The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

One day we’d like to be surprised

Posted on April 10, 2016 by

Alert readers may recall that a few months ago the Scottish press got itself in a right old lather about a temporary closure of the Forth Road Bridge. The SNP were attacked relentlessly in the media for what a subsequent inquiry in fact found to have been an “unforeseeable” fault on the bridge which posed no risk to life. But fair enough.


This week, 17 schools in the Edinburgh area were closed down over fears that they might be unsafe after the wall of one of them fell off in high winds, two years after another wall in an Edinburgh school collapsed and killed a 12-year-old girl.

All 17 had been built under a controversial PFI scheme signed in 2001, when the UK government, Scottish Parliament and Edinburgh City Council were all controlled by Labour, and which isn’t due to be finally paid off for another 20 years.

You know where this is going, right?

Because this is how the Observer chose to report the story today:


There wasn’t a single mention of Labour anywhere in the actual text of the article, the sole occurrence of the party’s name being a passing reference in the second-to-last paragraph in a quote from Green candidate Andy Wightman. Readers were left to associate the closures with Nicola Sturgeon.

We’d noticed the exact same strange framing in a piece in the Sunday Times this morning, and that set our curiosity tingling. So we decided to have a look at the rest of the Scottish media’s coverage of the story.

BBC: no mention of Labour at all

BBC (story #2): no mention of Labour at all (even when making reference to the current Labour-controlled council)

STV: no mention of Labour at all

Daily Record: no mention of Labour at all

The Herald: no mention of Labour at all

Sunday Express: no mention of Labour at all

Edinburgh Evening News: no mention of Labour at all

Sunday Post: Labour only mentioned in Andy Wightman quote

Sunday Times: Labour only mentioned in Andy Wightman quote

The Scotsman: no mention of Labour at all, despite Wightman being quoted

Scottish Daily Mail: no mention of Labour at all, despite Wightman being quoted

In short, in a remarkable display of uniformity not one Scottish paper thought it in any way pertinent or relevant to raise the fact that Labour had built all the schools which are now in apparent danger of disintegrating barely a decade after they were opened.


We assume it’s all simply a big coincidence, of course. But as we say in the headline, just once it’d be nice if the Scottish media didn’t live down to our expectations.

Print Friendly

    3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

    1. 10 04 16 18:56

      One day we’d like to be surprised | Speymouth

    2. 10 04 16 21:18

      Reinvigorated |

    3. 17 04 16 17:52

      PPI and the Sting in the New Labour Tail « Gedboy's Glasgow

    328 to “One day we’d like to be surprised”

    1. Pentland Firth says:

      Scotland leads the way in having the most dysfunctional media in the democratic world.

    2. Croompenstein says:

      I wonder what the greatest living civil engineer at the time of the Forth bridge monstering Dr Scott Twat Arthur has to say about the PFI buildings falling down… fuck all presumably

    3. Wow! This could be the start of something good. Maybe they’ll keep it up, and not mention Labour ANY day 🙂

    4. John Moss says:

      Now, newspapers wouldnae print anything if it wasnae true. Right…?

    5. hamish says:

      They are all under instruction from Auld Clootie

    6. TonyD says:

      Good ol’ MSM, keeping ignorant people ignorant

    7. snode1965 says:

      Hmm…I wonder if the MSM will have the gall to aggressively pursue this story as a SNP bad theme, similar to the Chinese investment non-story that has lasted all week?
      Will we have wall to wall Kezia demanding answers from Nicola, with the usual lack of a platform given to reply.
      Surely the SLab pack are not that deceitful…..

    8. winifred mccartney says:

      The last 2 sundays SOS has been in supermarket near me with free bags last week, free hardback childrens books this week and they are still not shifting -anyone with half a brain would begin to ask themselves why- they all deserve to go the same way as labour and as for the BBC nice words fail me but we must keep complaining because the bbc is supposed to be impartial.(honest I’m no kidding its in their blurb).

    9. Gary45% says:

      As mentioned on an earlier post , the SNP have got to get the facts out regarding who was responsible for the PFI fiasco.
      As Slab will be keeping quiet about this , I think the electorate will remember it was Slab who were involved, after all the EBC have said nothing about this hence it couldn’t be the SNP, because when an SNP member farts the EBC with wrinkly Burd jump in to accuse them of chemical warfare.
      As for A Scott, Dr of what exactly??? and Hothersall ” a pair of USELESS WANKERS”
      Tick Tock

    10. Eean says:

      @Croompenstein: Talking pish about NPD financing. Seems to fail to understand this is a stacked bar chart.

    11. I must thank the Rev for being one of the few people to support Scotland in the Media. God knows what we would do without him.
      Our English Media stinks. All of us must take some action to combat the Media, whether writing, leafleting, talking….do something to promote Scotland. Particularly in the next few weeks.
      I am in Spain, but tomorrow I will have three letters in the post for Scotland.

    12. Jim Mitchell says:

      So no mention of Labour from media, so no surprise there then!

    13. CyberMidgie says:

      I see there’s precedent for this kind of thing:

      Again, a Labour council; again, Miller Construction.

    14. Andy Murie says:

      Maybe Scottish Government should set up an enquiry into the deals Labour entered into under PFI.

    15. ClanDonald says:

      There are a lot more problems with PFI schools out there, this is just the tip of the iceberg. I know of at least 3 schools where the roof of the gyms blew off. One which was built by Amey in Dumfriesshire was the same design as another where the roof blew off but they went ahead and built it anyway. Inevitably it didn’t take long for the roof to blow off. Another gym roof in Lochgilphead blew off within weeks of opening about 10 years ago.

      I bet there are loads of individual incidences out there that have been given a low profile in the Labour-friendly media so as not to paint a picture of failure across the country. It could be a fun research project for someone.

    16. mealer says:

      The unionist media are biased.Labour made an arse of it and the media try to put the blame on the SNP.

    17. Gullane No 4 says:

      It’s years since I bought a newspaper.

    18. Clapper57 says:

      The silence of the Bams .

      The King and Queen of the full enquiry Monsieur Rennie & Madame Baillie are conspicuous in their silence re the PFI outrage. I am sure they will be on it tomorrow. Or will they ?

      Thought Rennie’s big thing was Education Education Education in this election…perhaps he may decide the closures of schools does not fall into this remit ?

      There will be a lot of Yoon headless chickens running around this weekend concocting spin under the heading ‘Damage limitation’ , I suspect they will weave a collective web of deceit against the Scottish Government as being lapse in council funding , maintenance funding , poor record in Education funding, though the fact that some of the schools, I believe are not old schools, one would hardly expect them to be closed for safety reasons…? How ? What ? Why ?

      Roll on Monday with Reporting Scotland , Scotland Tonight and Scotland 2016 . I await with abated breath .

      One wonders if will it be a further episode of the China Sindumb or Schools Out .

      My feeling is that this is one story that cannot be avoided , however the who , when , why and how is another story which I hold no realistic expectation to being exposed …..or will it ?

      Whatever happens I sincerely hope the SNP are on to this like a flies on shit because if they don’t take the initiative on this and seize this day then they will surely regret it. Time to play SNP you have an election to win. Don’t let us down….such a pity the Parliament is not in session just now …now that would have been enlightening .

    19. Bob Mack says:

      North Korea media central could pick up a few tricks from their counterparts in Scotland, and that is no kidding.

      They are beneath contempt.

    20. Macart says:

      Creating a narrative by omission of pertinent facts. People don’t have all the facts then they are being sold what?

      Yeah, that’s what it looks like to me too.

      The media and politics are a match made in wossiname.

    21. Iain says:

      It would be nice to think that one day at BBC Scotland, or in the offices of the Herald, or the Hootsmon, or the Record, some well brought up individual might just say…”hey, lets tell the whole, objective truth for a change. Let’s do some real objective journalism for the first time in…however long. Let’s own some integrity.” But we shouldn’t hold our breaths.

    22. Paula Rose says:

      Surely there is something in the contract about the building falling down will result in it being terminated? I mean Labour wouldn’t have been that stupid would they?

    23. heedtracker says:

      BBC England has a near complete black out on anything SNP, news, politics programming, rarely if ever a mention. As far as BBC in England are concerned, either UKIP or LibDem’s are the UK’s third party.

      BBC r4 will probably attack Sturgeon with this latest Labour nightmare though. That lot are desperately hard core right wing yoons.

    24. Clapper57 says:

      Re my post a glaring omission ***

      I believe are not old schools, one would hardly expect them to be closed for safety reasons…? How ? What ? Why ?

      ****Sorry and WHO ? LET’S NOT FORGET WHO ? ***

    25. Dan Huil says:

      I must be very naive because I’m still astonished and sickened at the unmitigated glee in which britnat “journalists” do down Scotland.

    26. HandandShrimp says:

      I see Duncan at his very best in tea leaves reading there.

      He has an uncanny knack for seeing the future 🙂

      The problem is everyone associates PFI with Brown (when in fact the Tories started it). So they can try and paper over the cracks as much as they like they aren’t fooling anyone.

    27. heedtracker says:

      Surely there is something in the contract about the building falling down will result in it being terminated? I mean Labour wouldn’t have been that stupid would they?

      A main part of the PFI finance system is that the PFI builder is responsible for their building maintenance. Say average cost per school is £6 million a year, over a 30 year contract, the PFI contractor is in charge of all of it and leases it back. Repairing this damage is another big test of how PFI was sold at the time by Labour, Gordon Brown, all Lab and Lib Scottish councils that went PFI berserk.

      If Scotland’s BBC led media were actual reporters n shit, we’d be told a lot more about this financing but ofcourse that’s not their purpose.

    28. mr thms says:

      Is there a rule, during the official election period, that is prohibiting the media from naming the administration under whose watch this scandal occurred?

      Perhaps the Electoral Commission can intervene..

    29. Effijy says:

      Even if any SNP official is asked the time, their only answer can be that their only focus is on helping the many thousands of pupils, Teachers and ancillary staff who have been put in danger by the Lib Lab PFI Scandal.

      We are also flat out working to try and get the Scottish Tax payers out of the most Horrendous Interest Rates imaginable that comes with shoddy PFI.

      Nothing else should be discussed as this is the only way
      the Tory Toff and the Lazy Labour voter will ever find out

    30. seanair says:

      Rev STU, you can add the Sunday Herald to the list. I’ve been considering for some time cancelling this paper which has too many SNP BAD journalists disguised as impartial writers. This is the last straw and I won’t be buying it again.
      For those who have not read the paper today, someone called Judith Duffy blithely passes over the fact that PFI was not introduced by the SNP, and although she mentions “the Edinburgh City Council Leader”, she forgets he is Labour and it was Labour who thought PFI was wonderful.

    31. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Surely there is something in the contract about the building falling down will result in it being terminated? I mean Labour wouldn’t have been that stupid would they?”

      Well, we’re talking about the party that made it more expensive to cancel the new no-aircraft carriers than build them…

    32. Ian says:

      It’s clear that the MSM can publish any old rubbish without fear of being held to account by a regulatory body? But then deceit has long passed into openly lying about substantive issues. What next? Just making up stories? – Elvis is alive and living on the moon – because the SNP wouldn’t allow him back on earth.

    33. Sandy M says:


      The greatest living civil engineer appears to now be the BBC News website’s greatest living photographer of collapsed walls. Check the first photo credit on their headline article.

    34. Sassenach says:

      It is most ‘unfortunate’ that this came to light while Holyrood was in recess – so exempting the one real public area that our FM could have publicly sorted Slab out.

      But come Monday, I will expect the SNP to have all guns blazing, or I suspect we will be lucky to get an overall majority in May. If we let them walk all over us on this, we are done – and there go my dreams of Indy2. Sickened.

    35. Tinto Chiel says:

      Our media stinks. Time for the SG to take the gloves off and get stovied into these shysters.

      Thanks for wading through it, Ref, so we don’t have to.

      This May and next May we must hose out these corrupt, lying toadies, and then Scotland can move on.

    36. MajorBloodnok says:

      During the independence debate the Yoons spent most of their time insisting that they didn’t want walls, so I am not in the least surprised at walls falling down and the Unionist press not mentioning it.

    37. Grouse Beater says:

      Unimaginative, jerry-built crap, thrown up in double-quick time, so that greedy investors raked in the lolly without a delay, vastly inflated interest payments transferred to their offshore account, checked in their office with the sea view, on computer, in their French Riviera second home

      We never actually owned the bloody buildings!!

      Remember voters, when it comes to Labour it’s not the quality, it’s the quantity.

      So, following that example: 2-votes-SNP.

    38. galamcennalath says:

      The obvious conclusion from the colonial media’s lack of response is that they know this has enormous potential to harm Labour.

      The SNP should go for the jugular on this one. They are on record, time and time again, of saying PFI was the wrong solution.

      Announce that if the SNP are re elected in May, they will have a big investiagion / inquiry into how PFI arrangements got Scotland into this mess. (apparently there are similar buildings in Glasgow and Fife)

      Make it completely clear that they believe this was Labour, at every level of government, with responsibility.

      Open the books on every PFI contract, schools, hospitals, whatever. How solid are the contracts, given that buildings may not be quite so solid! Review everything.

    39. karmanaut says:

      Clear case of “Wheesht for the Union”. Not a single grain of journalistic integrity between them. Disappointed in STV, though, who should be better than this.

    40. Craig P says:

      I remember the outrage from Labour after the 2007 election when an SNP minister was opening ‘their’ schools.

      Wonder if Rhona Brankin ex-MSP (for it was her complaining about it) still feels that Labour should be rightfully credited with the build of these schools.

    41. Sinky says:

      Hard to believe that not one politician has commented on the latest PFI scandal. Usually newspapers run to politicians to get quote so that they can give the story legs.

    42. Craig P says:

      What’s a unionist to do on 5 May? There’s the tax dodging pig fuckers on one hand, or the bank bailing school collapsers on the other. Don’t envy British nationalists that choice.

    43. Scott says:

      Just seen the Scottish news mentioned the schools with Catriona Renton ex failed lab no mention of labour are we surprised early today I sent of an email to BBC have your say about this.Brewer just as bad maybe they should check out the hospitals as well.

    44. Clapper57 says:

      Hope Cameron doesn’t provide the deflection on this by resigning this week…well …..not yet anyway….Gonna no resign the noo…just gonna no….make it the week before Scottish elections that would be nice….burst Ruth Tank Commander’s ‘We are the party of the Union’ bubble.

      Oh yeh…very nice.very very nice.

    45. muttley79 says:

      I was thinking of the MSM’s/unionists trying to make out that the China deal with the SG is somehow wrong. I genuinely cannot believe that even Scottish Labour appear to have learned absolutely nothing since around 2007.

      Then I remembered they have Kezia Dugdale as their branch leader, and Blair McDougall is still somehow still employed by them. It is staggering when you think about it. They tried to play the smear card on Salmond numerous times, and now sure enough the exact same tactics are being used against Nicola Sturgeon. They persist with this horrible, malicious approach to politics, and yet they appear to think it is a good idea. In conclusion, Labour in Scotland are genuinely this clueless and rank, and these smears are the only thing they have to offer.

    46. Stoker says:

      I’m just hearing of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Fife being mentioned in all of this but is there a possibility this may turn out to be far more widespread than we are being led to believe?

      The reason i ask is the boss just reminded me that one of ours went to Wallace High in Stirling several years ago when it went through the complete new building of a replacement Wallace High.

      Couldn’t say whether or not it’s the same builders but it was done through the same finance schemes and what we can remember is the work was guaranteed for X-amount of years. What ‘X’ was we can’t remember but 25-years is ringing a very distant bell.

      Bannockburn school got a whole lot of modernisation work done to it but we couldn’t tell you anything about the finances or contractors behind that project either.

      My others went to Dunoon Grammar and that went through a complete new rebuild also, about the same time period as the ones in Edinburgh etc.

      Mmm, this whole saga gets more interesting by the minute!
      In any other country it would be getting screamed out from absolutely every media outlet there was.

      The scum BUM are rancid to their filthy cores. Scotland is London’s mushroom garden, kept in the dark and fed shite!

    47. Ruby says:

      It interesting to note the lack of comments on the Scotsman’s article about PFI schools. There are only 14

      Whereas the article ‘Sturgeon urged to publish details of talks with Chinese firms’ has 270

      I like to check what the UniTrolls are saying on ‘The Scotsman’ it gives you an idea how the story will be spun. As yet they don’t seem to have come up with a SNP Baad! slant to this story.

    48. yesindyref2 says:

      I think the important thing with this PFI is not to tell people that it’s Labour did it as they probably can know for themselves that the schools are too old for it to be the SNP, and a lot of people will remember Labour and PFI.

      I think the important message to get across is, why are the media not telling everyone that it’s Labour who did the PFI deals, why are they not telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

      Hit the media, they’re important, never mind Labour / SLAB, they’re less.

      The media has really made itself vulnerable over this, so hit them in the crotch.

