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Wings Over Scotland

Different ways of seeing

Posted on November 05, 2015 by

We noticed this on Twitter earlier this evening:


And we thought, “Well, that sounds bad”.

So we clicked on the story and it certainly seemed gloomy news:

Exam data for 32 Scottish councils finds disparity in Highers results between least wealthy 20% and richest 20% has risen.

School children from Scotland’s poorest neighbourhoods are falling further behind pupils from the wealthiest homes, new data on exam results has revealed.

The latest figures for all 32 Scottish councils show that children in the least well-off areas are seven times less likely to get the right grades for university than those from the most affluent neighbourhoods.

In four local authority areas, including wealthy East Lothian, no children from the poorest 20% achieved the benchmark for university entrance of three or more As from up to five Highers in 2014.

The statistics, from a freedom of information request by the Scottish Conservatives, which replicated an investigation by the Guardian in 2012, shows that the gap between the least wealthy 20% of pupils and the richest 20% has widened sharply.”

But then we kept reading, and something interesting happened.


What the figures show is that results for the wealthiest pupils have IMPROVED (by 3.73%), and results for the poorest pupils have also IMPROVED (by 0.49%). In fact, if you measure the increases as proportions of their starting points, the wealthy kids’ results have gone up by 21% and the poor kids’ by 20% – almost exactly the same.

An attainment gap isn’t a good thing. But readers might find themselves wondering what the headline would have been if, say, the results for the wealthier kids had gotten worse instead of better – or indeed, if both had gotten worse, but the wealthy kids’ results had declined more steeply, bringing the two groups closer together in failure.

“Good news as SNP close attainment gap”? We suspect not, and you probably do too.

Stories like this demonstrate a better insight into the mind of newspaper journalists, and the ways it’s possible for them to skew statistics depending on their viewpoint, better than almost anything. Nothing in the story (so far as we’re aware) is untrue. It presents entirely accurate facts.

But the way it presents those facts turns an unqualified positive – that both wealthy and poor children are getting better exam results – into an SNP-bashing negative. And as we’ve pointed out many times before, many readers only get as far as the headline or the first few paragraphs of a story, and will never reach the positive bit.

Ruth Davidson, as a political opponent, at least has an excuse for her spin (though it’s always hilarious to see Tories fake concern for the poor). Carrell, not so much.

At the most charitable interpretation, it could be simply a newsman’s instinct that bad news sells better than good. But the addition of “under the SNP” to the tweet – words which aren’t in the actual headline – tends to hint in the other direction.

As ever, though, we’ll leave the choice to you.

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121 to “Different ways of seeing”

  1. muttley79 says:

    It was written by Severin Carroll, say no more…He is up there with Cochrane and co. These characters are ruining what is left of the MSM’s reputation in the UK, which is already at a very low level.

  2. Gillian_Ruglonian says:

    File under Schrodinger, or just wee twisty SNPBADs?

  3. galamcennalath says:

    “Lies, damned lies, and Unionists’ spin of statistics.”

    You’ve got to give it to them – they could take any set of statistics and extract an SNPBaaad story from it. That takes dedication!

  4. heedtracker says:

    I blame the parents, of rancid The Graun hacks.

  5. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Och, galamcennalath.

    I thought I was gonna be in there first – but you’ve just typed what I was gonna type!

  6. Itchybiscuit says:

    Who are these terrible SNP fellows that journos keep telling the people of Scotchland all about?

    They must be a pretty unpopular bunch judging by their reported actions or inactions.

    I look forward to seeing another political party with an overwhelmingly popular majority rise to power next May because this shambles of a Scotchland government can’t go on.

  7. Thepnr says:

    So ALL pupils whether wealthy or poor are doing better under an SNP led Scottish government. Both have increased by 20% or so and this is BAD news?

    Trying to delve a little deeper to actually see the figures that Ruthie obtained under the Freedom of Information act you will find this on the Scottish Conservative website:

    “Notes to editors:

    To see the two tables, from 2013 and 2014, showing the percentage of pupils attaining three As at Higher level, and their background, contact the Scottish Conservative press office.”

    So much for “Freedom of Information” when the Tollys won’t freely make the information available on their own website.

    Maybe, since I’m not an editor I will have to ask them through an FOI request?

    Request info, spin info then deny info to the voters. SCUM.

  8. starlaw says:

    Wonder what newspapers parents of poorest performance pupils read.

  9. donald anderson says:

    There has always been an education gap between rich and poor. The riche get richer and the poor get poorer under Lab-Con- Governments. Di thing Lab does not even know this?

  10. yesindyref2 says:

    Well what a surprise. A closed for comment article by “oor” Severin Carrell.

  11. Rock says:

    “And as we’ve pointed out many times before, many readers only get as far as the headline or the first few paragraphs of a story, and will never reach the positive bit.”

    Those who buy and read the unionist media are hardcore unionists anyway. Hell mend them.

    Those who simply look at the headlines have become increasingly sceptical about the headlines, having been enlightened by W O S and having experienced the SNP’s record in government.

    I love to see the hypocrites being exposed and humiliated here on a daily basis.

  12. Stoker says:

    Rev wrote:
    “though it’s always hilarious to see Tories fake concern for the poor”

    My thoughts exactly when i was reading the British Bullshit Corps’ teletext version of the story earlier.


    “many readers only get as far as the headline or the first few paragraphs of a story, and will never reach the positive bit”

    How true! And that same BBC teletext piece spins the sTory from a Ruthie perspective for the first 3 paragraphs and ends with a line stating that the SNP say the gap has shortened.

    You sure know what it’s all about when ‘dear old auntie’ spouts the blue Tory line, eh! Talk about Looney Tunes – That’s all folks!

  13. HandandShrimp says:

    I can now spot Severin articles simply from the headlines.

    He is not a glass half full sort of person.


  14. Macart says:

    Och, its just Severin.

    Unknown tribes in the Amazon basin you tell you the colour of Sev’s political underpants.

    Brown at the moment, I should think.

  15. yesindyref2 says:

    I’ll probably get told off for this. No, instead of the URL you can find it by googling these bits, from the Guardian 4 years ago:

    ” Scotland’s new curriculum should be embraced

    The maelstrom of negative press against the revolutionary Curriculum for Excellence is threatening to kill it – don’t let the cynics doom something potentially so wonderful. It’s time for positive engagement, says our blogger”

    The problem is that a lot of people did fight it and some still are. It’s not perfect, it’s a lot of work for the teachers, and perhaps the NIF (National Improvement Framework) will help some, to give a unified assessment structure rather than varying from authority to authority, which doesn’t help teachers who ahve to make their own rules up to get by, often late at night.

    One of the things teachers do comment on is that kids do have more confidence: “confident individuals”, some wish they were so confident when they were younger, and like to contribute “effective contributors”. This will eventually lead to “sucessful learners”, but it takes time to work through, years, not any report from 1 year to 2 years later.

    I think getting CfE settled was the main aim, without more tinkering, teachers were doing enough work as it was.

    Unfortunately with the anti-SNP crap going around, if it has any bite at all it’s CfE, teachers and kids will suffer, not the [expurgated] politicans themselves.

    The Tories can go take a running jump off a short pier.

