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Nailing down the truth

Posted on October 01, 2015 by

Readers will probably recall that we’ve been trying to get to the bottom of Scottish Labour branch manager Kezia Dugdale’s recent claim on national TV that 50% of the poorest kids leave our schools unable to read.

It appeared on any possible interpretation to be complete nonsense, but Ms Dugdale – who’s pledged to make education the issue at the heart of her leadership – has been somewhat reluctant to clarify the statement.

Several queries from her Lothian constituents have gone unanswered, but one Wings viewer did manage to get a single tweet of response.


So let’s take a look at that link.

Page 6 of the report in question contains this passage:


We haven’t added the underline in that second paragraph – it’s there in the report, and it’s there for a reason. “Reading well” and “reading very well” are two separate measures in the study.

To understand what the terms mean we have to look at another document released by Save The Children as part of the same “Read On, Get On” campaign. On page 4 of that document we find the definition of “reading well”.


This time we HAVE added the emphasis ourselves. “Reading well” doesn’t simply mean “able to read” – it’s a couple of steps beyond that. A child who is “reading well” isn’t just literate, but is good enough that they can be expected to derive an academic advantage from it.

(The second document, incidentally, is UK-wide, hence the reference to “GCSEs”.)

Save The Children notes that even the “reading well” category is “a significant step up” from the current standard of literacy. So we can deduce from this that there are at least four basic categories:

1. Unable to read adequately, or “illiterate” in the modern sense.
2. Able to read to a functional standard.
3. “Reading well”, or being able to read to an advantageous standard.
4. “Reading VERY well”, or being able to read to an exceptional standard.

Let’s just remind ourselves what Kezia Dugdale actually said (twice):

I’m astonished that you’ve spent 10 minutes in this interview talking about independence and Trident when almost 50% of the poorest kids in the country can’t read […] I’m sure you’d be shocked to know that 50% of the poorest kids leave our schools unable to read.

Dugdale told Gordon Brewer that half of Scotland’s poorest children “can’t read” when they leave school, or in other words that they were in category 1. What she actually meant, she tells us, is that they can’t read to an exceptional standard – or in other words that they hadn’t reached category 4. Dugdale has in fact confused the bottom category with the top category.

(The Scottish Government’s figures state that 28% of the poorest pupils are in the bottom two categories by Year 2 of secondary school. In 2009 a report commissioned by Scottish Labour suggested that the actual number who left primary school in category 1 – not functionally literate – was 18%, slightly lower than the 21% figure for England. And those are ALL pupils, not just the poorest – many well-off kids suffer from dyslexia or other disorders.)

Any child leaving school with inadequate reading skills is of course unacceptable. But that’s not an excuse for massively exaggerating the scale of the problem. Now that we know the source of Kezia Dugdale’s statistics, there are only two explanations for her serious misrepresentation of the true facts.

Either she’s deliberately lying, or – ironically – she can’t read properly.

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    103 to “Nailing down the truth”

    1. arthurfaeleith says:

      Could be both…

    2. Remarkably concise exposition. No wonder they hate you.

    3. Jim Mitchell says:

      She’s only trying to be helpful Rev!

      It’s all part of the kinder politics that has been talked about recently, as is the news proclaimed in todays record that Jeremy is going to let branch office er sorry Scottish Labour become virtually independent, (whatever that means), but I for one cannot wait to see that appearing on their election posters etc, Vote for your virtually independent candidate, Vote Scottish Labour, The Virtually Independent Party, yes that should work.

    4. Murray McCallum says:

      Her statement is surely deeply insulting to the teaching profession.

    5. AnneDon says:

      There should be a separate category for politicians unable to read anything that ISN’T to their advantage.

    6. Valerie says:

      The other key point is it relates to the most deprived areas, which takes the figure down, as areas are defined using many indicators of poverty.

      It’s just a handy sound bite for Kez, in the hope no one is scrutinising. Looks like Jezza is the same.

    7. Mic says:

      Hi Stu,

      Do you know if these figures include children who are classed as having Additional Support Needs (ASN)?

    8. paul gerard mccormack says:

      I am astonished that you have spent a not inconsiderable amount of time researching a proper critique of Kezia Dugdale’s edict.

      How very dare you.

    9. Robert Peffers says:

      @Rev Stu, “Either she’s deliberately lying, or – ironically – she can’t read properly.”

      Considering Dugdale’s own claimed academic achievements we can only conclude the latter conclusion to be true.

      As we seem generally to accept that she is a wee bittie, (err!), “conservative”, with the truth most of the time a little,”liberal”, with what she spouts parrot-like to the media, I find it best to just have a wee chuckle to myself and dismiss anything she spouts as downright lying Establishment propaganda.