    49. Sale Alba says:

      It is up to all of us to point it out to all and sundry as well.

    50. heedtracker says:

      Probably underestimate now but PFI debt at £300 bn 2012. I think yoonsters may have wrapped Scotland’s share of it during their GERS says you’re bankrupt by £15bn rage, a couple of weeks ago

      A SLabour legacy, they’re dropping to bits and could harm school kids now

      “Dave Prentis, general secretary of the union Unison, said on Thursday night: “The NHS is just the start of the story.

      “We’re sitting on a PFI debt time bomb, and the sheer scale of the burden paints a seriously grim picture for the future of our public services.”

    51. Papadox says:

      This is typical SLAB. Treat the mugs like mushrooms. Keep them in the dark feed them on shi*e and they’ll keep voting for you. If there are any hiccups use their friends in MSM EBC to muddy the waters while the SLAB elite contact the money changers in some overseas accountants office to make sure their not paying any UK taxes. JOB DONE.

    52. george wood says:

      To be fair, the Sunday Post online article “PFI safety fears spread” makes Labour’s part in the PFI debacle crystal clear.

      Their section headed History outlines the timelines, the original misgivings about PFI and the building failures that have arisen already across the UK.

      Labour comes out very badly in this article.

    53. Effijy says:


      Pals Financing Imbeciles
      Profiteers Flagrant Indiscretions
      Public Flogged Indefinitely
      Politician’s Foibles Imploded

      Scotland’s First Minister publishes her Full Tax Returns!
      Let’s hope Dipity Dug doesn’t follow suit or we could be
      having a whip round for her.
      Will Ruth Krankie need to declare her Panto season money?

    54. Who the feck is Blair Mc Dougall, and what’s it got to do with him, I ask?
      As far as I can see he’s out of work at the moment, the latest I can find on him is that he’s a political ‘pundit’

      I looked up ‘pundit’: no, ‘Prick’ is not on the list of definitions.

      He is certainly not a ‘Brahamanic scholar, learned in Sanskrit pandita, and Hindu philosophy, religion and law. Perhaps he is ‘a learned person’, or, more plausibly ‘a person who claims to be and expert’.

      9000 Scottish pupils’ very lives are at risk because of PFI dodgy builders, their education, and wellbeing are put at risk because of the Tory (1992) and Blair/Brown Labour (1997 onwards) Public Finance Initiative/ Public Private Partnership crooked deals with Big Money.

      I believe that the Skye Road Bridge was built under PFI (the Tories) and the SNP Government had to buy it back from the Consortium (American ?) which built it and immediately scrapped Bridge tolls against which the good folk of Skye were prepared to break the law and go to jail.

      Last time I looked there were over 700 PFI, nudging towards 800, schemes across all Government Departments, resulting in hospitals, schools, prisons, government departments, and so on and the Red Blue and Yellow Tories have lumbered us and our children with over 300 BILLION in rents, and debt repayments over the next 25 to 50 years.

      Brown and Blair were quick to bum about new schools and hospitals coming on line, omitting to tell us all that we would never publicly own them, and that we would pay ten times the actual cost it should have been,had our governments borrowed the money, and built the bliddy things themselves, and built up our publicly owned UK and Scottish assets.

      But no, what does ‘pundit’ Mc Dougall, and Jackie Baillie, the Last of the Dumber Whine, prattle on about?
      Not the safety and education of our youngsters. Not the almighty cock up and massive waste of our Taxes by Red Blue and Yellow Unionist Governments who gleefully entered into this neo liberal PFI farce in the first place.

      No it’s Nicola’s ‘secret deals’ with the nasty Chinese, who somehow want to invest £10 billion in Scotland, in infrastructure, housing and transport projects that take up newsprint and broadcast hours.
      Not the Unionist PFI cock ups. Not our children’s education and safety.
      The TV and dead tree ‘papers collude with the withering husk of Unionism Up here to prattle on about Chinese reds under our beds, and how BAD SNP are.
      Fuck our children, say the New Unionists. The Chinese are coming! Lock up your daughters; but not in the changing rooms of a PFI school.
      They are a disgusting little bunch, aren’t they?

    55. Big jock says:

      It’s the MSM v’s the people…. Now there is an idea for a TV drama!

    56. Dr Jim says:

      I would have had money on it happening tomorrow, thanks @Lollysmum but what have I been saying

      There seems no primordial ooze these people aren’t happy to slide back into while the rest of us civilised folk got out

      I for one will not be forced back in to their sectarian bigoted cringing wannabe the same as my idols, the Big England folk, where being in London is the goal and ambition
      These Yoons are devoid of any moral compass or fibre, to deliberately work against ones own country in the concerted co-ordinated way that they do should be a criminal offence
      Of course in many countries it is

      This is the same media who would scream for a public outcry about “Journalists” who are being watched, quite frankly I hope our government IS watching every one of them for the time when they do have the power to do something about them and they’ll get no petition signed for them by me, I’ll be the one sitting up close clacking my knitting needles as the thunk of the blade comes down so the last sound they hear is my cackling (gone too far now haven’t I)

      I know you all know what I mean though, and there’s the thing, we all care enough to get exercised about their behaviour, while too many people out there just watch it happen like they’re on Valium until it’s too late

      SNPx2 #feelthethunk ….(wee modern reference there)

    57. Ruby says:

      Same situation on The Herald re comments.

      Schools closures 14 comments with comment from Charles Linskail!!!!!

      Nicola’s tax returns 94 comments after only 3 hours.

      If these rags are reliant on clicks then obviously the SNP Bad story is the way to go.

    58. G. Campbell says:


      I closed my eyes, drew back the curtain
      To see for certain, the wall I knew
      Far far away, Kezia Dugdale was weeping
      But the press was sleeping
      Amey shite will do

      An exciting tale of innovative shite, innovative explosions, innovative ceiling collapse, and Gordon Brown’s brother and his fear of socialist teachers.

      Strike threat over chaos in classrooms
      The Guardian, 26 August 2001

      Teachers at one of the Glasgow schools that struggled to open in time for the new term because of delays in private public partnership maintenance work are preparing to strike.

      The threat comes as staff complained to The Observer of hazards they and pupils faced in returning to what were, and in some cases remain, building sites. Building materials and equipment still lie in corridors and, in one school, human waste last week poured into the playground from a fractured toilet pipe. Thousands of pounds worth of equipment, including computers, camcorders and a freezer, are missing, presumed stolen.

      Teachers at St Roch’s secondary in Townhead have called for a union ballot on strike action. Tom Murphy, principal religious education teacher, complained to the education authority in May that noise caused by PPP work was interrupting teaching and could be affecting the performance of pupils sitting examinations.

      John Brown, Glasgow City Council’s head of communications and younger brother of the Chancellor, rejected the criticism. ‘PPP is the only game in town,’ he said. ‘There’s a small group of teachers with a political agenda who are causing trouble.’

      Pupils hit as ceiling collapses Four are taken to hospital as schools safety row continues
      The Herald, 15 Sep 2001

      FOUR pupils were taken to hospital yesterday after the ceiling of their recently refurbished classroom collapsed on top of them.

      The accident at Shawlands Academy in Glasgow happened the day after 2200 pupils were sent home from Holyrood Secondary after a series of electrical explosions. Both schools are among the first to be refurbished under Glasgow’s flagship £1.2bn private-public partnership (PPP) scheme. The incidents will lend weight to concerns voiced by teachers about the safety of the rebuilding work.

      In yesterday’s incident, the fifth-year students were among a small group attending a religious studies class when a section of plaster fell on them, shattering when it struck them.

      The city council came under criticism earlier this month after teachers and pupils raised health and safety fears about the refurbishment of the buildings.

      Teachers claimed they were working in ”intolerable conditions in a building site” when the new term resumed at the end of August. They claimed that health and safety regulations were ”rushed through” to allow the school to reopen on time.

      Shawlands Academy was one of five secondaries in Glasgow where refurbishment work continued under the PPP scheme, known as Project 2002, until hours before their scheduled reopening.

      Teaching unions demanded answers over safety on Thursday after a series of electrical explosions at Glasgow’s largest school.

      Pupils at Holyrood were led to playing fields after light bulbs exploded in two corridors and smoke billowed from computers in the administration block. All pupils and staff were sent home early.

      The Educational Institute of Scotland has been at loggerheads with Glasgow Council since the decision was taken to close 10 secondary schools and rebuild or upgrade the remaining 29 via a partnership with a consortium involving the Miller Group, Amey, Halifax, Mitel, Hewlett Packard, and Morse.

      Capital reveals £360m deal for schools:Firm moves from Glasgow work to Edinburgh
      The Herald, 16 Nov 2001

      EDINBURGH City Council yesterday announced it had signed a (pounds) 360m deal to rebuild and renovate 18 schools in the city.

      The contract with the Edinburgh Schools Partnership (ESP), a consortium made up of Amey, Miller Group, and Bank of Scotland, is the latest in a series of PPP (Public Private Partnership) schemes in education.

      Last year Amey also won the (pounds) 1.2bn PPP project for Glasgow’s schools which has been the subject of some controversy.

      Ewan Aitken, the council’s education executive member, said: ”This is an outstanding achievement for the city of Edinburgh and will have enormous educational benefits for generations of city school pupils.”

      He said the recent fall in interest rates had also brought an additional saving of £1m over the period of the contract.

      ”To get to this stage, there has been a lot of hard work, but it is hard work that is well worth it. I know some parents may feel we have been talking about our PPP plans for a number of years, but today I’m proud to say this council has delivered on these promises,” Mr Aitken added.

      While the Glasgow PPP scheme has seen the opening of its first new school – St Mungo’s High – there have been major problems with some of those which have been renovated.

      In September, four pupils at Shawlands Academy were taken to hospital after a classroom ceiling collapsed. They were released after a check-up.

      This came the day after 2200 pupils were sent home from Holyrood Secondary after a series of electrical explosions.

      Charles McLeod, managing director of Amey Scotland, said: ”We worked exceedingly hard to understand how a large schools project works in Glasgow, and we have developed a highly innovative solution.’

      Highly innovative solution = employ a yogic flyer to distract Mr Wind God for the next thirty years.

    59. Tombee says:

      Hothersall. The arse licker’s arse wipe. Does he EVER take the trouble to research anything before applying it to the toilet roll he uses to write his crap upon ?.

    60. Effijy says:

      This Nation, Scotland, will from a new declaration of Independence that will work toward the greater good and deliver a Fair and Just society.

      Although honourable, we must have no qualms about welding the sword of justice against those who threaten our finances and our safety.

      If our own enquiry shows politicians. investors, or builders have put our people in danger a reaped unjustifiable rewards, they must stripped of their assets and imprisoned.

      Just look at the positive impact this had in Iceland.

    61. Clapper57 says:

      george wood says:

      10 April, 2016 at 7:45 pm

      “To be fair, the Sunday Post online article “PFI safety fears spread” makes Labour’s part in the PFI debacle crystal clear.

      Labour comes out very badly in this article”.

      My response :

      Hi George , good point , but I suspect , the Sunday Post being a Tory paper , their motive was not in publishing the truth but political motivated . They want the Tories to be main opposition party , hence for once they sacrifice their political bias towards the SNP for a political advantage against Labour.

      All the best.

    62. G. Campbell says:

      Charles McLeod MBE

      Private Finance Panel Executive
      September 1995 – September 1997 (2 years 1 month)
      The Treasury’s first quango established to promote PFI projects. Seconded to the Scottish Office. Helped the Inland Revenue and West Lothian College to restructure projects and become successful. Assisted the Scottish Office to restructure local government funding.

      Business Development Manager
      Miller Construction
      October 1997 – August 1998 (11 months)
      Assisted with the development of Group strategy, leading to the establishment of a new division to secure major regeneration and partnership projects. Assembled and led teams bidding for PFI projects.

      Managing Director – Amey Scotland
      January 2001 – March 2003 (2 years 3 months)
      Responsible for creating a Scottish corporate presence for Amey plc. Scottish turnover was c.£100m, generated by 1,400 employees. Education projects included PPPs for 40,000 pupils in Glasgow & Edinburgh. Highways contracts included South of Scotland trunk roads and North Lanarkshire roads.

      Driving force in Scotland – Interview: Charles McLeod
      Sunday 19 May 200215

      CHARLES McLeod, MBE, has his work cut out. As managing director of support services firm Amey in Scotland, McLeod’s myriad responsibilities include maintaining the M8 and rebuilding and refurbishing schools in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

      In 2000, McLeod joined Amey after three years working with 3ED Glasgow, an Amey-led consortium with Bank of Scotland and Miller Construction. His work there included winning and managing the Glasgow Secondary Schools public private partnership projects for the local authority.

      Almost immediately, McLeod was appearing in the newspapers after Amey’s work on upgrading road networks ran into problems. Last October, two consecutive days of heavy congestion on the M8 caused by the collapse of a manhole cover resulted in eight-mile tailbacks and a barrage of criticism.

      In addition, the company won the 360m schools contract by the City of Edinburgh Council. Under the 30-year contract, 10 new primary schools, two special schools, two high schools, a secure unit and a community centre will be built, and three high schools and one special school will be refurbished.

      McLeod says: “I’m certainly very proud. Most of the things I have done have been trying to improve the quality of life for people in one way or another.

      Another fillip came from Amey’s work with the SFA in helping it prepare its documentation relating to Scotland and Ireland’s joint bid to stage the 2008 Euro competition. McLeod’s company acted as a consultancy providing advice on transport, ticketing and accommodation for the bid.

      That Euro bid went well.

    63. Cadogan Enright says:

      For the first time ever last night, I went to ‘phone the BBC about this (non) story and ask them why they were not covering it – and shrugged my shoulders and thought ‘why bother?’and got on with some work for a local community orgainsation – BUT you have me fired up again – 03700100222

      Meanwhile, from scot 2 scot – speaks for its self –

    64. louis.b.argyll says:

      The SNP must grab this blatant smearing.

      They must expose these consequences of poor governance.

      They must expose the media manipulation, it’s a perfect, easy to understand issue.

    65. Legerwood says:

      Stoker at 7.31pm

      Re Wallace High. Stirling Council built at least 4 PFI Secondary Schools including Wallace High. Ogilvie built 3 of them and A (L or J) King built one.

      Wallace High had problems after it opened – the specifications laid down for energy efficiency of the building were not up to scratch. Also the playing fields flooded – well they built it on a well known flood area. They had to raise the playing fields about 6 feet to solve the problem. Don’t know if they solved the energy thing.

      Dunblane High was another PFI school. Flat roof – heavy rain – opened front door in the morning and water came out to meet them.

      Balfron High – contractor went bankrupt after it was built so everyone was in a stew about what would happen. Seems to have sorted but not exactly sure how.

    66. Returnofthemac says:

      Most of these ‘new school builds’ have the same ‘footprint’. I would be concerned that there may be a considerable number that need to be examined for faults in the construction.
      When SNP get elected on May 5th I would be having a public inquiry. Not for a second am I suggesting anything underhand took place.


    67. Tam Jardine says:

      This piece encapsulates perfectly what we are up against. I have been around a bit now (we all have) and this is what we expect.

      What was not clear to me a couple of years ago and what is clear to me now is that the unionist or establishment media are not going to be shamed into changing their despicable ways. They are producing propaganda and distorting the news in our country. It is that simple.

      The Rev is making the same point many of us have been making since Friday- he presents it in a better way and it has a broader reach. The yoons don’t care.

      No moral gymnastics are too convoluted. The Rev posts this piece and we all feel a bit good about ourselves that we are wise to their methods but this is a defeat. Every instance is a defeat.

      As long as organisations like the Observer, the BBC, the Herald and the Scotsman are controlling the above ground message no slab deficiency will be highlighted and SNP scandals will be invented or embellished.

      Where do we go? Until online, independent media truly takes over from the rotten MSM I would suggest everyone able and willing takes action to infiltrate said organisations to destroy them from the inside.

    68. Clootie says:


      “Wheesht for the union”

      I liked that! 🙂

    69. Capella says:

      I wonder how secure the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh is in it’s new site at Little France. It was built by Balfour Beatty but under a PFI contract. Lots of controversy at the time as the Loiriston Place site was central but now sold off for luxury flats for bankers I believe.

      “The replacement hospital had been built on a mostly green field site in the south-east of the city, with the contract signed in August 1998. The new building was designed by Keppie Design and constructed under a PFI contract by Balfour Beatty.
      The development of the new site cost £184 million,[23] £34 million more than originally budgeted. The building was built without air conditioning, and portable units are required for the summer months.
      Jim and Margaret Cuthbert unveiled evidence outlining why the PFI scheme was a poor use of public funds whilst resulting in huge profits for private investors.”

    70. yesindyref2 says:

      @george wood
      Perhaps it’s time the Sunday Post went back to being a Good News newspaper. And that isn’t Labour or the Union.

