stooges of the Kremlin

Wings Over Scotland


Kezia Dugdale Fact Check, Part 682

Posted on May 26, 2017 by

We hadn’t been planning to talk any more about the curious case of Claire Austin, the suddenly publicity-shy Edinburgh nurse who – how can we put this? – seemed a rather ill-chosen figurehead for the good cause of getting more pay for a group of people who are rightly well-regarded by the public.

But yesterday, the release of a letter from Scottish Labour branch manager Kezia Dugdale re-opened political hostilities after last week’s hiatus for the Manchester terror attack by shoving the now-reticent Ms Austin right back into the spotlight.

It’s a letter that reads more like an election leaflet (complete with meaningless weasel words like “give our NHS staff the pay increase they deserve” without ever saying how much or how it would be funded), and as such has clearly been designed – and again we’ll put this delicately – in the knowledge that it might be leaked to the public.

So in that spirit, let’s run it through a quick Kezia Dugdale Fact Check.

“You were right to shame the First Minister by exposing the reality of life for nurses working in our NHS is under the SNP [sic] and your own experience of having to use a foodbank.

During this election campaign I’ve encountered a number of nurses who have also told me that they have needed to use a foodbank and I was also pleased to see that both the Trussel [sic] Trust and the Poverty Alliance have pointed out that this is not uncommon.”

We’re not sure we’d have chosen the word “pleased” there. But the assertion that the Trussell Trust have said nurses commonly use foodbanks appears to be the exact opposite of what the Trust actually told the BBC just a couple of days ago:

As for the Poverty Alliance, Dugdale was presumably referring to a post on Monday in which the organisation claimed that “we already know that nurses are having to use foodbanks – we’ve seen evidence from the Royal College of Nursing on this”, even though the RCN in Scotland had also expressly denied such a claim in the same clip.

The Alliance’s “evidence” was a Herald story from 2015:

The Herald’s piece itself was rather weak in terms of justifying its attention-grabbing headline, quoting the RCN’s then-new general secretary Janet Davies as offering only “anectodal evidence”, amid just two references to foodbanks, both of which are included and highlighted in the extract below:

“Figures from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) showed nurses were asking for help with debts, bankruptcy and homelessness.

Between January and July, it received more than 1,200 calls to its member support services from nurses needing advice, including on welfare, ill-health and disability. This included 231 asking for help with debts and bankruptcy.

The figures come as Janet Davies, the union’s new general secretary and chief executive, told the Guardian of anecdotal evidence that nurses are increasingly turning to food banks and payday lenders.

She said years of public sector pay restraint was leaving nurses feeling undervalued and could push some to leave the profession. The union’s counselling service has also seen a rise in the number of nurses needing help with stress.

Problems filling rotas is also leading to an even greater reliance on expensive agency staff.

Ms Davies said: “These huge agency bills, nurses going to food banks – this is not a great place to be.”

But the Herald’s story was actually lifted wholesale from another paper, the Guardian, to whom Janet Davies had actually been speaking. And it’s only on reading that piece that readers would become aware that Davies wasn’t referring to Scotland at all.

“The Department of Health claims there are 8,100 extra full-time equivalent posts on NHS wards in England since 2010. Figures published by the RCN earlier this year put the figure at just 1,470.”

(Our emphasis.) And the Herald, in fairness to it, hadn’t only copied her quotes from the Guardian but had added a small contribution of its own to the story by seeking a response – also from the UK Department of Health, not the Scottish Government:

“A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “NHS staff are our greatest asset and we want to treat them fairly.”

So let’s recap. Kezia Dugdale had cited the Trussell Trust and the Poverty Alliance as proof that nurses were having to resort to foodbanks “under the SNP”. Yet the Trussell Trust say they “haven’t heard of any nurses using their foodbanks” in Scotland, and the RCN – who the Poverty Alliance were citing as their source – say the same thing.

The only claims made by anyone from the RCN about nurses using foodbanks are anecdotal, almost two years old, and refer to nurses in England – where nurses are paid less than they are in Scotland, thanks to a more generous settlement by the very Scottish Government that Kezia Dugdale is attacking.

Ironically, this site has received evidence that Claire Austin isn’t a full-time NHS employee but is in fact one of the “expensive agency staff” that Janet Davies cited as a key problem for NHS funding – evidence backed up by Ms Austin’s own LinkedIn page, which listed three current employers, one of whom was the Edinburgh-based agency Robinson Medical Recruitment.

The LinkedIn page, like much of her other online history, has now been deleted.

But we remain disinclined to personalise the story around Ms Austin’s increasingly dubious credentials as a struggling individual. The more pertinent fact here is that Kezia Dugdale’s ham-fisted attempt to weaponise her is about as truthful – even when delivered ostensibly in private – as anything else the hapless Labour leader says.

.

Previous Kezia Dugdale Fact Checks:
[1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13]

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    128 to “Kezia Dugdale Fact Check, Part 682”

    1. Desimond says:

      Its BBQ weather and that was perfect skewering

    2. Morgatron says:

      Spot on Stu, but we know she lies. Its the poor saps out there who surley must be down to a handful now that believe this pish she spouts.

    3. Macart says:

      Ms Dugdale seems hell bent on digging an ever deeper hole for herself over this nonsense. As for using the person in question for her own political agenda?

      I wonder if Ms Austin was quite prepared for how the media and Labour especially, would use her willingness and own political leanings?

    4. Muscleguy says:

      SLAB there, still demonstrating that they think our heads zip up the back.

    5. gerry parker says:

      Following in Carmichael’s footsteps.

    6. Grouse Beater says:

      Deleting your Facebook entries and much of your Twitter history is seriously flaky. Staying shy of press and TV interviews adds to the suspicion your alarm is a sham.

      Opponents know the answer to most criticisms of Scotland’s economy is it’s funded by the Treasury and controlled by London. So Tories and Labour concentrate on two aspects of Scotland’s power, education and our NHS.

      They fabricate stories of both in serious decline. Neither is true. The SNP attract support and scorn in equal measure because they are seen to be doing a good job against all predictions.

      A BBC politics show is a good place to gain maximum attention for a lie, claims which cannot be verified without lengthy investigation.

      The rest is left to Twitter extremists to inflate.

      It all stinks.

    7. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

      Good work was always Rev.

      It is sad that this will just be another case of “vile cybernat abuse/smear” if it is picked up by the MSM/BBC.

      The handwritten comment is telling though.

      “….support your plan let me know”

      Wonder if Kez will share Claire’s plan with the electorate or is it Unisons plan?

      BLiS still wonder why no one votes for them???

      Single figures in this GE and their eventual annihilation can’t come soon enough.

    8. starlaw says:

      What Planet is the Dug. on. If she followed MSM news she would have learned this was not all it seemed. Perhaps she believes the MSN as much as we do.
      Somebody needs tell her to read WOS for a more honest uptake on current news.