    10. TD says:

      I suspect that she just didn’t understand the data she was reading. It is typical of Labour – including Corbyn it would appear – content free, no analysis, not even understanding.

      I almost wish that she was deliberately trying to deceive – at least that would imply a degree of intelligence. It’s quite worrying that this “leader” of a political party doesn’t have a grasp of a topic that she chose to raise in the interview.

    11. Mae Carson says:

      We need to go back to the old definition of “reading & comprehension”. Understanding what you are reading makes all the difference between levels of literacy.

      Clearly comprehension is something Kezia could do with taking lessons in! If you don’t understand then ask someone who does.

    12. Robert Peffers says:

      @Murray McCallum says: 1 October, 2015 at 11:18 am:

      “Her statement is surely deeply insulting to the teaching profession”.

      It is deeply insulting to everyone in, or having passed through, the Scottish education system.

      I find it has long been a factor of the three establishment controlled unionist parties that they insult Scots and Scotland at every conceivable opportunity.

    13. theMadMurph says:

      I love this site! Not just because of the dogged determination and journalistic standards, but for the wee comedy gems like the sting in the tail of this article!


    14. Macart says:

      That last line is a toughie.

      I hate multiple choice possibilities.

      I’m going with fibbing.

    15. Wulls says:

      Wings is the most compulsive, depressing sites on the intermabob.
      Mainly because the content, despite being accurate, is usually at offs with mainstream reporting.
      Depressingly so.
      This however is hilarious ……..

    16. K1 says:

      If you watch the clip carefully, it’s the ‘glee’ with which she conveys her ‘revelation’ that really shines through. This isn’t someone conveying a ‘fact’ this is someone who is ‘making a point’. And given the subject matter, using ‘education’ to point score, she does herself nae favours wi this type of posture politics.

      Your analysis debunks her entire ‘point’. Kezia Dugdale is elevating obsfucation into an art form.

      To totally obscure with non-germane information in a verbose manner, with the intent to provide a non-answer, and provide total befuddlement.’

    17. Grendel says:

      The simple answer is that she is as thick as pig@!8&.
      She is the branch manager of a party which has lost all of it’s competent leadership, now led by someone who everyone else is punching the air about saying “thank God it isnae my turn!”

    18. Kenny says:

      I don’t think people understand what “unionist politicians” are in Scotland.

      They are not normal European politicians, who try to make a career, who dream of high office one day, who have a working brain, who have any independent ideas or thoughts.

      They are completely expendable containers, like a clone army. Their job is to tell the most outrageous lies, because even if they are found to be telling lies (unlikely on BBC Labour or by our national prestitutes), they can just be “zapped” and replaced.

      You saw what happened to Jim Murphy, Johann Lamont… Look at all the deadbeats on the unionist benches at Holyrood. Their goal is not to be politicians. In a way, it is not even to get into government!

      They are the pawns of the London HQ and their sole goal and sole contribution to Scotland is to act like the sheep in Animal Farm, who would strike up an inane chant any time anything sensible or constructive was said by the ther animal inhabitants of the farm.

    19. K1 says:

      Slightly O/T but ‘germane’. Here’s the Scottish parliament link to the main chamber, for those who want to watch FMQ’s at midday:

    20. msean says:

      Unfortunately for the unionist parties,most Scots’ reading ability is pretty good,it seems also to be the case that the ability to use the internet is rising too. 🙂

    21. Keith Smith says:

      Rev, as much as I am utterly appalled by Kezia Dugdale, I am equally angry when Brewar says at the end of her little diatribe, and I quote “we already know that”. Typical bbc bias.

    22. a supporter says:

      “Either she’s deliberately lying, or – ironically – she can’t read properly.”

      More excellent debunking of Labour Lies.

      There is a third possibility. Dugdale is mathematically challenged and not bright enough to interpret reports containing social parameters derived from statistical analysis. Which means she must have great difficulty mastering any briefing note she is given.

    23. Greannach says:

      This is what happens when someone is prmoting far beyond their abilities. I have no doubt that Kezia Dugdale was a wonderful class rep at school, but that seems to be where she peaked.

    24. Greannach says:

      That should read “promoted”. Sorry.

    25. muttley79 says:

      Kezia Dugdale is talking about facts at FMQs at the moment. Dear o dear.

    26. Cuilean says:

      Ms Dugdale positively gloats over her mendacity.

      Of course, such perniciousness falls nicely into SLAB’s BETTER TOGETHER mantra that the Scots are too wee, too poor & too stupid.

      We’re stupid & our kids are stupid.

      She’s a lying bitch. Hell mend her & all her tribe.

    27. K1 says:

      Wow, Dugdale opens with Michelle Thomson, absolutely disgraceful.