      I think 0370 us an expensive national number from which the Beeb make profit so they’ll happily talk for hours.

      might have an alternative freephone number, it’s not as popular as it used to be so not so up to date.

    71. yesindyref2 says:

      @Tam Jardine
      One of the first things is that anyone who phones up to be on the likes of Question Time doesn’t say they’re SNP. Undecided would be good, agnostic even better!

      UKIP could be good, they probably don’t get many of them.

    72. Ruby says:

      george wood says:

      10 April, 2016 at 7:45 pm

      “To be fair, the Sunday Post online article “PFI safety fears spread” makes Labour’s part in the PFI debacle crystal clear.

      Labour comes out very badly in this article”.

      Ruby replies

      I thought the Sunday Post article was fair enough.

      I did read a digital copy of the hard copy (if you know what I mean! A digital copy of the paper that would be on sale in the shops) It did feature a photo of Gordon Brown which the online article doesn’t. It also has a different headline ‘How far does PFI scandal go?’ It has a two page splash.

      This is the front page of the Sunday Post.

      I read the article on:

      this is a great facility that I can access using my Edinburgh Library card number.

    73. yesindyref2 says:

      Yes, and if they ask what question they want to aks make it something like “Could Nicola Sturgeon explain why here PFI schools are falling down”. and then ask something totally different when the microphone is in the face.

      Fucj ’em

    74. Legerwood says:

      “” Ruby says:
      10 April, 2016 at 7:50 pm
      Same situation on The Herald re comments.

      Schools closures 14 comments with comment from Charles Linskail!!!!!

      Nicola’s tax returns 94 comments after only 3 hours.

      If these rags are reliant on clicks then obviously the SNP Bad story is the way to go.””

      The papers are no doubt putting an SNP bad bias on many articles as click bait. But what they seem not to realise is that it gives supporters of the SNP, or just supporters of more balanced journalism, a chance to debunk the stories and in the process show up the fault lines in the Media and its standards.

      There are a lot of people visit the Herald on-line and read the articles and comments but don’t post comments therefore the people who are commenting and setting the story straight are reaching a wider audience than even the paper edition of the Herald.

      The people who post pro-SNP comments or comments that give a more balanced view are balancing out the constant negativity and bias of the media but there are not too many of them and I think more people should bite the bullet and start posting comments that rebut the stories and give a fuller picture otherwise I can see this approach by the media over the next 3 weeks leading to a reduction in the SNP’s lead which could threaten the possibility of an overall majority for the SNP, and maybe no majority at all. Labour/LibDem/Tory coalition of national unity – or national Unionism??? Farfetched?

    75. Tam Jardine says:


      Exactly. We have to stop playing nice and playing the game. We need to start doing things that fuck the unionists up.

      Asymmetric warfare. Impossible to talk about on Wings- each of us has to find their own way and act.

    76. Chic McGregor says:

      I take it, with her top priority of education, Kezia will be asking questions on this to Nicola.

      Or maybe not.

    77. defo says:

      This, as they say, will run & run.
      You can’t retrofit wall ties, and what structural engineering firm, in their right mind will sign off ANY of these school walls as safe.
      I worked on one of the Fife schools, they’re all built to template, with identical specification.

      Not withstanding the political capital to be had here (are you listening SNP?), this might be an opportunity to divest ourselves of the PFI millstone we have been saddled with.
      It’s not in the realms of fantasy that the fucking lot will have to be torn down and built again. This time with 50p a pop wall ties @ 600mm centres included !

      My 3 girls are fine for starting back tomorrow. 1 going to an 80 yr old stone built primary, and the big 2 to a dilapidated, soon to be replaced but still functional Porty High.
      My thoughts and sympathies are with the THOUSANDS of kids and parents who are in real trouble. One school full of kids could be accommodated elsewhere, but 17 ? Not a hope in hell. And it’s an open ended problem, with absolutely no immediate solution.

      Played well, this could be the final nail in Slabs coffin.

    78. Auld Rock says:

      A slight digression, is it correct that the bulk ofthe MSM is owned or controlled by persons or companies based ‘of-shore’?

      Auld Rock

      I should add MSM refers to print media.

    79. Capella says:

      @ Dr Jim
      I think I hear the sound of tumbrils rumbling down the Royal Mile to Holyrood

    80. Ian Brotherhood says:

      We’ll all be surprised if, at any point this week, Baillie, Gray, Lamont or any of SLab’s Big Beasts are asked about their party’s role in this scandal.

    81. cearc says:

      Miller Group had their fingers in an awful lot of SLAB pies, did they not?

      The RICS might want to reconsider the fellowship that they gave Keith Miller,

      ‘Keith receives his membership through the Eminent Route, which is by nomination and only individuals recognised within the industry as a leader in their field, whose standing is beyond question and judged to be out of the ordinary, will be considered.’

      He also got a CBE in the New Year’s honours list that year, 2010 – now who was Prime Minister then?

    82. Ruby says:

      Legerwood says:

      The people who post pro-SNP comments or comments that give a more balanced view are balancing out the constant negativity and bias of the media but there are not too many of them and I think more people should bite the bullet and start posting comments that rebut the stories and give a fuller picture otherwise

      Ruby replies

      Any time I have posted on The Herald my posts get deleted.
      As for The Scotsman I always get banned.

      One explanation I got from The Scotsman’s moderator for being banned was becuase I used a ‘veiled profanity’ I used the term ‘pee pee’

      This is a picture of the front page of ‘Scotland on Sunday’
      compared to this the Sunday Post deserve very high marks.

    83. thomaspotter2014 says:

      The situation we’re witnessing with the Scottish Media is beyond acceptable in the modern age.

      Creepy and sinister manipulation is being spewed out 24/7 and it cannot be allowed to continue.

      Total Fucking Disgrace.

      We need to end this abomination.

      Now today.

    84. Ruby says:

      Ruby says:
      10 April, 2016 at 7:50 pm
      Same situation on The Herald re comments.

      Schools closures 14 comments with comment from Charles Linskail!!!!!

      I made a mistake in my earlier post it should read with NO comment from Charles Linskail!

    85. muttley79 says:

      @Tam Jardine

      Exactly. We have to stop playing nice and playing the game. We need to start doing things that fuck the unionists up.

      Sorry Tam, but the SNP have been very successful since 2007. They won a landslide in 2011, paving the way for the independence referendum, and the Yes campaign recorded the highest vote for independence, when it mattered most in the September 2014 poll. The SNP won another landslide in 2015. We do not have to stop playing nice, we have to do what we have been doing for the last decade in particular. Very few people in Scotland trust either the MSM or the unionist parties. Why on earth would we forget all that to please the MSM/unionists. They want to distract us, and get us involved in their brand of smear and dirty politics. I say fuck that!

    86. Giving Goose says:

      Re Tam Jardine

      “Where do we go?


      We need to get the phrase “Anti-Scottish!” into the Lexicon, when referring to the Media using SNP Bad stories.

      When a media outlet runs an SNP Bad story, refer to that media outlet as “Anti-Scottish!” immediately.

      If the BBC, STV, The Daily Record, Sky News, The Guardian is referenced by a No supporter as the source of an SNP Bad story, immediately the reply should be “The BBC is Anti-Scottish!” “The Daily Record is Anti-Scottish!”

      It should also be applied to individuals.

      “Jackie Bird is Anti-Scottish!”

      “Glenn Campbell is Anti-Scottish!”


      So if you’re speaking to work colleagues, family members, in the pub, on Facebook, on Twitter, and you are presented with an SNP Bad comment (and you are aware of the source, e.g the BBC or Scotsman) immediately reply “The *source* is Anti-Scottish!”

      Do it often enough and it soon becomes accepted.
      If we all do this, it becomes powerful.

      “The Media is Anti-Scottish!”
      “Reporting Scotland is Anti-Scottish!”
      “Willie Rennie is Anti-Scottish!”
      “Torcuil Crighton is Anti-Scottish!”
      “Kezia Dugdale is Anti-Scottish!”

      Get it people? 🙂

    87. Provost Sludden says:

      I look forward to the day when Scottish election results have no mention of Labour.

    88. Breeks says:

      Tam Jardine: You’re correct Tam, but before we concern ourselves with destroying these hostile agencies, there is a much more progressive alternative.

      If I was King for the day, Scotland would hold a plebiscite; a fact finding plebiscite where the population of Scotland would vote for Holyrood rule or Westminster rule over each and every governmental portfolio. In that plebiscite, there would be a question over broadcasting.

      Assuming that plebiscite delivered a majority for it, and God help us if it didn’t, our Scottish Government would have a new mandate from the people of Scotland to seize control over broadcasting. This would make the BBC’s position untenable, and it would also buckle Westminster’s sovereignty before the will of the Scottish people.

      Then it would get really interesting. Personally, I would not entertain any remnant of the wretched BBC, but start a whole new Scottish Broadcasting network from scratch. Others might disagree, and of course there are practical and contractual niceties which would need to be observed, but Scotland has no friends in the BBC. They have betrayed us and subjugated us for too long.

      Aye… If I was King for day… And how I wish that day had been 19th September 2014… I’d have taken my definition of the avowed “more powers” from the democratic will of Scotland’s people, and rammed that fraudulent vow down their throats.

      We don’t need to destroy these agencies. We will just leave them behind. We will shed them like a serpent shedding its skin, or like a beautiful butterfly emerges from an ugly chrysalis and then never looks back.

    89. Legerwood says:

      THere have been a few comments about the number of comments that are deleted but no explanation is ever forthcoming although sometimes it is clear that the deleted comment has survived long enough to allow people to reply.

      I still keep plugging away though.

    90. Ruby says:

      ‘There are a lot of people visit the Herald on-line and read the articles and comments’

      It used to be the comments on The Herald were interesting but now it has transmogrified into The Scotsman.

      I can’t believe intelligent people would spend too much time reading the comments.

    91. Janet says:

      And remember, as well as giving us shite schools, PFI also gives councils huge debts with bells on.

      Where is that Dr Scott and Prof Jowett? Lucky that Miller only built halls of residence at Riccarton, not lecture rooms.

    92. Lollysmum says:

      Tweet from Danny McCafferty, former leader of West Dunbartonshire council re Jack McConnells threats over PFI contracts

    93. Ruby says:

      I wonder if the Daily Mail deliberately put a picture of Kate Cracking Up next to a story about the Forth Road Bridge?

      The Queen purrs and Princess Kate cracks up because Forth Road Bridge is closed!

    94. Stoker says:

      Legerwood wrote:
      “Wallace High had problems after it opened – the specifications laid down for energy efficiency of the building were not up to scratch. Also the playing fields flooded – well they built it on a well known flood area. They had to raise the playing fields about 6 feet to solve the problem.”

      Correct! No pun intended but now that you mention it it’s all flooding back to me. I forgot clean all about the flood prone area. Aye, right enough, way up at the other end of Causewayhead.

    95. Valerie says:

      The Scottish media is beyond the fking pale.

      Despite the engagement of the people, the way the polls are going, they defy any a body to challenge their divine right to spew out this shite.

      We know SLab are in a terminal coma, but when will these so called journalists join them?

      I’m sick of it, because some of it does stick.

    96. Macart says:

      I genuinely don’t think Messrs Hothersall or McDougall realise that this very behaviour is what is making their politics so toxic. The role of the apologist and the spin doctor. Anything for the sake of the party and party line. Twist, spin, obfuscate, deflect.

      The SNP are the party of government no question, and the responsibility for handling this farce is now their duty. The ownership of said farce however, who is responsible for its existence, is another matter entirely. If Labour had even an ounce of moral courage or ethics, they’d hold their damn hands up and offer to support the SG in any measures deemed necessary to rectify the problem. They’d at least earn some respect for shouldering their share and offering support.

      How and ever their first port of call, as per usual, is deflection, rewriting history, smear without substance. Its anyone’s fault but theirs. This is meant to do what at this point? Is there a solution involved? No. Will it endear them to the voting electorate? No. Do they think, after all of the shit they’ve thrown at this government and the electorate over the past few years, that repeating the strategy of smear and deflection is going to result in a different outcome this time?

      Take a goddamn hint FFS! This type of politics is why people are turning their backs on you. Utterly ashamed I ever voted Labour upon a time.

    97. Ian Brotherhood says:

      O/T heads-up for WOS skywatchers –

      Just been outside, and looks like Northern Lights may be on tonight…looks very very similar to last time I saw them, approx eight years ago, (in Stevenston, Ayrshire) and it’s very very faint, no colour…mind you, it’s still not fully dark here…

      Stars shouldn’t be visible through ‘clouds’, eh?

      Please nip out and have a look…


    98. muttley79 says:

      @Giving Goose

      I am feeling angry and very pissed off after reading and posting on that article on Bella Caledonia. So apologies if this seems a bit blunt. We are not going to achieve independence by calling people anti-Scottish. You just need to look at how successful the unionist parties have been calling the SNP and independence supporters anti-English to realise that. Calling individuals who we do not like anti-Scottish, such as those people you have mentioned, is just going to make us look mad and in need of a tinfoil hat.

    99. TJenny says:

      Ian Brotherhood – I’d actually be astonished. 😉

      Slab – always one brick short of a wall and too many pricks for a cactus. 🙂

    100. thomaspotter2014 says:

      Macart this situation with deliberate lying TV,newspapers,radio is beyond acceptable.

      It needs to end.

      It’s not healthy in fact it’s downright dangerous.

      What other country on the whole world puts up WITH THIS FUCKING SHIT?

    101. louis.b.argyll says:

      PFI contracts, a mis-selling scandal.. be buried by the full weight of the UKs financials and construction establishments.

      Look! A princess/squirrel!

    102. muttley79 says:


      I genuinely think Scottish Labour in particular, although arguably the Liberal Democrats and the Tories in Scotland are equally bad if not worse, do not know any better any more. In fact they have been in this state since really at a minimum around 2007, although I suspect the rot really set in decades ago, with their rotten borough councils and cronyism. I think they now know fine well that they are completely shit and talentless at politics, and they are holding on in there purely for the sake of their own careers. What I mean by they do not know any better is that Scottish Labour have no other tactic left, but this revolting dirty politics of smearing and abusing the SNP. One trick ponies, SNP BAD, rinse out and repeat.

    103. Giving Goose says:

      Re Mutley

      I understand the sentiment.

      But those media outlets are, beyond a shadow of a doubt, Anti-Scottish.

      And those in the media, whether journalists or radio presenters, who act as the mouthpiec or front…well let’s just say that they have a choice and they actively participate in a course of behaviours that they could quite easily choose not to.

    104. Rob James says:

      You forgot the Sunday Mail, Stu. (I know it’s easy to forget them)

      Their front page heading – “The Lairds of Panama” re “Vast swathes” of land registered overseas.The monetary figure quoted was £100m, which is probably a couple of football pitches worth. I’ll leave it up to the readers to speculate which ones.

      However, the heading below was accusing Alec Salmond of attempting to sell Edinburgh Airport to Qatar.

      Labour PFI schools crisis? Not a peep.

    105. TheHairyHaggis says:

      @Craig P

      Prompted by an earlier post on here I did a quick Google to find a direct quote for Labour taking credit for PFI schools opening back in ~ 2003 excerpt…

      Labour’s shadow education secretary Rhona Brankin told the Dundee Courier: “Officially opening this school today shows how desperate Fiona Hyslop is–this is not the first time she has tried to take the credit for schools that were commissioned, planned and built by Labour.”

      STV website

      Also on the topic of Labour sqaundering money “taxpayer will end up footing a bill of £412 million by the time the last payment is made in 20 years’ time” for a school worth £103.9 million.

      The Courier


    106. Capella says:

      @ thomaspotter2014
      What other country on the whole world puts up WITH THIS FUCKING SHIT

      Well Venezuela did. Although they also had their state TV. See “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” from c 40mins.

    107. Stoker says:

      louis.b.argyll wrote: “Look! A princess/squirrel!”

      Aye, my thoughts exactly, thousands of our children have been put at risk and there’s more focus put on a couple of globetrotting cricket playing parasites having a good old jolly. Sickening!!

      Am away tae ma pit afore ah gee masel ah hernia.

    108. R-type Grunt says:

      Is this not actionable? I mean, we all know (suspect) the media is anti-SNP but is this not quantifiable proof of institutional bias against one democratic political party. Is this legal?

    109. Legerwood says:

      “”Stoker says:
      10 April, 2016 at 9:09 pm

      Correct! No pun intended but now that you mention it it’s all flooding back to me. I forgot clean all about the flood prone area. Aye, right enough, way up at the other end of Causewayhead.””

      Yes. It is on the land round about there – Airthrey Kerse – that Graham’s Dairy wants to build houses!

    110. Glamaig says:

      Radio 4 right now broadcasting from Norway showing how tax transparency is bad and embarrassing and very very bad. LOL

    111. Macart says:


      Were it not for the media, this incarnation of Labour would have been a historical footnote long since. Whatever folk are going through right now, a great deal of it can be laid firmly at the feet of the media.