    9. Scott C says:

      “Facts” aside, she might have used the spellchecker/grammar function, or got someone to proof read it first!

    10. One_Scot says:

      Will be interesting to see if the STV Leaders debate tries to do a similar coordinated hatchet job against the SNP, or if it decides to play it safe.

    11. Thepnr says:

      Apart from anything else it’s very surprising that Kezia Dugdale didn’t know of the Trussell Trusts denial of having any knowledge of nurses using foodbanks.

    12. winifred McCartney says:

      And this letter was written on 23 May – the day after the Manchester tragedy – and this was what was uppermost on KD’s mind!!!

    13. Hamish100 says:

      How did Dugdale know the nurses address?

      By direct contact via the Labour Party? Trades Union? The BBC? Or she just happens to know her through friends.?

    14. Bugger (le Panda) says:

      Kezia really is thick to think she can get away with that letter, mind you, it is the headline she wants not the truth.

      Style before substance, the yoonway.

    15. Dawn in NL says:

      Jockanese Wind Talker says:7.44

      Hi Jock, I read it as “support you please let me know”.

    16. Capella says:

      Does she mean the UK Govt public sector pay cap? AFAIK it is not SNP policy to restrict public sector pay to 1%.
      A recent petition to urge the Westminster Govt to lift the pay cap closed after 6 months with only 15,436 signatures.

      The Westminster Govt declined to lift the pay cap. As this is a reserved matter, why doesn’t Kezia join her colleagues in the Labour Party who are campaigning on a manifesto promise to end the pay cap.

      Whining about the SNP is devious and misleading. As ever, it’s the Tories she should be attacking.
      https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/104399?reveal_response=yes

    17. John Gerard says:

      Would the Tories have sent in a faker to stir up the pot? is the vanishing act of this nurse due to an alien abduction?

    18. Effijy says:

      So Kez, who’s party, Labour, run the NHS in Wales, are performing around 20 percentage points below SNP Scotland’s NHS, and who are paying ALL Welsh nurses, at ALL levels, less money than their equivalent here in Scotland.

      It was also Labour who abstained when the vote on the next round of Austerity Cuts and pay freezes went through Westminster.

      It was also Labour who fought not to give greater financial powers to the devolved Scottish Government.

      In summary, Labour performs at an incompetent level when compared against Labour, they refused to vote against further Tory austerity that caused the pay cap, and they want to stop the Scottish Government from having the power to support public sector workers financially.

      This woman and the party are a disgrace and it would help everyone in Scotland if they had no Westminster representation after the coming election.

    19. Orri says:

      The thing about agency staff is that a lot of the expense goes nowhere near their employees. Some might be to cover sick pay and holiday pay of the staff they supply but a lot goes on admin. These agencies are there to make a profit.

      Another thing is that there comes a point where if you’re constantly using agency staff you’d be better employing full time workers.

      The open goal Dugdale is missing is that these are the people who in some cases will be on zero hour contracts with no guarantee of any hours especially if they turn down shifts too often. Or if there’s less than an average need for extra staff due to increased recruitment.

      Someone might even have a part time contract with he NHS and be on with more than one agency to ensure they get work.

      The risk is that if work does dry up so do your wages. It could get so bad you need to go to a Food Bank.

    20. gordoz says:

      Ms Dugdale is a hapless politician and now needs to move on to pastures new.

      Not really cut out for roles where truth & factual evidence are a necessity.

      I’m sure Labour North must be scrambling for a replacement right now.

      o/t

      Nice to see Brexit % weak pound getting a hammering ay last on the BBCs butty bus thus morn.
      Business leaders cite as reason for effective wage cuts all round – ie rising prices stagnent wages + inflation.

      Tory honeymoon over ? Doh!!!

    21. Capella says:

      If a nurse is an agency nurse then they are not public sector NHS staff at all. This whole fiasco may be nothing to do with the NHS in Scotland.

      Kezia Dugdale is on a par with John McTernan with her unerring ability to back the wrong horse.

    22. Black Joan says:

      This letter-for-election-purposes is dated 23 May, but says nothing about the Manchester atrocity the previous night.

      That, and the very “leakable” tone , exposes it as part of SLAB’s contrived, long-term strategy to manipulate the leaders’ debate.

      Despite the respectful pause in campaigning, SLAB couldn’t resist seeing their grubby plot through, the lying “letter” has been issued on the intended date, complete with touching, hand-written P.S.

      Nursie, despite the general deletion of her online presence, has tweeted her thanks.

      Full of lies and lamentably written: “The first step in delivering an NHS that delivers the care that Scots needs . . .” Bottom of the class, Kezia.

      Top of the class, Rev for DELIVERING outstanding analysis.

    23. findlay farquaharson says:

      Wonder why Dugdale mentioned you at fmq, its almost like she wants to silence you. Why wid she want that?

    24. Davosa says:

      Dug Brain strikes again! What a total fud she is . Well done Stu

    25. Macart says:

      @Grouse Beater

      Pretty much.

      I doubt the establishment parties, or rather their support, have twigged yet Grouse.

      The SNP are indeed competent in government across the board. They are, in some areas, even excelling at their brief. Simple competence is all anyone requires of government when doing ‘the day job’. If things do go wrong in a brief, that they hold up their hands to the error and then set about fixing it.

      Even were they none of the above, they do something and believe in something which sets them apart from the other parties by a considerable distance. They genuinely try to improve a situation. They may not always succeed, but their belief in serving the Scottish electorate, that the Scottish electorate is to whom they owe their loyalty and service is fairly damned impressive.

      All folk ask of their political class is that they are transparent, put in a shift on their behalf and perform a duty of care. In short, put food on the table, keep us safe and warm and we’ll pay your wages. Seems a pretty straight forward deal.

      Tories of all shades don’t quite see government that way clearly. Most are still using the same politics, the same naked manipulative strategies, the same insulting, arrogant attitudes which have most reasoning human beings scunnered to the back teeth at the very sight of them.

      Their choice. (shrugs)

    26. Sinky says:

      Usual suspects trying to smear Joanna Cherry over Nursegate in Scotsman letter pages yesterday. Hootsman coverage of Edinburgh City Council shambles , to save Ian Murray’s skin, to-day gives Tory Miles Briggs a free hit without any comment from the SNP.

      Labour and Tories stitch up council committees in West Lothian so that largest party on council only gets one representative on each committee.

      Yet a Labour and UKIP coalition in Bassildon.

      http://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/15304494.Ukip_and_Labour_to____form_first_coalition___/

      O/T Save our Scottish Sevens and stop the stupid Team GB proposal that will end a Scotland Sevens rugby side in the country that invented Sevens.

    27. Terry says:

      This should be sent to Ken loache. I think he’d be outraged.