      Good on the Presiding Officer for highlighting the nonsense of that question. And has given Nicola an out. This is outwith ‘parliamentary business’.

      This is utterly ‘low’ of Dugdale and Labour. And she is continuing down this route of questioning. Utterly shameless politicking on the part of Dugdale here. This is simply ‘unbelievable’.

      I have no doubt that this is for ‘show’. Watch the soundbites and ‘spin’ that is going to be ‘generated’ from this as the day progresses.

      And on and on she goes, omfuckinggod, she is really going for this. Kezia Dugdale is Colin RIppey and I claim my fiver!

    28. Tamson says:

      Another thing to note: Kezia’s quoted line claims these kids can’t read ‘when they leave school’, but that daya she cites is about PRIMARY school leavers, not people exiting the school system altogether.

    29. jimnarlene says:

      Another SLabour lie, well and truly, debunked.

    30. steveasaneilean says:

      Slightly O/T but since we are talking about Scottish eductaion…

      Today it was announced that four Scottish universities have made it into the top 200 in the world.

      Or, to put it another way, Scotland has 2% of the world’s top 200 universities. This for a “too wee, too poor, too stupid” country with only 0.3% of the world’s population.

      But, hey, why highlight some good news about Scottish education when you can make up a whole lot of bad stuff that does nothing but demoralise teachers who are busting a gut for the kids.

      Top marks Kezia.

    31. K1 says:

      Kezia Dugdale: ‘Smearing from the Scottish parliament.’

      And now it’s Ruthie’s turn. This is a concerted effort folks.

      Utterly outrageous.

    32. Free Scotland says:

      When the teletubbies were launched in 1997, Dugdale was approaching her 16th birthday. So she can’t even claim they had an adverse effect on her reading ability. That said, it is quite easy to imagine – given her mentality – that she could have been drawn to the compelling series as a late starter.

    33. ClanDonald says:

      If Kez is unhappy with worsening educational attainment standards of the poorest children then perhaps she should attack the real cause which is increased poverty. Didn’t Nicola warn us that child poverty would increase massively if we voted no? Yet Kez campaigned for it anyway.

      Why blame the Tories at Westminster for increasing poverty and destroying our kids’ chances at a decent education when you can attack our teachers and schools instead?

      No wonder the Labour Party are finished in Scotland, they disgust me with their spin, lies and willingness to ignore cruel and brutal Tory policies in order to smear the SNP instead. And the worst part is that Child poverty will only increase over the coming years and there’s NOTHING we can do to stop it. Except vote yes in an indyref2.

    34. Socrates MacSporran says:

      Of course, what we have to remember about the lobby fodder in the Scottish Liebor seats at Holyrood is – they weren’t even considered good enough to become “Low-Flying Jimmies” on the Liebor benches at Westminster.

    35. David McDowell says:

      I can read “very well” and saying 50% of the poorest kids “can’t read” or are “unable to read” on the basis of the source text Kezia Dugdale has offered is either:

      1. A sloppy distortion of the truth inspired by blind spite.


      2. A deliberate lie.

      Take your pick.

    36. Dan Huil says:

      Unionist “leaders” in Holyrood following the Daily Mail agenda in their “questions”. Daily Mail owners must be very happy.

    37. heedtracker says:


      Glasgow’s been under total SLabour control since 1980. All Scottish councils own and run Scottish primary schools. Labour office, 1997-2010. SLabour leader Dugdale tells BBC shill, “50% of the poorest kids leave our schools unable to read“. BBC shill agrees. Scottish GE next May.


    38. George Elliott says:

      And Brewer could not do a ‘little’ homework to call her out? Nor the MSM ? When will Nicola do so? is she waiting for WOS fact buster Rev Stu to weedle the lies out first? 😉

    39. garles says:

      Ian Gray:
      What is UNISON view on trident.If this monstosity was scrapped then more money would be available for edducation.

    40. Capella says:

      @ heedtracker
      Polls are looking good for SE 2016. But the real difference for education will be in the 2017 Local Authority elections. SNP councils dedicated to raising standards for Scottish children will have a chance to make a real difference after 2017.

    41. sinky says:

      At FMQs did Iain Gray not quote from college survey that only 300 staff out of 13000 responded

    42. Capella says:

      OT slightly – good post by Lallands Peat Worrier on the Jeremy Corbyn misleading statements about Scot Rail privatisation. Is Labour incapable of facing reality?

    43. Andrew McLean says:

      Didn’t get my “O” level english, so forgive me, but i find the equation of poverty and intelligence quite insulting. My upbringing was in a middle class family, nor rich but by no means poor, owned our own home, both parents professionals, foreign holidays in the 70s, so why did I only get 2 “O” levels?