      @muttley 79

      I’d agree with that. No talent, only a time worn strategy. They haven’t required talent or policy makers for almost twenty years, so confident were they of what they considered their entitled vote. They took their fiefdom for granted. A catastrophic error.

    112. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Radio North Britain News at Ten-

      Bong! Bong! Bong!

      Edinburgh schools first-up…any mention of when they were built, and/or on whose watch?



      Next…Willie Rennie’s thoughts on Camerongate…

      Third…Nicholas Witchell covering Prince Willie in India…

      And now, the sport…


    113. Fred says:

      I’m sure Gordon Brown will be making a statement this week!

    114. Tam Jardine says:


      I don’t want to engage in smears or dirty politics- you misunderstand me. I want us to be realistic about what we are up against and find ways of levelling the playing field if we can. Yesindyref2 came up with an excellent suggestion.

      What I really don’t want is to be bleating about how biased the press and the BBC are in 10 years time. This article feels like a victory but it is not. It is another example of how the game is rigged. The media cost us one referendum. We cannot afford to let them cost us another.

      Breeks- I think you are suggesting a Devomax referendum and I respectfully disagree. Everytime anyone suggests Devomax we have to make it crystal clear that we will never under any circumstances be granted Devomax and that 100% of the Scottish electorate voting for Devomax cannot trump Westminster.

      Broadcasting will never, ever be devolved under any circumstances no matter how much we desire it.

    115. Sinky says:

      As the BBC TV news yet again fails to mention that these schools were only built 10 years ago under Labour’s PFI project, thank goodness for The National’s front page to-morrow.

      The National ?@ScotNational 27m27 minutes ago

      Tomorrow: The PFI crisis… ‘chickens coming home to roost’ as Edinburgh pupils are left unable to go back to school

    116. Breeks says:

      I’d like to nominate the Scottish News media for this years Darwin Awards, but I think they have to be dead first, right?

      Be next years awards I expect.

    117. karmanaut says:

      Well that was BBC news. No mention of who was responsible for building these schools or when they were built.

      At least the National is on it.

      I notice in the comments folk saying it was because wall ties weren’t used. If this is the same in all these PFI schools then this is a total crisis.

    118. Artyhetty says:

      Will need to get out early and get the National, this one will defo be hidden beneath the right wing rags.
      I noticed today in the local coop, late evening, loads of Sunday papers had not sold, wonder why.

    119. G4jeepers says:

      Audit Scotland Report on PFI Schools
      July 2002

      Improvement lifeline for 300 schools

      Kathy Jamieson Labour MP

      List at bottom of page

    120. bobajock says:

      Thanks Rev.

      I linked, stole, commented the Guardian ‘cif’ on their article to death. Its breathtaking when seen in the clear like this.

      Sick, disgusted, thought I was getting jaded. Now fully fired up again.

    121. Breeks says:

      I hear you Tam Jardine, but Devomax is just a word.

      A plebiscite would, or should I say could, re-mandate the Scottish Government to actually do something about broadcasting.

      I also agree, the moment has past and the opportunity has been missed. The window of optimal opportunity was that period of ambiguous uncertainty between the Vow promising more powers, and the mealy mouthed definition of what they meant as later defined. The Unionists promised more powers, but didn’t specify what they were. We should have seized the initiative, there and then in the immediate aftermath of the YES tragedy, and specified the definition of “more powers” ourselves. We had after all just turned down independence.

    122. One_Scot says:

      Seriously if it was not for the work you do Rev, we would never learn anything from the Yoon media.

      If they were all we had, we’d be as well penning a bar-code on the back of our nappers and plugging ourselves into the Yoon matrix for all the difference it would make.

    123. Skooshcase says:

      Yeah, I was up in Lochgilphead on the night of the storm that blew the roof off the newly built PFI fuck-up. Now, when talking of a ‘storm’, it was, yeah, a fair bit windy with rain, but hardly anything that is not the norm in Mid-Argyll.

      Anyway brand new roof ripped off after the very first minor storm, flooding the shambolic gym and other areas. The gym shambolic? No viewing platforms built for guests or anyone just interested in following a game on court. Exits in and out causing disrpution.

      Gym showers, when working, set on ridiculous timers. Shower floors laid with the poorest qualty tiling, occasionally causing abrasions on peoples’ feet,

      Safety doors that aren’t ‘safe’. The cooking areas compromised by lack of space and cooking facilities. Corridor tiles loosening. And everything of the cheapest build and nastiest quality.

      Mid-Argyll Council are now up to their arses in debt thanks to PFI with more forced ‘austerity’ cuts, year by year.

      The whole PFI rip-off is a fucking disgrace. Labour should be hung up by the balls for it. But their corrupt chums in the corrupt media will do all they can to ease the pressure. A whole pile of corrupt Labour and its media co-corruptists wallowing in a stinking big cesspit of ‘better togetherness’… what a fucking guff!

    124. cearc says:

      Guardian – HMRC chief was partner at law firm that acted for Cameron offshore fund.

      It really is beyond a joke.

    125. There is shame on the Scottish journalists,although they are controlled by the very jealous English media and the ruling classes in/from England.If their lies could be briefed against with similar amount of space I doubt they would tell such whoppers! I’m being too nice to them I think I’m feeling the effects of my pills.

    126. Gary45% says:

      Not to make light of a dire situation, but are some of the closed schools used for the election???
      Aye superbroon will crawl out and blame the SNP, Slab have played hide and seek for far to long. Thank goodness there is a real grown up party running Scotland.

      Surprised Slab haven’t come out with the classic, “they were fine when we were in charge, SNP baaad” or will that be Wrinkly Burd on shortbread tomorrow tea time.

    127. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Tam Jardine –

      Yep. You’re right.

      No way will we ever ever have independent broadcasting in Scotland, and we may not ever get it, even if we do become ‘independent’.

      Unfortunate truth is that we’re already bound by that ‘special relationship’ which we can never get escape – it’s a grinding death-dance.

      Here’s George Carlin. (BTW, it’s not the ‘usual’ clip I submit!)

      The first three minutes are excerpts from his stage shows, but thereafter he’s doing the kind of stuff which no-one – no-one at all – is allowed to do via MSM in the UK. Rev Stu or, maybe Artist Taxi-Driver would do if given the chance, but that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

      George Carlin, ‘The Illusion Of Choice’ –

    128. muttley79 says:


      Only Westminster can deliver Devo max and they have shown no sign of being interested whatsoever in doing so. I also disagree that Yes missed the opportunity to press for it. Devo max is a red herring anyway we want independence.

    129. stephen McKenzie says:

      Skooshcase 10:39

      I think you mean Argyll and Bute Council

    130. Lesile Thomson says:

      There’s something quite a few people are missing in this; with the Scottish Parliamentary elections less than a month away, if these closures are prolonged, just what provisions does the City of Edinburgh Council, and potentially other local authorites across Scotland, have in place for alternative polling places?

      This is particularly disturbing in my area of Moredun in Edinburgh. With the Goodtrees Community Centre – which is the designated polling place – AND Moredun Park Primary School closed, we are basically left without a polling place should the closures be prolonged.

      Incidentally, this could also affect the City of Edinburgh HQ at Waverley Court, which was similarly built under PFI under Labour and opened in 2006 – the council at first leased it but when property prices slumped, they grabbed that opportunity to buy it outright. Given that Waverley Court is the nerve centre for governing the whole of Edinburgh, if that is closed, then many public services could suffer.

    131. heedtracker says:

      What other country on the whole world puts up WITH THIS FUCKING SHIT?

      America. Although its even worse here because they don’t use the law to make Americans pay for the hard core conservative BBC propaganda we get rammed down our throats.

      Feel Bern.

    132. Effijy says:

      We are still 11,150 signatures away from the 100,000 required for a full Public Enquiry into the BBC Bias.

      I’ve posted this to everyone and everywhere I know, but it is still agonisingly close to at least officially recording these anti-democracy propagandists.

    133. heedtracker says:

      Feel THE Bern!

      Its the same for them as it is for us here, same challenges, same hard right conservative UKOK bullshitters that won the referendum but are losing now and wont stop losing either.

    134. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Effijy –

      Thanks for the heads-up.

      I thought I’d signed that one, but it seems not, so I have done so, and also tweeted it to my 16 followers…


    135. alexicon says:

      Misreporting Scotland after the main bbc news:
      NS talks about transparency in tax affairs.
      WR talks about tax affairs. Gives a fair account.
      David Mundell talks about tax affairs and sidesteps his affairs, but a wee dig at him in the intro.
      IG talks about tax affairs and is allowed to electioneer with a promise on what a labour party would do about it in the future.

      All as clear as day in which side the bbc are coming down on.

    136. Effijy says:

      Thanks Ian Brotherhood!
      It would be wonderful if everybody could send the link to
      all of their contacts on social media.

      We are taken for fools by Britania Media and forced to
      pay Tax for their main culprit, the BBC Propaganda channel.

    137. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Breeks @ 22:33 said:

      The window of optimal opportunity was that period of ambiguous uncertainty between the Vow promising more powers, and the mealy-mouthed definition of what they meant as later defined. The Unionists promised more powers, but didn’t specify what they were. We should have seized the initiative, there and then in the immediate aftermath of the YES tragedy, and specified the definition of ‘more powers’ ourselves


      Yes, I heartily agree. We were sold a con over the Smith Commission, for which Smith himself has to take some responsibility, since we were given to understand that it would involve everyone in civic Scotland. Yet in the event it was a miserable lowest-common-denominator fix perpetrated by the Unionists. If they had been magnanimous in victory, things might have turned out very differently, but that’s history now. Devo-max is dead.

      In retrospect we were naive (speaking for myself, anyway) in trusting exclusively to that, when we should instead have made the running ourselves, just as you say. Won’t make that mistake again.

      The upcoming elections are dominating things totally at the moment, since that’s the only avenue currently open for progress, but afterwards I hope there will be a wider civic re-engagement, not only to keep the SNP (hoping they win) “on the straight and narrow”, but also to prepare the ground far better for the (inevitable) indyref2.

    138. defo says:

      Mis-sold PFI ? For a no win, no fee quote call WoS today !

    139. Tinto Chiel says:

      Craig Murray’s on the case too. Of course the usual nasty fruit loops which infest his site start their anti-SG frothing btl.

    140. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @RonnieA –

      🙂 🙂 🙂

    141. Legerwood says:

      The problem for the SNP with the schools closures and the potential for even more to be closed is that they will have to play a significant role in getting the pupils back into some type of schooling especially the ones who have exams. At the same time the SNP have to fight an election.

      That is a pretty big ask particularly knowing that the media and your opponent’s will not give you any credit for anthing you achieve.

      The local councils should bear most of the responsibility for arranging alternative accommodation etc but you just know the media will gloss over that and lay it all at the feet of the SNP.

      You could probably write the headlines now.

    142. defo says:

      Cheers Ronnie. Off to bed smiling. 🙂

    143. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Tam Jardine The SG see what we see but still do nothing to combat Bbc biaz, its to late for this election but they have to take the Bbc ON before the next Referendem.

      As a starting point Kick the Bbc out of Holyrood & stop all interviews ? what would that say to the World.

    144. bugsbunny says:

      Duncan Hothersall can go and fucking fuck himself. This is the most one sided Nation on Earth outside of North Korea when it comes to impartial reporting. The BBC? Bastards, Buggers & Cunts. Let’s dump the BBC & it’s tax when we are free.

      I’m beginning to hate them big time. Joseph Goebbels would be proud. A shower of lying Unionist bastards.


    145. Chic McGregor says:

      I’ll say goodnight with a tortuous pun, half Gaelic and half English, I just thought of but reasonably apt.

      Hail gripes.

      Oidhche mhath.

    146. Rock says:

      No unionist is going to pay any attention to The National’s “PFI Crisis” headline, although some more gullible independence supporters will be tempted to buy it.

      The proper headline should have been: “Labour’s PFI Crisis” with Labour in big letters.

    147. Rock says:

      The SNP government should not miss this opportunity to expose the truth behind the PFI to the whole of Scotland.

      Election leaflets across the whole country should very clearly point out who was responsible and the cost involved.

      Break any rules that need to be broken. Let them take the SNP government to court for telling the truth.

      It is now or never.

    148. NeoconNat says:

      Investigate every single PFI deal in Scotland and you’ll find more than anti-SNP bias to worry about. Anything that involves politicians, large sums of money, and Wonga style investment vehicles, will invariably include degrees of corruption ranging from sweeteners to outright money in envelopes and bags.

      Thank God it was the left-leaning and well-meaning Labour Party that was in charge rather than those evil Tories. Because we all know Labour and the left are the good guys.

    149. Iain More says:

      So when oh effin when are the SNP going to take the gloves off and pit on the tackety boots and put the boot in once and for all.

      The SNP played nice all the way through the Referendum and they are still playing nice!

    150. Iain More says:

      Welcome to North Korea UK Brit Nat Style!

    151. yesindyref2 says:

      This is schools, it affects Edinburgh 17 schools, but also schools elsewhere. In fact it might involve any schools built in the last 17 years or so, or that have had major work. Attention will also turn to hospitals.

      The thing is schools affects the current kids and their parents and grandparents, it will also mnake those who went there think about it – and their parents. It’ll make a lot of Scotland think about it, wondering if their local school is affected, and maybe decididng it’s too old.

      It’s also an urgent and devastating problem, for potentially many thousands of kids.

      It’s major, truly major. It affects the everyday lives of thousands, hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions. Truth will not be able to hide behind the complicit anti-SNP media. And perhaps they too will have to tell the truth – or go down with Labour.

      This is the legacy of Labour’s PFI / PPP. They’re finished.

    152. CameronB Brodie says:

      Graeme James Borthwick

      I must thank the Rev for being one of the few people to support Scotland in the Media. God knows what we would do without him. Our English Media stinks

      The thing about corporations, such as the media you refer to, is that they have no nationality or loyalty, other than to maximizing profit. Issues of morality and probity are abstract externalities, a corrupted legal system their only constraint.

      That’s twice I’ve noticed you commenting in a manner that could be construed as nationalism that is “blood and soil” in nature. Are you aware that this is how you appear?

    153. yesindyref2 says:

      Jesus Mary and Joseph, the SNP as the third largest political party at Westminster are now being criticised in the Herald for the number of Early Day Motions they are raising – at Westminster.

    154. yesindyref2 says:

      Yes you’re right, we do need to keep up our presence in the Unionist press, accurate, polite (relatively) and to the point.

    155. Ghostly606 says:

      Is the argument though that the SNP aren’t maintaining them?

    156. gerry says:

      @Ghostly – I don’t see how it could be. The tie in issue is a construction issue, and a very basic one at that. I just cannot understand how this could possibly get through. There’s nothing to gain by not doing it right so it’s therefor straightforward incompetence, but for it to get past building control is just beyond me to fathom.
      Haven’t even looked too closely at the Oxgangs wall but for that slenderness and span, with the potential exposed area to wind load, I would be expecting a labourer (no pun intended) to pick up on this kind of howler just from experience alone.
      From a purely cold political stance however, when someone gifts you a huge piece of moral high ground like this, it makes no sense to “take the gloves off” and climb down off it and get into a street fight with them.

    157. Ghillie says:

      And as this day dawns our SNP Scottish Government will show all the no-voters and all the SNP-Baders just how good governance is carried out.

      Protecting our school children and all their staff will be the only priority. The necessary jobs will be done, quietly and efficiently.

      This can only win the SNP even more respect, trust and votes. Because they will do well, because they care. They get it. They know this is a devastating mess for all the families involved. So they will get on with the job, no matter who’s mess it was.

      That will always get my vote. There must be other folk out there coming to that same conclusion.

      Good luck to all the youngsters, wee ones and their folks who don’t know what the next weeks hold for them.

      SNP/SNP About to prove themselves again.

    158. mealer says:

      Radio Tay putting the boot in to Nicola this morning.

    159. Ken500 says:

      If these are secondary schools? Many less pupils will be affected. Many will be on study leave -soon.

      Labour/Unionists were means testing student loans on household incomes. Students from households of average earning couldn’t get a (enough) loan to go to University. The SNP have changed it. The Press have reconstructed this as ‘poorer students not taking up loans’. They really should no more research. Many students ‘change’ course. The Press – ‘students drop out’.

    160. mealer says:

      Ronnie Anderson 12.16 am,
      The SNP can’t “take on” the BBC because to do so would make them seem like conspiracy theorist loonies among a huge chunk of voters,many of whom are persuadable to our cause.However,we as individuals can help undermine that misplaced trust in the BBC by gently pointing out its inadequacies.It might seem a bit dull compared to rallies at Pacific Quay,but it’s those small conversations that will change people’s minds.

      Wings Over Scotland is invaluable to this work.It gives us our ammunition.But we can’t just sit back and expect other people to win our battles for us.

