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Wings Over Scotland

Quick context check

Posted on November 30, 2018 by

The front page lead of today’s Scottish Daily Mail:

As alert readers of this site will know, the Mail has a particular fondness for presenting statistics bereft of any context so that people have no idea how big or small they really are. So is 1,600 passengers a week receiving compensation for delays a lot or a little? Let’s find out.

These are the very latest stats from the Office of Rail and Road:

They tell us that ScotRail passengers made just shy of 24 million journeys in the past three months. That’s 2 million a week. So 1,600 is 0.08% of passengers suffering delays serious enough to warrant compensation (ie more than 30 minutes).

Or put another way, 1 out of every 1,250 passengers suffers such a delay each week. If you take a ScotRail train, there’s a 99.92% chance you WON’T be delayed for half an hour or more, a performance the Mail describes as “dismal”.

Want that stat in a less abstract form? If you make a train journey every single day, seven days a week, you’ll suffer a half-hour delay once every three-and-a-half years.

(And bear in mind that if a SINGLE train is delayed for that much time, everyone on it will be entitled to compensation, so 1,600 individuals probably represents a maximum of a couple of dozen trains out of the 14,000 or so ScotRail runs every week.)

Of course, there’s nothing people like more than complaining about public transport, so there’s very little mileage in providing some perspective on figures. If you’re on a late train you don’t care whose fault it was or how many things can go wrong to disrupt railway services – from mechanical failures to extreme weather to some poor sod throwing themselves on the tracks – you just want to rage, quite understandably, that you didn’t get to your destination on time.

But given that making people angry about train delays is pushing at an open door anyway, there’s even less excuse for tenth-rate journalists hiding the truth about the scale of the problem.

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  1. 30 11 18 13:56

    Quick context check | speymouth

173 to “Quick context check”

  1. James says:

    Tenth-rate journalists? You’re being a bit generous aren’t you?

  2. I wonder if there’d be a way of working out the percentage uptake of compensation claims. As you say, if a train is late then every passenger is entitled but for all we know the 1,600 claims figure could well be one really, really pernickety commuter with a terrible line. My guess is that most late passengers simply don’t bother applying (I think I’ve only applied for compensation once).

    There should be statistics on the number of late trains and a stab could be taken at typical passenger numbers per train.

    I wonder how much it would cost if every entitled passenger claimed for and received their due compensation…

  3. call me dave says:

    Neatly done!

    Those of us with the untrained eye appreciate you covering all the points and helping us not to get derailed.

    Seriously though will auntie with a kilt stop interviewing folk on a windy platform in Glasgow at the least opportunity.

  4. Marc Rich says:

    We need to get Network Rail fully devolved.

    Many delays are not due to Scotrail.

    We pay for it, its about time we had control of it.

    Its our railway after all.

  5. Truth says:

    To be fair, you’ve got to actually claim the compensation.

    I travel extensively on the train network and have got to know a lot of fellow travelers. Most of them don’t bother claiming even although their delay is sufficient to warrant compensation. They couple of pounds isn’t worth the hassle in their view.

    A lot also don’t realise that even a delay under the 30 minutes can be eligible for compensation if it caused you to miss a connection that then makes you over 30 mins delayed.

    I’ve been a regular train user since before privatisation. Compared to then the trains are cleaner, more reliable, and punctuality is pretty similar if not better. My only gripe is the price being relatively high when compared to similar countries. That and the control of railways not being devolved.

    Ooh and please don’t read this as an endorsement of privatisation. No reason a properly managed public system couldn’t do even better and cheaper.

  6. Millsy says:

    I wonder – is there a monthly statistic produced to show the number of misleading headlines from the Press ?
    I bet the ‘Scottish’ Daily Wail would be a contender for top spot more often than not !

  7. I believe Denmark used to operate a system that allowed you to take a taxi and send the bill to the Danish railways if your journey was cancelled or delayed by a certain length of time. It’s an expensive system, of course, but it really forces the railways to make their services run on time.

  8. desimond says:

    So did Scotrail and Network Rail have the same boss or just silly me misreading that headline

  9. MJSDundee says:

    Interesting that it’s “Scotrail” who pays out, but the CBE outrage is the former head of Network Rail who has nothing to do with Scotrail.

