The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

How to be goodest at numberology

Posted on May 16, 2019 by

Ruth Davidson led on numeracy (or as Tories call it, “numberacy”) at FMQs today.

And we can see why she’s concerned.

Because the party’s big line of attack yesterday was this:

And, well, those numbers need some work.

Because there are only 6,788 convicted criminals in Scottish prisons AT ALL.

We know that around 1000 of those are on life sentences, leaving 5,532. We’re not told what the Tories are classing as “serious” criminals, but we know that around a third of criminal convictions in Scotland come from five categories of crimes that most people would class as “serious”, and it would seem reasonable to therefore assume that at least a third of the remaining prison population (roughly 1844) also did.

We know the average sentences for those types of crimes:

Non-sexual violence: 2 years, 7 months
Attempted murder and serious assault: 2 years, 8 months
Rape and attempted rape: 6 years 9 months
Sexual assault: 2 years 7 months
Drugs: 1 year 6 months

None of these “serious” criminals would be eligible to be released under a presumption (no ban has in fact been suggested) against custodial sentences shorter than 12 months. If we knock them off the figures, we’re down to something like 3,688 people in Scottish prisons convicted of lesser crimes.

Almost all of those are crimes of dishonesty: theft, shoplifting, fraud and so on, along with heinous stuff like petty vandalism, breach of the peace and “Other miscellaneous, including urinating”. All of them bad things to do, for sure, but not most people’s idea of “serious” or frightening criminality.

So when the Tories say the proposal would “let almost 10,000 serious criminals back out onto the streets”, the most accurate true figure we can find for the number is zero.

(And it’s not one of those sneaky tricks where they’re adding up lots of years to make the number sound bigger by producing a figure for the entire Parliamentary term or whatever. Their webpage – which is actually just a cover for yet another fake petition – specifically says “last year”.)

Even on the most demented Tory hang-’em-and-flog-’em definition, where ALL crimes are considered serious and you should get 20 years without remission for dropping a crisp packet in a car park, the number would be barely a third of what they claim.

But in a sane world where words still mean what they mean, “serious” criminals don’t tend to get sentenced to less than a year, so none of them would be walking free. And there aren’t even close to 10,000 criminals – of ANY sort – in Scottish jails at all.

So if the Tories want to see an improvement in numeracy, they might want to start off by looking inwards.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 16 05 19 14:56

    Goodest at numberology | speymouth

127 to “How to be goodest at numberology”

  1. HandandShrimp says:

    Given that their EU election leaflet mentions the Ruth Davidson party three times and Nicola Sturgeon 13 times I’m guessing numbers are an utter mystery to the Conservative party (unless it is dark funding, allegedly from Putin, where I’m of the view they can suddenly count)

  2. John Lowe says:

    Maybe the 10000+ are the Tory voters. Also a guy in England got 20 weeks for sitting down. How dangerous is that.

  3. Murray McCallum says:

    Looks like the Tories have access to a magic criminals tree. Can simply create them out of nothing.

  4. bainby says:

    Too good you would think they would be embarrassed by this kind of thing but they aren’t.. and that’s because no one but you REV calls them out on this nonsense.

    well done sir…..

  5. handclapping says:

    The quickest way to find the number of serious criminals walking free would be to put out an ad asking for volunteers to be Tory candidates

  6. blackhack says:

    That rooth the mooth canny dae big sums

  7. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Since last night many Twitterers have reported the ‘Soft Touch’ tweet on the grounds that it is targetting the ill-informed and vulnerable i.e. that it’s basic fearmongering and therefore ‘harmful’.

    If you would like to do likewise, here’s the link to the original tweet. If enough of us do that there’s a chance it will have to be removed.

  8. Merkin Scot says:

    Let’s see what they ‘do’ with the numbers next week.
    Should be fun.

  9. jfngw says:

    It’s the Blackadder method of counting, not the actual numbers but the number that the Tories believe should be in prison, even if they have committed no crime (all Wings donors would be in this category, inciting division by demanding unwanted democracy).

  10. Macart says:

    Tories… pfft! They never let numbers get in the way of the knee jerk soundbite. Bless em.

    Also? That ‘soft touch approach to justice’ thingy. Wait now. Weren’t the Scottish Government all kinds of eeeeevil and oppressive only the other day? What with their mind control, cultythingmaboabary and such. Or was that last week? Mibbies last year… but now they’re big softies. Righto.

    Just so we’re clear on what their narrative du jour is… 🙄

  11. galamcennalath says:

    Does misconduct in a public office by habitually lying in order to deceive voters count as a serious crime?

  12. jfngw says:


    No, but introducing a benefits system that results in a large increase in deaths certainly should.

  13. Mochachoca says:

    Maybe they mean *serious* as in *not very humorous*?
    (but then that’s an even more difficult number to define)

  14. Breeks says:

    John Lowe says:
    16 May, 2019 at 1:14 pm
    Maybe the 10000+ are the Tory voters. Also a guy in England got 20 weeks for sitting down. How dangerous is that?

    Almost as dangerous as the guy arrested and fined £70 for hiding his face from the Met’s facial recognition cameras.

  15. geeo says:

    6788 TOTAL prison population is a really surprising figure in itself.

    I would reckon, if you asked the public to estimate the prison population numbers, they would guess many times more than 6788.

    For context, if Arbroath fc ever got a capacity crowd at the football, the prison population would only be a couple of hundred more than attended that match!

    Arbroath has the 24th largest capacity football ground in Scotland at 6488 (league teams, not inc Hampden) yet the entire Scottish Prison population could just about be shoehorned into it.

    As a % of general population, that will be an absolutely tiny figure !!

    I would imagine those numbers stack up favourably with other countries prison populations, pro rata wise.

    I personally would have guessed a much higher figure than 6788 !

    The only problem is, because people maybe think there are tens of thousands in jail, the tory claim, despite being impossible, could resonate with people as believable.

    Great information by Wings to now go explode that claim far and wide.

