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Newspaper misses accuracy targets

Posted on August 07, 2017 by

This is the front-page lead on today’s Herald.

Let’s fact-check that, shall we?

“Half of trains arriving at busiest stations are late”

UNTRUE. ScotRail records two sorts of punctuality figures – trains arriving “on time”, meaning within 59 seconds of schedule, and trains meeting the “PPM” figure, standing for Public Performance Measure, which means within five minutes.

There is no specified official target for “on time” trains, only for PPM. And no station in the country comes anywhere remotely close to half of trains arriving late by the PPM terms. (The worst is Wick, where 66.1% arrive within five minutes, and Wick is plainly not one of Scotland’s “busiest stations”.)

“A total of 43 out of 73 stations missed ScotRail’s public performance measure, which currently stands at 90.8 per cent, to arrive or terminate within five minutes of schedule in July.”

UNTRUE. The figures are published on the ScotRail website, and what they show is that 43 stations didn’t hit the PPM target figure over the last 12 months, not “in July”.

The big clues there are the word “annual” and the phrase “over a rolling 12 months”.

ScotRail famously had a pretty hard time in 2016, but now provides the most punctual trains anywhere in the UK. The actual July PPM stats for Scotland were an impressive 93.7%, almost three full percentage points above the target.

The 12-month figures, however, still reflect some of the bad period, which was affected by major one-off events like the 20-week closure of the Glasgow Queen Street tunnel and a breakdown at Edinburgh Waverley in mid-November which caused a bottleneck disrupting all Central Belt services for hours.

And that’s clearly the table the Scottish Labour press release Herald piece is based on. It shows 73 stations, of which 43 fail to hit 90.8%. The text of the article also says:

Which tallies exactly with the 12-month table. (As well as the 66.1% for Wick, Markinch scores 68.4%, Arbroath 70.2% and Milngavie 79.3%.)

The article jumps around at will between the “on time” and PPM figures without ever telling readers it’s doing so. In the sentence below, for example, the first part refers to the PPM criterion whereas the second part refers to the 59-second measure:

(Ardrossan Harbour’s PPM 1-5 minute figure, for example, is 92%, not 28%. If you’re heading to Ardrossan, probably add two minutes to your schedule just to be safe.)

But the Herald is confusing even itself at this point, because the first statement is still UNTRUE whichever measure you use. “Half of the trains” arriving in Edinburgh and Glasgow were NOT “between one and five minutes late”. The PPM figures for the four stations in Scotland’s two biggest cities were in fact:

Edinburgh (Waverley): 86.3%
Edinburgh Haymarket: 90.5%
Glasgow Central: 93.8%
Glasgow Queen Street: 91.6%

…with the narrow failure of the two Edinburgh stations to hit the target almost certainly a result of the November incident.

What they MEANT to say was that half of the trains didn’t arrive within 59 seconds, but even that’s a sizeable exaggeration. The actual average of trains not arriving within 59 seconds for those stations over 12 months is 43.8%. You have to round that number up by a hefty 15% to get it to “half”. So that too is UNTRUE.

The error of mistaking the annual figures for July’s is repeated in the paper’s editorial leader, conveniently located just above its “Clarifications and corrections” policy.

We’ll be reading page 2 with special interest tomorrow.

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    1. 07 08 17 14:56

      Newspaper misses accuracy targets | speymouth

    94 to “Newspaper misses accuracy targets”

    1. Jason Smoothpiece says:

      No one can now trust what the newspapers print.

      Is this the reason they are slowly going out of business?

    2. Stoker says:

      Well what do you know, The Herald being exposed yet again for disseminating lying Unionist tripe. No wonder they don’t like us.
      😀

    3. heraldnomore says:

      Well it is The Herald.

      No doubt someone will be along to blame those who buy The National…

    4. Mike says:

      It is of course wilful and blatant distribution of anti Scottish Government propaganda. There is no error or mistakes being made here this is deliberate distortion of the facts.
      Its way past time to stop giving these corrupt tabloids the benefit of the doubt over these wilful lies.
      Its only going to get worse so lets not hold back in exposing the lies for what they are.
      It would really help if the Scottish Government and SNP as a whole openly acknowledged the corruption of the UK MSM and stop playing Diplomacy with them.
      It aint helping them in any way shape or form.

    5. Macart says:

      They’re aware there’s such a thing as the internet, right?

      The Herald is apparently attempting to fill the click bait void previously inhabited by the Scotsman.

    6. gordoz says:

      The Herald and its staff are working against Scotland on every front.

      Stop feeding the Hersld Scotland !!!
      Every bit as bad as the Scotsman same goes for the Sunday version!!

