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As bad as each other

Posted on March 13, 2014 by

Below is a spread from Aberdeen newspaper the Evening Express tonight, reporting the findings of a poll about the conduct of the city’s council in recent weeks, covering incidents like the Labour/Tory administration’s mind-boggling attempts to ban Scottish Government ministers from all council-owned property and the controversy over a letter sent out with council tax bills which urged people to vote No.


If you click the image you can read the detailed results. And our more alert readers might come to the conclusion that there’s something odd about the paper’s summary.

As well as delivering resounding votes of no confidence in the council specifically over its handling of the two issues, the poll recorded approval ratings for the leaders of each party represented in the Town House. The net figures came out like this:

Barney Crockett (Labour): -72
Callum McCaig (SNP): +30
Fraser Forsyth (Con): -34
Ian Yuill (Lib Dem): -23
Marie Boulton (Ind): -45

One of those numbers isn’t like the others, is it, readers?

(As well as individual leaders there were also ratings for the Labour/Tory coalition as a whole, which scored -75, the SNP opposition on +22 and the Lib Dems with -37.)

The headline “Councillors from all sides blasted” is, clearly, disingenuous bordering on shockingly misleading. There can be no mistaking from those results who the people of Aberdeen – most of them not SNP supporters, remember – are holding responsible for the city becoming a laughing stock.

A few days ago we saw a poll in the Daily Express (no relation) which found that Yes supporters suffered three times as much real-life intimidation as those on the No side, yet the reporting glossed over the imbalance and focused mainly on some mild online rudeness from pro-independence “cybernats”.

When evidence of bad behaviour on the Unionist side reaches a level that can no longer be credibly suppressed, a media which goes insanely overboard on every last minor expletive on Twitter from a Yes supporter (and sometimes merely the unproven allegation of one) suddenly finds itself oddly coy about naming names, and instead grudgingly acknowledges “faults on both sides”. But the stats tell the true story.

Always read past the headline, folks.

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    63 to “As bad as each other”

    1. Billy Manson says:

      Do you think it is coincidence that there is a ‘BT’ advert on the page..

    2. Steven M says:

      Well done again Rev. Once again I find helping to pay your wages a most rewarding experience.

      I have always hated the “they’re all the same” argument and find it is usually uttered by people who have supported Labour all their lives only to be let down time and again. They can’t acknowledge they have sown the seeds of their own defeat so blame everyone else for being “the same”.

    3. Thomas William Dunlop says:

      As I said in the post to the previous article, I think there is an immense risk of gerrymandering of the referendum result, particularly if the MSM do do there feckin job. Saying that we are luck now a days to have WoS, Newsnet etc.

    4. Scotswoman says:

      This news needs to get out into the Labour heartlands. Come on Labour voters, take this chance to start a new party in an independent Scotland. You don’t need these fools any more.

    5. Dan Huil says:

      Passed the Better Together shop on Aberdeen’s Union Street on Saturday. Someone had placed a “Men Working” road sign up against the front door. The wee man on the sign looked like he was in a hole and keeping on digging.

    6. Brian Powell says:

      On another thread in relation to Unionist Parties promising ‘more devolution I wrote:

      “They might just lie and hope for the best, who is going to quizz them after the vote?

      The media?”

      Now it’s:
      The media will just lie and hope for the best, who is going to quizz them?

      Well this time it will be the people of Aberdeen; they answered the poll.

    7. Jim T says:

      Thanks to @Scotsfox across on Twitter for this link which allows readers to vote on a Farmers Weekly poll too 🙂

      Now, remember, if you’re NOT a farmer you really shouldn’t vote there. No, your REALLY shouldn’t. :-))

    8. cynicalHighlander says:


      What about Badgers?

    9. wullie says:

      Just imagine how insanely overboard the MSM and their unionist luvvies are going to be in the hours and days before the vote

    10. cynicalHighlander says:

      Thank you for voting!
      Yes 68.75% (33 votes)

      No 31.25% (15 votes)

      Total Votes: 48

      Return To PollCreate Your Own Poll

    11. HandandShrimp says:

      Crockett does seem to have taken leave of his senses of late. What is his problem? He seems to have gone into some sort of independence over-drive mania using his position as Council leader to launch a personal crusade rather than run Aberdeen.