      Doesn’t kezia dugdale know that her actions will reduce donations to food banks??

    28. Les Wilson says:

      You will see these days Kezia is not remotely like the Kezia of old, not that she was particularly happy nor bright.
      However, when you see her now she appears to be a much hardened bitter woman.

      Her spin doctors have a lot to answer for, as they, are the very reason that Slab are shedding supporters at a rate of knots.
      Kezia cannot grin and bare it she does not have the ability nor the will to do that.

      So she blames everyone but Slab itself, I cannot really believe her words when she berates the Tories, it is like fighting with your Siamese twin.

    29. Sunniva says:

      Great fact checking stuff! The mystery is how the letter came to light. This is the letter that was physically sent to Ms Austin since it includes a handwritten post script by Ms Dugdale.

    30. Dr Jim says:

      The letter wasn’t meant for The Nurse it was designed to be covered by the press and Telly so they could do Kezias job for her by monstering the FM, and Kezias gambling on the fact that Nursie won’t come forward

      Or does Kezia already know that Nursie won’t come forward

      Reasons!

    31. galamcennalath says:

      A great piece of journalism, Stu.

      Are the SNP and Scottish Government really perfect? That is what Labour and the Tories certainly appear to think!

      Why am I saying this?

      The role of opposition parties is to hold a government to account. Obviously they do this by criticism where it is due. In Scotland, opposition parties appear to continually base criticism on misinformation and fabrication.

      I can only conclude from that behaviour, that they find it difficult to identify and highlight genuine Government shortcomings!

    32. Brian Powell says:

      The letter stinks of Alan Roden and a rather dim, bitter Kezia signing it.

    33. Stephen Riley says:

      If only the BBC reported like this! Great analysis/breakdown and showing up for labour!

    34. Craig P says:

      Jockanese – look again – I read it as ‘anything I can do to help or support you please do let me know’

      Kez – best way to support her is not to use her as a pawn in an inept political game then discard her like a used tissue once you are done.

    35. Seriously, why do genuine Labour supporters continue to ignore the frantic outpourings from this lass?
      She is a disgrace to the Labour Movement, yet nobody has tapped her shoulder and told her to sit the feck down.
      What other options does Labour Scotland have?
      Anas? Jenny? Jackie? Kelly the Boy From Ru’glen?
      To lie, to insult our medical staff, to continue rambling and ranting regardless of the permanent harm that she is inflicting on the Labour Movement while plummeting downwards splat inducing pavement below, taking as many with her as she can, seems to be her preferred strategy.
      Surely to god she will be toast on the 9th of June?

    36. HandandShrimp says:

      Is this really by Kezia’s hand or is it misinformation designed to keep the story going? The short letter has several spelling and grammatical errors. Ordinarily I would expect an offer to put £1 million pounds in my bank with a letter like that (although I suppose in a way it does).

      Weird politics just got weirder!

    37. ronnie anderson says:

      Rev the wheels of justice move slowly, could U no hurry them up a bit & give Kezia headlines she wont want , even a Pre trial on your Law Suit hearing would grab the Media’s attention.

      Just a thought.

    38. Edward says:

      Me thinks that Mrs Austin has more of a connection to the Labour party than people realise.

      The ‘Tory councillor’ crap was a complete red herring, which people fell for.

      Anyway the story has moved on and Kezia Dugdale, with the help(?) of Labour advisors are spinning this into complete lies, going by that letter.

      Its disgraceful that Dugdale (or her advisors) are happy to twist and manipulate stories concerning nurses

    39. admiral says:

      This is a woman who aspires to be the First Minister of Scotland and who doesn’t have a Scooby about the funding of our NHS or the role of pay review bodies in setting pay scales for its staff. Neither does she seem to comprehend the limited scope of the Scottish Government’s powers in implementing the Department of Health sponsored pay reviews and the UK Government’s public sector pay squeeze as part of its austerity agenda.

      And since she is leader, I assume she is the best that the branch office have got to offer…

    40. paul says:

      Did Kezia stick a sandwich in the envelope as a humanitarian gesture?

    41. Capella says:

      Tory pledge to regulate online information. Whining about cybernats may be Kezia’s contribution. Releasing her “letter” is probably part of her cunning plan to silence her critics once and for all. Such a pity after her excellent attack on the Tories on the R**e Clause.

      A free media

      At a time when the internet is changing the way people obtain their news, we also need to take steps to protect the reliability and objectivity of information that is essential to our democracy and a free and independent press. We will ensure content creators are appropriately rewarded for the content they make available online. We will be consistent in our approach to regulation of online and offline media. Given the comprehensive nature of the first stage of the Leveson Inquiry and given the lengthy investigations by the police and Crown Prosecution Service into alleged wrongdoing, we will not proceed with the second stage of the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. We will repeal Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2014, which, if enacted, would force media organisations to become members of a flawed regulatory system or risk having to pay the legal costs of both sides in libel and privacy cases, even if they win.

      2017 Conservative Manifesto – full text from the Spectator blog:
      http://archive.is/9enan

    42. Mike says:

      Its not so much that the opposition is lying its the part where the media are not only failing to challenge the lying they are actively knowingly promoting the lying and ensuring it gets full coverage.

      Despotic and criminal.

    43. Anne Lawrie says:

      The only consolation that I can see is that C.A. doesn’t live in a bubble. She must come in contact with many, many people who are perfectly aware of her lifestyle, despite deleting it from social media. Scotland has a long tradition of fair play and she will be left in no uncertain terms of her deceit on a daily basis. Unless she conducts her life with a bag over her head, she will be ever reminded, in no uncertain terms, of public opinion, and the repercussions will continue long after the election is a dim & distant memory. Karma’s a bitch.

    44. Shug says:

      A couple of points

      1) not expecting the BBC to provide any clarification on how the nurse got to whe re she did.

      2) it is interesting someone in the labour camp leaked this draft letter

    45. galamcennalath says:

      Prerequisites for Scottish Independence are probably a particularly wicked Tory government at Westminster and ineffectual Unionist opposition in Scotland.

      Thank heavens we have May, Dugdale and Davidson trying to stand in our way!

    46. DaveM says:

      I wonder if she might also get into hot water for writing what is effectively a campaign document, on Scottish Parliament stationery?

    47. donald anderson says:

      Dugtail has obviously cleared this with her Tory Alliance Partners first, although she does not need to,as it is second nature to her.

    48. Beware,

      the leader of Scottish Labour is trolling for a reaction,

      nothing wrong with Stu`s fact led forensic denunciation of letter,

      remember nursie is being used by the leader of Scottish Labour,

      any condemnation should be directed at Dugdale and Scottish Labour and Sarah Smith/BBC.

    49. The behaviour of Dugdale is disgraceful, but not then unexpected, it’s standard behaviour for Labour politicians like her and Sarwar.