    7. dandy dons 1903 says:

      Ah The Herald basically the Daily Record with slightly bigger words. Another yoon rag for the landfill…

    8. Greg says:

      Stu, assuming you send your articles to the newspapers concerned (I hope so), do you ever receive a reply?

    9. W. Habib Steele says:

      Has Scotrail contacted the Complaints Editor?
      If not, will they?
      If not, why not?

    10. heedtracker says:

      British journalists are such a bunch of boobs, shock.

      Great Day to Day pilot link on WoS twitter this morn, sums up whole of UKOK hackdom perfectly, in 91′.

      Heseltine’s teeth removed to boost pound and sacked chimney sweep pumps boss full of mayonnaise.

      “These are the facts, lets kick the stick from the blind man of ignorance.”

      The Day Today, expensive looking title sequence.

    11. yesindyref2 says:

      Yes exactly Rev, it appears Neil Bibby, the Herald and the BBC are unable to see in the table where it says the ppm is for a rolling 12 months and is based on a 5 minute target, whereas the figures for on time are for 59 seconds, but neither is for July. But the small table above on the Scotrail report shows that July was clearly way better than the rolling average.

    12. gordoz says:

      Christ imagine if we had impartiality in the media & TV, how refreshing would that be? Its the persistent waves of crap that turn folk away from papers.
      Look at who the media suggest are there big impartial big hitters. Unionists to a man or woman against 6 maybe 7 YEs leaning?

    13. yesindyref2 says:

      Ah, I see the link I thoughtfully provided for the Herald so they could, naturally, correct their dumb article because it was so riddled in errors, is still there, so my guess is they haven’t seen it yet and quietly removed it to suppress the truth. It’s the same one as in this article, so hey, the Herald gets a second chance in its earnest seeking of true and factual information to make its stories from.

      Or not.

    14. heedtracker says:

      “These are the facts, lets kick the stick from the blind man of ignorance.”

      Pravda UK hackdom only looks completely beyond ridiculous when they lie at us like this, when they all drop and prostrate themselves at the feet of royals, while kissing their royal’s rings.

      Only in teamGB and other totalitarian regimes.

    15. handclapping says:

      You would have thoght they would have learned to check the Unionist parties press releases for accuracy by now. Still when you are 278 it takes time and constant repetition – Check your facts!

      And again – Check your facts!

    16. bobajock says:

      Oh no … it takes hard work to write this level of crap but the Herald is a past master soooo …

      Eeek.

    17. Hamish100 says:

      How accurate in % terms is the Herald, Record, Hootsman and the other unioist press? 30% ? or is this too high.

      anglo brits Tom Gordon, Gardham and his old DR pals Torquil C and Begg should let us know.

    18. yesindyref2 says:

      The real problem is “journalists” and Labour politicians can’t do their times tables.

    19. Muscleguy says:

      When will the majority of people realise that any figures in the MSM are inherently suspect. Even if all the lying by omission is omitted you can’t trust them to tell you what the figures actually mean.

      As a scientist I can tell you the vast majority of working scientists break out in a cold sweat at the prospect of the MSM being interested in their work. Universities have media departments to guide you through the crafting of a news release which is so dumbed down it is grossly inaccurate. This document is then the starting point for the MSM to get it even more dumbed down and wrong.

      I regularly thanked the gods of science that I worked in an area very unlikely to attract to such attention. I was briefly worried when my work was published in Nature but not even my helpful cartoons in the figures obviously helped any journalists grok any of it. I slaved over those figures.

    20. Del says:

      Rev, you have the advantage of being able to do sums. The Herald no longer does joined up writing, never mind joined up numbers.
      The Scotsman has already disappeared round the u-bend, and the Herald is dissolving and rotating rapidly as the flush is pulled. Other toilet jokes are possible but not necessarily desirable.
      The situation is as ‘unacceptable’ as Scottish Labour itself.

    21. Clarinda says:

      The SNP are not putting the right kind of ACME Easy Glide polish on the rail tracks – obviously.

      One of the best scenic rail journeys I’ve had on a rare sunny day from Wick to Perth – especially the journey before Inverness – even though it took forever.

      Perhaps the saying “Is that true, or did you hear it on the BBC?” fits just about anything these days – apart from WOS naturally.

    22. Dan Huil says:

      Glad I don’t buy the Herald, or Sunday Herald. Glad I don’t pay the bbc tax. For laughs I now go to the internet for the latest brexit banana-skinned BS from britnats.

    23. David MacGille-Mhuire says:

      The good Reverend hits accuracy targets yet again and then some ahead of the bog standard BritJock MSM poltroonery and outright, out of sync lies out of time and scientific dimension fibs to boot contrived.

      No wonder the lazy b’stards keep attempting to red flag his forensic analyses and this site.