  16. Paula Rose says:

    (well spotted Thepnr)

  17. Democracy Reborn says:

    Look out for the Kevin McKenna follow-up faux outrage piece. He’s typing it as we speak.

  18. heedtracker says:

    Red tory unionists love red tory The Graun

    Scott Arthur Retweeted
    Guardian Scotland ?@GdnScotland 7 hrs7 hours ago
    Nicola Sturgeon vows to replace tax credit losses for families but dodges questions on 100% top ups #FMQs

    Or just more Sevrenian bullshit. If we voted YES, these issues would still have to be spun red toryboy SLabour but at the very least Carrell would be rancid The Graun’s foreign correspondent, in Scotland, the nation state, not their pissy little region of sales made up of libraries.

    Soon, so soon.

  19. liz says:

    No comments allowed on Sev’s article so I posted a comment on another of his articles re tax credits.

    A message came up to say my comments were being being limited or words to that effect.

  20. One_Scot says:

    Does anyone know of at least one unionist journalist who is not a bitter twisted streak of snake piss.

  21. Bob Mack says:

    I suppose it’s a bit like arguing that a leopard was a brown cat which developed spots, but was in fact originally a spotted cat who is turning brown.

    Any way that suits your point of view.

  22. katherine hamilton says:

    “There has always been an education gap between rich and poor” So sad and so true.
    But it’s not only the “rich”. It’s a class issue. Always has been.

    However let’s examine the facts, as some guy on here always bores on about. The SNP have been in Government for 7 years. Prior to that we had Labour/Libdem coalitions. During all that time by and large Labour ran the Councils who administer said Education.

    What improvements happened under them? Zilch.
    Fact is if you’ve got spare cash you can afford the tutors, the books, the past papers, the computers, the school trips, the uniforms, the school dinners and on and on and on.

    There are many well documented reports in inequality we can all read, inequalities that that support educational disparity. I go back to Born to Fail in the 60’s. It’s poverty, stupid.

    The sheer hypocrisy of Labour, LibDem and Tories castigating the SNP for 7 years of failure in the face of their 50+ is breathtaking (again).

  23. Lollysmum says:

    With any set of statistics you can use selective elements to tell a range of stories from different perspectives. I do it when I’m reporting to the council we work for.

    Tories couldn’t really lie outright with this but they have chosen their words with great care. It just isn’t the whole truth as that would be SNP Good story & we can’t have that can we? We’d all be passing out in shock 🙂

  24. scottieDog says:

    And when snp get another majority in 2016 they’ll just proclaim that its the majority who are deluded.

  25. Ruby says:

    ‘Commanders blame pension changes and ‘negative media’ for Police Scotland low morale’


    Its all very well for these ‘UKOK Better Together Hate Preachers’ to score political points with their negative media but do they ever give any consideration to the effects that might have on the morale of the police, nhs staff & teachers?

    I don’t expect they do. These ‘prima dona churnalists’ are only interested in themselves.

  26. David McDowell says:

    Unfortunately “Good news as SNP close attainment gap” doesn’t fit into the standard story template all Unionist propagandists use:


    It sure beats doing hours of fact-based research, and the pay is the same.

  27. yesindyref2 says:

    Thanks for that, the Herald has been the worst offender of all for that, with constant negative stories, repetitively and continually.

  28. Graham H says:

    Now, who has enabled the rich to get richer and poor poorer in recent decades and particularly since the crash?

    And students’ Higher passes aren’t the result of one year’s worth of education, but go back at least 10 years or more to include the Education policies put in place before that time. Our students still reap what Labour have sown.

  29. Lollysmum says:

    With yer average politicians (& boy are they average in SLab, tories & libdems) they don’t care who they savage on the way up their greasy pole just so long as they get there BUT woe betide then if they slip back down-then they get the stick they deserve.

    This lot doesn’t care about NHS,Fire, ambulance, police or anyone else but they do expect that they turn up if they need them. Lets hope none of the current shower need their help anytime soon after all the damage they’ve caused to date.

    Voters can show their dissatisfaction with them by voting against them. SNP/SNP that will hurt more than anything else.

  30. Brian McGrath says:

    As long as the headlines can be equated to SNP BAD it’s all we’ll ever see.

    Anyway 80% of internet statistics are made up – Abraham Lincoln.

  31. Lollysmum says:

    James Kelly’s fundraiser doing well 31% funded with 10 days to run. Pop a few bob into his kitty if you can spare it

  32. Fiona says:

    Actually those results seem to me to be even better than you suggest. Poor people have been getting poorer and more stressed. Rich people have been getting richer, as well. That being so I would not be at all surprised to see poor kids results fall: but they have not.

    I have no doubt at all that educational attainment is adversely affected by poverty.

    since the widening gap between rich and poor applies UK wide, what are the outcomes in England, Wales and NI, for comparison. Do we know?

  33. Bill Fraser says:

    Once again another misrepresentation of the true facts.Ruth Davidson must have been aware of the rise in success of the figures but chose to ignore it,showing only what she wanted to be seen.

  34. Ruby says:

    I don’t know if I can accept that poverty leads to an inability to learn. I can accept that stress could be the cause and that poverty causes stress.

    I watched a You Tube video of a lecture given by Sir Harry Burns which was very interesting and he came to the conclusion that stress is the root cause of many problems.

    Worth watching one of his lectures.

  35. ian m says:


    Ruthie on FMQ today stated that the Tories would be releasing the information that they received from FOI
    It struck a chord with me Cos I wondered who she would release the info to?

  36. Tam Jardine says:

    “children in the least well-off areas are seven times less likely to get the right grades for university than those from the most affluent neighbourhoods… the poorest 20% achieved the benchmark for university entrance of three or more As from up to five Highers in 2014.”

    Where do they come up with this stuff? Since when does the Guardian set the ‘benchmark for university entrance’ I got an unconditional back in the day having got AAABB in 5th year- and unless things have changed dramatically in the time that has passed that was no benchmark- that was a sign I had received a very good education.

    Taking this stat on its own is a load of bollocks though- does it say: “you need AAA to get into university?” No. A benchmark is a standard to compare so its a benchmark in education but it is hardly a benchmark in university entrance? The implication I read is that 3 x A grades has some mystical significance for entry to university.

    Plenty of kids receiving less than AAA have had an excellent education, plenty of them go on to uni. Wow- some of them even go on to get into trades- far too few in fact- and some of them make the kind of dough I never will.

    And incidentally, plenty of folk who achieve higher than 3 x A grades have probably underachieved.

    I don’t have the stats but what about the invented AAAAA benchmark? What does that tell us about the attainment gap? What about the CCC benchmark?

    My wife pulled the article apart in seconds… I thought she was going to produce a red pen.

    ‘what does he mean by under the SNP? Why not under the UK government’

    ‘Its because education is devolved’

    ‘But welfare isn’t devolved. Taxation isn’t devolved. Thats what’s behind the attainment gap.’


  37. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @katherine hamilton (9.30) –

    ‘It’s a class issue. Always has been.’

    Hear hear.

    Until that is acknowledged? we get nowhere.

  38. Ruby says:

    Superintendent Kate Stephen, from Moray, highlighted the impact “negative media” has on their officers.