    12. Danny says:

      The EE is not quite as bad as its stablemate the P and J which is solidly in the no camp. The EE is really a bit of a comic which isn’t taken to seriously. However it seems from this headline its trying to find a way to drag the SNP into this mess.

      The P and J won’t take on the council but the EE could with just a bit of decent journalism rather than relying on press releases.

      In their favour at least they did report this despite the attempt to mislead.

    13. bunter says:

      Looks like Babcock in cahoots with Labours union pals are putting the fear of death into workers if they were to vote YES.

      The strategy seems to be to put fear of losing your job into the head of every worker in every industry in Scotland were they to vote YES.

      Truly despicable scum.

    14. Clootie says:

      OK – I’ve now got even more information that the media are lying manipulating b******d’s but what do I do about it.

      A two year old could read the data under the headline and figure out the disconnect.

      As for Crocket and co – they will treat this the same way they treated the democratic vote on the gardens. They will ignore it.

    15. gordoz says:

      Yeah : I clocked that on an earlier thread and came to the same conclusion Rev.

      Just assumed the Paper is in under same spell as the rest of MSM and the journalists just cant abide reporting facts that favour YES.

      Hate to think they are just plain thick surely not?

    16. bunter says:

      One of the things I am soo looking forward to, if there is a YES, is when the fawning MSM scramble for interviews and exclusives from Salmond and members of the Scottish Gov.

      It would be great if they were all told to eff off, especially the BBC, and have them get the stories 2nd or 3rd hand from the French, German, Spanish press, or anyone else for that matter!

    17. Croompenstein says:

      Barney ‘Baron Von Greenback’ Crockett squirms on Scotland Tonight..

    18. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Who is the fellow Winger I was talking to outside Nethermains Comm Centre tonight? Didn’t get a chance to ask your name – great pleasure having a chat, albeit brief. Hope the meeting went well – I couldn’t hang about after the leafleting.

      See you again friend, perhaps in Glasgow on the 4th? – in any event, cheers!

    19. Morag says:

      I think I may have just found out that a colleague is a Yes, in a roundabout and amusing manner.

      We both rely on the assistance of a guy who is a very committed Yes, and when he and I are working together we chat about the campaign and the polls. Today we were chatting about the Daily Retard poll and he was telling me that his mother has been scared from a soft Yes to a frightened No by the BT propaganda. Matricide may be on the agenda there.

      Then he said, I suppose you’ve seen it – “How to defuse a nuclear bomb”. I confessed I didn’t have a scooby what he was talking about. He described an online joke, which starts with a complicated diagram of the workings of a nuclear bomb, and purports to be instructions on how to defuse it. Then you click on to the next screen, and it just says “VOTE YES”.

      Then he said, “Fiona showed it to me on her phone.” Woot! Didn’t know Fiona was a Yes.

      (The third member of our little group who also rely on this guy’s assistance is English by birth and when he walked in on a pro-Yes conversation said, if you guys get your way I’ll have to relocate. I need to work on him a bit more.)

      Anyway, has anyone got a link to this nuclear bomb malarkey, because it’s funny.

    20. Morag says:

      Damn, I just remembered. This guy’s daughter is also called Fiona, and she is a Yes. I’ll bet it was daughter Fiona and not colleague Fiona whose phone that was on.

      Damn, as you were.

      Never mind, I still want a link to the joke.

    21. peter says:

      The P&J would be tearing into the council if it were SNP led but because of their Unionist stance they are fannying around. Crockett and his pal Cooncillor Swick are a joke to the point of bringing shame to the city. Every day it is SNP accused, SNP attacked, SNP claim etc, pretty much the norm for a pro Union rag which is a shame as the paper was at one time a decent non partisan source of news, local and beyond.