      Fcuk them and keep the trains coming, Reverend.

    24. starlaw says:

      Watched a guy trying to give away a copy of the Sunday Mail in Weatherspoons, Livingston yesterday, nobody wanted it.

    25. Ronnie says:

      Arbroath, Carnoustie and Markinch each currently only have one train a day that terminates. So if it is 5 or more minutes late on a particular day then 100% of terminating trains failed PPM. Strangely it doesn’t mention this statistical anomaly in the article. This is clearly a boilerplate release sent out by the ‘Scottish’ Labour press office as ultra-unionist rag The Courier is running exactly the same story with the same dodgy figures but tailored to Tayside.

    26. Ronnie says:

      I should have added that Elgin also only has one terminating service per day (from Kyle of Lochalsh, bizarrely) while Wick has a grand total of four.

    27. yesindyref2 says:

      Of course, Scotarail could produce an extra report making it very clear even to the dumbest person what the actual statisitics are for the month – in detail and in words of one syllable.

      They could call it “The July 2017 Diddy report”.

    28. Proud Cybernat says:

      Ach, time for a wee re-run (it might as well be the Herald:

      “It’s true! Ah heard it oan the BBC.”

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYTcpHsFKM4&feature=youtu.be

    29. Socrates MacSporran says:

      This piece is, of course, based on a very-inaccurate Labour Party press release. One of our local Labour list MSPs tried this one on with our local paper about a month ago. This paper is no longer “local” inasmuch as it has an office within the circulation area. Their single reporter is in the circulation area for less than one day per week, and, quite frankly does not have the time to check these pieces for accuracy.

      This Labour list MSP had 80% of the trains running late every day, except, the figures did not add up. He had trains late in “terminating” at local staations, except, no trains actually terminate at the stations he used as an example, all were intermediate stations. And, the 80% late arrivals trains didn’t even pass through the circulation area. It was a textbook example of: “lies, damned lies and statistics”.

      But, for as long as newspaper staffs are decimated and harrassed Editors use press releases without checking them, the Unionist parties will get away with such misinformation.

    30. Robert Graham says:

      enough to make you weep, i dont know what unionists are rejoicing about ,its them who they are taking the piss out of half the country dosent believe a bloody word they print.
      A blissful ignorance .

    31. HandandShrimp says:

      They don’t call it the silly season for nothing.

      Who honestly even bothers to check to see if the train is a couple of minutes early or late? I commute daily and every now and then the heart sinks as a signal fails but otherwise I jump on the train snooze my way to work and hop out at the other end caring not a jot for a minute here or there. There was a period back in winter 2010 when the trains were shockingly bad but they did improve. I can’t say the current providers are any worse than First…in fact my gut instinct is that certainly in the last 6 months they have been better than First.

      It would be amazing to have a system like Switzerland where you can set your cuckoos to the trains but then they are an independent country 😉 However, if you are churnalist with no decent SNPbaaad to write about I suppose the trains are a fall back. They could do an Express and write about the impending ice age winter coming I suppose. Fake news must out…or something.

    32. Proud Cybernat says:

      “But, for as long as newspaper staffs are decimated and harrassed Editors use press releases without checking them, the Unionist parties will get away with such misinformation.”

      And the colonial meeja rarely publish SNP rebuttal Press Releases. And, on the very rare occasion that they do, they somehow mange to precede such pieces with “Sturgeon Blow…”, “SNP Attacked…”, “Pooey Pants…”

      You know the drill.

    33. yesindyref2 says:

      Mmm, from Scotrail website:

      Journalists – you can contact the ScotRail media team between Monday to Thursday 08:30 to 17:00, and 08:30 to 16:00 on Friday: [scotrail email addy]

      So what would the journalists prefer, to get a press release from the source, which can be checked and if it’s a LIE would rebound very hard on scotrail – or take a Labour press release?

      Answers on the back of a labour press release to: The Herald.

    34. yesindyref2 says:

      @H&S
      OT
      Talking about the Swiss, a couple of weeks back I was sat in the short unblooked queue (you can’t book it) for the late evening freight ferry back to Ullapool after a near death experience a couple of days before, watching the freight loading operation and blethering to the Swiss couple in their kind of camper behind, and when it was nearly done the Swiss guy commented how efficient the operation was. I can think of no higher compliment for Calmac!

    35. Dorothy Devine says:

      When are circulation figures published – I want to gloat!

    36. Proud Cybernat says:

      Come on, Scotland. Let’s leave this crap and these time-wasters in the meeja behind. We don’t need them. They are holding you back. You don’t need them. A better country for you and your family awaits.

    37. Any stuff about trains should have made a quick appearance in the Express.

    38. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “When are circulation figures published – I want to gloat!”