      So why then hasn’t Dugdale provided the evidence to back up what she claims regarding the number of nurses here in Scotland who are using food banks.

      That way people can judge as to the veracity of what she is claiming.

    50. JaceF says:

      Wait a minute, the letter has hand written post script! Meaning it was photographed for distribution prior to be putting directly in an envelope and posted! Not printed from a saved copy.

      Unless this is the letter that was received by CA and she gave it to someone to photograph and post.

      So who leaked it, who had it after Kezia and prior to it being posted, on who’s authority was a correspondence between the leader of Scottish Labour and a private individual photographed? What other private correspondence is being photographed in this way?

    51. Jim says:

      “nurses working in the our NHS is under the SNP”

      “The first step in delivering an NHS that delivers the care scots needs”
      needs”

      “will be Grateful for sharing your experiences”

      “but they aren’t getting the support and they resources”

      Who wrote this pile of crap?

      Dugdale, “I was also pleased that both the Trussel Trust and the Poverty Alliance have pointed out that this in not uncommon”

      Really; why would you be pleased if nurses had to visit a food bank?

    52. John says:

      This “leader ” becomes more incredulous by the day , who on earth would want to vote for her is well beyond me . It is not only her hysterical ranting and incoherent mumblings that we see on a daily basis , it is her narcissistic believe that she is always right !

    53. Betty Boop says:

      You’d think Ruthie was employing Duggie. Both of them should be “had up” for interfering in the electoral process.

      Gangsters… there are far too many of ’em.

    54. Proud Cybernat says:

      @ Jockanese Wind Talker

      “…support your plan let me know”

      I think the handwritten comment actually reads:

      “…I can do to help or support you please do let me know”

    55. jfngw says:

      This is a person that aspires to be FM yet uses ‘pleased to see’ when discussing an issue regarding poverty. If nothing else it proves her unsuitability for any senior role. It’s like listening to someone from a high school debating society when she speaks at FMQ’s, totally out of her depth, and her facial expressing gives the impression she knows it herself.

    56. Betty Boop says:

      @ John, 9:51am

      “…who on earth would want to vote for her…”

      I think that may be exactly the point of the exercise.

    57. cearc says:

      Who leaked it?

      Well to spare Stu bashing his head on the table whilst screaming, ‘Click on the links!’

      Para 2, highlighted link word ‘release’ goes to http://archive.is/soZWd

      It was nursey who published it.

    58. JaceF says:

      This is a clear breach of the Data Protection Act and given the handwritten element it can only have been done by the sender or recipient of the letter.

      It breaches confidentiality, could cause distress and harm as the recipient is clearly identifiable and relates to sensitive information.

    59. heedtracker says:

      JaceF says:
      26 May, 2017 at 10:01 am
      This is a clear breach of the Data Protection Act and given the handwritten element it can only have been done by the sender or recipient of the letter.”

      Except it’s on Claire’s twitter thingee.

    60. Breeks says:

      Know what occurs to me? The Rev needs an apprentice; an “underling” to address the daily rants and wails of Dugdale and Davidson while the Rev helps shepherding the Independence narrative on its journey.

      It doesn’t seem productive to waste time giving exposure to Ruth Davidson or Kezia Dugdale because both are merely remote controlled appendages to their London based superiors.

      Don’t misunderstand, I appreciate the rhetoric has to be rebuffed and debunked, but it niggles me these Dugdale and Davidson “attacks” are just diversionary stodge. Their bosses in London don’t give a monkeys about what Kez or Ruthie has to say. They have free licence to talk utter shite, promise us the moon, safe in the knowledge neither Corbyn nor May will even read the crap they are coming out with.

      So why do we trouble ourselves with their pish either?

    61. Bob Mack says:

      “Madness is doing the same thing over and over and still expecting a different result”— Einstein.

      I think this applies in this instance.

    62. heedtracker says:

      Hey JaceF, do you know what the Plan is, in Kez’s handwritten note bit?

      It’s quite intriguing really, in that what kind of Plan would the Leader of the Labour party in Scotland be offering to help a nurse with. Could be anything, from a world domination Plan super villain style, to a having a picnic.

      Its maybe somewhere in between.

    63. Reluctant Nationalist says:

      Beautiful, Rev.

    64. mike d says:

      O/t i see the institute for fiscal studies IFS are saying that the tories are not being honest with voters,about the economic consequences of their policy proposals on tax and spending commitments,in their manifesto. Says it all really about this lying manipulative government.

    65. mike d says:

      Has lbc sacked katie hopkins. Hope so

    66. ronnie anderson says:

      Unison protest at Holyrood over nurses pay , could there be a link to Unison via Claire Austin .

    67. JaceF says:

      heedtracker, I see it was tweeted by the nurse but couldn’t tell if the image in the tweet was the same as the image above from the link leading me to think that “the release of a letter from Scottish Labour branch manager Kezia Dugdale ” meant that the image above had come from Kezia.

      My confusion.

    68. Free Scotland says:

      @heedtracker at 10:12

      If you read the handwritten note carefully, you’ll find that the word you are reading as “plan” is actually “please.”

      We don’t want Stu’s site being accused of Chinese whispers.

    69. ClanDonald says:

      A private letter, from one anti-SNP individual to another anti-SNP individual and it still gets “leaked” to the press? Pathetic.

    70. Free Scotland says:

      Sorry, I meant @heedtracker at 10:18

      If you read the handwritten note carefully, you’ll find that the word you are reading as “plan” is actually “please.”

      We don’t want Stu’s site being accused of Chinese whispers.

    71. Naina Tal says:

      Don’t suppose this is a fake? Anyone seen any of the Kez’s previous billets doux for comparison purposes?
      Shurely hur grammer is nut as wurse as this?

    72. winifred mccartney says:

      That letter was on Anas Sarwars’ twitter in full yesterday.

    73. Rosemary Meechan says:

      Les Wilson says:
      26 May, 2017 at 8:32 am

      …”see Kezia grin and BARE it.” Dear heavens, anything but that!

    74. Proud Cybernat says:

      Viz tip of the day:

      Photoshop away the little post-it square and nursey’s full address will be revealed.

      I know, I’m a genius.

    75. meg merrilees says:

      Great expose Rev.
      We know that, apparently, the BBC invited the person on the programme to ask a specific question.

      I noticed that during the debate the NHS worker never mentioned supporting a family yet Kezia, when at her most accusatory towards Nicola said she has to use food banks,
      ‘She(the nurse) can’t feed her family.

      How did Kezia know she had a family?

      I suppose, as a S.Labour politician – leader of the Scottish Accounting Unit- it is remotely possible that Kezia might have known about the woman in advance , since she admits speaking to nurses- and know that she had a family but I’m not aware from what was said during the debate that she had children.

      Did I miss something on TV?

      I just wonder whose poor judgement thought it was a good idea it was to invite the person to attend?