    22. Gonnaejustsayaye says:

      @Scotswoman Dont worry the Labour heartlands will give it Yes Yes Yes.
      I can assure you the majority of people on middle to low incomes or on benefits will vote Yes . Well they are about here and I live in the old Gorbals . We have an SNP MSP too Nicola Sturgeon.
      A decent health service a good cheap public transport system Decent housing , decent Schools and places for the kids to play in safety is all we really want . The Tories will take that away ,and if we vote No we will get the Tories again.
      The people I am frightened of are the better off people who I think may vote No to preserve what they got

    23. rab_the_doubter says:

      I would suggest ‘Council Blasted over Misappropriation of Public Funds’ might be a more appropriate headline. Surely sending that NO letter out using public money can’t possibly be legal?

    24. Muscleguy says:

      Can these people not see themselves and how they look to the people who vote and who they are supposed to be working on behalf of?

    25. Joe Stafford says:

      The graphics are quite subtle too. Look at the “Leader” pie charts. They have been arranged so that the first word you see under the unionist leaders is “Excellent” whereas under the SNP group leader it is “Very Poor”.

      Also the chart about the leaflet appears to mimic an independence poll – it’s the only chart that has a YES/NO response.

      I think this is pretty cleverly done to be fair.

    26. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Don’t know if I’m maybe just a bit dim, but when I first saw that stuff about Aberdeen Council ‘banning’ Alex Salmond I thought it was just a quite-funny in-joke that I didn’t get. Hand-on-heart, I thought it was a reference to something BBC Scotlandshire had done.

      And now, this palaver about them stuffing ‘Vote No’ stuff into Council Tax mailshots?

      How can that possibly be legal? And if it is, should we expect to see Council Tax letters from SNP-led councils stuffed with Yes stickers and leaflets?

      WTF is it with Aberdeen?

    27. Thepnr says:

      What really pisses me off is shop stewards sucking up with management and “warning of threats to jobs” in the event of a Yes vote.

      Just like those lackeys who are meant to represent their members in Rosyth are doing now. As if a 60% loss of MOD civilian jobs in Scotland since 2000 is not reason enough to vote Yes. Bloody hypocrites.

    28. Condooo says:

      I, for one, will be happy as all hell to see Scottish owned media pop up after independence so we can see the arse end of this biased swill.

    29. willie fae Kilwinning says:

      Ian Brotherhood says:
      13 March, 2014 at 9:26 pm

      Who is the fellow Winger I was talking to outside Nethermains Comm Centre tonight? Didn’t get a chance to ask your name – great pleasure having a chat, albeit brief. Hope the meeting went well – I couldn’t hang about after the leafleting.

      See you again friend, perhaps in Glasgow on the 4th? – in any event, cheers!

      Hi Ian, that would have been me.

      Good meeting, all the speakers came across well. Enjoyed listening to Ritchie Venton.

      As I was coming out the meeting, I heard a 3 woman talking behind me. One of them asked the others if they were convinced yet. They seemed doubtful.

      Not like me at all I stopped and spoke to them. Referred them to the McCrone Report and, of course, Wings.

      Hopefully boosted the Rev’s viewing figures for the month.

    30. Ian Brotherhood says:

      This one’s for Aberdeen City Council, and all the other Slabbers as they prepare for their ‘party’ conference:

    31. twenty14 says:

      Is Aberdeen City Council trying to outdo GCC as the most discredited council in Scotland.

      Would sending out unsolicited mail ( Aberdeen City Council ) with regards the Referendum not be frowned upon by the Electoral Commission.
      No doubt GCC will be raging that they never thought of it first

    32. Vincent McDee says:

      @ Ian Brotherhood

      WTF is it with Aberdeen?

      The Clowncillors at Aberdeen City Circus are just not funny

    33. Findlay Farquaharson says:

      it beats me that journalists actually believe they can fool people into believing something with mince like this, surely they must realise even if only at the back of their minds that people who read their misrepresentations know their intel cleverness is being insulted.

    34. creag an tuirc says:

      Morag, I think the joke may be an info-graphic from Scottish CND. Here’s a link

    35. Scotswoman says:

      @Gonnaejustsayaye – There’s no doubt getting the word out on the street will win over a huge number of people to YES. That may be the key to victory – along with the women’s vote.