    “Everyone that is in the police service, whether it is a police officer or a member of staff, it is your family,” she said.

    “So, when headlines are slating your organisation they are slating your family, and I think people take that personally and as a personal slant.

    “That affects morale across the board.

    “We can’t stop what’s printed in the press but it does impact on how the guys and girls out there feel when they are delivering the service.” Herald

  39. Ruby says:

    I would like all the police force, the NHS staff & teachers to know that I don’t believe a word of the garbage printed in the press.

    The press are behaving irresponsibly and so are the politicians who fed the press these negative stories.

    They should all hang their heads in shame.

  40. Grouse Beater says:

    Michael White of the Guardian – Mr Topiary ‘Tache – thinks we should all accept that politicians lie. It’s how they are made.

    I argued they might to themselves but, hell, they have no mandate to lie to the electorate – me.

    Mr White can go stick his head in a bucket of sewage. By his own standards he will find it a pleasant experience.

  41. Angra Mainyu says:

    No offence, but this stuff on education and other recent attacks on the NHS and welfare are obviously part of a plan to prepare the ground for what is to come.

    The most interesting thing said today at FMQs concerned the new powers. That’s the real issue. It’s worth looking at closely.

    Sturgeon and others in the SNP have strongly hinted that they might reject the Scotland Bill and that worries the hell out of the Unionists. It would, by definition, be a constitutional crisis and has the potential to lead to serious friction and instability, possibly opening the door for another referendum.

    So there’s the explanation of the surge in frequency and intensity of attacks on the SNP lately. Nobody can predict what would happen if the SNP vetoed the new powers. It seems Sturgeon said that the SNP would propose changes across a range of areas and indicated that failure to adopt the proposed changes would result in a veto.

    High stakes or what…

  42. skooshcase says:

    Liz at 9.24 pm

    “A message came up to say my comments were being being limited or words to that effect.”

    That’s you been put on the Guardian’s “your comments will be pre-moderated” naughty-step! That’s the Guardian’s CiF for you – if you’re a supporter of Scottish independence/the SNP don’t expect to be given much time before you’re naughty-stepped for some unknown discretion, however, if you’re an abusive, offensive, racist Britnat then CiF is yours for as long as you want! Hypocritical British Establishment sycophants pretending to be ‘left-leaning’ and liberal.

    As for Severin Carrell, he is nothing but a bought-and-paid-for shill of all things UKOK Rule Brittania. His articles in the Establishment Guardian unfailingly read as no more than Labour’s Scottish Accounting Unit’s propaganda press releases. Dugdale’s claims are afforded no scrutiny whatsoever while anything Sturgeon says is subjected to dissection and investigation to the Nth degree. He is a Britnat churnalist. He is what puts the ‘bad’ into SNP-bad articles.

  43. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi Rock.

    You typed,
    “Those who buy and read the unionist media are hardcore unionists anyway. Hell mend them.”

    No they’re not. A lot of them are wurkies, who buy a paper to read, while they’re having their morning tea-break. They don’t look on themselves as “unionists” or any other flavour of politics.

    They just want something to read, when they’re eating their bacon roll.

    And what we have to do is wean them off the Record, for their own good.

  44. Grouse Beater says:

    “Stop wasting time discussing the constitution” argue our opponents, “Spend your time governing Scotland.”

    The bloody constitution IS governance, you morons.

  45. galamcennalath says:

    Ruby says:

    “Its all very well for these ‘UKOK Better Together Hate Preachers’ to score political points with their negative media but do they ever give any consideration to the effects that might have on the morale of the police, nhs staff & teachers?”

    They are fanatics. They are fighting a ‘Holy War’ to save their dying Union. Concerns about collateral damage doesn’t enter into their pathetic narrow minds. The damage they cause is justifiable only to their kind.

    Scotland’s needs to achieve independence for a great many reasons, but one of them is to stop the damage to social cohesion these ‘Union Jehadists’ are causing!

  46. Glamaig says:

    I had cause to spend a couple of hours in the Vicky today. The staff are fantastic, so professional and friendly and the level of care is amazing.

    The BBC Scotland portrayal of the SNHS is so different from most peoples experience of the reality, that surely more and more people must be realising what they are up to.

  47. Dr Jim says:

    Watch how the Telly media report on FMQs e.g
    First you see and hear Kezia attack the FM, then you see a clip of the FM with the sound turned down and someone like Brian Taylor interprets what the FM said which of course bares no relation to what was actually said
    The FM speaks perfect English, I’ve heard her many times, so why turn the sound down

    Unless you didn’t want the FM heard, there can be no other reason

    Today the BBC Scotchland news reported the FM as being uncomfortable, but if you saw it and heard it, that’s not what happened
    The FM did the business on the incompetence and stupidity of Labour and the Brass neck of the Tories and the irrelevance of that other fella
    But once the edit is complete they can make it look like anything they want

    And by the power of spectacular simple vision Labour triumphs over the forces of darkness, even Jabba comes out smiling knowing full well, BBC Labour Head Office have stepped in to repair the damage

    STV have got Colin McKay for the same job now

    I don’t know what the viewing figures are for these programmes STV news at 6, or Reporting Scotland 6.30 but I would hazard a guess they’re going south Mrs Dr Jim doesn’t watch them anymore and neither do her friends for the above reasons, so I’m thinking there’ll be others

  48. heedtracker says:

    “There’s no limit to what a man can do, or where he can go, if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit.”

    Its nice to think that a lot more people are reading sneaky old Severin’s UKOK bullshit on WoS than they ever have on rancid The

    Also, adblock. Every little helps.

  49. scotspine says:

    Said on the last thread and I will say it here. To counter manipulation by msm, we need a “Pirate” radio station.

    I’d pay a shitload to help crowdfund that.

  50. David McDowell says:

    “Exclusive” in The National tomorrow:

    “SNP MP writes to BBC Scotland director general over referendum ‘bias'”

    Note the sneaky wee quotation remarks around the word “bias”. They can’t bring themselves to admit it as a fact.

    I hope the MP is ready for the standard computer-generated response: “BBC Scotland’s coverage of the Scottish independence referendum was impeccably balanced and impartial at all times.”

    If, that is, they don’t ignore it altogether.

  51. Anne Bruce says:

    Dr Jim @ 10.36pm

    Like Mrs Dr Jim and friends I no longer watch STV or BBC news and I don’t pay the TV tax either.

    Having missed FM’s questions live, I watched it on YouTube.

    The fact is Nicola Sturgeon knew her stuff, Kezia Dugdale did not and she was slaughtered for her stupidity – metaphorically speaking, of course.

    As for Baroness Goldie – dear oh dear oh dear.

  52. louis.b.argyll says:

    It’s a great post Rev,
    Everyone should be made to read this.
    You are an antidote to their poison.

  53. Phronesis says:

    A cross national comparison of children’s health & well being (in their own words) across several domains.

    Currie C et al. eds. Social determinants of health and well-being among young people. Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study: international report from the 2009/2010 survey. Copenhagen, WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2012 (Health Policy for Children and Adolescents, No. 6) available at

    -A report of the effects of poverty and barriers/ access to education.