      Is there any possibility that any of those debating could have already known in advance that a certain question would be asked?

      Meanwhile what will happen to all those classroom assistants who are about to lose their jobs under the Tory /Labour coalition council.
      Will she write a personal letter to each of them?

    76. Flower of Scotland says:

      So the Nurse didn’t want anymore publicity but releases this letter on twitter?

      The BBC, Dugdale and the nurse seem to have been in some sort of collaboration to dish the dirty on Nicola Sturgeon in the debate. I’m sure it’s an old and tested arrangement leading up to elections enacted by Labour hacks inside and out of the BBC.

      This time, we are understanding their underhanded tricks a bit more and thanks to Stu and Wings people can read about these “shenanigans” right here!

    77. galamcennalath says:

      This whole plot has mair holes in it than on links gowf coorse!

      There may be some truth behind the account, but nothing more than heresay to support it has been presented.

      There is a wider pattern of politicians using negative reports on NHSEng and applying them unfairly to NHSScot. This appears to have happened in this case again. Which muddies things further.

    78. Street Andrew says:

      Interesting juxtaposition of words in your title to this piece Rev.
      ‘Dugdale’ and ‘Fact’

      Your persistence in getting as far as Fact Check Part 682 is commendable.

      Have you found one yet?

    79. Jim Mitchell says:

      Oor Kez wrong, surely not, never mind they will put things right on the BBC, won’t they?

    80. Roddy Macdonald says:

      I’d be interested to know exactly how a political party branch manager acquires the postal address of a ‘random member of the public’ audience member in 2 days?

    81. Naina Tal says:

      Kaytie Hopkins fired?

    82. Robert Graham says:

      The strange parallel universe of Labour in Scotland totally missing the target once again , Kezia seems unable to comprehend it’s the tories in government who are making the cuts , the party thats trying to mitigate the fallout and consequences the SNP get the full on venom from Labour .
      People can very easily check every single lie Labour peddle , a brief glance at this letter just makes them look stupid , Labour down south are fighting the tories , while in scotland Labour are fighting the the SNP , That’s it concentrate your fire chaps works every time .

    83. Naina Tal says:

      Katie Hopkins fired?

    84. Free Scotland says:

      @Jim at 9:48

      This letter, which exudes stylistic weakness and a lack of grammatical control, firmly establishes Kezia Dugdale as the Dan Quayle of Scottish politics.

    85. Naina Tal says:

      Roddy Macdonald:
      Looked it up in the electoral register in all probability. Than again. pehaps it was in her address book?

    86. Clootie says:

      Kezia has certainly mastered the art of political spin and smear.

      This is the world of Scotland today…disregard the realities of the impact on our society under the Union and the Tories. Forget about the future of our children and grandchildren. Get the focus onto some created “injustice” assured that the media will place full focus on that false news.

      …all that matters is the protection of the union by fair or foul means…and foul is easier!

    87. David Caledonia says:

      As i have said before, someone earning 23 grand a year would not be referred to a foodbank unless their outgoings meant that they could not afford food, if this lady went to a foodbank and hid anything concerning her finances then that is basically a fraudulent act, why does someone not investigate this, did she go to a foodbank and was she given a parcel of food because she said she could not afford to feed herself, be interesting to find out about her dodgy claims, personally, i think she is lying as she does not look or sound like someone that has used a foodbank, and actually recieved any food

    88. TD says:

      I see a disturbing increase in the frequency of a phenomenon which at its simplest goes like this:

      “I am always right, so if we disagree, you must be wrong”.

      Alternatives for “right”, “disagree” and “wrong” can be substituted but the basic logic (or lack of logic) remains the same. So we can get “I am Christian, so if we fall out that must be your fault.” Or “I am British, so if you don’t see it my way, you must be wrong.”

      In Dugdale’s case, her logic goes “I am Labour, so my understanding of social issues / politics must be right. Because I am right, it doesn’t really matter if I get one or two facts wrong because I am still right overall. The broad picture I paint is right. And the SNP, as we all know, are bad so they must be wrong and even if they have done one or two good things (like implementing the recommended pay awards for nurses), I won’t mention these things because overall the SNP are still bad and I don’t want to give the wrong impression (that the SNP are anything other than bad).”

      Such thought processes are examples of corruption, not in the sense of improper financial gain, but in the sense of the breakdown of logic and reason. We see similar behaviour from many of our politicians these days, most notably Treeza, Farage and, over the water, Trump.

      Our democratic way of life is fragile and under threat not only from people like the Manchester bomber, but also from those who claim to be democrats but who will happily lie to score cheap political points. They need to be called out for what they are. Thanks Rev.

    89. Clapper57 says:

      Re Ms Austin.

      I read a blog by GA Ponsonby on Ms Austin and there was a video on his blog of 2nd Tory Councillor talking on QT Edinburgh about constant referendums.

      Ms Austin sat in between both Tory Councillors….they were all sitting at front nearest to Merryn Somerset Webb …and I noticed Ms Austin smiling at and giving a nod to Ms Webb while second Tory Councillor was talking.

      Now we all know how many rabid ones are involved with Scotland in Union….could we put it past them that they used Ms Austin as a willing patsy in smearing Ms Sturgeon and SNP. Remember 1st Tory Councillor giving a nod to Ms Webb when David Hayman was talking.

      Finally BBC …..coincidences do happen….however for her to be sitting in between TWO Tory Councillors in front row at QT….and then be sitting AGAIN at the front in the subsequent leaders debate ! How lucky is she…..did both seats have her name on them.

      Of course unionist parties are trying to make political capital from the supposed ‘smearing’ of Ms Austin…..whilst conveniently…like the BBC and certain newspapers…glossing over ….nay omitting….key information/facts….thus portraying Ms Austin as another ‘victim’ of nasty Nats…..the fact that she herself is not choosing to fully capitalise on this is proof that she is perhaps not wanting any real scrutiny into the truth of her situation……strange …..given her ‘passionate’ speech re her sorry financial plight…..one would have thought she would have been only too willing to elaborate on her circumstance thus giving leverage to her comments……..or perhaps her participation….subsequent reaction……is just another…..job done.

    90. Roddy Macdonald says:

      Naina Tal says “Looked it up in the electoral register in all probability.”

      OK, I’ll grant you that “Claire Austin” isn’t “John Smith.” But it’s not exactly Hermingarde Zbigniewski either.

    91. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      The only important point to be established in this saga is that nurses in Scotland, because of the SNP, get paid higher than nurses in England. If that becomes public knowledge the story has no legs whatsoever.
      There is a lot of ancillary info that can be introduced as part of the exercise – ie record number of nurses, more nurses per head of population etc.

      This whole problem is partly of the SNP’s making. If the SNP has an inadequacy it has been in naively believing it would get a good press if it governed well.