      As for the ‘better off people’, some of those also realise they can be even ‘better off’ with a YES. The others may vote no but in time they’ll claim they voted YES, once the benefits become apparent in a free nation beyond 2016.

    36. Heather McLean says:

      Morag, I’ve got the wee cartoon youre after on my phone but haven’t a clue how I could get it onto here?

    37. Jim T says:

      @cynicalHighlander 8.33pm

      I’m sure Badgers should be allowed to express their viewpoint too. Not sure how to get them on the Electoral Register though.

      I see there have been a few additional “yes” votes now too.

    38. Susan says:

      The more biased the media gets the harder I work for Yes Scotland. I have hardly had time to read my favourite site, Wings, because of it!

    39. velofello says:

      @ Gonnaejustsayaye: well I suppose, modestly, that I’m one of the better off, and a Yes voter, as are my three adult, professional career children and their partners, and my 9 year old granddaughter. And important to note, me and my family are the beneficiaries of the Scottish state education system and willingly support and contribute to its continuance.

      “To sustain myself I need just one meal each day on my table, not three or four”. As Gandhi might have said, or did he?

      A Yes vote is about our nation and its future. That we have super rich in our society appals me no less than that food banks have found to be necessary to feed the disadvantaged.

    40. Hazel says:

      A friend of mine got a reply today from ACC regarding his disgust at the letter they are sending out. I’ve removed his personal details.

      From: Ciaran Monaghan
      Date: 13 March 2014 15:34:24 GMT
      Subject: Council Tax Bill

      Dear Mr

      Thank you for making contact with the Council about the above and making clear to us your feelings in relation to the distribution with the Council Tax Bill of a letter from the Council Leader. I’ve provided below a copy of the briefing note that is being sent to all those who are contacting the Council on this matter. You will see from it that as the process is automated it is not possible to individualise the packs. It is therefore not possible for the letter to be extracted from your bill.

      Set out below is a briefing note that is being provided to all those who contact the Council about the Council Leader’s letter being issued with this year’s Council Tax bills. It provides background information in relation to the key issues that are being raised most regularly in the feedback being received by the Council.

      It is recognised that controversy has arisen as the letter this year makes reference to the policy document Aberdeen – the Smarter City agreed by the Council at its meeting in August 2012, which itself includes a statement in relation to Aberdeen’s position within the United Kingdom. This statement was reaffirmed at the Council meeting in December 2013.

      This matter was discussed at a meeting of the Council’s Urgent Business Committee on March 11th and the Committee:

      · agreed that it is unacceptable for Council funds to be used for political campaigning;

      · agreed that the letter being sent to the citizens of Aberdeen from the Council Leader reiterates Council policy; and

      · instructed the Chief Executive to send the letters alongside the Council tax statements.

      As a result, the Chief Executive directed that the letter be circulated.

      The billing of Council Tax is an automated system that can not differentiate individual requests and as such every bill has the letter enclosed alongside it in the envelope.

      It is recognised that there may be some who feel so strongly about this that they consider not paying their Council Tax. This is clearly a personal decision, but it should be noted that Council Tax is a contribution towards the cost of Council services and the inclusion of the Council Leader’s letter alongside the bill does not invalidate the bill. As such payment should be made in line with the terms of the bill. Where payment is withheld, the normal Council Tax recovery process will be invoked.

      As outlined above, the Council’s Urgent Business Committee met and discussed the issuing of the Council Leader’s letter with the Council Tax bills and agreed to instruct the Chief Executive to send out the letters. The Chief Executive has followed this instruction. Given this, we are of the view that the Council’s internal complaints process is not applicable and should you wish to take the matter further you may wish to consider either:-

      contacting the Standards Commission for Scotland through the following link:


      raising a concern with Audit Scotland through the following link:

      I trust that the above is of assistance.

      Ciaran Monaghan
      Head of Service, Office of Chief Executive

    41. Jim T says:

      @Scotswoman & @gonnaejustsayaye

      if you’re not already aware there’s a (I’m assuming here) Tory focused YES website at that covers the possibilties of a “Tory” indy Scotland.