    Research on the mortality excess of Glasgow compared to similar cities ( Manchester & Liverpool)

    An excerpt of a critical review of the evidence of the influence of poverty on educational attainment from Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People

    ‘The policy context relating to bridging the attainment gap is complex, and providing a succinct account of the main trends is a formidable task. Part of the explanation for this is the change in the complexion of government in post devolution Scotland and in the rest of the UK during the same period. In addition, there is the mix of devolved and reserved policy matters; the short-term and limited nature of many of the initiatives designed to address deep-rooted social problems; the viability and sustainability of financial investments in a climate of economic constraint; and, last but not least, the sheer volume of policy in this area. Indeed, it is the very complexity of the policy environment and the degree of articulation between initiatives at national and local levels that take place within different timeframes that pose the greatest challenge to researchers, policy-makers and others who seek to identify „what works? in terms of addressing the attainment gap. Although the focus in this review is on policy and practice in Scotland, it is worth observing that UK-wide policies also impact upon this area’ available at

    All politicians in Scotland will know that the social determinants of poor educational outcomes & health inequalities exist outside of health and both are socially patterned. Therefore policies that try to address the drivers of both really need Scotland’s full economic resource, levers of power and absolute autonomy to implement policies that preserve social protection and grow the economy.

    That is an impossible task under the current fiscal and non-democratic, asymmetric arrangement with WM and with 40 years of UKOK asset stripping in Scotland this will take years to reverse. It is very logical- vote for our party of independence and we will be able to do just that -take full responsibility for running our own affairs and leave a better legacy for the young people of this country without the pernicious interference of WM and their policies of exclusion and social cleansing.

  54. Clootie says:

    Motivation /Dedication/ Resorces /Environment etc etc all play a role and it will take a couple of decades to undo all the damage that has been done by unionist neglect.

    Education is not the only outcome of the current system. A hard working child from a poor area whose family have sacrificed much to push their child will still not get a job on the trading floor because the job will go to an Etonian who struggled to get one higher.
    Connections will trump academic effort in many, many employment clubs.

    How do we stop some parents and peers from pulling them down “who do you think you are going to Uni”
    How do we end the drink culture that stops so many getting a chance. I don’t mean the kids. I’m talking about the parents who have given up – beaten by the life of hardship without hope.

    The unionist parties wish to focus on education in isolation. However you need to build a fairer society, build confidence and self respect etc

    Once again we arrive at the only solution – Independence

  55. Fiona says:

    On the question of Educational attainment gaps, I found this fascinating paper from 2005 on that very subject, looking at comparisons between England Scotland and Wales

    It is a long paper, but it really does provide some interesting information; together with some consideration of how much effect purely educational policies can make.

    It also reports that the overall attainment level in Scotland has been consistently higher than in England since the 1950’s, despite numerous changes to educational arrangements in both places over the period. In talking about this, the authors tentatively suggest that educational inequality (as distinct from attainment) is affected by such changes, but in quite complicated ways. For example, Scotland implemented some changes about a decade before similar change in England. Paradoxically Scotland simultaneously showed better attainment in all classes but greater inequality as well. That reversed in succeeding cohorts, and there is evidence that it also reversed in England a decade later.

    The authors suggest that there are 5 phases in the impact of change on inequality: but that in the period they studied only 4 had manifested. They speculate that the the 5th phase would see falling inequality, all else being equal. If that is correct we might have seen it a little earlier in Scotland, and in turn that might mean that any reduction seen in very recent years would show up in England later: like now, maybe.

    That is not a very good summary of the paper, but it is truly interesting. Have a read if it interests you

  56. Brian Powell says:

    Fife Council voted today for Fife to become a TTIP free zone. All voted for the motion apart from the Tories and the Libdems.

  57. Brian Powell says:

    On the Fife TTIP vote though if we had been an independent country we could have vetoed the whole deal, every country has a vote.

  58. Thepnr says:

    @Tam Jardine

    No Highers for me at school, O-levels 1A 2B;s 3C’s a D and an E

    Didn’t stop me getting a degree. The E for mechanics I got and the C for maths were both turned to A’s in Highers once I grew up.

    Growing up is a process, poverty a hindrance to education.

  59. Legerwood says:

    This from the Times Educational Supplement (TES) at the end of October 2015

    Apologies if I have put the web address in wrong format.

  60. Sinky says:

    From TES formerly The Times Educational Supplement 30 October 2015

    Scotland is doing a comparatively good job of sending poorer students to university, according to new analysis.

    Within the UK only Northern Ireland, London and the West Midlands perform better at minimising the impact that poverty has on a pupil’s chance of accessing higher education, according to data analyst Tom Forth.

    “Scotland’s inequality of access does seem to be the highest of any UK nation, but over the past decade it has come down the most,” writes Mr Forth. “This looks like success, not failure, to me.”

  61. Free Scotland says:

    Severin Carrell is Scotland editor for the Guardian, right? That would be the newspaper which, one week before the referendum, exhibited an inability to distinguish between independence and devolution.

    The Guardian, 11th September, 2014:
    The arrival of the 7.30 Euston to Glasgow Central shortly after noon on Thursday drew a particular reaction. “Here comes the cavalry!” shouted one man, slow clapping as somewhere between 50 and 60 Labour MPs made their way out of the station to join the campaign against devolution.

  62. Davy says:

    Well after that statistic, I suppose it was just pure luck that the SNP under Alex Salmond did away with tutition fee’s, for all students rich or poor.

  63. yesindyref2 says:

    Ha! My comment on the Herald about the police was deleted, disappeared, is no more.

    I quoted the bit “So, when headlines are slating your organisation they are slating your family, and I think people take that personally and as a personal slant.

    “That affects morale across the board.”

    All I said was that while it is good that the press report responsibly on the police, it would not be responsible for them to engage in a witch-hunt.

    By removing my posting the Herald shows a deservedly guilty conscience, and although they claim the right of “freedom of the press”, they don’t like posters even obliquely, to question their standards. Which are poor and dropping like a stone, day by day.

  64. Fiona says:

    Well if inequality of access is worst in Scotland, the paper I linked shows that is accompanied by better attainment in every class for decades. And in 2005 the article says

    t. If we compare the youngest cohorts in each of Tables 5 and 7, it can be seen that the level of attainment in the unskilled class is always higher in Scotland than in either England or Wales (although not all the differences are statistically
    significant). On upper secondary attainment or better, the proportions are 48% in Scotland, 44% in Wales and 41% in England. On degrees, they are 8% in Scotland, 6% in Wales and 2% in England. Moreover, unlike the averages (Table 3), the inequality in the youngest cohort in Scotland is no greater than in England or Wales.

  65. Thepnr says:

    @Free Scotland

    Your link reminded me of this, I’m posting this for all the new readers of Wings who wouldn’t have seen it.

    Probably the best spontaneous video from Indyref 2014. It’s a laugh and a half.

  66. yesindyref2 says:

    I think it’s funny by the way when I click over to an article by Devlin, see at the top “Thank you. Your comment has been accepted”, and there’s 0 comments on the page.

    In fairness to David Torrance he takes a lot of abuse and leaves it there, and Magnus leaves a lot of criticism as well.