      It is not as if there were not enough signals to inform policy but the reason we got 56 out of 59 MPs was because we had just had an INDEPENDENCE campaign.

      I’ve had enough. I have been a member of the SNP for 59 years and have been a candidate at local and national level as well as holding virtually every post at branch and CA level and being on the National Council I will not anymore be distributing any SNP leaflet or material that does not mention, in ambitious terms, independence.

      And when we get onto the independence campaign it will be us that asks the questions and demands the answers – not the other way about.

      Explain to us how a 310 union has, according to you lot, made us a economic basket case and a beggar nation.
      And we should just settle for more of the same?

      Why do you think we are the only people in the world too stupid to run our own affairs?

      So England is hanging onto Scotland to subsidise us?

      Why should Scotland be the world’s number one target in the event of a nuclear war?

      The deficit we are supposed to face is actually what it will cost Scotland if we intend to remain part of this burst UK economy. It is Scotland’s UK deficit. Why should we stay?

      And how do you intend to deal with the UK’s debt of £1.850,000,000,000 (and going up at £6000 per second)?

      Why is our pension the worst in developed Europe (and miles behind Ireland’s)?

      And so on.

    92. Jim says:

      @Free Scotland

      ___
      She criticises our education system then releases a letter that proves there were problems well before the SNP were elected!

    93. Dan Huil says:

      Great work again by the Rev. Maybe Dugdale is after a few quid in donation from the globe-trotting nurse.

    94. galamcennalath says:

      Clootie says:

      all that matters is the protection of the union by fair or foul means…and foul is easier!

      TD says:

      Our democratic way of life is fragile and under threat … from those who claim to be democrats but who will happily lie to score cheap political points.

      Indeed, guys! They need to think long and hard about their actions.

      Ultimately, they are ruining young people’s futures, giving families a hard time, making many people’s lives difficult, denigrating public servants, shaking confidence in our abilities.

      Dare I suggest … it is beginning to look like some sort of ‘soft terrorism’.

    95. gus1940 says:

      2 bits of good news to brighten up what has been a terrible week:-

      1) The loathesome Hopkins creature has been given the bullet by LBC.
      I suppose that it is too much to hope that The Daily Heil will follow suit and boot her and the rest of their racist and xenophobic hatemongers.
      I hope that the story that the police are investigating Hopkins will bear fruit.

      2) An opinion Poll this morning showing that the Tory lead is down to 5%.
      That should accelerate the descent into hysterics of the Wibbly Wobbly Giraffe Woman.
      Is it possible that the English electorate have started to step back and think about the prospect of continued rule by May, The 3 Crazy Brexiteers, Hunt, The Cretin Fallon with Rees-Mogg, Duncan-Smith,Cash,Redwood & Co. cheering them on from the sidelines?
      Is it possible that they are beginning to see through all the pro-Brexit fairy tales and promises of a Land of Milk & Honey excreted daily by the media and starting to see that The UK is heading for an economic disaster post Brexit?

    96. bjsalba says:

      Kezia says Labour would scrap the cap. Does she mean at Holyrood or in Westminster?

      It is my understanding that the power to “scrap the cap” is not devolved and remains with Westminster.

      Please correct me if I am wrong.

    97. Labour here in Scotland are going to milk this issue for all its worth until the 8th of June.

      T. Crichton in his column in the daily stranger is also using this issue to attack the Scottish Government’s management of the NHS in Scotland.

      I would also like to see SNP HQ being much more aggressive in rebutting these kind of stories and smears being made against SNP politicians against

      But then again the unionist media probably wouldn’t print the rebuttals’ or if they did they would spin it to suit their own unionist agenda.

    98. Proud Cybernat says:

      Just 1 day after Labour+Tory pact in North Lanarkshire Council, they vote to sack 138 classroom assistants.

      Vote Labour get Tory.

      Vote Tory get shafted.

    99. louis.b.argyll says:

      Good article Rev, well researched and a three pointer easily scored.

      What’s more troubling than the actual
      un-facts/un-truths, is that advisers and PR executives employed by Labour, come up with this ‘creative communication’ and those elected just go along with it.

      What’s even more troubling than that, is that if they got into power in Scotland those same professional liars would be paid to hoodwink the entire population.

    100. Peter Mirtitsch says:

      What I would love is for Kezia Dugdale or ANY unionist to point out EXACTLY what was claimed about Ms Austin that was incorrect, other than the quickly corrected claims of links to a Tory councillor. If all of the rest is correct, how is it a smear?

    101. Robert Peffers says:

      @TD says: 26 May, 2017 at 11:44 am:

      I see a disturbing increase in the frequency of a phenomenon which at its simplest goes like this:
      “I am always right, so if we disagree, you must be wrong”.

      Statistically we Scots are far less likely to be harmed, threatened, terrorised or actually killed by, what we are told by the MSM and Broadcasters, are Islamic Terrorists than by the actual Westminster Establishment in charge of running the United Kingdom and their bestest buddies across, “The Pond”, in the USA.

      In fact as an elderly, sick, disabled and vile Cybernat Scottish Nationalist I feel rather like what Sammy Davis Jr. must have felt like when he was about to tee off on a golf course and was asked by his opponent, “What’s your handicap”?

      Sammy replied, “I’m a one eyed, Jewish negro – what more of a handicap do I need”?

    102. Cactus says:

      Another excellent Wings dissection, cheers.

      There’s gonna be loadsa topical material for Chris to craft from.

      Strong et stable baa, eh, says May… I can see JB riding a chopper, with the rear stabilisers about to come off. Mind you, I think they’ll need stable stabilisers on the front wheel too.

      Leaving the European Union is like losing a wheel.

      A bit like going back to a unicycle (with the stabilisers still on it)

      *****
      Remaining in the European Union is like gaining a new wheel, with lots of new bridges..

      For Scotland.

      03/06/17

      *New article..

    103. geeo says:

      I have been hammering the labour candidate for Falkirk East, Joan Coombes on her facebook page for a day and a half now, especially over fracking and destroying the labour pish about why the SNP have not banned it outright.

      I appear to have made progress, a young chap who was openly wanting to vote labour but was struggling to justify their constant conflation of the election with unionism, stated he might vote SNP but fracking was a huge issue for him.

      He has followed the argument i put to Joan Coombes on the issue, and has just announced he will be voting SNP on June 8th.

      Confronting Coombes on her mis-representation and lies with the facts has shown her up as less than trustworthy, it has also turned at least one young voter against her and her party.

      Hopefully more people have had at least been given food for thought.

      All this on her own page as well !!