    161. Liz Rannoch says:

      This week the Courier is doing an in-depth ‘report card’ on the SNP government. Apparently it will show a C pass – just!
      But there again we all know how unbiased the Courier is?

      There’s also a piece on how the SNPs replacement for PFI is no different – SNP BAAAD!

    162. Nana says:

      O/T links


      I posted the latest byline report re Whittingdale scandal the press are not reporting on at 3.52 on previous thread. Shocking stuff.

    163. Another Union Dividend says:

      Jim Eadie MSP right to call on Council to step in and take control of the schools as they can do under the terms of the contract if ESP unable to fulfil its duties.

      Still BBC refuse to tell the nation that these schools were built under Labour’s rule when they were in charge in the council and Scottish government and Jack McConnell told councils that they would only get funding if they used the expensive PFI method of finance which is now costing councils and health boards millions a year in leasing costs and will do so for next 20 years.

      As the gravy train for the developers only lasts 30 years do you really think they would complete constructions to last over 100 years.

      Thank goodness the SNP got rid of Labour’s “rip off” folly which benefited speculators rather than taxpayers.

    164. yesindyref2 says:

      @Liz Rannoch
      Mind you, if the Courier is doing a piece on the SNP’s replacement for PFI, it’s unwittingly pointing ou to its readers that PFI is nothing to do with the SNP, and therefore when other media reports the schools as PFI courier readers will know that the schools aren’t the SNP’s fault.

      Courier is dumb as an Ox.

    165. Sinky says:

      If the BBC and Unionist press refuse to tell the truth over Labour’s (and Lib Dems) PFI scandal then Wingers need to be pro active and Call Kaye BBC and write to the press and let voters know who is to blame and point out the huge burden PFI is to our councils and health boards.

      Labour has a cheek complaining about a less than 1% cut to councils when PFI repayments and running costs are costing councils and health boards a fortune every year.

    166. Artyhetty says:

      Just read Carltonjock’s Aug. 2014 article on P.F.I. Worse than it even seems on the surface, basically the UKok government sold the people out, to loan sharks. If it wasn’t so serious it would be laughable, it’s utterly corrupt.

      Regards the SNP their Non Profit Distribution scheme has the word, Non, in it. As everything was de nationalised by the tories some time back, I should imagine these contracts have to be put out to tender, like everything, or else the UKok gov would be down like a ton of bricks on the Scotgov.

      There must be a few getting very worried about P.F.I builds right across UKok right now?

    167. Almannysbunnet says:

      Nicola should, very publicly, send a letter to our English friends in Barnsley and Durham county councils warning them that there schools may also have structural problems. It would appear that Amey Miller construction were at work down there in October 2000. It might just garner a bit more publicity. Glasgow is also in the firing line big time with contracts for the maintenance of 29 schools and the building of 11 new ones between 2000-2002.
      Maybe if RT or some foreign journalists started to turn up on our doorstep to enquire why the schools are falling down in a modern, rich, European country it might embarrass the media into action.
      I found these with the most cursory of google searches. The “over 10 years ago” oft quoted by the media is like saying WW2 happened over 40 years ago. Note the dates on these links are both 2000 when the UK was steeped and run by Labour.

    168. David Foster says:

      There is nothing we can do about any of this shite except to be prepared for a loss of SNP Majority.

      It is affecting people subliminally. When out campaigning people on the streets are beginning to walk or look away. People will no longer will open they’re doors. The SNP will lose seats.

      Then it will not be possible to get a mandate for Indyref2.

      Worse is to come.

    169. Hamish100 says:

      BBC webpage just 12 mins ago updated

      Not one mention of Labour or even Scottish Labour. Super injunction of a different kind or just political bias?

    170. Grouse Beater says:

      “The British are doing well at the Open. Five Englishmen in the top ten.”
      BBC TV presenter

    171. Hamish100 says:

      Sorry wrong link.. The fact the BBC refuse to acknowledge labours part in this debacle is just nonesense. I didn’t here Angela Constance mentioned on the report but I hope she put the BBC straight.

      Now who pays?

    172. Breeks says:

      Just to be clear, I have never been a Devomaxer. It’s Independence for me, but not independence or nothing.
      YES didn’t deliver Independence, and the moment that happened, the only people who won a mandate from it were the Unionists. Hate saying that, and due respect for those who doubt the authenticity of the result, but that’s result that stood.
      It wasn’t Devomax I wanted, never was, never will be, but what I wanted was to nail the boots of Better Together to the floor over their commitment to deliver more powers, but then steal the initiative from under their noses by having the Scottish electorate define which powers they should be.

      I disagree that only Westminster can deliver our devolved government. The declared will of the population will always trump the declared will of a parliament where the two declarations are incompatible with each other. For example it is borderline insincere to say Westminster would respect the verdict of our referendum because the reality is they wouldn’t actually have any choice.

      As far as I understand it, our politicians are delegates from our communities, elected spokespeople to speak for our interests, but the voice of the community will always take precedence over the voice of its delegate. All it requires is the opportunity to speak with one voice, like an election, referendum, or plebiscite; a formally recognised forum to express that voice. It isn’t the act of election itself that holds the power, it is the collective expression of will which it represents. That is where the very essence of the power lies.

      I believe the Scottish politicians, even where there was no devolved assembly or parliament in existence, would have the power to hold a fact finding referendum or plebiscite and nobody could stop it happening. And subsequently, the verdict delivered by that public vote would be a mandate for action delivered by a sovereign population. If we had voted YES, then irrespective of Westminster’s approval or denial, Scotland would have become an Independent country. Westminster could not obstruct the referendum, nor contest it’s result. They would be doing so without the power given them by the people. They are disingenuous to claim otherwise.

      If we were to hold a plebiscite over more powers or individual governmental portfolios, I don’t believe Westminster could obstruct the process, and it would be bound to respect the result. For that to be incorrect would mean an assembly of delegates elected by the voice of their communities would have the power to silence that voice from their communities. Our Goverment, whether Westminster or Holyrood is answerable to our will 365 days a year. It is only the impracticality of expressing our collective voice which restricts the exercise of that power to sporadic elections.

      Be nice if our Lawyers for Independence would write their own Wee Blue Book. Might be helpful eh?

    173. Grouse Beater says:

      Hamish” Now who pays?”

      The owners.

      On top of the gross rip-off interest costs, we don’t get to own the schools until they’re paid off. Result – the current ‘owners’ pay.

      The Labour group in Edinburgh employed a guy to sell off
      old schools for housing, some where of architectural interest – they could have been modernised internally.

    174. orri says:

      This reminds me of the one salient point about Pacific Quay. It’s the BBC’s problem and not ours as far as any debt goes. Depending on how you balance the books it might even put them in the red in Scotland as far as assets go. If we were ever to get either independence or devolution of broadcasting it might not be in our interest to insist on our share of the BBC. Wash our hands of it and let them drown in their own debt.

    175. Scott says:

      We are all talking about schools but can anyone tell me how many hospitals were built under PFI and should they not be inspected as well,bad enough closing schools but can we afford to close a hospital.
      I am just waiting for Jackie Baillie to pop up and say we should be checking the new built hospital in Glasgow.

    176. Lenny Hartley says:

      Re Labour and PFI

      If I remember correctly, on Arran we were told we would have to take a PFI School even through it wasn’t needed! Can’t remember the detail but it was a case of ok you don’t need a Skool now, however this PFI deal is on the table, if you don’t take it now you might not get one in a few years when you need a new Skool built. Maybe there should be some investigation by the Scottish government into the whole PFI scandal.

    177. gordon says:

      the mistake I keep seeing repeated is,,,,,’THE SCOTTISH NEWSPAPERS’. They are all English and controlled from London so not surprising they are dumbstruck when they can’t blame the SNP.
      No worries though, a picture paints a thousand words so,,,,,,, stick a pic’ of Sturgeon in with Labours problem and hey presto, the problem is now linked to her!

    178. Legerwood says:

      Ghostly606 @ 2.38 am

      Re: maintenance of PFI buildings.

      Most PFI buildings are leased from the consortium who put together the finance and built them. At the end of the lease period -25 years or so – the building is still owned by the PFI consortium.

      Part of the lease costs includes a charge for maintenance which the Council or Health Board must pay. The PFI groups often set up their own services company who provide janitorial services for Schools and maintenance for Schools and Hospitals. Councils and Hospitals could not use their own people or put the maintenance out to tender to get a cheaper price.

      At one time the new Edinburgh Royal Infirmary were paying an annual maintenance bill of £70 million which has reduced a bit now. But the Health Board had to pay that before it paid any doctor or nurse or any other health professional. Of course the company being paid was an offshoot of the PFI who built the hospital.

      Under this sort of scheme (scam?) You end up paying over the odds for everything including lightbulbs and any changes you want to make must be re-negotiated with the PFI group providing the services.

      Therefore the PFI groups are making money not just from the leasing costs but the maintenance and services costs.

    179. Dorothy Devine says:

      Wouldn’t it be good Lenny if not only the Scottish Government but the so called Scottish journalists?

      Perhaps a Channel 4 documentary investigating?

      Nah! They won’t bother their bahoochies – too busy hiding things under an increasingly lumpy rug.

      May they rot.

    180. Inverclyder says:

      Wasn’t Pacific Quay built via PFI?

      From Newsnet…

    181. Bob Mack says:

      As far as I can understand this PFI nonsense,it is either a base for corruption or a way of maximising Scottish debt,which is also corrupt.

      Something stinks big time.

      I think any links between the financiers,builders and the Labour Party should be the subject of a Public Inquiry.

      It makes no sense that Jack McConnell sent back £ 1.5 billion to the Treasury ,but we needed PFI to build schools and hospitals!!!

    182. Big Jock says:

      The Labour party will be steering well clear of the PFI shambles. Watch them go quiet for a week. The BBC will not press Dugdale or try and interogate them. This has ruined their China Deal SNP bad agenda for the election.

    183. Dr Jim says:

      It’s all moving along nicely for the state broadcaster and the Scottish press this morning
      We’re almost there in laying the blame of the school closures at the door of the SNP

      The media is managing the story in such a way as to avoid the usual blame of who actually caused the problem onto who’s responsibility it is for maintenance and it would seem that less maintenance checks have been carried out since the SNP came to power….and !!BINGO!!

    184. The only thing I am surprised about is how quickly these Labour PFI schools have started falling apart, I thought we would see this after twenty years.

      I can’t remember who said it at the time, but they warned that when these PFI contracts ended after 30 years or so many of these schools and hospitals would be in such a state that they wouldn’t be worth taking back into public ownership.

    185. FairFerfochen says:

      Radio Scotland going apeshit about this rught now, strangely no mention of Labour being responsible for PFI…

    186. Breeks says:

      Ha ha ha. That last comment I wrote got me thinking…. That we can elect to leave the Union but don’t, makes our presence within it technically voluntary. Volunteers by default. Feel kinda sicky now.

      Maybe there’s an ad campaign in there;

      Austerity – did you volunteer for that?
      Trident – did you volunteer for that?
      Bank Bailouts – did you volunteer for that?
      Exit Europe – did you volunteer for that?
      NHS privatisation – did you volunteer for that?
      War in Iraq – did you volunteer for that?
      Assassination by drone strike – did you volunteer for that?

      Don’t worry, just go back to sleep. Somebody else volunteered for you.

    187. Robert Kerr says:

      @Bob Mack

      It makes sense if you wish the people to be in debt. More control. More fear.

      It’s the Tory way. (Both colours).

      Thatcher was correct. A property owning democracy is the ideal. But a mortgaged democracy was what she really wanted.


      SNP SNP EU

    188. Hamish100 says:

      Should the operationg company who is to repair the schools go bust who pays?
      Edinburgh? or is the labour lib demos still fixated by extended the tram line?

    189. call me dave says:

      Found a ‘Scottish champion + an express in the cafe and eagerly looked for the latest on the school buildings story.

      Record ….nothing at all never happened
      Express…half a page on page 15 one sentence about PFI and ‘the previous administration’

      Listened to A bit of GMS and there were three good calls about it and one half hearted supporter of PFI as maintenance was quick when you needed it… 🙂

      Reading ‘TheNational’ front page can’t ask for more.

    190. Legerwood says:


      Daily Mail Group is apparently in talks about a take over of Yahoo!

    191. One_Scot says:

      That’s the thing, before 2007 it was difficult to see how corrupt the Yoon State and media were as it was hidden under a blanket of unionism, but since the SNP came to power in 2007 the covers have been pulled back, and it is not a pretty sight, which can now be seen by everyone.

    192. stewartb says:

      From a quick look through the Herald’s online archive of articles on PFI, it looks like it has lots of relevant historic information that it could use to help provide its readership with in-depth and objective investigative reporting on its origins and impact in Scotland! But is there any interest in assessing Labour’s legacy?

      See below for two markedly contrasting viewpoints reported by the Herald in 2001 and 2007:

      Herald news headline: “Scotland at forefront of PPP projects” – 20 Feb 2001

      “The key to success has been the mutually supportive beneficial partnership. While the public sector body looks to the private sector for expertise, innovation, value for money and management of appropriate risks, the private sector looks to the public for business opportunities, a steady funding stream and a good return on investment.”

      ”Scotland is at the forefront – we’re market leaders,” agrees Sandy Bremner, head of the PPP Unit of Miller Construction, the major partner and contractor in the Glasgow schools project and many previous PPP successes. ”We’ve trail-blazed projects from the 1990s, and learned so much along the way. PPP projects are now a major part of the construction market, and this rise in activity has put us ahead of the rest of the UK. Look at the number of apprenticeships we have been able to create through the schools project. All round it’s a good news story for the Scottish economy.”


      And later:

      Herald news headline: “School PPP scheme a ‘catastrophe’ for pupils” – 3 Feb 2007

      ‘Leading architect Malcolm Fraser has resigned from a Scottish Executive advisory panel over concerns that schools built using private finance could be damaging children.

      Fraser, who has been deputy chairman of Architecture and Design Scotland (A+DS) for two years, said some schools built with public-private partnership (PPP) funding have suffered “catastrophically poor” design that would “blight the lives of those who learn in them”.

      Fraser also claims A+DS rejected his calls to investigate whether using private finance to build schools was value for money. In his resignation letter to culture minister Patricia Ferguson he writes: “The general silence of the building industry on this issue is a disgrace. All know of its fundamental flaws, but there is a river of money flowing from it towards us so we keep schtum.” ‘


    193. Dr Jim says:

      Normally if the wind blows the wrong way the SNP must be held accountable, but here in North Korea Scotland when the Golden Dawn Labour party are involved our great and glorious media pour Angel Delight over the entire story in such quantities as to create the Blancmange news of today

      In the culture of blame media that we have in our country led
      by our Glorious State Broadcaster they have already engineered this latest scandal involving the Golden Dawn Labour party towards a neglect on the part of the current Government to provide sufficient building checks as a way of saving money

      The original deals done, gifts exchanged, handshakes given, holidays taken Golden Dawn Labour Party are being erased and cleansed of liability to be replaced by the more commonly used

      SNP Baad

      We got there in the end.. Aah

    194. Almannysbunnet says:

      @Bob Mack says:
      11 April, 2016 at 9:39 am
      Something stinks big time.
      It makes no sense that Jack McConnell sent back £ 1.5 billion to the Treasury ,but we needed PFI to build schools and hospitals!!!

      Something indeed stinks with McConnell and PFI and if goes all the way back to before our parliament was reconvened after 300 years.

      Below is an extract from Corporate Watch. McConnell gets more than a few mentions for his shady dealings. Link for full report at end. If you have the time it’s well worth a read.

      “Despite the pro-business outlook of McConnell and the Scottish executive, corporate lobbyists still find it worthwhile to swarm around the Scottish Parliament in an attempt to secure meetings with MSPs, to influence Scottish public spending in their favour and to keep polluting Scotland without major penalties. In 1999, the Scottish Executive was rocked by the ‘Lobbygate’ scandal. A reporter for the Observer, posing as a representative of principally American investors, gained the assurance of public relations firm, Beattie Media, that they could arrange access to senior government figures to discuss PFI projects. Jack McConnell had been employed by Beattie Media to help set up its lobbying arm before entering the Scottish Parliament and his PA was an ex-member of Beattie’s staff. The company’s lobbyists claimed to be able to put appointments in his diary through her. Another of Beattie’s lobbyists was Kevin Reid, son of Secretary of State, John Reid.2”

      SNP X 2

    195. Hamish100 says:


      I should have realised that George Osborne and Cameron will pay if the company goes bust through our current account in Panama

    196. John says:

      The frightening thing about this is they are all uniform in completely ignoring the PFI debacle .Who sends out these instructions to all establishment media either in print or broadcast and tells them it is a no go area for criticism . Isn’t that what totalitarian states do .We have an explosive situation here that does not directly involve the SNP as these schools were built under LAB/LIB government and all is quiet .This shows us even more how things in this country must change before we can have an unbiased opinion from all forms of media.