    I don’t think it’s just the moderatores, perhaps the journos can delete postings. Who knows?

    Don’t mind me, just having a mindless rant about a mindless has-been once great newspaper, sad but that’s what you get when you take too much Bisacodyl.

  67. Chris F says:

    katherine hamilton says:
    5 November, 2015 at 9:30 pm
    ‘“There has always been an education gap between rich and poor” So sad and so true.
    But it’s not only the “rich”. It’s a class issue. Always has been.’

    I agree, and I firmly believe that language is the main culprit where poorer attainment among working class kids is concerned.

    If you are growing up in an educational environment that goes out of its way to discourage (or, at best, does not encourage) the language you have been brought up to use within your family and with your friends, it should not be surprising that for many, education is seen to be something quite alien and unreachable.

    I am referring of course to Scots. Things are changing very slowly in this respect, and I think our nation’s political awakening in the run up to, and beyond, the referendum has helped increase awareness of this problem.

    But since the 18th century (thanks, Union), Scots has been demonised fairly relentlessly (whether overtly or otherwise) in favour of ‘proper English’ and this has played a fundamental part in fostering the sheer lack of confidence that puts the brakes on learning for many.

  68. manandboy says:

    With 2 million residents voting No, I’d say Education remains a top priority, but not so much among those from poor backgrounds.

  69. Iain More says:

    Of course it is SNP BAD. A more educated population is the bane of tyrants. It is a real danger to the British Establishment. Educating the peasants is very dangerous indeed. They stop watching the BBC and stop buying the bog roll that passes for a Press here. Thus SNP BAD! SG Evil!

  70. Still Positive. says:

    Thanks pnr for that link – 10 happy minutes!

    Re poorer students: many of them go to uni via college.

    My eldest grand-daughter started college in August just before her 16th birthday but with several National 5s and National 4s – her exam results totalled several pages.

    She is doing 5 subjects: Politics; Sociology; Psychology;
    Communications and possibly Philosophy. After college she intends to go to uni to complete a degree she started in college.

    The SNP government has made it much easier for poorer students to gain a degree via college.

    Forget losing 140,000 college places: almost all college places now have a qualification which can lead to better things, whether that be a degree or a better job.

  71. Tam Jardine says:


    We never had mechanics… 1st and 2nd year technical was the closest I got- spatulas and pencil cases and the like.

    I mentioned trades above- I’m pulling my hair out right now with the dearth of good tradesmen out there to fulfil flooring contracts. Plenty money in it but most companies and self employed guys have been doing without apprentices for years. It is a big issue to be resolved.

    Not sure what poll it was but I think that tradesmen voted Yes in large numbers- intelligent guys who can see an opportunity and will graft like nothing on earth if they see value in it for them.

    They are often (for me) a complete pain in the arse but now and again I’ll put together a team to tackle some big project. After all the planning and materials are sorted out there is this amazing moment when these men who have been asking me questions and waiting to be spoonfed all the answers take control.

    In a few moments everything changes: they start discussing the challenges between themselves, figure out technical details I’ve maybe not considered, work out the best plan, a kind of canny intensity takes over and I can take a step back. I noticed this weird tipping point a few years ago… Solzhenitsyn wrote about it I think. Its quite something to witness.

    I think that’s what it will be like once we finally win back out independence- all the questions, the negativity and intransigence will suddenly end and the Scottish people will look to each other, work out the best way forward and begin tearing into the job at hand.

  72. Grouse Beater says:

    Labour MP Alan Johnson:

    “Labour Scotland’s vote against Trident doesn’t matter one bit. Policy is decided by Labour national committee.”

  73. Iain More says:

    One_Scot says:

    Does anyone know of at least one unionist journalist who is not a bitter twisted streak of snake piss.

    I guess the answer to that is Nah!

  74. Still Positive. says:

    Chris F @ 11.51

    I remember when I was doing teacher training in a school in Dumbarton in early 1994 reading a poem to a first-year class who were open-mouthed at my delivery of ‘Lament for a Lost Dinner Ticket’.

    I swear they had never heard a teacher speak in the vernacular.

    Later on in my teaching I realised that pupils hated teachers who told them to ‘shut up’. Wheesht was much more effective.

    Every English teacher I worked with in several schools taught Scottish literature in some form through all age groups.

    I used the vernacular constantly in the classroom and the pupils seemed to like it.

  75. Sandy Henderson says:

    Let’s look at this with a logical view.
    Children from better off families have a head start. Their parents have been a success, in most cases, by hard work. These parents encourage their off-spring to try their upmost to succeed & are willing to sacrifice whatever it takes (within reason). These children have seen what can be achieved.
    Then you have those from a poorer background with, perhaps, parents who couldn’t give a damn. If that said child shows ambition, yes, encourage him/her 100%.
    However, if they, parents & child, have no ambition, what chance of success? For many of these youngsters, the only thing they seem to have in mind is to be a pop singer or a footballer. How many make it?
    Remember, you can take a horse to water but you cannot make it drink.

  76. Still Positive. says:

    Sandy Henderson @ 12.17.

    You are spot on. As a retired English teacher I knew many bright pupils from working class backgrounds whose parents didn’t want them to go to university – fear of the unknown? In particular, the mothers of very bright sons wanted them to ‘get a trade’.

    Many schools in Glasgow send pupils to pre-college courses during school time – usually 2 hours a week.

    Unfortunately those schools also send the pupils who will show the school in a good light- ie the pupils who should be going to uni. They totally ignore the pupils who will be good tradesmen/women.

  77. K1 says:

    ‘Then you have those from a poorer background with, perhaps, parents who couldn’t give a damn.’

    Massive assumption, sometimes poverty and educational impoverishment is generational, perhaps ignorance which is the definition of a lack of knowledge, plays a huge part here?

    Polarising in this way, does not educate, it reveals ignorance.

    This is why the SNP are so focused on early years education for every child to address this generational issue. They are quite literally attempting to change this from the beginning of a child’s life.

    I have no time for this type of black and white view of very complex issues dressed up as a ‘logical view’.

  78. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    I know a guy who moans and moans about the Herald,and how it used to be mostly a fair paper and balanced and well informed – though never a independence supporter – but now its nothing but a lightweight unionist rag.
    And he still buys the bloody thing.

  79. manandboy says:

    Tam Jardine says:
    “I think that’s what it will be like once we finally win back our independence – all the questions, the negativity and intransigence will suddenly end and the Scottish people will look to each other, work out the best way forward and begin tearing into the job at hand.”

    I couldn’t agree more Tam. Scotland’s creative energy is seriously muted.

  80. geeo says:

    I am just a normal hard working chap, worked without break in employement from 1982 until just under 3 years ago (seriously injured, still recovering).

    My wife is same, we have 2 children, we are certainly not rich, just a normal family (whatever that is).

    My son never went to uni, but has still managed to work his way up to a managerial position in a major supermarket.

    My daughter worked hard at School and got into uni of choice easily and is now a primary school teacher.

    The point being, my family were sure not in this ‘top 20%, bottom 20%’ quoted for the ‘attainment gap’ figures, so what figures are MY children part of exactly ?

    Always has to be labelling of people, it really is not required !