      Now before anyone gives me a kicking I am not a stupid as to suggest that poverty isn’t a serious disadvantage, but it’s not insurmountable, more importantly in life it is the belief in your own ability and the opportunities that education can provide that should be taught to all children, in her comments Kezia Dugdale is subconsciously perpetuating the myth that poverty equals low achievement, yes she is politically point scoring (badly), and that is what politicians do, but my concern is her backstory, what underlies her comments, that is so revealing? I am not explaining this well I know, but it’s the way she has approached this, it’s not her incorrect comprehension in the findings of the report, it’s as if she can’t understand that teachers don’t discriminate against the poorest pupils, and that the economics cannot be divorced from the wider social background of both the pupil and their place in society?. And is this not the very essence why we need a new order, a new social Scotland and a new future for all in Scotland?

      Simplistic I agree, but the starting place for this is not Corbinomics but Independance and a revitalised Scotland

    44. K1 says:

      Nah sinky, Ian Gray did not provide ‘that’ piece of information whilst trotting out his ‘statistics’ to further attack the FM with: ‘the colleges are up in arms because the SNP are the governing party in Scotland Schtick’


    45. Robert Peffers says:

      @Greannach says: 1 October, 2015 at 12:04 pm:

      “This is what happens when someone is prmoting far beyond their abilities. I have no doubt that Kezia Dugdale was a wonderful class rep at school, but that seems to be where she peaked.”

      Both Kezia and Wee Ruthie are at this moment making total fools of themselves, their respective parties and the London Establishment in the chamber of the Scottish Parliament.

      When will these total idiots wise up that the electorate can access both the Scottish government and the Westminster Establishment directly on their electronic devices. In doing so they eliminate the MSM and Establishment broadcasters spin on things.

      Right now we have Wee Willie Rennie, the ambulance chasing LibDem, monstering the SNHS.

      However, no matter what these three Unionist trolls may claim the statistics prove them as liars. The Scottish health situation statistics show that the SNHS is doing a great job in spite of Westminster cuts as the general health of Scots has improved greatly.

      Just as their monstering of the Scottish Police Force has achieved consistently better results with crime figures always going downs and solved crime rates going up.

      Indeed yesterday the report was that the annual rate of murder cases was down yet again. Education has also shown improvements while the Unionist parties continue to monster the teaching professions.

      Sheesh! Now we have the ex-labour leaded, Ian Gray, monstering the Education systems.

      They all seem to imagine the Scottish electorate are as dim and stupid as they are. Has it not dawned upon them that only their most loyal and dim followers now believe them and that the voting figures proves that more and more of those followers are deserting them?

      How can they ignore the simple fact they are being rejected by the electorate?

      Meanwhile their tame media pals have been blanking out all real news and highlighting the unionist views. Yet the overall effect is that their slide into oblivion is continuing, speeding up and having exactly the opposite effect than what they were meant to do.

      Sane people would change course and not accelerate their own demise.

    46. brobb says:

      Having just read research by Gordon Wells into language and literacy attainment I’d like to share his findings as they are quite relevant to the whole attainment debate.

      Summarising and simplifying his research, Mr Wells suggests that yes there is a gap in attainment depending on the child’s family circumstances but that this is a social problem – parents who did not do well at school and take on manual jobs due to lack of educational qualifications are less likely to read with their children or rate reading as a priority.

      This is not a judgement on “bad parents” merely a recognition that social circumstances influence lives and that our education systems favour a middle class perspective on learning

      If this is indeed a factor the Scottish government deserve praise for the efforts they have put in to things like Playtalkread, Read on Get on and other initiatives (including adult literacy support) to promote reading to children at home. It certainly would suggest that blaming schools or teachers as failing children, or the government’s handling of educational matters as being the cause of the attainment gap is just wrong

      In Scotland we could maybe take it further and blame past labour/tory governments or councils from failing to help today’s parents to achieve a reasonable level of education

    47. Jim McIntosh says:

      Tom Harris on Daily Politics basically saying Corbyn is rubbish. Then a spider rubs across the screen.

      Hope the Rev screen grabbed it. 🙂

    48. Nana Smith says:

      For crying out loud Scotland nail down the lid on slab’s coffin in 2016.

      During FMQ’s Dugdale leader of the spiteful party gets to her feet and embarrasses herself yet again.

      I hope the messiah JC was in the gallery to see for himself there ain’t no resurrection coming for labour in Scotland.

    49. Alastair says:

      Mr persistent delivers another Zinger!

    50. galamcennalath says:

      Capella says:

      “Polls are looking good”

      Nana Smith posted these figures in the last thread

      2016 Scottish Elections forecast.
      SNP: 71 (+2)
      LAB: 26 (-11)
      CON: 24 (+9)
      GRN: 5 (+3)
      LD: 3 (-2)

      What I find utterly intriguing and would have been unexpected a couple of years ago, the Tories threatening to overtake Labour and become the opposition.