      Should be any day now. IIRC the regionals publish in February and August.

    39. Geronimo says:

      Abundantly dishonest reporting….facts should be checked prior to printing or would this delay the run between 59 secs or 1 – 5 mins?
      Yoons are loons

    40. Capella says:

      @ Socrates MacSporran 3.03 – interesting comment confirming the suspicion hat this is simply a Labour Party press release with all the typical errors of arithmetic and judgement.

      But surely the SNP are circulating regular press releases. do the papers bin them I wonder?

    41. galamcennalath says:

      The Herald has an agenda to spread a simple message – “Scotland is Shite” .

      That might be a crude way of summarising it, but the intention is anything but unsophisticate.

      It’s a chip chip approach across the Unionist media where they set out to bad mouth all public services and generate a view (among the gullible) that Scotland isn’t capable of getting anything right. And of course the overall objective it to embed the idea that if can’t get xyz right, how could be ever run our country!

      Why does the Herald do this? It’s not beholden to Murdoch! What did the Union ever do for the Herald?

    42. David McCann says:

      And this from a so called ‘quality national’! What a contrast to 30 or 40 years ago, when properly trained journalists like Murray Ritchie, Ian Bell, and Harry Reid were around.
      I’m not saying there are no decent journalists around now, just that they are as scarce as hens teeth!

    43. mogabee says:

      Oh for the luxury of a train. Seriously, this is soul-destroying stuff and reporters must be struggling to find a decent story about news.

      They are so, so lucky having SLabs furiously beavering away thru ordinary folks twitter conversations, faceache retorts and other social media. Stroke of luck coming up with the rail fantasy though. 😀 😀

    44. You heard it first here. Scotland is shite.

    45. Az says:

      That’s amazing – the sheer desperation to do Scotland down takes real commitment and utter dishonesty. I can’t understand how people can do this without feeling ill. They are either devoid of conscience, or genuinely suppressing their inner-Scot with their outer persona…

      Actually, I choose the latter, given how angry they always are. So sad. Let’s remove them all ASAP.

    46. Capella says:

      Prof Robertson covers this story too. Worth a happiness boosting read.
      https://thoughtcontrolscotland.com/2017/08/07/scotrail-outperforms-services-in-england-and-wales/

    47. yesindyref2 says:

      Funniest thing of all about this, is that even Scottish Labour don’t have it on their website, or twitter feed.

      It’s too bad even for them to claim ownership of.

      Trust the Herald!

    48. Proud Cybernat says:

      “Trust the Herald!”

      Do I have to?

    49. yesindyref2 says:

      “Do I have to?”

      It’s optional for Indy supporters, mandatory for the brainless.

    50. Dorothy Devine says:

      Thanks Rev Stu – I wait in anticipation!

    51. Dorothy Devine says:

      Thanks Rev Stu – I wait in anticipation!

      This may be a repeat but I think not.
      Message saying duplicate detected .

    52. heedtracker says:

      Look back Monday. Coming UK hackdom shit storm over a NOT Scottish bridge too far, should also be a sight to see.

      https://wingsoverscotland.com/look-on-down-from-the-bridge/

      1995: Scottish Labour MP Alistair (now Baron) Darling rages furiously against the idea of a new road bridge across the River Forth.

      “Mr. Darling: Do the Government still want to proceed with the building of a second Forth road bridge, which would devastate the constituency that the Minister seeks to represent at the next election?

      Will the Minister make the Government’s position clear so that we know whether they want to build this ridiculous bridge?”

      Arise Lord Trougher, a truly great Scottish socialist and Morgan Stanley board member:D

    53. heedtracker says:

      Wow! So SLabour say no and its cost Scotland over double the construction funding. Wonder how many SLabour dingdongs got gongs and seats at the Lords trough for this UKOK farce, other than Lord Flipper. Good to see Herald twits actually do some reporting though.

      Exact same SLab catastrofuck has happened with Aberdeen’s decades late by-pass. All kinds of yoon whacko tories, red and blue, held up the AWPR, meaning build costs have at least tripled, with more than 20 year delay causing massive losses to the local Aberdeen and north east of Scotland economy.

      2003-7: The Scottish Executive, under the control of Labour and its junior coalition partners the Lib Dems, returns hundreds of millions of pounds of the block grant to the Treasury in London every year, unable to think of anything to spend it on.

      “The executive has left funds unspent at the end of each financial year, provoking criticism from opposition parties. In the most recent figures, for 2004-05, the underspend was relatively low, at £273m.

      That unspent money has amassed in a vast savings account held by the Treasury. As The Herald revealed four months ago, that had accumulated by last year to £1.5bn.”