  81. Kevin Evans says:

    Hey – my friends father worked many years ago very high up in the Scottish education services and even 20-30 years ago this was always the case. The example he always used was if you look at a standard holiday vacation for a wealthy family it would be to see Greek island with history or areas of Europe where part of the vacation was going around Roman ruins or such like. The poorer family would go spend 2 weeks at a resort in Spain or even Aberdeen or Nairn. The weather childern were always exposed to more education activities outside school hours then the poorer.

    But he always made the point of never commending the richer school catchment areas for university acceptance grades as they should be getting they grades but to commend and support the schools where university wasn’t always the first option – he maintained to get kids from the poorer areas to univestiry rather than the richer ones was more of an achievement as it went against the norm.

  82. Sandy Henderson says:

    You will note that I stated, “perhaps” parents who don’t give a damn. If this is generalisation, well I accept that this is your opinion with respect, However, you will note that I also state that ANY child who shows the slightest potential be given all the encouragement available. After watching question time today,(incidentally, after my last post), I note that Nicola agrees wholeheartily with that encouragement.
    Teachers have a hard job & all children are different personality wise. That is where the parents come in. They have brought the child into this world & that in itself is a big responsibility. Education begins at home & teaching staff develop this. A good teacher does not have a job, a good teacher has a profession, & like any professional, is determined to succeed & feels great satisfaction when that success is achieved. For a parent to just ask what you did in school today is not enough. They have to sit down & discuss it. I know many mothers have to work to make ends meet & many make sacrifices but the child comes first. Decisions, decisions, I know, but teachers have an enormous task. Very easy for others to lay blame, especially point chasing so-called politicians. OK, to criticise is their perogative but they must back this up with an alternative, something that appears beyond their ken. They were given that option again today at question time. As stated there today by Nicola, she is still waiting.
    Incidentally, my father was one of nine, the son of a fisherman, not on one of your massive trawlers of today, only a small open-decked drifter. He worked hard & saw that his youngest son had potential. Cut a long story short, that son was sent to Edinburgh Uni where he obtained a degree in the Classics & went on to become “heid domine” until his retirement.

  83. Sandy Henderson says:

    Addendum to above:
    Politely, I wish to state that I try not to make generalisations or sweeping statements. I’m not a politician or journalist

  84. woosie says:

    Looks quite positive for me; pupils are generally achieving more, though the richest 20% are doing slightly better than the poorest 20%.

    It’s difficult to get this info across to the common man/person, though. Briandoonthetoon makes a valid point. Workies buy a paper which gives them the headlines ( we don’t get long enough tea-breaks to read in-depth reports ). We also like a quick scan of tonight’s football matches, and the day’s racing card. In this respect, The National doesn’t cater, making it more of a political pamphlet than a paper for general consumption.

    Oh, and the sudoku is unsolvable!

  85. Petra says:

    The Labour Party in Scotland have a GREAT deal to bl**dy well answer for as far as poverty and educational attainment is concerned in Scotland.

    An illiterate, poverty stricken Scot (Keir Hardie) founded the Labour Party and the Scots supported them with their hearts and souls for over a century. They strived to bring up their families and educate them under the most hellish of conditions in the hope that Labour would improve their lives.

    (Note Westminster Labour barely acknowledges Keir Hardie at all. He didn’t found the Labour Party as per their version of history).

    And what did they get in return? Nothing but a second class poverty stricken country. By 2007 Scottish children were some of the poorest in Europe. Scotland by the way was one of the richest Countries in the WORLD. The position our MSPs are in today with regard to EVEL is in fact how it has always been. Nobody actually noticed. Worsened to some extent? Probably (or not) as no Scot will ever hold a prominent position in Westminster from now on. Take a look at some of the Scots who have got to the top. Labour Blair …….. Brown. God help us all not only did they fail the Scots but the whole of the UK / bl**dy planet.

    56 SNP MSPs are now just highlighting how Scottish Labour MPs sat on their ars*s for DECADES and did nought other than take a most lucrative wage / expenses (more than the Tories) and embarrass the Scots in Westminster with their greed and total ineptitude ….. total ignoramuses. Our SNP MSPs are now held in great regard in the Commons (check out YouTube) hence the attacks from all sides. Yeah tell me about it! Don’t ever forget that they are a real threat to the State …. as are you and I.

    Scottish Labour dragged Scotland down. Not the Tories or Libdems. As one example old Harold Wilson, Labour, hid the McCrone Report (Scotland richest country in the World) and someone, Labour, in Scotland knew all about that. And then the latter day King Edwards army: Maggie Thatcher and the Tories helped along the way by wielding the hatchet in an attempt to decimate Scotland. Cameron is running with her gauntlet now.

    When I think about it Labour and the Tories have always been in cahoots in relation to holding Scotland down (Wilson, Thatcher, Blair, Brown and Dewar). 2014 was the turning point as it just shed a most ghastly light on it all.

    So looking at the situation now, under the most hellish of attacks from all sides, over the long term at least one in four children live in poverty in Scotland. I know, you know and research findings tell us that poverty impacts on concentration, memory recall and learning: Quality of life and long term job prospects.

    This is then exacerbated if a child lives in a home where both parents are jobless and feel hopeless, helpless, anxious and depressed. This can lead to apathy or anger, suicide, violence, partner / child abuse ….. physical, psychological and sexual, drug and alcohol addiction.

    Then if you are so poor or desperate that you have to visit a food bank your children will probably suffer from some of the aforementioned and from humiliation, low self-esteem, anger, anxiety, depression, cold and malnutrition. Not just setting off for school with their second hand, out of date smelly clothes (no power for washing machine) but have left from a home where they had no breakfast, maybe even nothing to eat the night before and couldn’t sleep because they were freezing (or listening to their parents fighting all night). Add to that (maybe) their parents lying drunk, out of their heads with drugs or if semi normal totally depressed because they can’t help their own children. Go to school and try to learn? Want to learn anything at all?

    Cuts for the poor doesn’t equate. Save 4 billion on hammering the poor and spend double or treble that on dealing with the results of poverty.

    How Kezia Dugdale, LABOUR, or Ruth Davidson, TORY, have the bl**dy brass neck to mention differences between the rich and poor in relation to education is way, way beyond me …… my comprehension …. because between them, their political parties, they have ABSOLUTELY CREATED this situation … mayhem ….. nightmare for children in Scotland.

    On a more positive note the Scots against all odds, and we all know what ‘all odds’ means, and with a very small population have managed to produce the most inventive and innovative people in the World …. still do. The bravest of the brave. The most highly educated adults in Europe and almost topping that rank in the World.

    We won’t give up. We won’t give in. We’ll see this through to the end for the sake of our Country and more so our children.

    PS I’m sitting beside a wonderful child (adult really) tonight. Taking my (family) turn to watch over him all night. He can’t talk, walk, sit up on his own or feed himself. He has constant seizures. We thank the Scottish Government from the bottom of our hearts for their input, amount of money … your taxes …. my taxes … they provide for his day time care. Why can’t Labour and Tories just get onside with the SNP for the betterment of all Scots? Nicola Sturgeon said it’s all about tribal hatred against the SNP. This boy doesn’t understand tribal hatred and neither do we. He’s one of thousands of children in need of help in Scotland. Why don’t they (Labour, Libdem and Tory) just forget their differences with the SNP and help our children?