      I wonder if this poll was before the latest Labour motorway pile up?

      And, Kezia is certainly doing her Blairite best to sink Labour further, as Stu so ably points out here!

      The more I think about the Tories as the opposition, the more advantages I see in it for IndyRef2!

    51. Macart says:


      Sounds as though Kezia is desperate to avoid the issue of Trident, McDonnell signing up for Gideon’s Fiscal vote, apologising/explaining away the rail/cal mac/child illiteracy clusterfudge and oh so much more in the past week.

      New Labour, just the same as old-new Labour, lies, distortions and smears.

      Politics as it is practiced dontchaknow.

    52. chris kilby says:

      “Dugdale told Gordon Brewer that half of Scotland’s poorest children “can’t read” when they leave school, or in other words that they were in category 1. What she actually meant, she tells us, is that they can’t read to an exceptional standard – or in other words that they hadn’t reached category 4. Dugdale has in fact confused the bottom category with the top category.”

      Maybe she can’t read.

    53. Dr Jim says:

      Kezia kwite offen gets hur wurds and numburs innc-incr-enci-

      Wrong! By design? Who nose!

      The First Minister shows just exactly why she holds that position this morning


    54. Ruby says:

      Kinder politics? Is kinder short for kindergarten or kinder play?

      I think the Labour party and their wunderkind Kezia are going to get a big Kinder Surprise in 2016.

    55. Robert Peffers says:

      @George Elliott says: 1 October, 2015 at 12:30 pm:

      ” … When will Nicola do so?

      Totally laughable, George.

      Your post is timed as 12:30 on I October 2015. At that precise time Nicola Sturgeon has just ended First Minister’s Question Time in the Chamber of the Scottish Parliament.

      The session was dominated by two of the three Establishment Party leaders attempting to monster the SNP and Scottish Government via slanderous attacks upon a now former minister of the SG/SNP. In short this person has not been either investigate, accused or charged of any criminal activity whatsoever by the Scottish Police force.

      The other Establishment toady was attacking the SNHS and Nicola quoted true statistics and facts that made those three people look like the utter fools they undoubtable are.

      So just where do you get the strange impression that Nicola Sturgeon has not debunked the Unionist leaders?

      Note that your answers will be recorded and may be used against you in future debate on this forum.

      “Where ignorance is bliss, ‘Tis folly to be wise.”

      by Thomas Gray.

    56. Training Day says:

      As a pliable airhead, Dugdale is an only too willing receptacle for any vicious smear, any idiocy, any preposterous notion emanating from London Labour.

      We do a disservice to the intelligence of parrots to draw any comparison with Dugdale’s rote blatherings.

    57. Lesley-Anne says:

      So basically wee Kezia can neither read, count or tell the TRUTH.

      Well who knew … I mean who knew? 😉

      Oh that’s right … WE did! 😀

    58. Karmanaut says:

      And she would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids.

      Seriously, I’d love to be there every time the call goes through in Labour HQ:

      “That bastard has spoiled our new campaign of bullshit.”

      “Already? Goddamit. OK, what’s next?”

      “Eh… the SNP plan to reintroduce workhouses?”

      “Yep. Love it. Call the BBC.”

    59. Lesley-Anne says:

      K1 says:
      1 October, 2015 at 11:50 am

      Slightly O/T but ‘germane’. Here’s the Scottish parliament link to the main chamber, for those who want to watch FMQ’s at midday:

      What the hell have the Germans got to do with this K1?

      I mean really why on earth are you trying to Europeanise this wee *ahem* discussion about wee Kezia’s *cough* abilities or lack there of? 🙂



      Wrong type of German. Please ignore this post K1. 😀

    60. Ruby says:

      I bet Wunderkind Kezia wishes that nobody in Scotland could read especially not this article!

    61. Luigi says:

      galamcennalath says:

      1 October, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      The more I think about the Tories as the opposition, the more advantages I see in it for IndyRef2!

      If the lesser spotted blue tories overtake SLAB in Holyrood in 2016, surely Kezia Dugdale’s position as branch manager becomes untenable? Who could survive that?

      Old Jeremy’s brown jaicket will probably be on the same shoogly peg by then anyway!

    62. Colin Rippey says:

      And on and on she goes, omfuckinggod, she is really going for this. Kezia Dugdale is Colin RIppey and I claim my fiver!

      Oh come on, Peffers calling me an idiot I can handle but this!!!

    63. Sassenach says:

      I like it when Kez and Ruthless coordinate their ‘attacks’ at FMQs, it simply reinforces the “in bed with the Tories” theme – and can only be good for indyref2.