    197. Nana says:

      I’ve not had time to check out these links re PFI. Perhaps a winger has time to do a little sleuthing.

      McConnell and PFI

      This one is by Mr or Mrs Cuthbert
      Type the following into google for this pdf doc

      Who owns our PFI schemes and why it matters

    198. Les Wilson says:

      I heard most of Louise White this morning while travelling home, during that time it was about PFI,PPP, some callers trying to defend the schemes WTF!,never heard Labour being mentioned throughout my travel time.
      BBC a disgrace, but we are well aware of that.

      Madness ensuing from usual sources.

      I agree with others an full inquiry required and the SG should be hammering them. A full explanation of deals signed along with names and resulting costs. That will awaken the public to something most of us have known for a while. It is all corrupt.

    199. Bob Mack says:

      @Dr Jim,

      The BBC can do all they like, but the facts are that these buildings were supposed to be maintained by ESP. It was part of the deal. They reported to the Council locally.and as recently as two months ago ,they stated that all buildings were safe.

      The Council took that at face value without asking for independent opinion.

      Only one organisation is at fault, and the public know it now,regardless of how they try to sugar coat it for Labour.

    200. louis.b.argyll says:

      PFI is a mis-selling scandal, by
      pretending to invest in the future.

      Yet another example, of setting up chums for life and to hell with what’s best for the country.

    201. carjamtic says:

      PFI : As an aside,I wonder if any ‘gongs’ were handed out to the construction companies chairmen/directors involved,as they say it’s a small world. 😉

    202. galamcennalath says:

      Are there any Labour politicians from the PFI era, who were up to their ears in the public ripoff, currently standing?

    203. Ruby says:

      yesindyref2 says:
      11 April, 2016 at 2:33 am

      Yes you’re right, we do need to keep up our presence in the Unionist press, accurate, polite (relatively) and to the point.

      Ruby replies

      I think you misunderstood! What I said was posting on the Unionist press is a waste of time.

      Any criticism of the Unionist press will be deleted because that contravenes their T&C’s

      I think the Unionist press comments should be left to people like Charles Linskaill why would anyone want to make the Unionist press more interesting by posting comments?

    204. Bob Mack says:

      Heard PFI being defended by “Scott”from Ediburgh this morning on radio shortbread.

      No prizes for guessing who that was. Still no mention of Labour amazingly enough in his defence of PFI, which was actually no defence at all.

    205. Ruby says:

      I do wish someone would write a simple guide to PFI.

      I’m confused.

      Are the schools just rented?

      Is it similar to renting accommodation in an hotel where the hotel owner provides everything at a very high cost?

      Is there any reason why the schools couldn’t just move out and find better/cheaper accommodation?

    206. Les Wilson says:

      Somewhere someone is pulling the strings of the media, how else do we explain the blanket non disclosure of Labour, this can also be traced back to the Tories, who thought this up in the first place.
      Gordon Brown was only too happy to run with it big time.

      This all needs full exposure, heads need to roll, England can look after itself, I am concerned for Scotland and how we are being systematically robbed, again.

      Let me tell you about this cracker.
      Edinburgh Council decided to close the old Royal infirmary. Which was built on prime real estate land.
      The land was left to the people of Edinburgh by the original owner.

      This did not stop Edinburgh Council, who built a new Hospital on the town fringes at Little France.(The new Royal Infirmary) All under PFI.
      The ongoing costs are huge,yet that did not deter them, they pushed ahead anyway.

      Then, they had their real prize in their hand, a large area of prime Edinburgh estate. Which now is covered by expensive flats and properties. They got what they wanted. The fact the land was originally left to the benefit of the people of Edinburgh made no difference.

      The Council benefited, the people of Edinburgh got screwed, and are still being screwed with the huge costs of the scheme. They also charge parking and the SG cannot enforce it as it is a running PFI scheme.

      This is just another one that needs really looked into and the facts made public.

    207. Dr Jim says:

      @Bob Mack

      You’re being specific and truthful Bob but that’s no defence against the ever flowing bilge that slimes from the State Broadcaster and the Golden Dawn Labour Party

      Why only immediately on the campaign trail the gentle loving tenderness shown by that party in concern for all the wee babies and kiddies, especially the ones with no Mummies and Daddies who cannot receive their full share of education (which is the most important thing in the world ever)has been a sight to behold as they shift the blame, rightly in their view, to Nicola not Nyoozing the Pouwers to stop this from happening in the first place

      When Kezianomic gets that First Ministers chair and all her Pouwers that go with it, she will make all the Badness of the centralising power crazed SNPee go away….for the sake of our Little Babies

    208. heedtracker says:

      Are the schools just rented?

      Yes. Its that straight forward. Average cost per school rent is £6 million for 30 years. Most of it is paid from education funding.

      PFI contractors will probably be quite busy this morning, trying to get their sub-contractors back. That’s the whole risk spreading issue. If the build falls down, who takes the risk/cost?

    209. G H Graham says:

      1. Labour in charge in Edinburgh, Holyrood & Westminster
      2. Gordon Brown (Labour Chancellor & PM) deployed PFI instrument to hide debt from public sector balance sheet
      3. Labour used PFI instrument to build schools
      4. Several schools collapse within a decade
      5. A school girl is killed
      6. Scottish media can barely find the guts to even mention “Labour”
      7. No one is charged with the involuntary manslaughter of causing death by gross negligence or recklessness

      If this is the Scotland in Union folks want to retain, they should hang themselves in shame.

      And the journalists should fuck off to North Korea for a propaganda holiday.

    210. Andrew McLean says:

      Ghostly606 says: :2:38
      “Is the argument though that the SNP aren’t maintaining them?”
      I take it you are attempting humour, or do you know the maintenance recommendations for wall ties?

      Anyway back in the real world, and I speak from a professional position gained over decades in construction, and having involvement in the construction of two primary schools in Glasgow, and a University in Edinburgh.

      The construction method used has been described as unacceptable? Well yes obviously, but this is not a problem caused solely as the result of a random bricklayer neglecting to affix wall ties, why he wouldn’t on one project could be incompetence or graft. But there is more than one wall involved here, indeed more than one school, and more than one construction team, yes it’s the same contractor, but to be honest unless the instruction came from the board at Miller to deliberately not install wall ties, which quite frankly is so unlikely as to be impossible in my opinion. I know Miller guys I would bet, I know they wouldn’t.

      Also it is unlikely that the same construction team worked on every project, and this is something I can’t understand, probably due to the lack of information so far, we have the bricklayer, most probably a contractor, a wet trades foreman, assistant site agent, or manager, site manager or General Forman in old currency, Clerk of works, surveyors, Project Structural Engineer, Project Architects, and the now defunct CDM co-ordinator.

      All theses competent professional people as well as consultants, all being lead by a myriad of professional associations, qualifications, experience and trade bodies. And there exists a situation where a unacceptable construction methodology can be used repeatedly?

      And who is ultimately responsible, who is the client, who is responsible to ensure the contract is executed, on time, on budget, and to specification? let’s just thank God no child was injured or killed.

      The haste in the design of the financial model, and the secrecy surrounding the consortium tasked with oversight lead to this situation, and who were the political masters of this model, of this framework, whoever was running the council Planning, Education, and Development.

      This story has a long way to go, the press saying look at the bricklayer, but that dog don’t hunt, We have us screaming look at Labour, as control of the process was their responsibility, and we get the SNP so far not taking the initiative, from the SNP leadership we need some good old fashioned politics, weeks before an election the Labour party exposed as putting thousands of children’s life’s at risk, just look at the hysterical statements from Labour about named persons, and they actually voted in favour, forget the moral high ground time to be politicians SNP, it’s a election!

      Yes time to get the knives out, this is a Labour party initiative from start to finish, however that cant excuse the situation the Scottish building industry finds itself in today. And that ultimately may become the legacy of this debacle.

    211. Grouse Beater says:

      Ruby: Are the schools just rented?

      In effect, yes.

      Imagine it as if in the days of hire purchase; you get to use the item (say, a new bicycle) but it isn’t yours to own until fully paid. If you stop monthly repayments the item can be seized, but you will still owe the residue.

      The only difference between then and now in example is, the money to purchase the item was borrowed from Wonga at 4,000% interest … a month.

    212. heedtracker says:

      Spreading risk and cost is and was a serious problem in UK, particularly in the 60’s. 60’s building boom changed in the 70’s because construction firms stopped taking on contracts that handed them too much risk, meaning they couldn’t get loans. So this was set up. If you want to build anything at all, house, shopping centre, school, this is where you start.

      Lots of warranty checking going on in Edinburgh.

    213. Capella says:

      Good link to a George Monbiot article from 2010 via comment in Craig Murray’s blog on PFI.

      “The cost and inflexibility of PFI is an outrage, a racket, the legacy of 13 years of New Labour appeasement, triangulation and false accounting. At first sight, it looks as if nothing can be done: contracts are contracts. What I’m about to propose is a wild shot, but I hope it deserves, at least, to be discussed. I contend that the money we owe to the PFI consortia should be considered odious debt.”

    214. Ruby says:

      Les Wilson says

      The Council benefited, the people of Edinburgh got screwed, and are still being screwed with the huge costs of the scheme. They also charge parking and the SG cannot enforce it as it is a running PFI scheme.

      Ruby replies

      Parliament Building
      PFI scheme
      Iraq War

      How do they get away with it?

      Does PFI = privitisation of NHS?

    215. louis.b.argyll says:

      Within many PFI primary schools many features are sadly missing.

      Dedicated canteen area.
      Instead we have fold out wheeled tables in a square hall.

      Dedicated performance area.
      Instead we have clip-together portable platforms forming a the same square hall.

      Dedicated playground.
      Instead we have a partially shadowed
      east-facing concrete yard, often with coned-off black ice or slimy algae area..
      while the car park is basking in its southern aspect.

      One thing for sure, any pupils considering a design career ain’t getting inspiration from the buildings they’re in.

      Architects and planners should speak up now or their professional reputations will suffer.

    216. Legerwood says:

      Ruby at 10.38

      Posting comments on the Unionist press is not a waste of time. If you keep your posts factual and to the pint of the article then you won’t be deleted. The comments sections of newspapers give an important platform in the media to get the SNP position across and counter misinformation.

      On the subject of PFI schools and hospitals, yes they are rented. That is what lessee means. Even after 30 years of payments the schools etc will never be owned by the Counci etc.

      Under the SNP’s not for profit scheme the school or hospital is owned by the Council or NHS board

    217. The Rough Bounds. says:

      Sorry if I missed this somewhere but won’t those schools be insured against storm damage? The insurers won’t pay out if they find that the buildings were wrongly constructed. So who pays the bill?

      Will the builders be sued? Who were the architects? Will they be sued? Who was responsible for the checks that the work was being done properly? Will the clerk of works be sued?

      It strikes me that an awful lot of people are going to be very heavily involved in the implications of this mess.

    218. cearc says:


      Keith Miller (Miller Construction/group) got a CBE in New Year 2010.

      Fellowship of RICS same year.

      See my post 8.42pm this thread.

    219. Robert Kerr says:

      Herewith some ammunition re finding out the PFI terms.

      Freedom of Information Requests: A citizen journalists’ guide to unlocking Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts


      Good lUck.

      SNP SNP EU

    220. Ruby says:

      PFI is pulling the health service apart at the seams, says MSP.

      ‘It was built by the Kier Group. ISS Mediclean have won the 30-year contract to provide catering, cleaning, maintenance, laundry, switchboard, porters, security, and waste management services. ‘

      The trust pay pounds 1.2 million a month for “rent” and running costs to the Kier Group and ISS.

      Labour privitising the NHS & education?

    221. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Mealer 7.40 The Bbc are controled by whatever flavour of Unionist in Westminster, they have consistantly breached they,re Charter obligations ( this is a area easily proven & well documented ).

      Talking waffle at Holyrood Committees, when the power lies in London is just hot air,its down to the SG to sheild the People from being lied to.

      Bbc Demo,s as with other Demo,s served a purpose, we knew in advance they would,nt be reported on TV or Press, but allowed the Grassroots to network at Demo,s,so from that end we were succesful.

    222. Ruby says:

      Legerwood says:
      11 April, 2016 at 11:03 am

      Ruby at 10.38

      Posting comments on the Unionist press is not a waste of time.

      Ruby replies

      We’ll have to agree to disagree on that one!

    223. Clapper57 says:

      Neil Findlay tweeted yesterday :

      “Just in case some of my nationalist friends are unaware of the fact that NPD is PPP or PFI by another name “!

      Wow Neil is that it , checked your Labour mates twitter a/c’s and zilch , nada , nowt on PFI.

      Amazed (Not) re Keiza having NO COMMENT as she is running in Edinburgh East….I think their combined silence will prove who’s really to blame in this fiasco.

      Any intelligent person will wonder why Labour not capitalising on this, especially if people think SNP to blame, especially considering there is an election on.

      No amount of spin is taking this shit away Neil. Liar..Liar.

    224. G H Graham says:

      Labour’s reckless PFI legacy

      The HM Treasury PFI contract database reveals 719 PFI contracts on UK Government books as at March 2012, with a capital value of £54.7 billion and total repayment cost to the UK taxpayer of £301.3 billion.

      There are many reasons why Britain is bankrupt. Labour is one of them.

    225. carjamtic says:

      cearc @ 11:07

      Thanks Cearc hope your are fine 🙂

      There must be lots of construction companies involved,up and down the country,maybe there’s lots of ‘gongs’ for ‘services to the construction industry’,lots of worried people today.

      Can’t get Mr Lopez singing ‘If I had a Hammer’ out of my head.


    226. Proud Cybernat says:

      Radio 2 (Jeremy Vine) discussing the Edinburgh PFI debacle today (from 12:00pm). Let’s count how many times ‘Labour’ is mentioned.

    227. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Well, let’s see how big John Beattie handles it after the mid-day news…

      Will he break ranks and mention SLab, or tee-up someone else to do it?

      Go for it JB!

    228. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Andrew McLean 10.57 { let’s just thank God no child was injured or killed.} . Andrew a child was killed when a interior wall collapsed.

    229. Ruby says:

      Very interesting article.

      The bill for PFI contracts is an outrage

      ‘The cost and inflexibility of PFI is an outrage, a racket, the legacy of 13 years of New Labour appeasement, triangulation and false accounting. At first sight, it looks as if nothing can be done: contracts are contracts. What I’m about to propose is a wild shot, but I hope it deserves, at least, to be discussed. I contend the money we owe to the PFI consortia should be considered odious debt.’

      ‘Secrecy surrounded the whole scheme. To this day, PFI contracts remain commercially confidential. You can’t read them; MPs can’t read them. We don’t know what we are being stung for or whether the costs are justified. But there are some powerful clues.’

    230. louis.b.argyll says:

      If a roof blows off a school, guess who has responsibility to the public..the councils. They’ll never reclaim emergency costs.

    231. Ruby says:

      Proud Cybernat says:
      11 April, 2016 at 11:32 am

      Radio 2 (Jeremy Vine) discussing the Edinburgh PFI debacle today (from 12:00pm). Let’s count how many times ‘Labour’ is mentioned.

      Ruby replies

      Is Jeremy Vine not OK?
      Did he not give Moringside Murray a hard time quite recently?

    232. Andrew McLean says:

      Ronnie, I know I mentioned her tragic death on yesterdays post. And this occurrence though not directly related, shows what happens when corners are allowed to be cut by “Consent” and/or “connivance”.

    233. mealer says:

      Ronnie Anderson 11.18,
      The BBC demos were indeed successful for the reasons you outlined and all credit to those who organised and attended.On the issue of the Scottish government treating the BBC with Kid gloves,I think we should all remember that the SNP have a fine line to tread.They mustn’t be seen as being girnie,greeting faced bad losers.They must be seen as being positive constructive and a party for all of Scotland.It is for us,the ordinary folk,to point out how dreadful the BBC is.To raise doubts about it.To marginalise it.

    234. ronnie anderson says:

      @ carjamtic 11.30 Sos Pal If I had ah Hamma was reserved a long time ago, remember Yvonne Hamma lol.

    235. Proud Cybernat says:

      @ Ruby

      “Is Jeremy Vine not OK?”

      I like him. I think though he is a bit naive about UK politics in general and hasn’t much of a clue about Scotland at all. And neither have any of his researchers. I emailed him though just to let him know where to lay the blame for this mess. So we’ll see if he mentions the Labour culprits.

    236. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Andrew McLean sorry Andrew must have missed your post yesterday,knowing people who work in these PPI (maintaiance) I hear a lot of negativity (cracks) & not just settlement cracking.

    237. Andy-B says:


      I apologise.

      This is a classic example of what the Rev, constantly warns us about. Wilkie tries desperately to link one thing to another, without actually coming out and saying it, but the implication is a mile wide.