    The attempt to make Scotrail seem responsible for the UK agency is pathetic.

    But wait …, could the outrageous slap in the chops actually mean that er …, the UK Network Rail agency is responsible for most of Scottish rail’s supposedly dismal performance after all? Could it be the case that Scotrail are NOT actually to blame for most of what little there is of it?

    Isn’t that what Scotrail, TS & SG have been saying all along? Shoorely not. Humza must answer for this …

    Oh dear, it is all so very confusing, must be about time for another bowl of cereal.

  10. Jack Murphy says:

    Meanwhile in the Daily Mail England it’s Front Page is

    “An Insult to Every Rail User
    Network Rail is Savaged for Worst Punctuality in 15 Years

    By James Salmon
    Transport Editor……”

    Up here,the Scotland Edition credits the Scottish story to a Michael Blackley AND James Salmon!

    I suppose it takes two to tango Scotland 🙂

  11. aldo_macb says:

    As well as getting a dig in at the SNP, the Daily Mail like getting digs in against public transport. Any good Public transport system doesn’t suit thE Mail’s agenda

  12. Tim says:

    The subheadline implies that it is the Scotrail boss who is getting the CBE but the text says it is the Network Rail boss. I assume that the Mail are deliberately trying to get people to assume that they are the same so that people blame Scotrail for everything.

  13. Ian says:

    Usual msm – No context re rest of Uk.

  14. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    As others have pointed out above, The Mail is telling the story about Mark Carne, Network Rail chief, and his CBE but have added a totally spurious reference to Scotrail, in order to confuse readers.

    But maybe I’m being unfair. There is a connection between Mark Carne and Scotrail; he was born in Helensburgh and Scotrail run trains to and from Helensburgh.

  15. ronnie anderson says:

    A’ve goat ah gripe aboot Scotrail ( naw ah didnae buy ah bottle of thon watter ) in a 24/7 society there should be late night trains running between out Cities every 2/3 hours.

  16. gordoz says:

    Forensic analysis of data yo get to real story
    This is why Scottish papers are dying.
    Why does no one hire this man.
    Answer hes on wrong side of Indy argument.
    (Oh and often goes bush at idiots & is a bit sweary online ?)
    Forgot those bits ….?

  17. Penderyn says:

    Assuming 100 passengers per coach, and 6 coaches per train, that is 600 passengers per train. Taking the 1600 passenger compensated, that gives a figure of 3 trains per week delayed by more than 30 mins.

  18. Legerwood says:

    The Herald led with this compensation story on its front page today BUT it was a pretty fair and accurate report making clear that over 60% of the delays were down to Network Rail and that Network Rail was the nationalised part of the Rail Network. Around a third of the compensation claims were down to failings on Scotrail’s part.

    Nearly choked on my bran flakes when I read the article. For once they were pretty accurate in reporting the story. They did not skew the story by omitting salient information.

  19. David Sillars says:

    Are Network Rail not under Westminster control?

  20. Lenny Hartley says:

    Thomas Widmann Scotrail about 20 years ago provided a Taxi for me from Perth to Ardrossan Harbour. The train I was from Aberdeen to Glasgow broke down at Perth Station. I alerted the Station Master that I was travelling to Arran for an important meeting that night (Saw Doctors Concert) , the put me and a guy who was flying from Prestwick onto a Taxi for Glasgow, at Glasgow was met at the platform by a Scotrail Employee with a clipboard who advised the Taxi Driver to take me to Ardrossan Harbour as the train connecting with the last boat had left. I Arrived at Ardrossan Harbour 15 minutes after the boat was due to depart but Scotrail had advised Caledonian McBrayne that a VIP was coming by Taxi and requested the6 hold the boat. Donald the Purser had alerted the passengers on the ferry that they were awaiting a VIP. There was a bit of derision from the Local passengers when I made my way up the Gangway ???
    At others time I and other passengers have been put up in the Central Station Hotel by Scotrail when a delayed train meant we missed the boat.
    I have no complaints about the rail services in Scotland.

  21. G says:

    “Almost a third of passengers fail to claim rail compensation because it was not worth hassle.”

    So, if 1,600 are claiming compensation, it’s a fair estimate that 2,400 were delayed by 30 minutes or more.