    Its a bit like those 10 tory councillors getting more votes than there were votes cast in the English Council elections i guess then ?

    Tories lie, who knew !

  16. Adrian B says:

    the prison population is supposed to be rising because offenders for old crimes are being found and many of these are serving long sentences as the crimes committed are more serious.

    So if the police are doing their work well and there is now a shortage of space within the prison service due to the number of caught offenders being up – wouldn’t that suggest that in many ways the police and courts were working well.

    There is ample evidence that short sentences don’t actually prevent further crimes and punishment for lower level crime is better server with more appropriate non custodial sentences which also saves tax payers money in both the short and long term as it reduces re-offending.

    It seems that the Tories like to create extreme stories aimed at others when they themselves have great problems in the prison service where they have all the levers of power.

  17. OddJob says:

    Ruthie obviously ignoring her cabinet fellow Tories in WM who not only are suggesting a similar policy, but actually praising Holyrood for trying to do the same.

    See below for David Gauke – Justice Minister comments

  18. geeo says:

    John Lowe @1.14pm

    The guy who was jailed for 20 weeks is an absolute failure of the mental health system in England.

    Everyone knows he has MH issues, yet that was totally ignored and he was put out of sight out of mind by the Criminal justice system in England.

    The COURT could and should, have ordered him the help he clearly needs as part of any sentencing in the first instance.

    He is known to the court system, so no excuses not to intervene with a MH help order to break the chain of offending.

    Of course, England in particular, is drowning in a MH crisis, so we shouldn’t be surprised by lack of help in such an obvious case requiring it.


    “A homeless man with a history of mental health issues has been jailed for 20 weeks for sitting on the ground for no good reason.

    Haydon Mark Baker was already banned from sitting on the ground under a Criminal Behaviour Order but admitted to doing so outside a branch of Greggs on April 28, tReds on May 2 and McDonald’s on May 5, all in Somerset.

    He has previously been convicted for breaching a Criminal Behaviour Order, possession of the drug Spice and assaulting a court security officer”.

    He was apparently “aggressively begging” hence the CBO not allowing him to sit down in the town center, and it seems absolutely obvious to anyone, that his Mental Health issues may have been a major factor in that offence.

    Jail will not help this man one bit, and 20 weeks smacks of a simple desire to temporarily ‘remove’ the problem rather than assist someone in crisis and actually HELP them on a path which solves/manages their MH issues and STOPS them offending in future.

    A magistrate/judge should not be dishing out Jail time because the Council claims it has no money for MH interventions, they should be handing down appropriate sentencing to the case in front of them, and ORDERING the local authorities to find the time, money and help for people in crisis.

    If that court ordered help is not forthcoming, then the council should be held in contempt of a court judgement.

    Now THAT would give them food for thought huh ?

  19. galamcennalath says:

    Crime, criminals, morality, decency, justice … perhaps we all have our own ideas about right and wrong and what behaviour should lead to legal censure. Take this from WoS twitter. Some asshole who lives in Jersey wants to use his wealth to undermine the democratic process in Scotland. If you don’t live here you shouldn’t be interfering in our democracy. And there should be laws to ensure that anyone taking overseas money should be stood on legally from a great height.

  20. This piece of blue Tory Lying was designed to cover up today’s news that Failing Grayling has done it again, this time when he privatised England’s Probation service five years ago, despite warning from everybody and their uncle to pilot a privatisation scheme in the first instance.
    David Gauke, Chris Grayling replacement, was on Full English Brexfast EBC this morning having to explain the abject failure of handing over probation of middle to least ex offenders to their mates in the private sector, which cost over the five years, half a billion pounds of Our money.
    Yet again Ruth Davidson’s Party’s fixation with destroying public services and jobs and handing the lot over to their cronies on the lookout for Free Public Money has failed and cost us the price of 50 schools in the process.
    I don’t have details of who won the ‘contract’, because strangely, the BBC failed to metion which Big Fat Failure in the private sector fucked up, but trousered mega bucks.
    Perhaps a reader, or the Rev himself can dig deeper than I.
    To reverse Thatcher’s mantra:
    ‘Private Bad, Public Good’.
    How many of hundreds of billions of our money has this Blue Red and Beige Tory triumvirate slipped to their relatives, school chums and paramours since 2010?

    This is why Ruth is at the despatch box lying through her teeth.
    Free Market Capitalism, the unacceptable face of capitalism, id destroying our country, and England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
    They are a bunch of money grubbing crooks.

  21. frogesque says:

    That Jackie Baily abracadabrabus magic county thing sure gets around.

  22. CapnAndy says:

    I’m reminded of the scene in ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ where Angela Lansbury and James Gregory are having breakfast, wondering how many communist sympathisers are in the US Government. One of them reaches for a bottle of Heinz Ketchup with the label in view. Next scene is the newspaper headline, 57 commie sympathisers in US Government.
    Nothing changes. I suspect the Tories are great fans of Tipping Point. (Grand prize being £10,000).

  23. Liz g says:

    They’ve either pulled a figure out of their arse… Or these figures as usual, have been drawn from Englands prison population and the percentage of those to be potentially affected applied from Scotland.
    Either way the results the same, naebuddy in the Scottish Branch of the Conservative Party can count.
    And this lot want their hands on the Scottish Budgets!!

  24. Ken500 says:

    Tories just a bunch of criminals. Every word they utter is a lie.

    The Police put people in cells overnight on ‘charges’, that could never come to Court. There are too many people on the spectrum in prison. (50%?). They should be given care and support in the community. People commit crime under the influence of drink/drugs. They should be in proper, total abstinence rehab counselling. Far cheaper and effective than prison.

    The unionists councils will not properly fund essential services and education. They waste money and resources on grotesque monstrosity of no value. Shops, offices and hotels sitting empty. £200Million. Wasting £Billions. An absolute disgrace. The unionist crooks should be in prison.

    In Scotland pupils have a wider choice in education. 5 higher choices. Instead of 3 limited A levels.

