a train in Glasgow or Edinburgh and get off in Paris or Brussels. It makes us European.
      Is it possible that those that criticise nationalists for their obsession with the constitution have a point?

    246. Jiminy Cricket says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
      ‘shit happens. What can a train company possibly do if the signals fail, or an engine breaks down, or some poor sod throws themselves onto the tracks? No corporate or government strategy on Earth can stop those things making your train late. If your employer is going to discipline you for that, your problem is with an unreasonable employer, not ScotRail.

      And if the service is so unreliable that you’re late frequently, then sorry, but that’s a known issue that YOU should be dealing with, either by finding another way to get to work or by getting an earlier train to give yourself some wiggle room. Trains are late all the time everywhere. I’d estimate that one in three trains I try to get from Bath Spa are late, usually by 5 to 15 minutes. But the press down here aren’t constantly screaming for the Transport Minister’s head.’

      Sigh.

      Only a moron would blame Scotrail’s problems on Humza or the SNP.

      But that doesn’t mean that Scotrail does not have problems.

      As a rule, trains are not delayed because some poor sod has thrown themself on the track. It’s almost always because of poor staff management, lack of contingencies, and lack of investment. Drivers don’t turn up, train crews are delayed somewhere else along the line, there isn’t enough rolling stock, the engines are old and prone to breaking down.

      Where issues like signal failure do come into play, Scotrail are big enough and bad enough to have contingencies in place – like short-notice replacement bus-services – but chose not to, because they can get away with it.

      In the real world, there sometimes aren’t any viable alternatives to rail travel. Which is why many people feel it should be a properly funded public utility…

    247. yesindyref2 says:

      @Richard MacKinnon
      It’s a great idea having a direct train from Glasgow and Edinburgh to Paris or Brussels, and even other desitnations, but it’s cost that’s the problem, and demand is the most part of that cost. To make it worthwhile the business case would have to show demand for the service, sufficient to even just meet the cost of the trains for a regular timetabled service – I personally doubt very much there is that regular demand.

      But that’s me, the SNP did set out an aim in their NPF2 for fast links to London and on to the continent, and did mention it again when they were looking to push for HS to reach Scotland rather than stop at Leeds and Manchester.

      First priority though is to improve the links between Scotland and London.

      http://www.gov.scot/resource/doc/278232/0083591.pdf

      http://www.transport.gov.scot/sites/default/files/documents/rrd_reports/uploaded_reports/j202923/j202923.pdf

    248. gus1940 says:

      yesindyref2

      Why is it assumed everybody wants to go to effing London?

      Rather than spending countless billions on HS2 which will never reach Scotland in a million years how much would it cost to upgrade ECML & WCML to accommodate Eurostar trains together with a direct link to HS1 and the Tunnel avoiding the hassle of changing trains in London? It was part of the original ‘promise’ when the go-ahead was given for the Tunnel.

      I would be quite happy if said upgrade din’t allow for normal Eurostar top speed of 186mph but was restricted to current top speeds.

      How many additional tourists would be attracted to Scotland if we had direct trains from The Continent.

      One recent interesting development is the announcement that the new trains for ECML would be hybrid-powered i.e. electric power where there are overhead wires and diesel-electric elsewhere.

      These will be able to take advantage of the hybrid system to run under the wires on ECML and WCML and onwards under diesel-electric power to Aberdeen, Inverness and onwards to the Kyle Line and the line to Wick and Thurso and up the West Highland to Fort William and Mallaig.

      I would hope that said trains will be capable of running on HS1 and onwards to The Continent but wouldn’t it be wonderful if tourists could board a train in Paris Gare du Nord or Brussels Midi and wake up in Mallaig or Kyle of Lochalsh

    249. yesindyref2 says:

      @gus1940
      The UK as a whole should have HS, but the rail network is so behind the times I think the money would indeed be far better spent upgrading current networks, rather than a hugely expensive vanity project.

      In Scotland I’d start with double-tracking and electrifying lines like the Oban and Fort William – perhaps Mallaig one, and others. The Oban one is a disgrace, and it serves a major port to the islands which with RET are attracting more and more passengers.

      Do that and maybe there would be more demand for straight through trains, though the sleeper only just holds on to existence.

      Even in SPT only Sixty-four percent of the network is electrified how primitive is that?

      http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2003/03/16875/20695

      Tay – no electrification

      I did read a better overall report somewhere some time ago! As for London, unfortunately it’s a vital hub for the whole UK, same as Heathrow and Schipol are for Scotland by air. It’s reality, not what we want.

      This isn’t a criticism of ScotGov, limited funds, decades of neglect.

    250. yesindyref2 says:

      @gus1940
      And the Tories, Labour and LibDems have the cheek to try to criticise the SNP for rail in Scotland. They should hang their heads in shame at the neglect their precious Union made to the infrastucture of Scotland, and if we think we’re hard done by, go to Wales and have a look. They’ve really been pissed on from a great height, natural resources gold, copper, silver, coal, lead, zinc, tin, stripped bare and then discarded, much like the West Country. And what does the UK have to show for it? Inequality.

      Fuck them.

    251. gus1940 says:

      yesindyref2

      I think it would be difficult to justify the electrification of the West Highland Line and the lines north of Inverness to Kyle Of Lochalsh, Wick and Thurso.

      However, the introduction of the hybrid trains I mentioned earlier would solve the problem of through running without changing trains in that awful place by The Thames.



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