    42. Doug Daniel says:

      I like Ian Yuill’s comments there. He’s no fan of independence – he spoke for the No side in a recent debate at RGU, in fact – and yet he’s calling the administration’s plan to send pro-union propaganda in the council tax letters “shameful”. Just shows you that it’s not just the SNP kicking up a fuss about it.

      He’s always my first port of call if I have to make a complaint to the council, actually. Good guy – just a shame he’s a unionist. Had no idea he was the Lib Dem group leader now, though…

    43. Ann says:

      With regards to Babcock at Rosyth there’s a wee snipped in today’ Dunfermline Press from a very disgruntled employee who has stated that Babcock are employing workers from Eastern Europe, mainly Poles over the heads of more experienced locals who have years and years of experience and many of them do not have the qualifications that locals have.

      He/she also states that some these Poles also oversee these experienced workers.

      The person also stated that the company have also diversified into the oil, gas an renewables so I don’t Rosyth will suffer that much.

      I therefore don’t think that this is going to cut any ice with their employees.

      The Union Dividend no more guarantees job security than being independent, as I know too well, as the company I work for are Defence Contractors in Fife and are planning redundancies, the latest in a long line of redundancies, caused mainly by the Westminster defence cuts.

      Scotland will need to procure and upkeep our military services so I don’t see what their problem can be.

    44. Morag says:

      creag an tuirc, it’s not exactly as it was described to me, but it’s the same sort of thing. I wonder if Fiona had a tarted-up version?

    45. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @willie fae Kilwinning –


      Good man.

      Our paths will cross again, no doubt. Glad to hear the meeting went okay, and I’m sure you gave the three DK ladies something to think about.

      As it happens, I ended up walking home to Stevenston – took one hour and twenty minutes (the long way – I’m not brave enough to risk a dash across the bypass) and that includes five minutes to nip into the big Morrisons and get some cans.

      A wee bit leafleting and banter, met a fellow Winger (i.e. your good self), got a wee bit exercise, saw some deer grazing on the old ICI golf course, heard the foxes barking, and now, a wee swally and a chance to catch-up…result!

    46. Dave McEwan Hill says:


      Can I suggest that the contribution to Wealthy Nation by Andy Mciver is read. It indicates a problem which might prove critical as we may be loosing a section of the traditional independence support which does not consider itself socialist.
      We need to seek balance that brings votes from right across the political spectrum or we cannot win

    47. Jute Man says:

      Don’t know if it’s already been mentioned, but this bunch o clowns were more than happy – as soon as they took power (I hesitate to say, were elected to office) – to award themselves a 5% pay rise for being so terrific or something. Didn’t matter that most other public sector workers were part way through a pay freeze at the time! Just saying…

    48. Robert Peffers says:

      When I was a Shop Steward at Rosyth Dockyard, (Non-Labour), we were fighting against privatisation. We decided to run checks to find out just who were the actual Babcock Company Group, “hecht heid anes”. To our surprise one of the people in one of the companies groups was none other than Dennis Thatcher. Then, when the MOD Pension Scheme was taken over by a private company, that company was also one of, – yes you guessed it -, Dennis Thatcher’s. This with his Mrs. in Number 10 Downing Street.

    49. Jute Man says:

      Further to the Men Working sign outside the Better Together shop at the top o Union Street – this could surely be the first reported sign of anything approximating work at this location. Any time I go past it, there only ever seems to be the janny sitting at a table, on her own, doing her knitting…. There might be a cat, lurking around somewhere too, but probably there isn’t!

    50. Thepnr says:


      Completely agree with you. My old man’s favourite saying was “you can only eat two chickens a day”.

      I know what he meant.

    51. X_Sticks says:

      Ian Brotherhood says:

      “WTF is it with Aberdeen?”


    52. donnywho says:

      there is a link to “Wealthy Nation”, I am not and have never been a tory, but all people are welcome and a truly scottish right wing who respect our poeple and traditions are to be welcomed. Scotland is a small “c” conservative nation and the Tories in another guise won the largest majority ever recorded in scotland, we need their yin to our yan!