      Don’t know how to archive sorry, otherwise I wouldn’t have linked to that gutter rag.

    238. Valerie says:

      Stewart Hosie on ligger Neil show

    239. Andrew McLean says:

      OK final proof that stupidity is endemic in Scotland.

      Tell me what is the inspection and maintenance protocol for wall ties. What structural engineer will demolish the wall to inspect the cavity, ps CCTV survey wouldn’t work as its full of installation material , and as for the suggestion of using a metal detector, well that would be quite time consuming and irrelevant as not all ties would be detected as made from composite metals or plastics.

      A Conditional survey on a building that is 10 years old would be mostly visual, it would not discover a latent defect or incompetent construction method.

      So Tories, the whole attempt to say SNP bad only highlights the shear incompetence and stupidity of your assertion.


    240. Ruby says:

      PFI broke the Labour taboo that profit and the public sector should not be mixed
      Hellowell, Mark The Times17 May 2005

      “WHICHEVER political party emerged victorious on May 6, the private sector was always going to be a winner. Neither the Lib Dems nor the Tories had any plans to stymie the growing influence of business over public services. Mainstream parties just do not see things that way any more.

      Nonetheless, captains of industry will be pleased with the result. Since Labour’s 2001 victory, it has pursued quasi- privatisation policies with the zeal of a convert.

      Now Tony Blair intends to go further. The conviction that public services cannot improve without the free play of market forces is deeply held by Labour’s policymakers. And they want new markets in which private companies play a leading role. PFI was an early manifestation of this idea. But, for the Labour leadership, it was only the thin end of the wedge -just as critics on the Left always said it was.”

      Was PFI a sure sign that Labour had triangulated into the Tories?

    241. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Mealer Our combined voices dont reach the People SG voice does, as Nicola says the People will decide on the timing of the next Referendem ,if she doesent hear us on this issue & neuter the Bbc we have a hard fight ahead again.

      I like many get exasperated when Ruthie Wullie Kezia dictate a interview & take it in a different direction but all SNP stay on trac even with Biaz hand picked audences. Time to bite back, they cant get anymore SNP BAAD than they,re portrayed.

    242. Dorothy Devine says:

      Ruby , I’m with you .Anyone giving them a comment is counted as evidence for advertisers.

      I have begged folk to stay off the Herald and leave it to OBE and the two Charlies.

      I’m sure that would damage their circulation even more and I am all for that.

    243. velofello says:

      Ha, just received a Tory leaflet via the post. Wee Ruthie promises to strong opposition to ensure the SNP focus on the issues….Creating better schools … no mention of pressing the SNP to adopt PFI as a means.

    244. Papadox says:

      Brillo hosting a very excited bunch of Tory MPs regarding tax returns and their publication. Brillo appears on the MPs side, surprise, surprise. “Why can’t we just trust our MPs” says one of the MPs.
      Absolute slugs!

    245. Ghillie says:

      Les Wilson @10.49am:

      Interesting comment re Labour Council sell off of Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary, land originally gifted to the people of Edinburgh, now overshawdowed by excessively high apartments which have completely destroyed Edinburgh’s old town skyline from the south. Hideous eyesores.

      I’m wondering if this current Labour PFI fiasco, in terms of bad choices at best or corruption at worst, is connected in any way to the corrupt deals brokered from within the Labour run Edinburgh District Council around the ‘Common Repair’s Scheme’.

      Folk owning flats in tenements requiring common repairs, in some cases completely unnecessary works, faced astronomical charges on work organised through Edinburgh Council who were aparently favouring certain companies.

      The system was, historicaly a good one. Greedy, dishonest individuals destroyed it and people had to sell up to pay punitive obligatory charges.

      Same council.

    246. Ruby says:

      I’ve been doing my best to find out more about PFI contracts but I’m still confused.

      Who is responsible for inspecting the buildings?

      If as has been stated the Council just rent the buildings surely it is up to the landlord to ensure the buildings are safe!

      Re watching Andrew Neil on TV I am able to do that at the moment as I don’t subscribe to the BBC. I’m assuming those who watch live TV do.

    247. CameronB Brodie says:

      Will the builders be sued? Who were the architects? Will they be sued? Who was responsible for the checks that the work was being done properly? Will the clerk of works be sued?

      I once poured a supporting beam over the public entrance to a UK wide ‘business’ operating in Edinburgh. To cut a long a boring story short, the last few gallons of concrete were blown and useless. Rather than re-do the job properly, the Edinburgh City Council Clerk of Works saw fit to stuff problematic air pockets with any old rags that came to hand. He most certainly had a firmer grasp of the practicalities of construction and risk management than I do but it did strike me as a bit off at the time.

      Not that I’m suggesting anything.

      Fraud and corruption is commonplace and multi-faceted in the Construction industry in the UK. A recent Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) study found that 49% of respondents believe corruption is common and that 50% believe companies are not doing enough to prevent corruption. Much fraud goes undetected and so the real cost to the sector is impossible to estimate accurately. The Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters produced a report in 2011 stating that fraud in construction in the UK was rife, estimating it at 10% of the £6.5 billion of revenues, or £40,000 per company. 1

      The National Fraud Office’s Annual Fraud Indicator (AFI) reported losses to private construction companies resulting from fraud in 2012 at £3 billion, with £1 billion taken on by larger businesses, and £2 billion absorbed by SMEs.2

      1. Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters. Construction Fraud 2011. Access on 22 August 2013 at
      2. National Fraud Authority. Annual Fraud Indicator 2012. Accessed on 22 August 2013 at

      Those with a sensitive disposition load another page now. A new survey carried out by the CIOB asking construction professionals about corruption in the sector makes for uncomfortable reading. Very uncomfortable, in fact.

      The resulting report, Corruption in the UK Construction Industry 2013, reveals that of the 700 professionals who responded to the online questionnaire, nearly half (48%) perceive that corruption in the industry is either fairly common or extremely common. And more than one in three (35%) said they had been offered a bribe or incentive on at least one occasion.

    248. Big Jock says:

      More to the point what architect designs walls without steel ties? Have the SNP government not got a Professional Indemnity claim against the architects as a legacy inheritance. Or did Labour sign it off on the cheap ommitting the ties!

    249. carjamtic says:

      Hopefully this will attach alright,if not google Who Owns Our PFI Schemes :And Why It Matters Margaret Cuthbert/Jim Cuthbert November 2012.

    250. Robert Kerr says:

      O/T but.

      This is beyond a joke.

      Speaker rules against MPs naming celebs in WM even after they have been named in a Scottish newspaper.

      I thought this is One Country.

      Obviously not. Thank God for the Treaty!

      SNP SNP EU

    251. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Ruby ( I’m assuming those who watch live TV do. ) Wrang Ruby lol ,Tv’s work with Electricity not with a piece of paper . I was buying a flat screen from Argos a few years ago I was asked at the till if I had a TV licence (Manager) guess what they never asked the question again & I bought the TV.

    252. Andrew McLean says:

      CameronB Brodie says:
      Cameron how do you stuff rags into air pockets in concrete?
      As for the Clerk of Works, as a ex member of the institute I have never met or heard of one who would do such a thing, it actually is not in his interest.

      But then I am the son of one who told a contractor to demolish a building as it wasn’t to standard.

    253. yesindyref2 says:

      In fairness to the Herald most comments critical of it actually stay up, at least for a day or two. I commented on the schools article in the Herald, mentioning Labour Government, Labour Executive and Labour Council with PPP / PFI and it’s still there, including my end comment:

      The media might at the moment be avoiding the use of the word “Labour” when talking about PPP, but the people know when these were built, they know who is guilty.

      Labour are going down for this, and the question for the media is, does it want to go down with them?

    254. mike cassidy says:

      The Holyrood mag is reporting that the Edinburgh Schools Partnership are accepting they will be paying.

    255. Andrew McLean says:

      Big Jock
      I would love to say Labour would have done that, but i would wager the ties were on the drawing, its standard detailing, no competent engineer would have omitted them.
      But Labour built the financial instrument, and were ultimately in control, the buck stops with them.

      Unless someone reported this neglect, either from Millers or the Client, one is unfortunate but 17 schools, come on someone raised this, but who?

    256. Proud Cybernat says:

      Andrew Kerr, leader of ECC, “This is not a good day” and “This is about getting the problem sorted and getting the kids back to school. It’s not about apportioning blame.”

      Not a single mention of ‘Labour’ nor how PFI is a total ripoff. Could you IMAGINE how this story would have played out had the SNP implemented PFI and commissioned these builders?

      Oh, and it’s the cheap labour furriners that have lowered standards.

      We’re watching you, BBCSLAB.

    257. heedtracker says:

      On a more important public sector spend topic, I’m really enjoying Andrew Neil’s hair dye colour choice today, on his BBC Politics lunchtime comedy show. Looks like the Ligger’s picked Swedish strawberry blonde with hints of spring in Paris. Gorgeous.

    258. Scott says:

      Jeremy Vine on about schools did not hear it all but no mention of Lib/Lab I think the SNP should hold a public inquiry into it all.

    259. Sinky says:

      Is there a super injunction against mentioning Labour in connection with their PFI scandal involving third parties.

    260. Ruby says:

      Big Jock says:
      11 April, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      More to the point what architect designs walls without steel ties? Have the SNP government not got a Professional Indemnity claim against the architects as a legacy inheritance. Or did Labour sign it off on the cheap ommitting the ties!

      Ruby replies

      I find it all pretty complicated. From what I gather it was the consortia who hired the architect.

      ‘Through the system, consortia would bid not only to design and build schemes but to finance and run them as well.’

    261. Proud Cybernat says:

      “We’re watching you, BBCSLAB.”

      But not in the literal sense.

    262. Andrew McLean says:

      Yes to a point, but the architect would be novated to the principal contractor.
      This is common on design and build projects where the design team are appointed by a client to carry out initial studies or prepare a concept or detailed design, but then when a contractor is appointed to carry out or complete the design and construct the works, the design team (or part of it) is novated to work for them.

      The process of novation can leave designers feeling they have mixed loyalties and there can be difficulty determining where liability lies for design work carried out before novation. If the contractor does not take on the design team effectively as if they had been the employer from the beginning therefore, it may be wise for them to obtain warranties for pre-novation services from the designers. The client may also require collateral warranties from novated designers (see Blyth & Blyth Ltd v Carillion Construction Ltd).

    263. cearc says:


      The whole tax return thing is nothing but a squirrel.

      It’s what’s NOT on their tax returns because it’s offshore that is the problem.

      Of course the discussion also distracts from the fact Cameron’s shares in the trust which he sold before becoming PM had not previously been declared on the members register of interests.

    264. Ruby says:

      yesindyref2 says:
      11 April, 2016 at 12:54 pm

      In fairness to the Herald most comments critical of it actually stay up, at least for a day or two

      Ruby replies

      You are wasting your time with me I ain’t buying the Herald and I ain’t contributing to the Herald.

      As far as I’m concerned readers of the Herald can come to Wings to read interesting comments or they can stay on the Herald and read OBE & the two Charlies.

    265. yesindyref2 says:

      What I don’t understand is how there isn’t some sort of fairly easy NDT that can be carried out, radio scan or suchlike, to check out even such a basic as are there bits of metal stuck in the walls.

      But if this is a big as a scandal as it’s likely to be, perhaps criminal consequences, it won’t be long before ass-saving whistel-blowers will emerge.

      Hopefully within the next 3 weeks.

    266. mike cassidy says:

      McConnell happy to twitter pictures of himself on the election campaign trail in Stirling at the weekend –

      no doubt bringing back memories of his happy leftwing student days –

      but no mention of any falling schools!

    267. yesindyref2 says:

      Eh? Last Herald I bought was the Sunday one backing Indy, maybe one or two SH’s after. I don’t subscribe online, I do use ccleaner.

    268. Ruby says:

      mike cassidy says:
      11 April, 2016 at 12:55 pm

      The Holyrood mag is reporting that the Edinburgh Schools Partnership are accepting they will be paying.

      Ruby replies

      That’s very generous of them! Who else would pay as far as I can gather the taxpayer is already paying a very high price for these dodgy buildings.

      “However, we must also question how such significant defaults could escape normal building control scrutiny and we believe it is now necessary for an urgent review of all PPP/PFI contracts, including the terms of the private maintenance contracts which are often both expensive and extremely restrictive.”

      This might be tricky if what George Monbiot states in this article is true:

      ‘Secrecy surrounded the whole scheme. To this day, PFI contracts remain commercially confidential. You can’t read them; MPs can’t read them. We don’t know what we are being stung for or whether the costs are justified. But there are some powerful clues.’

    269. Robert Graham says:

      anyone know if the Scottish Government can in this purdah period instigate an immediate inquiry , indeed a criminal inquiry into these at risk Schools ,i mean someone must be running the bloody country even if Parliament has been dissolved for this new upcoming session or am i talking out me hat ? .

    270. CameronB Brodie says:

      Andrew McLean
      Concrete is a liquid? I’m not prone to lying bud.

    271. Les Wilson says:

      Ruby says:

      Ruby, the Tories originally came up with this idea, then Labour came in, ie Gordon Brown he looked at it, noticed they would help him cook the books at make Labour more popular, by doing all these schools and hospitals.

      A corrupt idea from the start, but Labour loved it.

    272. macnakamura says:

      There has been a mention of Labour on GMS. 41mins 40 sec approx.
      I paraphrase:

      ‘introduced by John Major’s government …… continued by Labour …… SNP had concerns
      when in opposition but then modified and used by SNP’

      My reaction:
      A bit like Ruth’s leaflets —— do not mention Conservative.
      SNP not blameless.
      SNP says one thing but then does another.

    273. Triangular Ears says:

      I think it’s safe to say that PFI will one day be looked upon as an absolutely insane experiment, utterly criminal in its recklessness and virtually unenforceable once the public purse is bankrupted by it.

      However, I would like to see the Scottish Government nullify all PFI long before that (let England continue the experiment if it wants).

      It would be hilarious if the Scottish Government brought in a scheme called, oh let’s call it “Right to Buy”, where local authorities are given powers to buy back their schools and hospitals at a huge ‘discount’ and effectively nationalise the assets. Schools and hospitals should be owned by the state anyway. It’s not as if we can’t tell if we’ll need schools or hospitals in 30 years’ time.

      People might say “But how would you get anyone to bid for ocntracts in the future?”.

      The answer to that is that PFI is so hopelessly stacked in favour of the private financiers that it should have been obvious that they were “unfair terms” and therefore unenforceable. Builders will still bid for work, but we can do without the financiers also bidding for the right to raid the public coffers for 20, 30, 60 years.

      In short, fuck them.

    274. Proud Cybernat says:

      McConnell happy to twitter pictures of himself on the election campaign trail in Stirling at the weekend –

      no doubt bringing back memories of his happy leftwing student days –

      but no mention of any falling schools!

      Did he bring his old school tie?

      Ah’ll get ma coat.

    275. yesindyref2 says:

      @Robert Graham

      10. During the election period, the Scottish Government retains its responsibility to govern and Ministers remain Ministers and in charge of their portfolios. Essential business must be carried on (see Note 1 below for a definition of ‘essential business’). However, you can expect Ministers to observe discretion in initiating any new action of a continuing or long?term character.

    276. Ruby says:

      Andrew McLean says:
      11 April, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      Yes to a point, but the architect would be novated to the principal contractor.
      This is common on design and build projects where the design team are appointed by a client to carry out initial studies or prepare a concept or detailed design, but then when a contractor is appointed to carry out or complete the design and construct the works, the design team (or part of it) is novated to work for them.

      Ruby replies

      I definitely confused!

      I thought in this case the contractor was the client!

    277. Andrew McLean says:

      Yes indy ref 2

      I heard a engineer today state that they could be retrofitted, well yes they could and if the walls were just built that would be the obvious procedure.
      But these buildings have been up for over 10 years, what structural engineer would sign off on the structural integrity now and take that liability? I can honestly say most would say demolish and rebuild.

      In any case this has got a lot more to run. What are the Health and Safety Inspectorate, Construction Division saying?

    278. mike cassidy says:

      Ruby 1.23

      The ‘who should pay’ with these contracts is not as clear cut as we would like.

      I drew attention elsewhere to this story about the bbc/pfi link.

      and this para in particular.

      Fitch’s, one of the rating agencies, indicated in one of its rating reports, that the lease is a “fully repairing and insuring lease” i.e. the BBC is responsible for meeting all of the costs of the building in addition to paying the rent.

    279. Ruby says:

      Andrew McLean

      What does novated mean?

      I really do need just a very simple explanation of PFI!

    280. Jack Murphy says:

      A polite message to the Scottish Media and it’s Offshore Owners/Press Barons,including State Television and Radio.

      “I’m not upset that you lied to me.
      I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you”.

    281. Andrew McLean says:


      download your free copy, and enjoy.