      Did anyone else feel that former Labour guy with Brillo today almost seemed to be wishing he had changed party, or was about to?? Was very downbeat, anyway.

    64. Dave Hansell says:

      To sum up……on the basis of the evidence available and presented the conclusion which most accurately represents reality is that the political party currently occupying the title of ‘The Labour Party’ is stuffed to the gunnels with ‘Post Troofers.’

      Are there any willing volunteers prepared to alert Jim Murphy?

    65. David McCann says:

      Kezia Dugdale, former adviser to Lord George Foulkes, the peer who while he was an MP and MSP, Claimed £3061.17 in allowances from the Scottish Parliament between April 2008 and March 2009.

      Claimed £54,441 in allowances from the House of Lords for 94 days attendance (£579/day)

      Earned £36,000 as a Parliamentary Consultant to Eversheds LLP for 36 days work (£1000/day)

      Claimed nearly £45,000 in overnight expenses to stay in a property he inherited from his late mother.

      Whilst director and political consultant with Carrick Court Associates, making £50,000 per year.

      Good advice from Dugdale! I’m sure the good Lord was pleased!

    66. Marie Clark says:

      Would somebody kindly explain to me, jist whit in the name o the wee man is going on.

      It is obviously a concerted attack, but what are they trying to distract us from? I know that there are quite a few things, Carmichael, Catalunya, Corbyn’s brain farts, civil war within Labour, to name but a few.

      But why this awful display at FMQ’s. Do they think it’s clever to behave in this fashion. I mean, are they not meant to be responsible politicians ( ah ken, dinnae laugh). What the blue blazes are they hoping to achieve. Kez & Ruthie just gave themselves a right showing up. Or in other words, made a right tit o thersels.

      If this is meant to bring voters back to the unionist parties, Labour in particular, I’ve got news for you ladies. It disnae work. You succeed in turning more people away. Congratulations.

      Roll on next May.

    67. Jim McIntosh says:

      If as @slinky states above, Willie Rennie’s figures at PMQ were based on just 300 responses from 13,000 staff, then why the f@*# didn’t the First Minister use this information in her response.

      The 70% of staff Rennie’s said were ‘dissatisfied with the SG’ in reality equates to 1.6% of the total.

      It’s all very well us being aware of this, but non internet savvy people watching at home need to know as well.

      I sometimes despair of our representatives.

    68. Lollysmum says:

      Apparently it’s FIVE Scottish Universities in the top 200 worldwide so education can’t be all that Baaad

    69. Les Wilson says:

      If we think that Dugdale has put this together herself, we are dellusional. She is following a spin doctor script, it is they who have tried to spin these figures. Placing only a script for her to read and flower as best she can.

      She has no proven past of being able to concoct anything like this, it is all part of SNP bad strategy.
      So much for a new “kinder” labour approach, it is same old same old.

      Thankfully we have Stu and his admiral work showing how figures were compiled, which shows their manipulation, and how they are also likely to behave in the future.They are very unlikely to gain what they seek from this kind of stuff.

    70. K1 says:

      Genuinely laugh out loud LA 🙂

      Och Colin, come on she was literally using the same arguments you were yesterday on the very subject. You should take it as a compliment, after all she’s your representative.

      I cannot comment on the ‘idiot’ comment of another commenter. This is under investigation. And therefore it would not be suitable to pass judgement on the veracity of that commenters comment, at this time.

    71. Robert Peffers says:

      @Luigi says: 1 October, 2015 at 1:18 pm:

      “Old Jeremy’s brown jaicket will probably be on the same shoogly peg by then anyway!”

      His jaicket got hung on that peg as soon as he entered the leadership contest. The NuLaboutites were trying to shoogle it aff even then and they will continue tae shoogle till they skite it richt aff. Thing is that they will shoogle themselves aff at the same time.

    72. Robert Peffers says:

      @Colin Rippey says: 1 October, 2015 at 1:26 pm:

      “Oh come on, Peffers calling me an idiot I can handle but this!!!”

      Yeah! Colin, we know. However, you really don’t need to keep proving me right all the time. I was only stating the obvious.

    73. Macart says:

      We know that party policy wonks and meeja types visit this site regularly. I would dearly like a relevant bod to point Mr Corbyn to this site as required reading and not simply for the author’s dissections, but for the comment threads.

      If Mr Corbyn wants to find out about cross party/no party public opinion on the current state of his northern branch office, or indeed what we think about the media and the machinations of his spin dept strategies, he could do worse than pay a personal visit to see exactly where he and the rest of the establishment parties stand.

      He would almost certainly learn a lot more than he would from say… a briefing document or a phone conversation with advisers.

      Just in case (you never know).