      2005-6: During this time, the Forth Estuary Transport Authority issues increasingly urgent calls for a replacement Forth road crossing to be built (despite the protestations of its own board members on the Lothian side of the river), with a projected cost of £700m, warning that the existing bridge could have to close down by 2015.

      The Labour-run Executive, with more than twice that much money sitting in the bank unspent, ignores their cries, saying it’s “too early to make a decision”.

    54. Cactus says:

      Trains is it…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rtAoBKKd1Q
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64HGeHCBq5w
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_U8GCrvHMzo

      That’s pretty good stats for Glasgow’s main stations. What’s a matter of minutes waiting anyway, big deal. SO how do the trainsfolks measure their timings.. is it all GPS technology stuff, or is it when the lead carriage hits the buffers.

      Scotland also has loads of quality bridges for trains to go over.

      Still silly season furralittlebitlonger.

      Happy Holidays!

      Note: It’s gonna be a FULL moon tonight! (beware @ 7:10 pm)

    55. Cuilean says:

      At the risk of sounding like the Fat Controller, on the approach to Ardrossan Harbour, the train crosses 3 level train crossings, one in Stevenston, and two in quick succession on approaching Ardrossan Harbour itself. Extra safety regulations apply on approaching theses three levels crossed by vehicles, cradled yachts, ferry traffic including hundreds of cyclists & pedestrians, including children and elderly all heading for the Arran ferries; which can pile on the minutes delays… or perhaps the Herald and the ever malignant SLAB press release mob, would prefer the trains to just thrash through, regardless of safety & other track users?

    56. John Duffy says:

      The other thing that needs to be considered is the Delay split. Trains are delayed for many reasons. 23% of Scotrail delays are caused by Network Rail’s infrastructure.
      10% are weather related.
      ScotRail are directly attributed 34% of delays, with 9% caused bybother passenger operators and 3% by freight services.
      The remaining 21% are attributed to operations that may involve ScotRail, but it does appear as though the shoddy journalism at the herald have simply lumped all the delays onto ScotRail. I suppose it is quicker than actually checking the facts.

    57. Proud Cybernat says:

      If we ever allow ANY Unionist party power at Holyrood then the first thing they will seek to do is to permanently lock Scotland into this dysfunctional Union, ensuring there is no realistic way out ever again. They will do this by passing a law at Holyrood whereby any constitutional referendum on the country’s future will require a 2/3rds majority of the parliament for any constitutional change to proceed.

      That’s the future that awaits you if we EVER allow these undemocratic barstewards back into power in Holyrood. If we value our democracy, if we value the right to make our own choice we must absolutely make sure these Yoon Goons NEVER take over the poer reins at Holyrood.

      And we can all take a part in ensuring that never happens by,

      1) Voting YES in IndyRef2 or (failing this)

      2) Ensuring you get out your chair and vote for indy parties in every election in Scotland.

      Keep our democracy good – keep the Yoons out of Holyrood.

    58. Sinky says:

      Yoons in press complaining about the number of spin doctors Nicola Sturgeon has but when you have 95% of all newspapers plus BBC Misreporting Scotland churning out SNPbaad misinformation on daily basis – not to mention Yoon web sites and social media targeting by Scotland Office – it would be a full time job for several people to counter all the lies that gets into the public consciousness

    59. Cactus says:

      To put things in perspective, ahm a lot more concerned about Weapons of Nuclear Mass Destruction being in our back gardens, than I ahm about my in or outbound train, to or from central station by a few minutes.

      Should Trident go tits-up, ye willnae have tae worry about catching your 9 to 5, ever, again. Train timings are trivial in terms of these bigger issues.

      Looking forward to our approaching iScotland referendum.

      iScotland is the cure.

    60. heedtracker says:

      Cactus

      Trident’s dumped in Argyll because if a warhead goes off by accident, the blast zone and the fall out will probably mean the end of Scotland, Chernobyl style, with hundreds of thousands of dead Scots, but it wouldn’t affect England much at all.

      Its why you have a colony or three.

      If just one Trident did go off on the Clyde, we might be lucky in that the prevail westerly wind could be an easterly, and the fall out might be blown out the Atlantic, so Embro might survive in tact, might. Glasgow’s stuffed though.

    61. WellReadNed says:

      Everybody has experienced the exasperation of a train being late.

      Newspapers are sometimes read on trains or in train stations.

      Newspapers have to fill up space.

      Slab churn out filler hoping your train is late and you read a newspaper whilst waiting.

      This is not hard.

    62. Alex Clark says:

      Glasgow airport has no direct train link to the city centre it will cost you £7.50 or €8.30 on the Express bus to the city centre for a distance of 15km

      Edinburgh Airport has no train though you can take the tram or bus to the city centre price is £5.50 or €6.07 for a distance of 14km.