  25. Ken500 says:

    The Tory/unionists can’t count or read a balance sheet. They are dunces. The Westminster unionist imbeciles. What a shambles. Most of them should be in jail. Embezzlers, fraudsters, liars and cons. They are a total appalling disgrace.

  26. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    Ah, dog-whistle politics. There’s nothing quite like it.

    (Except elsewhere in fiction, of course.)

  27. Ken500 says:

    Alex (Alan?) Massie – Carlton Rock involved with fraud and corruption Willie Young re contracts Aberdeen City Council. Gave £400,000 to Labour.

    Now the Council Labour crooks have gone in with the Tories (Two jobTory). They have wasted money like there is no tomorrow. £1.2Billion in debt. They have ruined the City with grotesque monstrosities sitting empty. A total waste of money. No one wanted. An Art Galley sitting empty for 5 years. Total failure renovation £30Million, £300Million on a Conference Centre which will sit empty most of the time, wasting public monies on debt. They are an absolute disgrace.

    Alex Massie – Carlton Rock is now reported to be giving money to the Tories

    Unionists total fraud and corruption.

  28. CameronB Brodie says:

    We’re taking about Tories here, who can only be trusted with protecting inherited privilege.

    A Psychological Approach to Understanding how Trust is Built and Lost in the Context of Risk

  29. Ken500 says:

    Thatcher. Care in the community. Prison. Cost more.

    The ConDems cut £4Billion a year from NHS. From 2015 to 2020. £20Billion. They called it ‘savings’. The Imbeciles. Elected to protect NHS/Education. They cut them and welfare.

    The Condems cut £3Billion a year from Welfare for 6 years. £18Billion. They called it ‘savings’.

    People are dying because of these cuts, No saving anyone.

    Totally unnecessary. Austerity. The tax revenues in the UK went up £95Billion in one year. From £533Billion to £628Billion. Still the Tories made vicious cuts. Killing people. The elderly. Killing off their own supporters.

    The SNP Scottish Gov had to mitigate these cuts. Despite the Scottish budget being illegally cut 10% a year. Now £3Billion lost. Despite the Scottish tax revenues rising £4Billion+ a year. From £56Billion to £60Billion, More pro rats than the rest of the UK.

  30. jfngw says:

    Maybe the Tories can get to grips with their latest opinion poll numbers – 10%.

    Good news is pro EU parties at 59% in Scotland (I’m counting Labour as Leave as that is their effective position). Unfortunately Wales still seems to be supporting pro Leave parties, only 38% supporting Remain parties.

    Although Labour may have fooled some into believing they are Remainish so the 59% may be a low calculation. Hard leave parties are 26%, if you discount Labour.

  31. jfngw says:

    Oops, sorry, it’s numberology isn’t it that the Tories study.

  32. jfngw says:

    The waiting is almost over, May is in full zombieland, Boris is knocking at the door, Nigel is pissing through the letterbox, Corbyn is still both Leave and Remainish depending on the audience.

    We have only one get out and it needs to be soon.

  33. Hugh Keith says:

    Stu, you do realise that by your definition this is really not a sane world and I agree. If you pick up a legal dictionary you will find lots of words that have different meanings from everyday use. Then if you start looking into parse syntax and quantum grammar you find that we have been dumbed down to the level that most contracts are meaningless drivel that say nothing at all.

  34. Gary45% says:

    Bon Dias Troops. I take it Col Ruth Ya Dafty wee Jong Un is back to save the Scots.
    I wait with baited breath to hear her undeniable love, knowledge and her understanding to be everything Scottish.
    Or mibees I will just ask the nearest stranger to give me a good boot in the nut sack.
    The nut sack wins.

  35. tamson says:

    The Scottish Tories keep telling us they have about 10,000 members, and they definitely pose a danger to the public.

    Maybe they just got confused.

  36. Clootie says:

    The Tories make Jackie Baillie appear like a mathematical genius.
    However it is an indicator of the tsunami of guff about to strike us over the next few days.

    for the blue rinse brigade:
    The Ruth Davidson Party is not totally different from the nasty Tories….It is the same f*%£^n party

  37. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    Clootie @ 17:28,

    I’m very happy we’re going to have another outing of the Ruth Davidson Party (a.k.a. The No-to-everything Party a.k.a. The Whatever-you-do-don’t-mention-Brexit Party).

    This time they are going to crash-and-burn in a big way, and everyone will see it. The ever-servile media will have an uphill task to put any lipstick on this pig of a totally abject no-win.

    Then where will they go for their next “FM-in-waiting”? =snort=

  38. Boris has declared before tea.
    Sky touts Gove, Rudd, Rab, Leadsom, and hunt as front runners.
    I suggested Raab for PM when he took over Davis’ poisoned vessel with the pestle, but he crapped it and Barclay took over as Brexit bagman to Big T, Supermom Davidson’s pet name for her big chum Treeza.
    I’m putting my money on Barclay.
    While the others are kicking lumps out of each other, the grey haired grey faced Stephen will ‘rise without trace’, like Major before him.
    If he is spotted wearing his Y fronts over his troosers, then it’s a slam dunk, ‘fyaskme.
    I am uneasy that I joked about our future state, Scotland still in the UK, Trump as POTUS, and Boris as PM, some months before the Trump ascendancy.
    We’re not laughing now.
    Self Determination within months a cert now.

  39. mike cassidy says:


    But when a voice cries in the wilderness

    You have to listen.

    I’m closer to a Polish hotel maid than Nigel Farage

  40. Artyhetty says:

    Aye I think we all know who the real criminals are. They inhabit the halls of Westminster in fact. Terrifying.

    Does anyone know where the term, ‘Scot free’ comes from? Its still used in films and the like.

  41. Artyhetty says:


    Seems you have your finger on the pulse lol! Ha ha.

  42. Dan says:

    I’m guessing whomever runs the ScotConservative twitter account was a big Mitchell and Webb fan.