    104. Phronesis says:

      ‘The framing of policy is important because it provides the lens that defines the policy problem to be solved and the tenor of the debate that creates the environment in which the policy is embedded and delivered. In Britain, the policy problem is increasingly defined to be not poverty per se but welfare policies that are deemed to create dependency, worklessness, broken families, bad debts and ‘dysfunctional’ communities…

      It was the foundation of New Labour’s welfare and activation policies, premised on the belief that social security ‘encouraged dependency, lowered self-esteem and denied opportunity and responsibility in almost equal measure’, leading to the moralistic tag-line of ‘work for those who can, support for those who cannot’. It similarly provides the ideological foundations for universal credit, the flagship of current reform, that were never challenged by the opposition front bench during passage of the legislation’

      http://www.cpag.org.uk/content/adding-shame-poverty-public-politicians-and-media

      There is a long history in the UK of shaming those who live in poverty and the UK has always had an uncomfortable relationship with those citizens who are struggling to make ends meet- even if they are nowadays more likely to be working hard, long hours of low paid work but remain in poverty. Isn’t it a shame that Scotland is not yet autonomous, in control of its own economy and free to develop all the policies that would reflect its aspiration to be a progressive and inclusive democracy.

      The shame is that the political choice at WM is to fund Trident for example over adequately funding health and social care. And isn’t it a shame that the NHS in England is being privatised by stealth over 3 decades with very little scrutiny by politicians who have voted on the ‘reforms’- that really is a shame because that it is not the case in Scotland.

    105. Robert Peffers says:

      @
      Dave McEwan Hill says:
      26 May, 2017 at 11:48 am

      ” … This whole problem is partly of the SNP’s making. If the SNP has an inadequacy it has been in naively believing it would get a good press if it governed well.”

      Here we go – I expected it sooner in the thread, though.

      “It’s the SNP’s fault”, for naively believed it would get a, “good press”. There isn’t a shred of evidence the SNP thought anything of the sort nor is there for the sideways claim they deliberately set out to form a good government just to get, “A Good Press”.

      There’s always some goons on Wings ready to jump to the attack upon the SNP.

    106. Ianmc says:

      Stu, you may want to listen to this too.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08pgswp

    107. Robbo says:

      O/T
      Well what’s the betting on Obama after his round of golf @ St Andrews today goes to this luxurious charity dinner hosted by Tom Hunter and pipes up some pish about keeping the union?They’ll be some ‘strong and stable’ mince in there somewhere i bet.

    108. K1 says:

      I’m moving Jack’s comment from tunes for yoons to this thread as it’s pertinent to atl.

      Jack Murphy says:
      26 May, 2017 at 12:36 pm
      OT. BBC Scotland and Nurse’s Foodbank—a response from a Foodbank Manager in Scotland.
      I’ll just leave this random quote here,with link to the Manager’s full response at bottom of quote.

      “…..By allowing [Nurse] to peddle her lies on prime time, the BBC has helped to sow a few seeds of doubt.
      What’s going on with these food banks? What do they think they are playing at doling out free grub to people earning £30K a year?

      I don’t earn £30K. I don’t earn £20K!

      And the next time the viewer passes our collection bin in the supermarket they stop and think for a moment. Then with a small shake of the head they put a box of cereal back in the trolley. [ ? ]

      [Nurse’s] nasty lies might well cost us thousands of pounds in food donations.

      Because as the BBC know only too well, people don’t look deeply into stories. They merely absorb the bullet points.

      Food banks give food to people on £30K a year. Which isn’t right. So I’m not giving any more. Why should I? I don’t earn that kind of money?…….”

      I’ve omitted the nurse’s name to avoid her and BBC Scotland any further embarrassment.

      http://tinyurl.com/ya9qfsx7

    109. Jamie Arriere says:

      If she, as an agency worker having to register at three separate employers, is struggling on occasion to find work – while this is tricky for her, it does reflect well on the management of NHS in Scotland if they’re reducing the use of agency staff & the extra cost involved, and demonstrates good morale/lower turnover among the workforce.

      In some way, it’s actually a plus for the NHS, and maybe she should consider a full-time position when it suits her

    110. K.A.Mylchreest says:

      I’m wondering if there’s any definite evidence that this nurse lady is in fact a real person. It’s no big deal to create a phony on-line ID (and remove it when it’s served its purpose), and what do we have apart from that? A body invited (twice?) to be an audience member who would attack NS. After all, we know the BBC regularly employ actors …

    111. Brian Fleming says:

      I don’t think Kez is in her post because she’s the best they’ve got (surely not?). I reckon she either drew the short straw or else was the only one stupid enough to volunteer.

    112. Graham King says:

      Interestingly, EVERY PARAGRAPH (except one) in that letter contains a basic spelling or grammar mistake.

      The only one that does not consists of a highly-contentious, unsubstantiated (and possibly libellous?) accusation about an alleged SNP-launched smear campaign.

      One of the most laughable / weepable howlers is this, near the end:

      “I know that your colleagues and the hundreds of people across Scotland who have had a similar experience to you will be grateful for sharing your experiences”…

      Surely not? Since those ‘experiences’ mean being so impoverished as to become reliant on food-banks, we are told?

      Oh… she must have meant to write ‘will be grateful for YOU sharing your experiences’! (Rather a difference in meaning.)

      Away back to school, and learn to write sensibly – Kezia, or Kezia’s amanuensis. And maybe proofread your efforts next time (or better, have independent eyes do so). Hasty opportunistic letter-writing does not make for great prose, it seems.

      (Actually, though, I hope the errors continue… they give away so much!)

    113. stu mac says:

      @Brian Fleming says:
      26 May, 2017 at 2:22 pm
      I don’t think Kez is in her post because she’s the best they’ve got
      ===========================

      Of course not. After Murphy’s disaster no one else wanted it. They expected Kezia would be gone now after the Local elections but TM dropped the GE on them to extend their misery. Mind you I think the policy has backfired on them. They thought she would take all the flack and they’d sit on their hands waiting until she was a dead duck and then move in.

      However leaving someone not up to the job and not giving her any real support has damaged their party so much that whoever takes over next will have an almost impossible job (rather than the very difficult one if they’d moved earlier). It just shows you doing the backstabbing thing rather than showing a bit of courage does you more harm in the end.

      I should add of course (and as others here have pointed out) they also fell into that trap because they keep assuming that politics here hasn’t really changed in Scotland and that the voters would eventually swing back to Labour, especially after the NO vote in the referendum. The immediate resurgence of the SNP after 2014 should have shown them they needed to do something different but they preferred to wait assuming it would all die down and the SNP would fall away just like their temporary leader. But as we all can see the opposite has happened – well not all, Scottish Labour can’t see it.

    114. Aaron Carr says:

      There seems to be a fair indication that Claire Austin works or worked for the Scottish Nursing Guild amongst others. The SNG specialises in providing high calibre nurses to the NHS and private hospitals at short notice for eye watering amounts of money. I used to work for them myself. With them I typically earned £25 to £45 per hour, plus travel expenses. A nice wee earner.