  22. Thepnr says:

    That 1600/week figure is the average over a period of 40 weeks from Jan until the end of Sep this year.

    The information was supplied by the Scottish government in response to a FOI request which was answered two days ago.

    This is how journalists work nowadays, think up anything “bad” or that you can spin as SNP bad and get an FOI in then you have a front page with which to beat the Scottish government over the head with.

    Amount Scotrail paid out through its ‘delay repay’ compensation scheme: FOI release

  23. Les Wilson says:

    On Bloomerg just now reporting that Tusk has said if the UK parliament does not support May’s plan, it will mean a no deal Brexit.So he is attempting to influence the vote?

    Now, that is meddling with democracy. Has he had a quiet word with the ECJ? and already knows the verdict too, and has given the EU deal top priority to frighten people into backing it, when they would not have?

  24. G says:

    Actually, according to the article I posted, and Which magazine, only 39% of people claim the compensation they are entitled to for delays of 30 minutes or more. So, it’s fair to say that the number of people delayed is 4,000.

  25. That answers that one then. Thanks G.

  26. G says:

    @Dr Craig Dalzell

    What I take from these figures is that some of the other lines must run like clockwork, because there is no way that only 2 in every thousand of my journeys are over the 30 minute delay time.

    So I must be the “really pernickety commuter with a terrible line“ 🙂

    I claim virtually every time. It’s the only language companies understand.

  27. Breastplate says:

    The figure of 4000 in your lin increases the percentage of delayed passengers from 0.08% to 0.2% so if the figures are correct 99.8% of the trains do “run like clockwork”.

  28. Breastplate says:


  29. Thepnr says:

    The correct figures for Scotrail of trains more than 30 minutes late for the period Jan to Sep this year is 3.8% according to the people who measure these things.

    Nationally for all train companies in the UK for the same period it was 4.5% so Scotrail actually perform slightly better than average.

    All trains are tracked daily on the website inked below and historical performances are available.

  30. Cubby says:

    There must be a lot of Mail readers who think they are one of the lucky ones who keep missing all these horrendous problems that they read about in their paper of choice.

    Paying money to be lied to every day. Wow!!!

  31. Ali says:

    What’s making people angry about train delays is train delays. And cancellations. Everybody I know who uses a train is angry about trains and none of them read the Daily Mail. They just try to use the shitty trains. And I bet hardly any of them apply for compensation. Trains are regularly running through stations they’re supposed to stop at. Maybe they appear to be on time by doing so. My wife has not made it into work on time once this week.

  32. Footsoldier says:

    O/T “And Treasury Minister Liz Truss, who is backing Mrs May to get the agreement through Parliament, suggested parts of it could be renegotiated after the UK left the EU.

    “We can do what we want,” she told the Daily Mail. “Some things are set in treaties but no parliament can bind its successor.”

  33. bjsalba says:

    I’m confused. The Scottish Scottish Daily Mail refers to Scotrail as the one paying out for train delays, but the ex-boss being honoured (not by the Scottish Government, I might add)was from Network Rail.

    So is that Network Rail paying out or Abelio? Or is it both of them combined?

    Last time I saw statistics they shared the blame for delays just about 50-50.

  34. Cactus says:

    Today is your national day iCitizens of Bonnie Scotland.

    iCountries around this world all celebrate their own.

    Ahm on a ptrain, ah can’t complain, kurt kens.

    Celebrate Scotland!


  35. Welsh Sion says:

    Diwrnod Sant Andreas Hapus i holl ddarllenwyr Wings (hyd yn oed Rock a HYFUD) a fy nghyfeillion Albanaidd.


    Happy St Andrew’s Day to all the readers of Wings (even Rock and HYFUD) and my Scottish friends.

  36. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    Les Wilson @ 14:12,

    I don’t know what Bloomberg reported, Les, but what I heard was that Tusk said that the current deal on offer is the only one, and the alternatives were either no-deal or remain.

    The only “angle” here is that if anyone in the fissile Tory Party (which is what this is all about) still harbours any delusion about Theresa returning to the EU cap-in-hand after being defeated in the HoC, she will be politely but firmly shown the door.

    He is splashing cold water over the Tories (and anyone else) to wake them up to hard reality and finally abandon their exceptionalist cherry-picking wet dreams.