    That’s Numberwang!

  43. Ken Clark says:

    Cheers, rev.

    This is why I love this site so much.

    I look forward to my latest encounter with a staunch unionist throwing this in my face, while armed with a fully researched response courtesy of Wings.

    Ahh, but it’s Wings they say. That horrible twitter guy.

    Ahh, but it’s the Wings blog site I’ll reply, not the personal feed of a Scotsman with a caustic sense of humour who doesn’t gladly suffer fools (hardly a unique characteristic of Scots) but a properly conducted critique of the facts.

    They do hate to face facts.

  44. HandandShrimp says:

    Talking of numbers that will be Stu over the £100k mark. I think even a Tory will realise that means Stu is fully funded 🙂

  45. Stravaiger says:


    Ach, you beat me to it!

  46. David Mills says:

    Or Tory councilors elected by more votes that were cast in their wards

  47. Robert Louis says:

    My god, I just made the mistake of seeing a part of this evening’s ‘Room 101 on the BBC. Every freaking tired old racist cliche denigrating Scotland and Scottish culture came out to play.

    Truly, make sure you have no fragile furniture nearby if you decide to watch it.

    Total unadulterated blatant racism by Jimmy Carr, Steven Moffat (good luck to him if he ever comes back to Scotland) and that weasly guy whose ‘comedy career ended many years ago, ‘skinner’ or something.

    Not one single anti Scottish racist trope about Scotland was missed.

    Only the very calm should watch it.

    But of course, they will say, ‘it’s just humour’, and we just have chips on our shoulders.

    Typical BBC.

  48. Ken500 says:

    It doesn’t matter who is PM. The Tories are toast. Going down big time. Not even thirty years in the wilderness. Will they ever recover? A bunch of complete clowns, imbeciles and charlatans. The average member is male over seventy. No one will join them. They are a shameless embarrassment. A world laughing stock.They can’t count or read a balance sheet.

    Great fund raiser. Going really well. Well done Rev Stu.

    Donate, join, campaign. Do any thing possible for success. Vote SNP/SNP. Vote for Independence. Get one other person to vote as well. Job done.

  49. jfngw says:

    Noticed tonight’s Rep Scot did some vox pops with young people, amazingly they seemed not able to find any that supported Remain. In fact the tone of the report was basically ambivalence and what is the point of voting.

    Whereas the OAP’s were going to vote and the tone was lets get on with it. It’s hard to believe this is from a news organisation of a country that voted Remain substantially. BBC Scotland is reflecting England’s choice not Scotland’s.

    Reducing turnout of the proEU age group would seem to be the aim, but Brexit supporters will turn out, beware the BBC and its agenda.

  50. Artyhetty says:

    The only ‘numeracy’ I recal, from my kids’ so called education while Labour wr at the helm in Scotland was, ‘ther’s no money’ for yr special needs, soz, lol. The other bit of thr ‘numeracy’ was, we are sending £1,5BILLION BACK TO WESTINSTER,’ nothing to spend it on in Scotland. Numbers matter, when yr kids’ life & educ is at stake!

  51. jfngw says:


    100% correct, there is no more likelihood of Johnson getting a bill through parliament than May. He will go for a hard Brexit and will get the DUP support but lose many of his own Tories. It basically sits in Labour’s hand, they hold the keys to the Tories getting this through Westminster, will they capitulate?

  52. manandboy says:

    All four EU vote party leaflets came in today.
    In hers, Ruth Davidson continues her five year old campaign against Scotland having another Independence referendum.

    Nothing brings out the Tory vote in Scotland quite like the idea of Independence, which is precisely why Davidson ALWAYS and ONLY uses the Indyref theme. Even though she knows Scottish Independence is inevitable.

    Vote SNP only and always until Scotland is Independent.

  53. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi Dan at 7:12 pm.

    You typed,

    “I’m guessing whomever runs the ScotConservative twitter account was a big Mitchell and Webb fan.

    That’s Numberwang!”

    You didn’t give the link!

  54. Cubby says:

    Reporting Scotland Tonight

    Sally Magnusson reports:

    The Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has confirmed she won’t be a candidate to succeed the Pope.

    Well it makes as much sense as saying she has confirmed she is not a candidate to succeed The Maybot.

    Truthless Davidson is not an MP and she has never held any political/ government office. Oh and of course there is EVEL. She did work for BBC Scotland of course and her old pals there are obviously keen to help her out whenever possible.

    Reporting Scotland once again promoting Davidson through blatant propaganda. What a shameless Britnat organisation the BBC is.

    Pay your licence for propaganda – that is the British way. Not even the Soviet Union forced its people to pay for its propaganda. The UK union stinks.

  55. Ken500 says:

    On migration. Canvass around the doors. People have to be told. The Scottish population had hardly changed since 1900. 5million. It has only increased since Devolution 2000. 5.2Million. Scotland one of most non densely population. A 40Million diaspora. Depopulated by Westminster unionists secretly and illegally taking resources and revenues to fund London S/E. Overtaxing Scotland to pay for Westminster illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion.

    People had to migrate to get a job. US, Australia, NZ, Canada. The Clearances. Higher unemployment in Scotland because of Westminster total illegal mismanagement. The North/South divide. SNP governance/good measures means unemployment in Scotland is lower than the rest of the UK. Even though Scotland has a higher aged population.

    England is the 2nd most densely populated country in Europe. 56million pop.

    The underlining population in Europe is going down (without migration). Migration caused by US/UK (France) illegal wars.

    Japan is one of the most densely populated countries In the world 126million. That is why they need bullit trains. Twice as much+ pop.

    Scotland higher over taxed? NI gone up. Goes to Westminster Treasury. Tax evasion costs Scotland £3Billion. HS2, Hinkley Point, Trident. A total waste of money. Cost Scotland £Billions paying repayments on Westminster debt not borrowed or spent in Scotland.