  86. Macart says:

    Wealth and home environment is access and opportunity. Nothing in a society works in a bubble. Every successful societal system works in harmony. Constitution, government practice, economy, culture and geographic environment all need to mesh, each working to support the others and all tailored to suit the needs and aspirations of the wider population.

    When your society is in imbalance through systemic rot and imposed ideological models based on the needs of the few then logically access for the many becomes problematic.

    In short and in answer to the metro set meeja, ‘its NOT simply the economy stupid’ and it never was.

  87. Reviresco says:

    Petra @4:45
    Dries eyes.
    With your permission I will print and keep your words,
    Moving and inspirational.
    And ram them down the throat of every craven, weasel unionist who belittles our country and the nationalist movement.

  88. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Petra (4.45) –

    Stirring stuff to start the day Petra.


  89. Inkall says:

    To echo those saying the “3 As” stuff is nonsense I got into university through college too.

    Really didn’t like the school environment, didn’t try too hard, only got 2 Cs. Went to college breezed through an HNC and got the uni place I wanted.

    Also would I be mistaken in saying that perhaps kids from poorer backgrounds are more likely to go into trades/apprenticeships than the richest kids?

    In the current employment climate a trade seems to be at least as valuable as a degree if not more so.

  90. Fran says:

    @ geeo 2.09

    I agree. I myself never went to uni, Im just not that academic but I have worked my way up into a management position.

    My parents were both hard working and this was the ethos for all my brothers and sisters. This ties in with what Petra says, if the support is not at home the child is at a disadvantage from the start.

    The sense of hopelessness in families has been around for generations now and no unionist party has tried to change this.

    There is a feeling starting to occur in this country now, a feeling of what we are and what we can become. A feeling that we can do better than what we have and what we had.

    This is why we “nasty” separatists are fighting for independence. A new start with hope for the future and a solid foundation for future generations, that they need not feel trapped and worthless, that their is a reason to get out there and not disappear into a bottle or syringe.

    It wont be easy and at the end of the day it wont be perfect but it will be better, better than better together.

  91. Sandy Henderson says:

    National sudoku; no it’s not. Use a pencil with rubber on the end.
    Crossword; different matter.

  92. Sandy Henderson says:

    Read over twice, maybe more. Glad you let it out, girl.
    Some may say you generalised but all of it is true. We have voted for a social democratic party in Scotland & what do we get. We’re out on our own. It breaks my heart to see those disabled children. You look at others, two arms, two legs , sight, hearing. They have the ability to make something of themselves. Most do. The few? Well, maybe will keep the jailers in employment.
    I recently had a problem with some youngsters but tho’ I & my neighbours, one of which had years of experience with problem children, tried to speak rationally to them, we were met with a brick wall. One answer from a 10 year old, “I’m going to be like ma da, he gets his money in the post & gets more from the bookies”. A 10 year old. What hope, well, maybe?
    I can offer my sympathy to you & your family which I do but the problem is still there. You have to carry on the fight. I certainly will.
    The society we have today is going back to Victorian times. Turn their backs on those who need most. Pretend they don’t exist. How long did they hide the queen mother’s in-born sisters. Conveniently kept out of the way.
    Strength to you & your family.

  93. Brian says:

    Only 6 days to go and sitting at 53%, surely a last minute push to get this done.

  94. caz-m says:

    Dunfermline Press:

    “Vote on Trident divides West Fife Labour.”

    “Scottish Labour deputy leader and Cowdenbeath MSP Alex Rowley insisted that scrapping Trident would secure jobs.”

    “However, former Dunfermline MP Thomas Docherty, who is putting himself forward as a candidate for Holyrood, was against the move.”

  95. mealer says:

    Tam Jardine 12.13, Petra 4.45,
    Two outstanding posts amongst many.I wish Labour would just get out the road and let Scotland move on.Tories and Libdems too.Let the cringers carp from the sidelines.We know where we’re going.We know what we’re capable of.

  96. Capella says:

    What the Carrell article also shows is that he must have had the Tories FoI figures to hand. Hence the “under the SNP” tweet. He is dressing up Tory Party press releases and calling it journalism. Lazy and partisan.

  97. caz-m says:

    Do you think “Call Kaye” will be having a phone-in about BBC Scotland bias this morning.

    The National:

    “SNP MP demands answers from BBC Director General on ‘bias’ during referendum.”

  98. Macart says:


    That would be a nail squarely hammered on the head.

    Very well said Petra.

  99. Ruby says:

    yesindyref2 says:
    5 November, 2015 at 11:22 pm
    Ha! My comment on the Herald about the police was deleted, disappeared, is no more.

    <Ruby replies

    I noticed that!
    The big story in Scotland is the press but the press are not going to print it.

    I was quite surprised that they even included the part about police morale being low due to negative press.

  100. Grouse Beater says:

    See the Norwegian passport end of the essay:

  101. Ruby says:

    What are ‘The UKOK Better Together Hate Preaching Prima Dona Scum Bag Churnalists’ telling us today about FMQ? That Kezia Dugdale’s performance was outstanding, she is sure to not only be voted politician of the year in 2016 but we will see her elected as the next First Minister of Scotland.
    A Star is Born. A Star so Bright that left Nicola in the shadows!

    Auntie Bella returned to Holyrood with a Bang and put Nicola in her place.

  102. Grouse Beater says:

    Ruby: That Kezia Dugdale’s performance was outstanding?

    The only thing she has improved is her delivery. It is confident and strident.

    Just a pity the content of her speeches are as daft as ever.

  103. Ruby says:

    Grouse Beater says:
    6 November, 2015 at 8:47 am
    Ruby: That Kezia Dugdale’s performance was outstanding?

    The only thing she has improved is her delivery. It is confident and strident.

    Ruby Replies

    Has she been taking lessons at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts?

    Perhaps if something really really unexpected happens and this incredibly talented up and coming bright shining star, mega brilliant politician doesn’t become First Minister of Scotland or heaven forbid she loses her seat she could put her newly acquired acting skills to good use at the BBC. Call Kezia?

  104. Christian Schmidt says:

    ‘Under the SNP’ – Isn’t education council-controlled?

  105. Paul says:

    Ah, good ol’ Sevvy. Your friend and mine. Yoon journalist’s are hoping for the drip, drip, drip, Chinese water torture effect – keep feeding SNP Baaaad stories and eventually everyone will be brainwashed!

  106. AngusMan says:

    Severin Carroll is a fan of “How to lie with Statistics” , by Darrell Huff. An excellent book.

  107. Bodincus says:

    Percentages are bitches.
    An example is the recent scare about processed and cured meats.
    The story was headlined with “New statistics say that the risk of contracting cancer from bacon should be increased by 20%”.
    Yes, from 5% to 6% over a 80 year lifespan.
    Fuck all.

  108. Clydebuilt says:

    Talking about Call Kaye’s Moan-in The other day the topic was are Scotland’s poorest students getting a bad deal from the Scottish Government…… That afternoon English students were demonstrating in London about the bad deal they are getting……. Never heard it reported on The BBC In Scotland’s Radio Station.