  37. Legerwood says:

    bjsalba says:
    30 November, 2018 at 3:33 pm
    I’m confused. The Scottish Scottish Daily Mail refers to Scotrail as the one paying out for train delays, but the ex-boss being honoured (not by the Scottish Government, I might add)was from Network Rail.

    So is that Network Rail paying out or Abelio? Or is it both of them combined?

    Last time I saw statistics they shared the blame for delays just about 50-50.

  38. Welsh Sion says:

    Huh? How did “Albanaidd” become “Caesar!naidd” ????

    Apologies to all – in any language.

  39. Legerwood says:

    Sorry hit Submit too early.
    “”bjsalba says:
    30 November, 2018 at 3:33 pm
    I’m confused. The Scottish Scottish Daily Mail refers to Scotrail as the one paying out for train delays, but the ex-boss being honoured (not by the Scottish Government, I might add)was from Network Rail.

    So is that Network Rail paying out or Abelio? Or is it both of them combined?

    Last time I saw statistics they shared the blame for delays just about 50-50.””

    Scotrail is paying out for the delays but Network Rail has been told to compensate Scotrail because MR is responsible for 61% of the delays. Other operators are responsible for 9% of the delays. Scotrail is responsible for 30% of the delays.

    The Rail Regulator is investigating Network Rail’s performance because it is far short of its targets and runs the risk of breeching its licence.

    Half the delays on the London Caledonian Sleeper are down to Network Rail. Its performance over the whole UK network is pretty poor. Signalling faults seem to be a major issue.

  40. yesindyref2 says:

    @Welsh Sion
    Rev doesn’t like people saying S*or Alb* (replace * with “a”) so he replaces Alb* with “Caesar!”.

    He’s a “little” bit quirky 🙂

  41. Confused says:

    But can you imagine the furore if the SNP – MADE THE TRAINS RUN ON TIME … !!!

    – who else did that, eh?

  42. geeo says:

    I do not use trains very often, personally.

    If i am going to Edinburgh, i can get a Citylink 909 service return ticket (from grangemouth) for just £4 return. (It is £7.50 for one way !!)

    Journey time 45 minutes. Distance from bus stop to house, 200 yards.

    We go to Glasgow for Hospital appointments for my wife, (awaiting Double jaw replacement) for scans etc and the train is easiest.

    Cannot remember the trains ever being 2 minutes late to be honest, far less 30 mins.

    Price is a bigger negative factor to be honest.

    Example: Falkirk to Glenrothes leaving on a Saturday and returning Sunday is £26 pwr person, so if me and my wife both go, we are £52 on the train.

    Also takes 1hr 30 minutes to get there (Station to station) but requires a bus from grangemouth to falkirk station both directions (thats another £5 EACH added to cost) and thats with our friends picking us up at train station in Glenrothes and dropping us back.


    Car. 3 minutes or less to motorway, motorway all the way to over the Queensferry crossing, then straight over to Glenrothes pretty much.

    Time taken, door to door = 45minutes. Cost ? Fuel only, so not much.

    Trains may run on time, but they are just too expensive in my opinion.

  43. Ken500 says:

    Lenny’s getting his money worth.

    The rail services are quite good. A train every hour for longer journeys. The North of England has a far worse service. Lots of cancellations etc.

    Lack of investment in Scotland and the north of England mean train journeys there take nearly twice as long. If train journeys were shortened throughout Britain there would be less air flights needed.

    Instead of improving service in the north of England and Scotland. The Westminster imbeciles are spending £Billions on HS2. It will make train journeys to Scotland take longer. A total waste of money, with no business case. Not enough passengers based. Less money could be spent improving the present services. Cutting overall times by much more.

  44. galamcennalath says:

    OT Donald Tusk now saying there are three choices before WM. Deal, no deal, no Brexit.

  45. call me dave says:


    Donald Tusk now saying there are three choices before WM.
    Deal, no deal, no Brexit.

    He’s not alone because the FM said about two weeks ago

    1. My deal
    2. No deal or
    3. No Brexit


    1. Shot
    2. Hanged
    3. Call the whole thing off.

  46. call me dave says:

    Oops! FM should be PM there. I promoted Theresa. 🙂

  47. Dan Huil says:

    The daily mail: as big a joke as the so-called united kingdom.