  56. Ken500 says:

    Boris Johnstone PM will never happen? The Tories would prevent it. Disaster. He would ni5 last any time. His criminality would be exposed. Murdoch the liar, sacked him for telling lies. Rats in a sack.

  57. galamcennalath says:

    Petition for Section 30. Clocking up signatures steadily.

    It will get ignored, of course. But signing it and raising numbers draws attention to the issue. It might even get some msm coverage if enough sign. The more people who are aware of what it all means, the better.

  58. Cubby says:

    The serious criminals in Scotland are the media. Like a Britnat mafia they just let each other publish lie after lie after lie.

    In a proper democracy the media would analyse each others output and criticise and correct as appropriate. In Scotland it is pure propaganda churned out by the Britnat media on behalf of the Britnat politicians.

    British Nationalists lie and they lie all the time about nearly everything.

  59. jfngw says:


    Just burst out laughing at the Ruth Davidson not to stand as leader, they don’t even mention she is currently illegible unless possibly elevate her to the HoL. They didn’t even bother asking the 13 Tories that in theory could stand for party leader. The programme is a joke that it could even mention this in a report, but it does bully up the image of Davidson even if it is complete shite.

  60. Cubby says:

    Robert Louis @8.51pm

    Room 101 – a bunch of sad English racists being given a platform on the BBC. Pretty much par for the course these days on the Brexit Broadcasting Corporation.

    What an obnoxious character Moffat is.

  61. jfngw says:

    Just spotted a QT trail, now I get it why they chose Fiona Bruce, it’s the Pan’s People/Emma Peel criteria. Why else the camera walk in the very tight dress? DD never did the camera walk in tight trousers did he? Although that was probably a godsend.

  62. Liz g says:

    OT very very OT..
    I seem to have acquired a lot and I really mean a lot of the 5p plastic carrier bags.
    (For which I take no responsibility I’m to mean to pay and take my own)
    Anyhoo, now that I’ve sat them all on the sofa for a few hours and ” went ma duster ” at everyone who arrived home about them….
    Can anyone here tell me the best way to get rid of them in North Lanarkshire?
    Thanks in advance…

  63. manandboy says:

    In any State, like the UK, which exercises political power by means of mind control of the population through comprehensive and continuous propaganda, the challenge for every citizen lies in the ability to think for one’s self, or not.

    Given the saturation Unionist propaganda aimed at Scotland, Independence will be the direct result of a majority of Scots able to think for themselves. No voters will remain attached to the teat of Colonial Unionist propaganda.

    Country or Colony. You choose, Scotland.

  64. Macandroid says:

    @ Liz g 10:18 pm

    Charity shops or food banks if there are any near you might take them.

  65. Patrick Roden says:

    @ Liz,

    Can anyone here tell me the best way to get rid of them in North Lanarkshire?

    I think second-hand shops would appreciate carrier. bags

  66. Liz g says:

    Macandroid @ 10.36
    Brilliant… Thanks
    I was only wondering how to bin them responsibly and didn’t think about re using them 🙂
    I’m taking a whole load of stuff to the 2nd hand shop tomorrow too 🙂 🙂

  67. Welsh Sion says:

    Someone in a previous thread mentioned the good news of high level SNP support in Scotland.

    I give you the latest opinion poll for the Euros from my homeland – Good news for Plaid Cymru, too! (as well as the continued decline in ‘Welsh’ Labour.)

    Change since April Wales Barometer Poll in brackets

    Brexit Party – 33% (+23%)

    Labour – 18% (-12%)

    Plaid Cymru – 16% (+1%)

    Lib Dems – 10% (+4%)

    Greens – 8% (+3%)

    Conservatives – 7% (-9%)

    Change UK – 4% (-4%)

    UKIP – 3% (-8%)


  68. HandandShrimp says:

    Started watching QT for first time in yonks. Once again the audience is suspiciously unrepresentative.

    Leonard is going for indignant bluster over substance, not sure what Jardine is saying as Bruce keeps talking over her or who the younger woman even is. John Swinney is doing fine but the loaded audience, such a hallmark of QT across the whole UK, is a bore. It is, ironically, just upmarket Jeremy Kyle. I have bailed on it.

  69. jfngw says:

    @Welsh Sion

    I see it as mixed news from Wales. Itt’s good that PC is increasing but the level of Brexit support is still too high. Either 43% or 61% depending on how you view Labour.

    I couldn’t be sure with these figures that Wales would still not choose Leave at another referendum.

  70. Fireproofjim says:

    The audience in Elgin was so biased and anti-SNP tonight that Fiona Bruce actually had to ask “are there any SNP supporters here?” She even seemed embarrassed by the audience bias.
    I suspect there was a concentrated effort by local Tories to fill all the places in the audience. I think there were only about two who supported Independence and the rest were rabid Brexit and Tory.
    How can this be in a country where there are about 50% for Independence and 64% for Remain.
    Another BBC fiasco.

  71. jfngw says:


    I no longer watch it since no matter where it takes place it will be composed by the political layout of the UK, which is just another way of saying England. So even when the majority of Scottish parliamentarians are pro indy the audience will be represented by 3-4% of indy supporters when in Scotland, and 0% the rest of the time.

    With the number of unionist activists that seem to manage get into the audience I’m surprised they don’t get an appearance payment.

  72. Dave McEwan Hill says:


    Can I say how impressed I am by this company. I ordered 50 two tier SNP rosettes from them on Monday morning and they were with me at 7.30 this morning (for £1.41 each)

    The Old Chapel, York Street,
    Oswaldtwistle, Accrington,
    Lancashire, BB5 3NU
    Phone: 00 (44) 1254 393711

  73. jfngw says:

    Seems there were more Tories in the QT audience than managed make it to the Tory Conference in Aberdeen, strange as they are not that far apart.

  74. HandandShrimp says:

    I switched off at the point the irate lady in yellow was parroting Mad Col Ruth McMad’s “you can’t take my remain vote as support for independence.” She was chewing wasps and hardly anything had been said up to that point. I think just seeing John Swinney was enough to get the bile frothing.