      Berlin Schönefeld Airport to city centre is €3.40 for a distance of 23km

      Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam city centre costs €4.20 for a distance of 24km on the state run NS service which are “always” on time.

      Scotrail is run by Dutch company Abellio who are the international arm of the Dutch rail operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen. NS is the principal passenger railway operator in the Netherlands and is wholly owned by the Dutch state.

      The Scottish Government are putting together a bid to win the franchise for the running of Scotrail when Abellio’s license expires. Let’s hope they succeed.

    63. Cactus says:

      “If just one Trident did go off on the Clyde, we might be lucky in that the prevail westerly wind could be an easterly, and the fall out might be blown out the Atlantic, so Embro might survive in tact, might. Glasgow’s stuffed though.”

      Exactly heedtracker, all 603,000 of us Glaswegians would be dust ‘n’ bones.

      iScotland is the way to go.

      Toot-toot!

    64. Effijy says:

      The train schedules are now at a very high level of reliability,
      And they continue to imprive, however, compared to the
      Herald’s 100 % record of lying and deceiving it’s very few readers
      On a daily basis . There is doom for improvement.

      This constant stream of drivel produced by Scotland’s oldest
      Surging newspaper should Guarantee it will soon be 100%
      Closed before long.

      Good riddance !

    65. K1 says:

      It’s the ‘fact’ that this shows that these so called journalists can’t even lift the fucking phone to Scotrail to check the accuracy of their figures before publishing, I mean it’s beyond parody.

      Do they just sit and make it up, or phone Slab press office and ask the receptionist to just mouth off random numbers or is it that whoever wrote the piece can’t actually read, as in comprehend the figures in front of them and the ‘context’ with which to understand the information?

      To put it on the front page of the paper edition is staggering stupidity, when it’s clear that the Headline and a profound misunderstanding/misreading of the statistics has produced a completely misleading and false account of the actual reality of Scotrail’s performance.

      Here’s the ‘alt’ headline and article, aka ‘what it’s ‘really’ claiming.’

      ‘We are a Shower of Fucking Idiots

      By Isa Plum

      We have just been handed a list of things from a Slab, about train times in Scotland. We can’t find anyone in the office who can understand the information on the list, so what we’ve done instead is misinterpret the information, take some bits out of context, rearrange other pieces and generally misunderstand the whole of Scotrail’s actual improvements over the past year, we’ve done this because we believe that Scotlrail are a badly managed company incapable of meeting it’s own targets.

      We thought about phoning Wings Over Scotland first, cause we know that Stuart Campbell might be able to crack the code of this mystery table, but we fucking hate him, so instead we’re going to publish a made up story and wait for Mr Campbell to write a piece on his extremely popular website explaining what the tables and targets really mean.

      Then when we get the twitter feedback and letters from the general public alerting us to the fact that we’ve royally screwed up, we’re going to accuse Mr Campbell of ‘making us look bad’, and probably get another article up monstereing the ‘nats’ for noticing what a bunch of amateur alt bloggers we are, masquerading as a ‘national’ newspaper.

      Scotrail are shite. Its’s the SNP’s fault. And in general if we do find a good news story we will endeavour to report the exact opposite as the reality, cause this is now the only way we can get the remaining unionists in Scotland to buy our paper.’

      Now that’s good copy 😉

    66. Cactus says:

      “There is doom for improvement.”

      Well said Effijy 🙂

    67. Chick McGregor says:

      Personally, if I were a yoon scribe, I think I would have gone with “93.7% OF TRAINS IN SCOTLAND MAKE TARGET BUT SNP STILL MAINTAINS THEY ARE NOT NAZIS”

      Most have been a close shout.

    68. Az says:

      @ Cactus, 4.51pm

      Oh good warning, it’s full moon in Aquarius, so it will mostly jar on people with Sun sign (aka ‘starsign’) in Taurus, whose birthday is around May 4th/5th/6th, but they’re generally placid anyway, and Scorpio whose birthday is around 6th/7th/8th November… Mostly okay but if they blow their top it’s a big deal! More people in jail have the Scorpio sign than any other, or so they say. Gulp 🙂

    69. Az says:

      I’m going on four trains to go see my pal this evening, best be careful :-O

    70. izzie says:

      Sorry to poop on the party but as a frequent passenger on the Aberdeen Glasgow service I can reliably inform you that in order to achieve their target Scot Rail practices ‘skipping’ that is to say failing to stop at intermediate stations such as Arbroath when the train is behind schedule going on to Dundee.

    71. Cactus says:

      Safe railings to you Az, I hope all of yer trains arrive on time, or before schedule.