  48. PRJ says:

    How does networkrail compare between Scotland and the different regions in England.A FOI may be needed.

  49. yesindyref2 says:

    You must be someone really special. If it was me, they’d probably have lent me a skateboard and a rowing boat.

  50. Welsh Sion says:

    Apologies for BBC sourcing but answering PRJ @ 4.40 with regard to my home country.

  51. robertknight says:

    But it’s a Yoon-Nooz story about Scotland, and any story about Scotland can only mean one thing…


  52. Gary45% says:

    CHURNALISM at its best.
    Go Daily Heil your readership is dying off daily, eventually you will have to give away more modern pathetic freebies than the usual sepia, rose tinted shite at present.

  53. Lenny Hartley says:

    Yesinfy2ref, I did lay it on a bit thick about needing to get to Arran for a very important meeting, never told them it was a Saw Doctors concert 🙂

  54. crazycat says:


    Hope this is far enough down the thread. Here’s a wee nudge for our crowdfunder (, which now has added video!

    Please share – it’s got ten days to run, and today’s the end of the month, so some people might have a little to spare for us. There are perks too, rather just the gushing gratitude we offered last year 🙂 .

  55. yesindyref2 says:

    Mmm, I see from Rev’s twitter he’s thinking of a new bed.

    We’ll have to have another crowdfunder.

  56. Petra says:


    A great traditional St Andrew’s Day poem by Kevin McKenna. ‘Dave the Chancer.’

  57. McDuff says:

    The mail is attacking Scot Rail because it contains the word Scot.
    The toilet paper tabloid is bent on a mission to degrade anything Scottish and it’s daily unwarranted distortions and lies are bordering on racism and it continues to stagger me the that people actually buy this rag and believe what it says.

  58. jfngw says:

    T. May reveals her tactics to everyone.

  59. frogesque says:

    I blame The Fat Controller.

    Now, if we had a real Controller like Lord Vetinari then Things would get Done (usually by the Assassin’s Guild)

    For reference, Raising Steam, Terry Pratchett, Discworld series.

  60. naina tal says:

    Richard Leonard making sense at last…

  61. Andy-B says:

    The Beano’s a better read than that shitrag, the pretendy Scottish Daily Mail, is just a mouthpiece for unionists.

    Another angle of attack by the unionists is through Network Rail, they use the reserved to Westminster Network Rails constant failings north of the border to attack Scot Rails performance.

  62. Gary45% says:

    I have an elderly neighbour who gets this shit delivered everyday. A few years back she was struggling to get out the house, so I offered to get her some daily messages, on the list was the Daily Heil, I asked her why she put up with such garbage, and the reply was along the line of, “I have had the Mail delivered for the last 40+ years, my late husband read it so I just kept on the delivery”,( her husband died in 2000) she has no real interest in the gutter press, but out of nostalgia just keeps getting it delivered.(This is the core readership of the Heil along with Little BritNat Engerlanders.)
    The Daily Heil will eventually disappear up its own backside.(Hopefully the 8th April) so I can do a double dance,8th April?? that’s the day Thatcher died, its a
    major celebration in our house.

  63. Scottish Steve says:

    I don’t travel very often on trains but when I have, I’ve never been delayed. I don’t see the “chaos” on the rails the Scottish media always whines about.

    Mountains and mole hills spring to mind.

  64. call me dave says:

    @naina tal

    Ha! Ha! Excellent. Bobby Vee…Jings! 🙂

    PM wishes us Happy St Andrews Day Pffft!

    Cameron pushed the boat out and ran up the Saltire…but remember it dinnae want to go up the pole.

  65. Andy-B says:

    Maybe this is why the Daily Fail is spouting weak rhetoric about ScotRail, as train fares in England and Wales rise higher than in Scotland. Whilst train services are abysmal causing widespread outrage among passengers.

    Apologies tried to archive twice.

  66. Gary45% says:

    Not sure if someone has posted this guys details before.
    Have a wee look at Gordon Dimmack on you tube, he has an interesting wee segment called the vicar of fibly, vicargate.
    Interesting stuff.

  67. frogesque says:

    Good St. Andrew’s today.