    Anybody up that way able to identify the Tory councillors?

  75. Dr Jim says:

    Mary Scanlan ex Tory MSP an ordinary voter

  76. HandandShrimp@ 12.14.

    I have asserted before that the SNP/Greens/AUOB should boycott the Scottish broadcasters and Brit Nat Jock Dead Tree Scrolls.
    I didn’t tune in because I was certain by the line up, and the location, Elgin, that it would be get John Swinney night, with the usual plants in the audience.
    I suggested that pro Independence spokespersons should just send a haggis to occupy the BBC Brit Nat BadEssEnnPee dunking stool.
    For any one interested, my post anticipating the unrelenting attack on the ‘will of the people of Scotland’, and the obscenity that is Fi Fi Le Brexit’s QT Brexit Bandwagon is over on WGD.
    I’m sure Stu and those who bothered can publish the identities of the ‘balanced’ audience.

  77. Breeks says:

    Just remember with BBC Question Time, the Tory or BritNat plants you see in the audience are just the bit of the iceberg that floats above the waterline and can be seen.

    Down below, out of sight, there are BBC researchers finding these toxic people, rooting out people whom the program doesn’t want in the audience, (so they are presumably researched too), and getting these plants in to the audience. There would appear to be a degree of collusion with the programs’s producers to then get these “plants” to be selected “at random” to ask their prejudiced question and steer the direction of the debate agenda to orchestrate the narrative which the programmers want broadcast. There simply has to be a level collusion more sophisticated than simply a rigged audience.

    For that to happen so routinely time and time again, there has to be a management structure that knows such actions occur and actively endorses it, there has to be a further layer of management which employs the staff and briefs them to do this and pays for it all, and a further layer of management / 3rd party collusion which exists to duck and deflect criticism of the setup.

    The minute or two of bias you see watching the program isn’t the problem. That wee bit niggle of bias you detect isn’t the extent of the problem, those few seconds of footage are just a reflection of the BBC’s negligence and failure to successfully embed the bias without it being seen. If you can spot the bias, it means they’ve slipped up when obscuring it.

    Think too, if it wasn’t for social media, how and where would any exposé of this routine audience manipulation be brought to your attention? The papers? Hardly.

    The BBC is rotten, and it will ALWAYS skew it’s output to frustrate Scotland’s recovering self awareness and identity, whenever and wherever it gets the chance.

    There is also no truth to the protestations that the BBC tries to get it right, but is simply fallible like the rest of us and occasionally makes a mistake. Only a fool would believe that. The only “mistake” which has occurred is their surreptitious manipulation has not successfully passed unnoticed.

    When Orange Jaikit Man was rumbled, Orange Jaikit Man was dropped,… Agent Orange had his cover blown, but was simply replaced by other plants. Just take a minute and think though the full ramifications of that… The BBC that airs Question Time with a “live” audience, also airs Scotland’s “news” without one.

    The BritNat media is the enemy in our midst. It is very tiresome when our leaders and spokesmen tacitly endorse it by dutifully playing the part expected of them, and lending credibility to the myth of objective even handed neutrality. The BBC isn’t a journalist which errs into propaganda, but a full time propagandist who errs when they inadvertently allow their true intentions to be discerned.

  78. Stravaiger says:

    @Breeks 6:18am

    You are entirely 100% totally absolutely correct. The media (news & current affairs included) are skilled professional storytellers. Nothing more, nothing less. They paint a narrative for their paymasters and deliberately obscure that fact by making it look objective.

  79. Robert Louis says:

    The petition to ask London for a section 30 order, is utterly pointless, and frankly pathetic. Their is No Law banning anybody holding referendums. I could hold an independence referendum if I wanted to.

    You call the freaking referendum ,THEN you say, ‘if Westminster wishes to participate we’ll be happy to outline our plans, so they may agree with us via a section 30 order’. You do not go around making petitions to ask for some kind of grovelling permission, when no such permission is needed.

    Will westminster take the petition seriously? Of course not. Some in the indy movement need a better grasp of reality. This petition does nothing but further reinforce the wholly false notion that Scotland needs England’s permission to hold a referendum. I’m frankly astonished that some in the SNP are pushing it.

    You will NEVER get independence for Scotland, by asking London nicely. Westminster doesn’t do ‘nice’, especially when it comes to Scotland.

  80. Patrick Roden says:

    RE: BBC Bias,

    Without a fair and balanced media, a country does not have genuine democracy.

    In Scotland nearly all our media outlets are owned by companies that are based outside of Scotland and are hostile to the idea of our self-determination.

    The broadcast media outlets are also based outside of Scotland and like the Unionist Parties try to put make-up on a pig, by putting ‘Scottish’ before their name, but do not have anything like Scotland’s best interest at heart.

    The media in Scotland is a democratic disgrace, and the SNP failing to genuinely tackle it head on, then attacking Rev for doing the work they should be doing, is also a democratic disgrace.

    To the SNP people who we know read Wings, you need to get your finger out start ‘fighting’ for Scotland.

  81. Nana says:

    WARNING: Only watch this David Brent-style CUK gibberish if you want to cringe so hard that you feel like your teeth are retracting into your gums.

    Home Office denies father visa to see son collect doctorate

    Snake Oil salesman Farage exposed by excellent journalist asking the questions that need to be asked More journalists should be doing this!

  82. Dorothy Devine says:

    Oooh! Nana , how I’ve missed your extra , extra read all about its!

    Thank you , off to the dentist just now but will savour the thought of new links while my dental hygienist grubbles about in my mouth!

  83. Nana says:

    Ambassador of Controversy – Part Two
    Alex Salmond continues his exclusive interview with Craig Murray, former British Ambassador in Tashkent and now radical blogger, Scottish Nationalist and fierce critic of Whitehall Foreign policy.

    Rotting plants in BBQT audience

    Morning Dorothy, spotted this video and thought of you. Remember this lady?