      If you want to know a thing Mr Corbyn, you may want to expend some personal effort. Your showing on ALL things Scottish so far is not just below par, but deeply insulting. Both you and your branch manager have in the past week successfully managed to display the same ignorance, arrogance and condescension we’ve come to know and loathe over so very many years. Not a good start.

    74. Colin Rippey says:


      Och Colin, come on she was literally using the same arguments you were yesterday on the very subject. You should take it as a compliment, after all she’s your representative.

      Well I’m told my comments on this website are “used” on some nutcase facebook pages, perhaps that’s where she found them?

    75. Thepnr says:

      Well, for me at least it just gets funnier everyday.

      I’ve given up on getting angry at Labour politicians making fools of themselves by talking untruths, or should I say absolute crap at any and every opportunity.

      They truly believe that spouting lies about statistics and using the MSM to spread their lies make them electable. Now come on, I reckon we can read better than Kezia.

      Anyway don’t these idiots even know we have a network of friends both face to face and online? We are creating our own media. This is why Labour support in Scotland continues to plummet, if only they knew how strongly I supported Labour in the past they would know how much I despise them now. Yet they keep digging!

      Think of that recent poll, the Tories in Holywood as the official opposition to the SNP. Eh what! I thought we had finished with the Tories decades ago, certainly now looks like we have finished with Labour who have fallen so steeply from their once lofty perch.

      Only question remaining is, how does Scotland rid herself of all of these liars? They are not worthy of a single vote.

    76. Glamaig says:

      2016 Scottish Elections forecast.
      SNP: 71 (+2)
      LAB: 26 (-11)
      CON: 24 (+9)
      GRN: 5 (+3)
      LD: 3 (-2)

      This is the Corbyn bounce. The bounce consists of Tories stopping voting Labour because Corbyn makes scary left-wing noises.

      They didnt think of that did they. The messiah who is going to get those Labour voters back and save the Union, is having the opposite net effect.

    77. Jim McIntosh says:

      I can just imagine Kezia’s next interview:

      Brewer: If you don’t mind me saying the whole “50% of children leaving school being unable to read” was a little disastrous.
      Kezia: Oh..oh, I don’t think I’d use the word disastrous here.
      Brewer: No?
      Kezia: No, I think the word catastrophic would be nearer the mark. The whole thing has been a total failure and a huge catastrophe.
      Brewer: But, do you feel you’ve learnt from your mistakes?
      Kezia: Oh certainly…certainly, I’m sure I’ve learnt from my mistakes and I’m sure I can repeat them exactly.

      With thanks to Pete & Dud 🙂

    78. BigMac says:

      The four best deserved donations of the year so far.

      1. Wings over Scotland
      2. The SNP Party
      3. The Orkney four
      4. The Salvation Army

      There were others but these have given me the greatest satisfaction.

    79. Ruby says:

      I’m a big fan of children’s book or should that be childrens’ so I’m always on the look out for books to read when I’m babysitting.

      The public libraries are jam packed with books for children and you can pick up childrens books at carboot sales/charity shops for 20p so no need to be rich to obtain books.

      What I have noticed when I’m looking for childrens books at carboot sales is that when sellers have a lot of kid’s dvds they have no books and sellers that have boxes of kids books have almost no dvds. I presume some parents pop on a dvd to help the kids sleep whereas other parents read a story.

      I’m no expert but I would imagine that reading to your children will be of great benefit not only do they see the words you are reading they will also discover the joys of reading. I can’t wait until the next time I’m babysitting to continue reading ‘The Water Horse’ and ‘Fortunately, the Milk . . .’

      If Kezia the Wunderkind is looking for someone to blame I think she might have to go back to the time when today’s parents were at school/children.

      It might be that back then Labour weren’t too keen on people being able to read well as long as they could read headlines and put a cross in the correct box that would have been sufficient.

    80. Mabel says:

      Good research, well presented evidence and very well written. I agree with Christian Knight, no wonder they hate you, Rev, and, from this side of the fence, no wonder we love you so much.

    81. Mabel says:

      Oh and well done David Halliday too for getting the response to point you in the right direction.

    82. Mabel says:

      * Wright, sorry

    83. scunner says:


      You do realise the Sally Army signed up to the DWP Workfare scheme?

    84. Ruby says:

      I’m currently multi-tasking so I do have time to scroll back to find who referred to Unionists MSPs as Unionist Trolls. I though that was interesting as quite often when I read the comments on The Scotsman and hear what Unionists MSP say at FMQ etc I get the feeling that the Scotsman’s UniTrolls and the Unionist MSPs are one and the same.

      The poster formerly know as ‘Fifi le Bonbon’ might have a new moniker she/he might even have a series of new monikers.

      I have noticed that the Scotsman is much quieter than normal might be due to new format or perhaps UniTrolls prefer The Herald now.