      Look to the sky in one hour…

      Scorchio Scorpio! 🙂

    72. Cactus says:

      Ok, so what happens if a train arrives early then?

      Do they have to write ‘I must not’ x100 lines.

      Thank you all you train workers.

      You are excellent x.

    73. AFAlba says:

      Scotrail outperforms services in England and Wales – see thoughtcontrolscotland.com today .

    74. ronnie anderson says:

      On any given day there are speed restrictions on the running road due to maintenance ect, never brought into the equation.

    75. Az says:

      @izzie, 6.07pm

      Are you absolutely certain about this?

      A perusal of the timetables shows that different services stop at a different selection of stations between Aberdeen and Dundee. Many omit Portlethen, but some stop there; some omit Stonehaven, but some stop there; the odd one stops at Laurencekirk; the odd one stops at Broughty Ferry; the odd one stops at Invergowrie…

      All trains on that service are scheduled to stop at Arbroath, although I note on 18th May there was disruption due to a broken down train near Arbroath, when passengers for Arbroath were required to board a bus from Dundee.

      Surely if skipping was happening it would be all over the news as a classic SNPBad story?

    76. Alex Clark says:

      I live in Arbroath, work in Aberdeen haven’t been on a train yet that skipped Arbroath and landed me in Dundee.

    77. Dan Huil says:

      Sometimes the train stops at Montrose on its journey from Aberdeen to Dundee southwards and likewise northwards. It’s clearly marked on the timetable when it’s due to stop and not.

    78. ronnie anderson says:

      Scotrail should introduce another travel class , 1st class 2nd class & cattle class for journalists I’ll do the electric proding fur free.

    79. Alex Clark says:

      O/T

      Headlines this morning:

      Former SNP MP Michelle Thomson wants Sturgeon apology The Scottish Herald

      Former MP Michelle Thomson Demands Apology From Nicola Sturgeon For Forcing Her Out SNP Daily Record

      Michelle Thomson wants Sturgeon apology The Scottish Herald

      Former MP Michelle Thomson wants apology from SNP leadership and the BBC The National, Scotland

      Headlines this afternoon:

      Sturgeon: Michelle Thomson ‘not easy’ situation for SNP The Scottish Herald

      Michelle Thomson SNP row explained as ex-MP criticises party The Scotsman

      Nicola Sturgeon Defends SNP’s Treatment Of Ex-MP Michelle Thomson PoliticsHome

      Nicola Sturgeon: Michelle Thomson situation ‘not easy’ for SNP Edinburgh Evening News

    80. Meg merrilees says:

      Re the train sometimes skipping stations between Dundee and Aberdeen.
      My sister lives in Carnoustie and a couple of times she has been on delayed Scotrail trains that have ‘skipped out’ Carnoustie.

      On both occasions the guard has checked the length of the train if anyone is wanting to get off at the intermediate stations and a taxi has been provided to Carnoustie/Brought Ferry etc. from Dundee. Don’t know if it skipped Arbroath.

      My understanding is that there is a long-distance Virgin Aberdeen train behind them on the line and since there is nowhere to pass after Dundee, they have to shift the local train asap.

      Re the new bridge:

      Took a drive south through Fife today- beautiful- and over the Forth Road Bridge to have a nosey at the Queensferry Crossing.

      What a beauty! I can only say that it is breathtaking. Well worth the wait and i for one can hardly wait to drive across.
      Well done all concerned in designing, building and creating this stunning Scottish achievement. What better indicator of the way forward for this country.

    81. velofello says:

      I’m a regular train traveller, service excellent.

      I’m an infrequent visitor to Scottish NHS facilities, when I do the service and politeness of the staff is excellent.

      I don’t have a BBC TV license though I can have it for free now.

      I stopped buying the weekday Herald during the heyday of Mags Curran and Murphy. Yesterday’s Sunday Herald has finally broken their link with me. it was a series of dispiriting nonsense,written by fellow Scots.

      “PEOPLE BEHIND THE POWER” – is the article heading – featuring Annie Wells, a list MSP who received 2040 votes, yes 2040 votes, a person behind the power?

      And this is the personal bit. I stood against my seniors’ instruction on my principles a few times during my career, was threatened with dismissal, but never was. And I would have refused to write that article.

      Is it ‘just a job”?

    82. Graham Fordyce says:

      Excellent analysis, exposing a mediocre mass media. The Journalist will be embarassed. The Editor should be. The publisher won’t give a toss.

    83. George Drever says:

      We NEED the SNP to start calling out and challenging this relentless media bias and manipulation. It is poisonous and corrosive, and one of the most significant hurdles to achieving Independence. It also appears to achieve its goal, because unless the reader is pro-Indy and has access to sites like WoS, then the damage is done. The accuracy of the article is irrelevant, the headline alone confirms biased/distorted viewpoints. I never ever imagined we would be subjected to such blatant propaganda in this great ‘democracy’.