  84. galamcennalath says:

    Just looking at the tweets of Tory plants in last night’s QT.

    For me what is most significant is not that the BBC are being so manipulative, it’s that they no longer try to hide it!

    If they had wanted to be subtle they could have chosen plants who weren’t weil kent faces.

    It all wreaks of desperation.

  85. jfngw says:

    One of the recurring points ex-politicos like Portillo likes to add is will you have a confirmatory referendum on Scottish Independence. Well I’m quite open to this in the sense that there will be a Dissolution Agreement with terms. The confirmatory referendum will be do we accept this DA or go with no deal.

    There will be no confirmatory referendum on independence as after we have voted for it Scotland is effectively independent, it can’t be reversed. If people want to rejoin the union and return all Scotland’s political power to another country they are free to try and achieve this through the sovereign Scottish parliament.

    The MSM now pushing the ‘Sturgeon is finished’ line. Watched a bit of John Nicholson on This Week, he is far too polite. Although it is hard watch Portillo with his condescending Cheshire cat smile.

    Didn’t watch QT but it looks from some of the twitter pictures they are now just sending blocks of tickets to the local Conservative organisations.

  86. Scott says:

    David Mundell hits out at SNP ‘demonising’ of Boris Johnson who has thrown his hat in ring for Tory leadership

    I like this headline but they have missed out the bit that Ruth Davidson told Boris that he was not welcome to her party.
    I hope Fluffy will slap her wrist.

  87. Nana says:

    Ruth Davidson would welcome the devil himself into the party if it furthers Ruth Davidson

    I have no idea if Bojo the clown was in Elgin yesterday, perhaps he sneaked in to rally the Tories for the bbcqt audience.

  88. Iain mhor says:

    On the subject of Question Time & ‘Echo Chambers’ -I’m not sure QT is working quite the way they, or many believe.
    Indeed it is a propaganda tool, but is it merely preaching to the converted? My limited, albeit anecdotal experience; has been that people in visited areas, tune in from civic interest and are subsequently indignant at the representation of ‘their toon’. – “That had nothing to do with the town” and “where did those people come from, they weren’t from the town” are typical of the responses I’ve heard.

    I may add that these responses were heard, unsolicited, across a range of people – not purely political, Indy minded, friends relations etc.- quite often the reverse. They tuned in only because they heard the “town” was being featured and were left indignant and repulsed by the fact that local issues were almost non-existant and that neither the panel, nor audience were, in their view, representative of their town.

    I’d be interested if this effect is replicated and widespread in each area QT “visits” If so, who is buying into the show’s propaganda? Is it really converting or retaining the “Soft voters and don’t knows?… I hae ma doots.
    A recent papwr on political “Echo chambers” found that : “even in homogenous groups (or echo chambers) social influence increases factual accuracy and decreases polarization” – quite an interesting wee read and dare I say, a rebuttal to those who accuse Wings of being a similar “Echo Chamber”

    Report abstract:

    Paper: “The Wisdom of Partisan Crowds”

  89. jfngw says:

    QT is not really for Scottish consumption, it is the EVEL of BBC political broadcasting. It is there to reinforce the belief in England that there is no appetite for independence in Scotland and that the Tories actually won the last election in Scotland. Their loading of the audience last night may backfire, it was too obvious.

    The woman who claims, taken from twitter as I don’t watch it, that the SNP does not speak for her is sorely mistaken, Scotland voted Remain and the Scot Gov should take that as our mandate. I don’t think the Tories in Westminster talk for me but I still have to put up with their decisions.

  90. Nana says:

    Brexit: Talks between Tories and Labour set to close with no deal

    Britain’s equality watchdog writes to the Conservative Party following Islamophobia complaints

    NHS will be no more if Farage and his pals gain power.

  91. galamcennalath says:

    jfngw says:

    there will be a Dissolution Agreement with terms

    I’ve never felt post YES win independence talks with WM would go well. Brexit shows how English Nationalism, exceptionalism and ignorance manifest themselves in de-coupling talks. And Brexit has only just begun!

    That said, they will be some sort of independence agreement, eventually.

    We might want a share of moveable and overseas assets. They will certainly want to keep their nuke bases and give us a debt share.

    If iScotland is to become a true democracy then it is only a matter of time before voters express the wish that iScotland will be WMD free. Also, one nation housing its entire WMD arsenal in another’s soil just isn’t sustainable. IMO the nukes will have to go in a timescale of a few years.

    So what’s left to talk about? The assets probably cancel out the debt. Also it seems certain that we will be in the EU on independence so the future relationship between England and Scotland will be the same as Ireland in the EU.

    I suspect actual recognition and acceptance of the break up of the UK will only come after we have left!

  92. Dorothy Devine says:

    Just back from a non event! My dentist had a bad day yesterday full of fire engines and smoke . Apparently the compressor blew up causing major malfunctions so I arrive to be told of disaster and no dental hygiene for me!

    Nana, that young woman is absolutely marvellous . Could we clone her , give her a Scottish accent and have her set aboot them??
    She sure doesn’t miss and hit the wall!

  93. Nana says:

    @Dorothy, she sure is. We could do with more like her especially for dealing with the media.

  94. Macart says:

    @ Nana

    Mornin’ Nana.

    Many thanks for the reading material. Aaaaaand cuppatime.

    Also? Good to see you. 🙂

  95. chicmac says:

    We need a national Numbtory Day.

  96. Nana says:

    Mornin Macart 🙂

    Busy time at the moment, grabbing every spare minute which have been few and far between. Thought I’d pop in with a few links for some weekend reading. Next week will be just as busy but hope to be back fully once the EU elections are done.

    Hope you are well and enjoying the glorious sunshine.

  97. Frank Gillougley says:

    The sooner the SNP grow a pair, make a statement and void the shitshow that is QT the better.

    I didn’t see it last night, nor did i have to. I used to watch it solely for the purpose of knowing what the others were up to, but no more. I’ve seen enough. Its a NO MORE from me.