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with working for a nursing agency or the Scottish Nursing Guild. We live in a free labour market and nursing sick people is a job at the end of the day.

      However, it is extraordinarily unlikely that a specialist agency nurse would ever need to resort to a food bank unless they were very poor at saving and then got sick and were unable to work – which is a whole other issue quite frankly. This whole story is quite clearly bullshit.

    115. crazycat says:

      @ bjsalba at 12.20

      Mention was made of “the SNP voting against” a motion in the Scottish Parliament. I assume it’s this one:

      Motion S5M-05479: Anas Sarwar, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 08/05/2017

      Scrap the NHS Pay Cap
      That the Parliament believes that the NHS pay cap should be scrapped and that NHS staff should be given a real terms pay rise.

      That implies that the Scottish Government do have the power to end pay caps.

      This is the full debate:
      https://www.theyworkforyou.com/sp/?id=2017-05-10.13.0#g13.63

      I’ve skim-read it. It contains a lot of political point-scoring from all sides, frequent comparisons of pay in the different health services, and plenty of robust presiding, but no definitive statement that I could find about the Parliament’s powers.

      It was repeatedly mentioned that the “independent” pay review body is UK-wide. Alison Johnstone said this:

      In view of the UK-wide pay review body’s overall approach, I would be inclined to support a Scottish system for pay review in the future. However, if professional bodies and trade unions take a strong view that pay recommendations should still be set on a UK-wide basis, it is vital that the Scottish Government plays a full part in that process.

      So I think the Scottish Government might have to withdraw from the UK-wide body and set up its own, which might annoy the trade unions, whose constitutional unionism seems to lead to shooting themselves in the foot quite frequently.

    116. winifred mccartney says:

      I sincerely hope Kezia is never going to mention falling standards in Education ever again especially in writing skills. Her pal notruth ruth could give her lessons in answering every question with every possible answer and none of them correct. Twist and shout is the only response these two know.

    117. Hamish100 says:

      Proffers

      To call David McEwan Hill a goon is such nonsense and just rude. I can only assume your account has been hacked. Mr Hill has supported the SNP most of his life and is still active.

      Mr puffers get a good virus and spam checker. Oops Peffers.

    118. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Free Scotland @ 11:27,

      To paraphrase a related comment from back then, “Kez, I knew Dan Quayle, and you’re no Dan Quayle”. =grin=

      More seriously, it’s hard to credit now, but when Kez was made leader of “Scottish” Labour, she was widely seen as a bright fresh young start for the party. Maybe one day we’ll get the whole sorry story, but one cannot but feel she was effectively wedded to a corpse. She didn’t have the power to change anything significant in her party’s accounting unit, and instead of fighting it (and probably going down trying, but in any event earning an honourable place in history by so doing) she funked the challenge and made the catastrophic error of trying to fight the SNP instead.

      What a waste of a promising political career.

    119. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      What gets me is that the media frequently conflates UK issues with Scottish ones, sometimes ignorantly, but also sometimes deliberately, especially when the news at the UK end is bad. It’s a double whammy – it absolves UKGov of blame and shifts it by implication onto the Scottish Government.

      I have the distinct impression that among ordinary folk, there is little real understanding of just what the SG has achieved for them, and for what matters it has no responsibility.

      How to get that through to people when the media is so bitterly antagonistic to any and all forms of Scottish autonomy is the big question with which we are all struggling.

      Jeez, I was even reminded again today that big money is going into advertising on Facebook, both as a kind of giant focus group and also to push issues and form opinion. So even social media isn’t necessarily a place where we can expect to continue to have a fair hearing.

      As for that leaked “private” letter of Kezia’s, it simply convinces me even more that Labour and the union movement were involved in this farrago right from the start.

    120. K.A.Mylchreest says:

      Just because I’ve got a nasty suspicious mind doesn’t mean everything is what it appears to be …

      Anyway, has anyone with the necessary skills and knowledge verified the signature and handwriting at the foot of the letter?

    121. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Robert Peffers at 1.17
      Ah. The good old offensive Peffers again. Let me repeat what I said

      ” … This whole problem is partly of the SNP’s making. If the SNP has an inadequacy it has been in naively believing it would get a good press if it governed well.”

      Should I say it again. I’m a “goon” of course. I’ve probably been a goon since I joined the SNP in August 1959.
      I have little doubt that the SNP will no longer believe it will get a good press no matter how well it governs – but it did.
      What it does now is important.

    122. Socrates MacSporran says:

      I have bitten my tongue when it comes to “Nursegate”, until my eldest daughter, who is a Senior Staff Nurse, and RCN delegate in a local hospital returned from a holiday abroad.

      She has now had a look at the footage from the night, and some of the comment and she says: “Nothing this alleged nurse has said adds up.

      “Her story is a pack of lies from start to finish, and full of incuracies as regards conditions, pay scales and so-forth. Also, if she works for BUPA or that alleged agency, then she is on a lot more money than an SNHS nurse.”

      My daughter used to do shifts for BUPA and she assures me, BUPA nurses get around £3 per hour more than SNHS staff nurses of the same grade.

      As I suspected – the Karen Dunbar Rule applies to this case.

    123. Bob p says:

      Robbo 1.47pm. Aye shame obamas country never kept their union with westminster, i don’t think!

    124. Rock says:

      Dave McEwan Hill,

      “Ah. The good old offensive Peffers again. Let me repeat what I said”

      Perhaps you and others will now accept what I have been saying:

      Robert Peffers is an aggressive verbal bully.

      And in my view, almost certainly a nasty person in real life.

    125. ChewinTheFat says:

      Dugdale is the most desperate politician in the country. Does this letter even really shock anyone? I think Dugdale needs to resign from her post asap. She is clearly having some kind of mental breakdown – poor cow.

    126. Author_Al says:

      Just spoke two two Scottish Labour supporters who said their ideal scenario would be a Tory Scottish Labour coalition. I said you can kiss goodbye to your Scottish NHS & Education system then. Sold off. They even suggested that Ruth D was a great leader. I replied she’s great at covering up for the policies that have left thousands on welfare dead and destroyed lives of disabled. The reply back Still think she’s great. Seriously!

    127. ChewinTheFat says:

      @Author_Al

      Some people unfortunately are what I would call a lost cause.

      The case you presented seems to be so.

      With some of the hardcore Yoons it seems to be the union at all costs for some reason. Only until the current UK government has done something to offend them personally or affect them personally will they then be able to see the damage this union is doing to the country.

      Even then, some hardcore Yoons who have already been personally affected by the current UK government will enjoy having their noses cut off just to spite their faces. (Lost cause.)

      It’s a sad situation indeed.

    128. boris says:

      “The Rev” is clearly closing in on the real story. I also know the facts but I am waiting for one last piece of evidence before I publish so as to avoid libel



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