    84. Liz Rannoch says:

      While waiting for Laura Muir to hopefully win her race I decided to check on what was being said on the Herald site – and guess what?

      The story has been pulled – Yyesssss!

    85. Artyhetty says:

      Shocking, surprised we get any visitors at all what with this state of affairs! Bad bad, SNP!

      O/T

      Was up in Edinburgh centre today, really heaving with festival goers, fabulous. Went by the flower clock in th gardens, for a treat, you know the cuckoo clock. This year someone has decided to celebrate, 200 years of the, er, ‘Scotsman’! For some reason, the five minute wait, and the half cocked cuckoo, which sounded like it had had enough, just wasn’t worth it. Everybody else also seemed quite underwhelmed! Oh dear.

      Lots of tartan, far ‘too Scottish’ we thought, lol. It was a joy to see soo many people, from so many countries, just enjoying the whole atmosphere. 🙂

      Scotland, not just Edinburgh, is a truly international country. Let’s keep it that way. The unionists are far too parochial, ie, ‘britain’ is what their world. No thanks.

    86. yesindyref2 says:

      @Liz Rannoch
      Wow! The power of Wings.

      I hope we see a retraction of it – I WILL be watching for it.

      Mmm, I guess I won’t be the only one 🙂

    87. yesindyref2 says:

      Mmmm, I wonder what the Herald will do with all those print copies out there 0 issue a recall via Truthing Standards?

      Jeex, I needed a laugh. Well, I’m haing one.

    88. Artyhetty says:

      Re, George Drever@9.19

      We get you, but with 100%+ of the media anti SNP, on which platform should they try to do that?
      Fewer people are buying into the mass media meme, some choose to ignore the alternatives.

      Just keep sharing the facts, as much as possible.

      My typos earlier, grr…meant, ‘britain is what their world seems to be’.

    89. Karmanaut says:

      You’d be pretty pissed if you were Abellio, wouldn’t you?

      For a transport company with a reputation to uphold and contracts to win, these headlines are a bit like someone splashing a burger chain across the front pages telling people that 50% of their burgers contain rat.

    90. Daisy Walker says:

      This is a business, and peoples jobs and professional reputations are on the line.

      Can you imagine any tourist after reading these headlines and thinking – I really fancy a train journey through Scotland to see the country. No, me neither.

      If the papers and MSM slandered Tesco’s or Virgin, or Scottish and Southern, or any other big business in this way, there would be legal consequences.

      I sympathise deeply with the SNP constantly dealing with the MSM, and 99% time, much as I hate it, I kind of agree that ignoring them is the policy which works the best.

      This time however, I think the papers have handed them a lever, and they have a duty to take action.

      Meanwhile, the printer is getting fired up. 10 copies of this are getting printed, and I’ll swing round by my local Railway Station and hand them out. 1 for the office at work too.

      Every car’s a Billboard.

      Cherie the on
      (this should be Cheerie the Noo, but the spell checker keeps changing it – I’ve grown to like it)

    91. FTDmail says:

      Well just stuck in my complaint. See what I get back. Next stop IPSO…

    92. Graham says:

      Even if the lies in the unionist press about train performance were true, what Labour and Conservative parties will be at pains to avoid focussing on is that Network Rail who own and operate the rail infrastructure are owned and operated by the Westminster government.
      And it is Westminster’s Network Rail which causes the bulk of train delays in Scotland.
      The unionist press can’t claim ignorance of this reality…

      “Some 54% of delayed minutes on Scottish railways are directly attributed to Network Rail, he claimed, calling for management and accountability of the service to be devolved alongside other transport powers”
      http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/15158661.Devolving_control_of_Network_Rail_in_Scotland_could_save___100m_a_year__MSPs_told/

      “However, Network Rail, the UK body that maintains the track, is understood to be responsible for more than half of the delays.”
      https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/network-rail-in-scotland-should-be-put-under-control-of-ministers-9qzd3sk8v

      “However, Network Rail – which is responsible for managing the track, signalling and infrastructure – answers to the UK Government, even though its performance has a direct impact on ScotRail.”
      http://www.scotsman.com/news/transport/push-for-control-of-railways-to-be-devolved-to-scotland-1-4341843“

    93. G says:

      Hope you’re billing Rob Shorthouse for this 🙂

    94. MJT says:

      @George Drever

      Perhaps the Drever Institute for Media, Statistics and Outreach could hold an ad hoc meeting…brainstorm and ideas session.

      I recently read the Drever Institute’s paper on male grooming for the modern man, and found it to be incredibly informative.

      Best wishes as always.



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