    This Morning the Moan-in’s topic is should we ban fireworks…… They are actively encouraging listeners to moan, find fault ……. Developing a blame culture……. So the next time they ask Do you hate the Scottish Government , their lines will be jammed, with …….. Their army of Moaners.

  109. ArtyHetty says:

    re; Petra@4.45am

    Excellent comment Petra, you have put it all so well. So glad to hear that you have support what a hard job you have.

    Thankyou for your spot on comment.

  110. Muscleguy says:

    I spotted this on the website, saw it did not have comments turned on, knew it would be by Severin and didn’t bother to click on it. I went to The National instead to see if they covered it, but since it was figures from the Tories I doubted if they bothered and was right.

    Severin Carrell and a Tory party press release. A marriage made in obfuscation hell.

    As the Rev points out the thing with Severin is to think about what is NOT said, what is left out as well as looking down the article for a killer fact mentioned just in passing that destroys the headline.

    He’s a tricksy one that Severin.

  111. ArtyHetty says:

    re; Sandy Henderson@7.14am

    So a 10 year old says his dad gets his money in the post. Not realistic by any stretch of the imagination, dole cheques do not exist and have not for many years. I have worked with many young children, it is extremely extremely unlikely that a 10 year old would say what you claim they said. Again stretching the imagination.

    It is very disturbing to hear someone on here making comments like, “Maybe will keep the jailers in employment”. Also we absolutely do not use terms like, “problem children”. Not sure which decade you are living in.

    I suspect that Petra does not need your ‘sympathy’. Her comment was about how political policy and actions by liebour and tories, over many many years, which reduced Scotland to a second class, poor country, while being a very very rich country. It’s what happens when a neighbour steals all of your wealth and resources. Also Petra was making a point that the Scottish government now, ie, SNP, are supporting her to care for a family member, a positive. Why do you make it sound like she is fighting for support?

    I do think that using the words, “in- born” whether royals or not, is incredibly distasteful.

    Please refrain from using such terms and meet us in the 21st century. Things have moved on massively from the types of terms that you seem keen to use, when referring to anyone with a disability or long term condition.

  112. Dan Huil says:

    And BritNat “journalists” wonder why BritNat newspapers are losing readers! Their solution: more misrepresentation. A plague on all their Britnat houses.

  113. David says:

    Totally agree with mealer about:
    “Tam Jardine 12.13, Petra 4.45,
    Two outstanding posts amongst many.”

    Also, let’s have a “SNAP!” for Legerwood and Sinky at 11pm last night, posting the same link regarding Scotland ‘doing a comparatively good job of sending poorer students to university’.

    Two different people, independently(see what I did there!) finding proof to debunk Severin Carrell’s biased article in the Guardian. This is a perfect example of why people-power will win against the mainstream media.

    The MSM, corporate, media no longer has a monopoly for providing information. It is easy for everyone now to search online for other sources, other viewpoints, the truth behind what is printed in ‘our’ newspapers.

    The power of the media is dead or dying in Scotland. About time too – it does not respect us, it does not represent us, it certainly does not serve us.

  114. Jack Murphy says:

    Dr Jim said at 10:36pm yesterday the 5th:-
    Edited quote:
    “Today the BBC Scotchland news reported the FM as being uncomfortable, but if you saw it and heard it, that’s not what happened.
    The FM did the business on the incompetence and stupidity of Labour and the Brass neck of the Tories and the irrelevance of that other fella
    But once the edit is complete they can make it look like anything they want”

    Here is the full Archived film of yesterday’s First Minister’s Questionas,from Scottish Parliament TV.
    Questions from Kezia Dugdale,Ruth Davidson,Willie Rennie,”Baroness Goldie” and others.
    First Minister in great form,and definitely not “uncomfortable”.
    BBC Scotchland is the Paper Scottish Press in pixels. 🙁

  115. Ken500 says:

    Basically they have both improved. Do the figures include those who go to college and then go on to 2nd year at Uni? An increased number 16 year olds now leave school to take up apprenticeships. Are they excluded as a % from the previous comparison.

    Fifth year students are getting (too) frequently tested. (every month?). If they don’t pass the test they can’t sit the exam.

    Teachers should get training in additional needs. It is not included in teacher training, unless they specialise.

  116. Legerwood says:

    David @ 11.53 am.

    Thank you. I got quite a surprise this morning when I looked at Wings and saw that someone else had posted the same link immediately after me.

    For the absence of doubt I have no idea who slinky is – we are definitely acting independently of one another.

  117. K1 says:

    Glad you took the time to reflect on the wording of your comment Sandy, much appreciated.

    Assumption, was my word of choice, not ‘generalisation.’ 🙂

  118. K1 says:

    Petra, well said, those are the true causes of the educational impoverishment and poverty that has blighted our country.

    I take issue with the notion that there are ‘bad’ or ‘good’ parents. There are complex circumstances that underlie and account for working class kids who come from poorer backgrounds, not achieving specific qualifications that allow them to go to Uni.

    One of the aspects I admire about the SNP policies in this regard is that they are setting about this in an holistic way. From pre school, to apprenticeships right through to getting business on board with a living wage.

    This systematically addressees many of those causes that underlie the educational attainment gap, that has been caused by the top down hierarchal structures in place that maintain this class ridden rotten political set up that we under.

    30 odd years ago, the skilled workforce of Scotland was put on the dole. The youngsters from these families witnessed their parents losing jobs, and hope. Those youngsters were put on the dole too.

    Bad parents my arse. Hopeless disempowerment from greed ridden corrupt policies that were aimed at undermining the power of workers everywhere, but most especially here in Scotland.

    There’s yer causes right there.

  119. Andy-B says:

    No doubt Carroll, will now be nominated for an award.

  120. David says:

    No, thank you, Legerwood, for doing the work of finding & linking to the info for us. And the same thanks to Slinky as well, of course!

    And that’s the point, that the internet has killed much of the propaganda power of the corporate media. We can debunk its mistruths and lies with much more ease now, and show the truth to more people, more easily.

    Age 50-ish, I was brought up reading and respecting newspapers. It never crossed my mind to think they would, gasp, lie to me. Why should they?

    Well of course, we’re now finding out that they act mainly as propaganda sheets for their offshore billionaire owners. They do not represent us, they represent the rich and powerful.

    Hell mend the papers if I can no longer trust them! I’ll just have to buy more 2nd hand novels to get my daily reading fix.

    Up until recently I dreamt of winning Euromillions, to be able to bankroll a ‘Daily Record’-buster paper for 5-10 years, up to IndyRef2. There is still a certain level of authority, of gravitas, that comes with things in print, compared to the internet. “Paper X said it, so it must be true.”

    But the Record is doing a good job of digging its own grave – a report today says Record’s sales are down by another 20 THOUSAND daily copies! They are now at 176k copies.

    It’s almost laughable, but still…the moneybags owners of Record, Scotsman, Herald, Aberdeen P&J will keep them going even at a loss. They are worth it for their propaganda value alone.

    But the papers are only delaying the inevitable. Independence will come, whatever they do. Papers now only react to the news in Scotland, they don’t set it.

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