    53. Col says:

      I`ve seen this kind of behavior on the BBC also. Unionism truly is a sickness in this country. These people are seriously deluded to the point they instinctively start talking obvious BS when faced with facts that don`t fit into their Too wee, too poor and too f*ckin stupid mantra.
      Vote Yes and at least we can start to put this crap behind us. Vote no and have to put up wi it for a generation at least.

    54. Doug Daniel says:

      Ian Brotherhood: “WTF is it with Aberdeen?”

      Sour grapes over the Donside by-election. The likes of Willie Young have always been daft as a brush, but they’ve just completely lost the plot since then.

      The idea to ban ministers from public buildings stems from Alex Salmond visiting a school during that by-election campaign. And now, it seems like Labour are just hell-bent on trying to raise the bar of stupidity, almost as if they’re trying to “troll” the SNP.

      The nonsense over Union Terrace Gardens a couple of years back buggered things up a fair bit. I’m fairly certain Labour benefited from being the only party to have a strong line against the Ian Wood Concrete Carbuncle Memorial, and I reckon the SNP didn’t do as well as they could have because of it, even though it was the Lib Dems who were the senior coalition partners when Ian Wood’s “plan” replaced the Peacock Visual Arts one.

      But having basically gone “we’re cancelling that thing and we’ll come up with something else”, Labour and their Tory & Independents chums have been absolutely bereft of any idea that wasn’t drawn up on the back of a fag packet. So, it looks like they’ve chosen to try and draw people’s attentions elsewhere by creating various stooshies.

    55. john king says:

      jim T says
      Now, remember, if you’re NOT a farmer you really shouldn’t vote there. No, your REALLY shouldn’t. :-))

      the link to the place I shouldn’t go to vote on the vote I should vote on doesn’t work 🙁

    56. Things have only got worse says:

      The UTG projected was voted for by 45,000. Labour got 16,000 votes in the Clown council election. Ian Woid offered £80million to the majority supported schem, which would have pedestrianised Aberdeen City Centre. Ian Wood saw a walkway in Stravenger, Norway and wanted to replicate it to inhance and regenerate the City. Marie Boulton was elected to stop the AWPR.

      Labour Unionists voted against the By Pass road for thirty years. SNP got the most councillors but the Unionists gang up to squeeze them out to get on committees to increase their remuneration.

      The Clown councillors have cost AC £145Million. Refused a gift of £80Milliom, spending £33Million to vandalise the Art Gallery, paid off debts of £26Million for the AECC (a private company). Lost £7Million by leaving Labour dominated Cosla.

      The SNP Gov has help fund the Sports Centre/Olympic Pool. A lot of Olympic swimmers come from the NE. The Scottish Gov is funding the essential AWPR. Every comparable City in Europe has a By-Pass road. ACC clowns also blocked the AFC community stadium at Cove, which would have kept traffic out of the City.

      The Clown councillors intend an alternative scheme rather than the black hole UTG project. This would shut off essential roads and increase the traffic chaos. Grid lock. A PPI Plan for unnecessary office buildings which would cost the City £Millions for the next thirty years. There is a shortage of Hotels in the City.

      The last time the Labour Clown Council nearly bankrupt the City.

    57. john king says:

      “what about the badgers”

      Wot abaat the workers?

    58. john king says:

      “WTF is it with Aberdeen?”

      I don’t get it either the heartland of Scottish oil but a large proportion don’t see the opportunities staring them in the face,
      I was in Aberdeen last year and saw both sides of the city I saw flash cars the ordinary working man could only dream of and a street (Union) that looks like its been abandoned,
      btw where was idiot young’s rating in that poll
      was he off the scale?

    59. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “The last time the Labour Clown Council nearly bankrupt the City.”

      Last warning and last chance, kenlong. Stop posting all your comments under different usernames or you’re banned.

    60. Dorothy Devine says:

      Is T Blair beginning to resemble the Grinch?

    61. MochaChoca says:

      News reader on BBC breakfast news this morning said Tony Blair was deid (then corrected himself to say Tony Benn).

    62. Ken500 says:

      Can’t sign in Gremlins in the system. No offence

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