      I wonder how ‘Paco McSheepie’s’ identity was revealed!

    85. Lesley-Anne says:

      Luigi says:
      1 October, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      galamcennalath says:

      1 October, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      If the lesser spotted blue tories overtake SLAB in Holyrood in 2016, surely Kezia Dugdale’s position as branch manager becomes untenable? Who could survive that?

      Being the village idiot around these parts Luigi I think shortly after next May we are in for another *YAWN* prolonged Branch Office mangerial election. The trouble is looking at the current crop of wannabe’s I’m not really sure any are up for the task. What’s more if the polling for next May continues heading the way it currently is will there actually be anyone left to take over as Branch Manager? 😀

      K1 says:
      1 October, 2015 at 1:40 pm

      Genuinely laugh out loud LA 🙂

      I was kind of hoping that you would pick up on the wee film hint there K1.

    86. Grendel says:

      “Jim McIntosh says:
      1 October, 2015 at 1:33 pmIf as @slinky states above, Willie Rennie’s figures at PMQ were based on just 300 responses from 13,000 staff, then why the f@*# didn’t the First Minister use this information in her response.

      The 70% of staff Rennie’s said were ‘dissatisfied with the SG’ in reality equates to 1.6% of the total.

      It’s all very well us being aware of this, but non internet savvy people watching at home need to know as well.

      I sometimes despair of our representatives.”

      Sometimes it puzzles me too. they have the facts to blow them out of the water and then simply fail to use them. We’re doing our bit, yet our parliamentarians are too slack.

    87. K1 says:

      Och LA, I’m crap at ‘picking up’ on the ‘subtle’, I’m the ‘village idiot’ of cross-cultural references 😉

    88. Lesley-Anne says:

      K1 says:
      1 October, 2015 at 2:51 pm

      Och LA, I’m crap at ‘picking up’ on the ‘subtle’, I’m the ‘village idiot’ of cross-cultural references 😉

      Well what can I say K1 … you have had one hell of an excellent teacher … all plaudits gratefully received! 😀

    89. K1 says:

      **Doffs cap** Fur the chief VI to even acknowledge ma ‘status’ is indeed a privilege. 🙂

    90. Lesley-Anne says:

      NOT to acknowledge such a heighty status as that held by you K1 would do you a disservice. 😀

    91. Truth says:

      If only she’d not left school apparently unable to read, she may have had more sense than to join the red Tories.

    92. Iain Hamilton says:

      See that smile as she lies? Google “duper’s delight”

    93. K1 says:

      **eyebrow raised** Is that a subtle reference to ma previous (codeword: ‘fuckwit’ 3) status during the ref war…cause we wis aw flyin’ high that evening 🙂

      (If not, it merely confirms ma lofty status as the ‘VI’ of even cross-Wings references. Or just that I’m a lowly Idiot sans Village status!) 😉

    94. Ken500 says:

      Kezia Dugdale is insulting every additional needs child in Scotland, their parents, supporters and carers. Not a good political strategy annoying and infuriating millions of voters.

    95. Dougie says:

      On her election literature she claimed lab had scrapped forth bridge tolls she was elected lying she still is

    96. John Moss says:

      Kexia Dugdale is an arsehol. I would not have her in charge of a school crossing.

      The goal has to be to make sure she is not in the next parliament.

    97. Chic McGregor says:

      Maybe that is why she is in favour of the Unclear Deterrent.

    98. K1 says:

      Fairy Liquid came to mind there Chic…new clear detergent.

      Coat’s oan.

    99. Sandy Henderson says:

      Keiza, did you read law or did you just read the word? Only three letters, like cat, dog, cow, pig. They’re usually accompanied with an illustration of the same.

    100. Andrew McLean says:

      Had to email BBC Scotland, not one mention of the by election results, or is that not real politics?

    101. michael diamond says:

      Had the red tories won those by elections, it would be rammed down our throats as the corbyn effect by the scum at pacific quay.

    102. bookie from hell says:

      sky said under 13s an under 8s

      it’s a full scale attack unionist msm any stat ,however small it is

    103. CameronB Brodie says:

      I’ve pointed to the bioethical issues resulting from the elasticity of our genes. Social disadvantage has a hereditary component to it’s persistence, which can be addressed through appropriately coordinated policy frameworks aimed at addressing income inequality and improving access to educational and employment opportunities. What such efforts do not require is sniping from the side-lines from ignorant politicians who’s primary aim is to prop up a system which is not fit-for-purpose (i.e. neo-liberal UKOK).

      Kez is a child who apparently thinks she’s a grown-up who is conscientiously prepared to address the deepening of social inequalities likely to result from Brexit. We simply do not have the time for such childishness.

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