      Clients are organizations or individuals for whom a
      construction project is carried out. They must make suitable arrangements for managing a project.
      This includes making sure:other duty holders are appointed;
      sufficient time and resources are allocated. Make sure:relevant information is prepared and provided
      to other duty holders;the principal designer and principal contractor carry out their duties;

      The Scottish government pays the build they are the client,
      Labour were in charge of the Scottish Government, actually they called it the executive at the time.

    282. K1 says:

      Are the schools/public buildings etc the client?

      The council then offer the schools/public buildings ‘financing’?

      The ‘financing’ ‘package’ is the consortium who have ‘sewn up’ all the aspects of what the finance is for? Maintenance, loan repayments etc, including the infrastructure?

      So the council is the ‘middle man’?

      Could someone lay it out in this way, as I too need it in ‘street’ speak. Just the order of how it works? Ta.

    283. Ruby says:

      mike cassidy says:
      11 April, 2016 at 1:42 pm

      Ruby 1.23

      The ‘who should pay’ with these contracts is not as clear cut as we would like.

      Ruby replies

      OMG My head’s buzzin’

    284. Andrew McLean says:


      look at the shop bright house, you want a washing machine,
      you go into the shop, tell them your requirements, you sign a agreement, they provide the goods you use it, if it breaks they replace or repair it, you pay a charge for this built into the payment, if you don’t pay they take it away, even if its the very last payment, you don’t own till you do, then you find you have paid say £340 for £180 goods service.
      Bright house themselves don’t do the credit its a finance house. ie the private finance interest

      The Private Finance Initiative is just like that only for say £100 million you pay back £400 million.

      The difference is that your requirements are discussed with your architect, they then stop working for you and work for the company to ensure your brief becomes a washing machine you want, in effect you stop paying the bill of the architect he gets his fee from the company and they recharge you as part of your payments.

    285. mike cassidy says:

      PPI for dummies (like myself)

      Before PPI

      A council wants a new school

      The council pays a contractor to build the school.

      The council owns the school

      Under PPI

      A council wants a new school

      The contractor builds the school at their own expense.

      The council rents the school for x amount of years.

      The contractor makes a very large profit from the rent received over x amount of years.

      The council then takes ownership of the school.

    286. yesindyref2 says:

      From my weekly theregister security newsletter (only newsletter I take):

      Cyber-underworld price list revealed: … $5/hr DDoS floods

      You can delete this posting if you like Rev!

    287. Ruby says:

      K1 says:
      11 April, 2016 at 1:49 pm

      So the council is the ‘middle man’?

      Could someone lay it out in this way, as I too need it in ‘street’ speak. Just the order of how it works? Ta.

      Ruby replies

      🙂 I’ll have a go

      The council is the lessee.
      The contractor is the landlord who provides the council with accommodation cleaners, security, parking etc all at a very high cost.

      The council have a 30 year lease which they can’t get out of. At the end of the 30 year lease the council will own the building unless it has fallen down by that time.
      After the 30 year period the council will have paid 50 times more for the building than if they had just paid for it the first place.

      PFI stands for PURE F**** Idiocy!

    288. Kenny Ritchie says:

      This PFI mess needs to be included in the Wee Black Book.

    289. Muscleguy says:


      Of course you can retrofit wall ties. Isn’t pretty or non messy or non destructive of course. Plenty of that sort of stuff is going on in NZ now subsequent to the Christchurch earthquake and a major, nationwide reassessment of building codes. An entire government department is camping out whilst their building is made standards compliant.

      BTW earthquake standards compliant doesn’t mean the building will survive a major earthquake unscathed or even usable again. Same with the domestic standards. It means the building should not collapse on those inside and hopefully not on those outside either.

      You can see ties in some old buildings here but they are more common in NZ, a bolt head emerges from the wall and holds a metal plate against the bricks. Usually in multiple. Some of these ‘bolts’ run the length of the building and tie opposing walls together.

      Drill holes, install bolts and plates. Looks horrible, inside and out, but it does the job.

    290. steveasaneilean says:

      @mike cassidy 2:05pm

      Under PPI

      A health Board (lets’ call them Lothian) wants a new hospital (let’s call it RIE)

      The contractor (let’s call them Balfour Beatty) builds the hospital at their own expense.

      The Health Board rents the hospital for x amount of years (let’s say about 30).

      The contractor makes a very large profit from the rent received over x amount of years.

      The CONTRACTOR then takes ownership of the hospital.

    291. Ruby says:

      Andrew McLean says:
      11 April, 2016 at 2:15 pm

      Labour and the PFI

      Ruby replies

      In 1992 PFI was implemented for the first time in the UK by the Conservative government of John Major. It immediately proved controversial, and was attacked by the Labour Party while in opposition. Labour critics such as the future Cabinet Minister & Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Harriet Harman, considered that PFI was really a back-door form of privatisation.”

      PFI was really a back-door form of privatisation

      I would say Harriet Harman was spot on however it would seem when the Labour party triangulated into the Tory Party they changed their mind.

      The great PFI swindle

      The revelations, based on tens of thousands of pages released under freedom of information laws, have confirmed critics’ worst fears. They say PFI has turned out to be “a huge scam”, “a total taxpayer rip-off” and “a cynical accounting fiddle”.

      K1 There are some good ‘street speak’ words in the above article ie

      a huge scam
      a total taxpayer rip-off
      a cynical accounting fiddle
      a swindle

    292. carjamtic says:

      To simplify without seeing any details of contracts.

      Our elected officials are supposed ensure contracts are favourable to taxpayers,that is their job.

      These PFI contracts have been widely condemned as favourable to the Main contractor and unfavourable to taxpayers,it maybe another 20 years before final costs are tallied and we found out just how unfavourable.

      Introduced by the Blue Tories and ‘actioned’ by the Red Tories,most of the Main contractors are not even based in Scotland,they simply sub contracted the works.

      These structural defects are not part of normal operation and maintenance checks,items such as missing wall ties would/should have been picked up during the construction phase.

      The responsibility for remedial works will be detailed in the contract,we will found out soon enough if this is the case and who is responsible for costs.


    293. K1 says:

      Thanks Mike. So basically it is a complete and utter rip off.

      They complicated straight forward payment to contractors to build schools, libraries or other public buildings and paid the asking price for the bid…as I believe there has always been a tendering process.

      PFI completely altered the relationship between the council and the contractor. The contractor is now the ‘owner’. No longer accountable to the council in terms of scrutiny of materials/building code practices before the build? Because they paid for the build. Are therefore totally responsible for the build?

      As the owner they act as ‘landlord’ renting out the buildings to the councils for stated purpose. Set up a finance plan with exorbitant interest rates, over a fixed number of years. Then the building ‘belongs’ to the council?

      The finer details of the responsibilities of each party in that contract between the contractor/leaser and the council/ leasee, in terms of maintenance, insurance etc is all factored in those payments?

      So when something goes wrong, who is responsible?

      Am I getting there?

      I get the complete rip off Ruby…just trying tae clarify who takes the hit? Is it the public? Or the contractor?

      It is a disgraceful con, that’s clear.

    294. K1 says:

      Wait? steveasaneilean, what?

      The buildings belong to the ‘contractor’ after the payment period is complete?

      Not the council?

    295. K1 says:

      OMFG, they’ve privatised our public buildings and charged the public purse exorbitant rates for extended periods of 25 to 30 years, and in the end the private contractor owns them.

      Are we fucking kidding?

      Is this what’s happened?

    296. Valerie says:

      Yes. The asset belongs to the consortium, who leases it back to the council.

      When a council owns the asset it is there on the books for use as anything in the future, or sold for the coffers.

      A PFI school is an albatross, a dead one at that.

    297. Andrew McLean says:

      Now K1 I get the distinct impression you are not feeling “better together”

      Red Tory Blue Tory, just different colouring options on the same shit!

    298. steveasaneilean says:

      K1 – in specific relation to the new Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, yes, my understanding is that when the lease period is up ownership of the infrastructure reverts to Balfour Beatty of whoever they are then.

      Maybe the same for PFI schools but not sure.

    299. Ruby says:

      Comment posted on the above article:

      ‘The whole PFI fiasco has long been known as a huge scandal.
      However, maybe this piece will lay to rest the stupid myth that is constantly peddled on here:

      That Nu-Lab was a ‘socialist, left wing’ party.


      It prostrated itself before big business with as much relish as the Tories do, which is precisely the same reason that NOTHING will ever be done about this.’

    300. Ruby says:

      Panorama PFI Scam UK

    301. K1 says:

      Don’t think I had really ‘taken in’ the enormity of this…that it was a government sanctioned policy. That it was the asset stripping of our public buildings and that it was just privatisation by stealthy means.

      Thanks all who helped me have a PFI satori moment!

      I think it can’t be underestimated how little people actually ‘understand’ these financial ‘arrangements’. Time to get it out there in easy to understand times.

      I just sat wi two other people and walked them through ma own post, asking if they understood PFI, they of course new the term and understood the ‘gist’. The moment I altered that last word…both had exactly the same reaction: What?

      The penny dropped. If people could be made to see ‘what this means’ and how the Labour party pushed for this…and who benefitted from this both politically and personally?

      Did Jack McConnell get a peerage for services to private financiers?

      Just asking.

    302. Tom Kelly says:

      9,000 primary pupils. This equates to 54,000 hours of education for every day these schools are closed. To put it another way, 54,000 extra hours of childcare to be paid by hard-pressed parents, or 9,000 extra places to be found at other schools. Not one extra penny of parents or taxpayers money should be spent on this fiasco. The costs involved should be laid firmly at the door of those responsible, I.e. The PFI contractors. Councils involved should not pay another penny of contractual payments until all consequential costs have been met.

    303. Betty Craney says:

      On the Scottish Conservatives website ( sorry , can’t do links ) it is now the SNP’s fault for not doing school inspections ….I thought that would be the local council’s job .

    304. gus1940 says:

      I am looking forward to this evening’s Misreporting Scotland, Scotland 2016 and Scotland Tonight.

      It will be interesting to see which way the Schools PFI Scandal is reported and how little (if any) mention is made of Labour’s responsibility.

      A good guessing game would be to speculate as to which politicians and MSM unionist lapdogs feature.

      Today’s Scotsman headlines the news that Dugdale is threatening to set the full force of the law on the SNP’s Lochhead but strangely enough not until after the election.

      The thing I find most laughable about in the wake of The Sun’s allegedly Exclusive Revelation that Kez applied for a job with the SNP is the fact that the media are treating the news as being some sort of sensational revelation.

      The fact that Kez applied for a job with the SNP prior to settling for the clutches for our old pal Zebedee has been common knowledge for what must be at least 2 years.

      While her application may or may not have featured in the MSM papers themselves plenty of mentions of it have featured frequently in the on-line comments thereon from readers.

      Not only that but it has been covered extensively in many of the blogs such as WOS and WGD etc.

      If there was a facility to carry out a historical search of the on-line comments in The Scotsman and Herald I’m sure it would turn up dozens if not hundreds of mentions of said application over the last couple of years.

    305. Ruby says:

      K1 says:
      11 April, 2016 at 4:06 pm

      Don’t think I had really ‘taken in’ the enormity of this…that it was a government sanctioned policy. That it was the asset stripping of our public buildings and that it was just privatisation by stealthy means.

      Thanks all who helped me have a PFI satori moment!

      I think it can’t be underestimated how little people actually ‘understand’ these financial ‘arrangements’. Time to get it out there in easy to understand times.

      Ruby replies

      It’s quite strange that people are so unaware of PFI.

      There certainly has been plenty of coverage in the press over the years.

      Did you watch

      Panorama PFI Scam UK

      I knew the term but I certainly didn’t know what it was all about.

    306. mike cassidy says:

      Just come in to find that at the end of a PPI lease

      the contractor owns the asset!

      Right! Dinner first, then back to some checking.

      And just to freak you out even more over PPI, read this from 2013.

      The barstewards created a lucrative trade in shares in PPI consortia, and these proved especially attractive to offshorefunds.

      Roosting Chicken Syndrome!

    307. Ruby says:

      The PFI scandal is nothing new! As far as I can see there has been loads of press coverage over the years about the PFI scandal.

      It would seem people have just switched off to the PFI scandal until now when schools built using PFI are falling to bits.

      Liz Smith’s idea that school inspectors should be checking the buildings is just bonkers!

      What isn’t clear is who should be inspection the buildings.

      Read more about the school with no light switches mentioned in the Panorama video

    308. Ruby says:

      mike cassidy says:
      11 April, 2016 at 4:49 pm

      Just come in to find that at the end of a PPI lease

      the contractor owns the asset!

      Ruby replies

      Is that true? I thought that it became public property after 30 years!

    309. mike cassidy says:

      Ruby 4.54

      I thought so too


      I was going by the correction at 2.38

      to my PPI for dummies at 2.05.

    310. steveasaneilean says:

      Ruby – as far as I am aware definitely true for RIE – but I am more than happy to be corrected.

    311. Legerwood says:

      Ruby at 4.54 pm

      Some PFI properties transfer to the ownership of the lessee at the end of the PFI contract some don’t and remain the property of the PFI consortium.

      The most obvious example of this is the new(ish) Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Originally posted at £150 million to build it went over budget and cost £184 million but by the time the PFI contract comes to an end it will have cost NHS Lothian £1.2 BILLION and they won’t own it!!!!.

      You can read it here – apologies for not archiving can’t do it on tablet:

      Sometimes but, as this case shows, the PFI financed building does not become the property of the Council or the Health Board.

      There are so many scams attached to these contracts, all designed to make money for the original consortium, that it is difficult to keep up with them.

      By the way re comments on Herald – agree we should agree to disagree.

    312. mike cassidy says:

      sorry for the ppi rather than pfi in last two posts.

      although at least there is a chance of compensation with ppi!

    313. John says:

      Herald headline , it’s all the SNP’s fault . They were a wee bit slow today , they had to get it confirmed from Ruth and her team .

    314. mike cassidy says:

      So now my PFI For Dummies reads

      PFI for dummies (like myself)

      1)Before PFI

      A council wants a new school

      The council pays a contractor to build the school.

      The council owns the school

      2)Under PFI

      A council wants a new school

      The contractor builds the school at their own expense.

      The council rents the school for x amount of years.

      The contractor makes a very large profit from the rent received over x amount of years.

      The council then may or may not own the school.

    315. Andrew Mclean says:

      Mike Cassidy,

      Did the all the councils actually all want schools, or was the sottish parliament lobbied by a consortium of financial interest groups, keen to move money from offshore accounts who convinced them they could get jam today?

    316. Ruby says:

      This article states:

      ‘Then there is the single biggest flaw in PFI: the uncertainty over who really bears the risk when things go pear-shaped. Despite thousands of hours of legal time spent drafting the contracts, the issue often ends up being fudged. There is often an assumption that, when the push comes to the shove, the other party will shoulder the risks. Some observers have argued that many of the UK’s PFI projects are effectively “built on sand” because of this lack of transparency.’

    317. mike cassidy says:

      I suspect ‘political encouragement’ will be a part of the UK story on this.

      I’ll repost from Lollysmum 9.07 last night as an example

      By chance, exactly a year ago, this was published about the then state of play regarding existing PFIs.

      And this quote hints at the variation in projects carried out.

      PFI’s were the brainchild of the Conservative Party in the 1990s, but were swiftly embraced by New Labour. Successive governments signed hundreds of the deals. PFI-funded schools, streetlights, prisons, services, police stations and care homes can be found across Britain.

      The system has yielded assets valued at £56.5bn. But Britain will pay more than five times that amount under the terms of the PFIs used to create them, and in some cases be left with nothing to show for it, because the PFI agreed to is effectively a leasing agreement

    318. defo says:

      Muscleguy says:


      “Of course you can retrofit wall ties. Isn’t pretty or non messy or non destructive of course.”

      That’s a ‘brace’ your describing mate, visible.
      Wall ties are internal, either tying the two leafs of wall together, or the outer leaf to the structural steelwork.
      Generally spaced at 600mm centres, I think, but then I’m an old school joiner, not one with his brain removed. aka a brickie 😉

      Maybe we could paint what you describe as pretty flowers, or smiley faces. I’m sure the kiddies would love it.

    319. Fred says:

      Glen Campbell atempts to change the subject to the SNP’s financing scheme.

    320. K1 says:

      A’ve just finished watching that Panorama programme you linked Ruby. Thanks.

      The intensity of my blood simmering to boiling increasing as I watched. I think as you say many didn’t really ‘know’, more saliently many of us didn’t really ‘understand’ exactly what a total scam it was. It’s…there’s no point in reiterating what I’ve already expressed along with everyone else. It’s just fucking sickening.

      Andrew…aye another ‘union dividend’…bastards.

    321. Donald Macdonald says:

      I’m no fan of PFI but a finance model does not build defective schools – Builders like Miller Construction do.

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

    ↑ Top