    However, I am interested – Can anyone enlighten me as to why the SNP persist in appearing on it, when it is clearly a set up. What do they think they gain from participating in this unionist agitprop? Really?

    And thanks for the links Nana – ALWAYS useful. 🙂

  98. Macart says:

    @ Nana

    Ditto on the busy bit. Grab an odd hour playing catch up on the interwebby every other day, but it’s been a bit hit and miss for the past few weeks. The treading dead water thing for folks hasn’t helped much either.

    Should all kick off again shortly. Been quiet (if not exactly restful) though. 🙂

  99. Nana says:

    Morning Frank, good to know some are finding the links useful.

    Here’s some info on the woman who selects the audiences for BBCQT

    Revealed: The Government’s planned Brexit deal with Labour

    Global Britain’ is an illusion because distance has not died

  100. John Thomson says:

    Frank @ 1024 am my only hope is that everyone will see the bias and come to the same conclusion as ourselves that independence is best. Cant see it converting indy supporters to union.

  101. Baldeagle58 says:

    Welcome back Nana! I have missed your many links with my morning coffee.
    You’ve given plenty to read through for the weekend.
    Hope you’re keeping well. 🙂

  102. The Dog Philosopher says:

    Frank Gillougley

    Yeah, exactly, I’m sure Swinney thought to himself a few times last night, what the frak am I doing here? Even the other pro-indy panellist was anti-SNP. But what was surreal was when Fiona Bruce felt obliged to ask the audience, ‘Is there anyone here who takes John’s side?’.

    The audience was stuffed full of gammon Brexiteers who just want a no deal solution. It didn’t feel like it was coming from the same Scotland that witnessed a huge AUOB march recently.

    I’ve no doubt Keith Brown is looking into it …

  103. Nana says:

    Nigel Farage’s claims of BBC bias are part of his act – journalists shouldn’t play along

    Labour press release re Brexit talks collapse

    Anyone in Dublin on the 25th might find this event interesting

    That’s all for now, but as I have a day off if I come across any more links I will post them here. That way you will have a little reading material for the weekend.

  104. Nana says:

    Morning Baldeagle58, all is well just a bit busy these days.

    Hoping all is fine with you also.

  105. Nana says:

    Watch the SNP’s EU Elections 2019 Manifesto launch.

  106. Cubby says:

    PM – Boris Johnston

    Deputy PM – Lord Nigel Farage

    Secretary of State for Scotland – handy Ross Thomson

    No deal Brexit.

    = an independent Scotland and a United Ireland.

    So cheer up all you half glass empty Independence supporters. The UK is the dirty fag end of the British Empire and its about to finally collapse like all empires eventually do.

  107. jfngw says:


    I’ve obviously offended you, retaliating with a link to Question Time is bit below the belt though.

  108. Nana says:


    Why would I be offended? I was merely providing a link to what I believed you were alluding to.

    From your comment at 9.33am
    “The woman who claims, taken from twitter as I don’t watch it, that the SNP does not speak for her is sorely mistaken”

    But I do find bbcqt and the bbc in general offensive 🙂

    Some more links

    “Are we getting closer to Nicola Sturgeon’s endgame?” asks @afneil

  109. johnj says:

    the Herald indulging the Torys with their dodgy sums today. £100 million the cost of sending NHS waste to Wales the headline shouts. You then have to read the article to discover that’s the cost over ten years.

    Keep up the good work Stu.

  110. exile says:

    Nana, great to see you back, and many thanks for the links!

  111. Nana says:

    @exile, here’s a few more for you 🙂

    31 July is the new date for I dicative votes.
    May now has no chance of survival and the Westminster parties have agreed to simply see May swept away by Brexiter Prime minister Bojo.
    Hard no deal brexit or no brexit will be the final choice at Halloween.

    Reporter at big T’s event this morning describes it here

    United Nations concerned over sexual abuse of children in UK custody

  112. Hamish100 says:

    Re nhs waste.

    For about 30 yrs lorry loads of waste, trundled from Wales and England to the landfill site next to the Clyde – At green oak hill. All sorts of chemicals solid waste, liquids- everything. One friend with Clyde river purification board took a sample of liquid then promptly drove off the road (never shut the sample container properly). The clear inert liquid was solvent!! Picture in the Evening times. Police thought he had been drink driving!

    Nice to see we are returning the favour but I do wonder what might happen to the Clyde.

  113. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    I handle clinical waste every day.
    I have nothing to do with patients – I work in a research establishment, which produces what is known as “clinical waste”. It’s a term used to differentiate waste that requires incineration from waste that is recyclable, eg paper, recyclable plastic and so on (clear bags) and waste that is going to landfill, like hand towels that don’t recycle, polystyrene, and other stuff that can’t be recycled or would be too costly to incinerate (black bags).

    Thus, contrary to what was said on Reporting Scotland, not all “clinical waste” has been connected with patients in hospitals.

  114. Nana says:

    MPs will get a chance to consider the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in early June. Why is the bill needed to implement #Brexit? Is there enough time to get it through Parliament? And what are the most controversial parts of the bill?

    Brexit: Endgame – The Hidden Money, with Stephen Fry
    How will wealthy Brexiteers profit from Brexit? The surprising truth about the world’s most secretive tax network for the wealthy.
    Links to previous videos included

    After examining activity at different points in the last few weeks, both researchers said they believed that networks of inauthentic accounts may be working to artificially inflate the buzz around Farage’s new party on Twitter.

  115. Steph says:

    Usual Tory rhetoric – exaggerate, lie and deceive until the “great unwashed” (in their eyes) believe the BS.

    But I wonder… when are the Scottish Tory party actually going to come up with any policies?

    This whole “SNP bad”, “Nicola Sturgeon bad” thing is grating against most people’s bones. Tories think it’s effective, but really it’s just irritating and boring as hell.

Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. If your comment does not appear immediately, DO NOT REPOST IT. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.

↑ Top