    Glenrothes to Dunfermline to do some painting at g daughters new house. Wee stop with the flags on the way over the A92 at Dundonald then another at Tesco roundabout, Dulloch, Dnf.

    Good response from all the happy folk with a handful of very miserable looking British Nationalists.

    Get out, be visible, get inside their heads. We ARE winning!

  68. HYUFD says:

    Welsh Sion I can agree on that, Happy St Andrew’s Day!

  69. Legerwood says:

    PRJ @ 4.40pm

    An FOI is not required to find out how other rail operators are performing. There are various sites providing a plethora of information both financial – Office of Rail and Road – and performance related.

    The link below will give you performance info on the various operators. Scroll down the page and click on the operator’s logo to get the info

  70. Fairliered says:

    Under the tory devised privatised railway system, Scotrail operate the trains. They are forced to lease them from a ROSCO (Rolling Stock Operating Company) which are private companies set up under the tory privatisation. In order to maximise their profits, ROSCOs minimise the number of trains available for lease, which means there are insufficient trains to cover for breakdowns or overcrowding. Scotrail do not own the tracks that their trains run on, or the signalling system that control them – they are owned by Westminster controlled Network Rail. Most delays are caused by faults under the responsibility of Network Rail.

    Don’t expect the Daily Mail or the BBC to tell you the truth.

  71. geeo says:

    O/T from rail to the sky…..

    2 Aircraft carriers and the RAF want to buy land based planes ..?

    Yanks are beelin’

  72. Legerwood says:

    geeo @ 4.14pm

    Have you looked at the Railcards that are on offer? They can cut a third off fares. Example: Two Together for 2 adults travelling together.

    We have Senior Railcards. We ‘buy’ them using our Tesco Clubcard points. I don’t shop much at Tesco but I have a Tesco credit card which I take great pleasure using at Lidls and other places so build up points that way. Tesco has cut the points per pound but we usually have enough to get one of the cards free.

    Worth looking into

  73. geeo says:

    Appreciate that, Legerwood.

    Not to go to Glenrothes mind you as car still several times cheaper even with 3rd off

    Shall take a wee look nonetheless as we like to travel around Scotland these days.

  74. Petra says:


    WGD: ‘Telling Theresa the Time.’

    …..”Theresa May’s permission is not required.”….

  75. yesindyref2 says:

    We get a discount with our bus pass. (MyGovScot / Saltire)

  76. Iain mhor says:

    Inanity upon inanity.
    The irony being I’m commenting on it.
    I’ve travelled frequently on railways expected to be mint – ie: German and Japanese – Cancelled service and delay. Not every journey, maybe 1 in 20, but shit happens.
    If they can’t do it, which railway service should ScotRail aspire to if those figures are “dismal”
    Does it exist?

  77. Robert Louis says:

    On St. Andrews day, a wee reminder from the wee ginger dug, that Scotland does NOT need permission to hold a referendum on independence (of course the hard facts of the matter won’t stop the likes of toodle oo the noo from constantly lying that Scotland needs permission).

    Worth a read.

  78. Petra says:

    ‘First Minister: ‘Labour must back full devolution of Network Rail.’

  79. lumilumi says:

    Hyvää Antinpäivää Skotlantiin täältä itsenäisestä Suomesta!
    Happy St Andrew’s Day to Scotland from here in independent Finland!

    (The Finnish version of the name Andrew is Antero, or Antti for short, so St Andrew’s Day is Antinpäivä.)

    @ Lenny Hartley 1:54pm
    Thanks for a great story, made me smile.

    Last time I took trains in Scotland, June/July 2017, several times between Corpach and Fort William (the reason will become apparent later), I had no complaints about the trains. They were always on time, clean but nothing fancy – felt a bit “cramped” because they were so narrow but that’s due to the narrower gauge – Finnish and Russian trains are more spacious because of our wider gauge. (Finland wasn’t independent when they began to build railways here, so we got the Russian gauge 1,524mm, as opposed to the common European gauge 1,435mm.) Oh, and the Corpach > Ft W train was diesel, not electric.

    I remember a time when trains in Finland had to change engines in Oulu (from electric to diesel northward, diesel to electric southward), up until early 2000s. The line is now electrified all the way up north to the northern terminus in Kemijärvi (more than 1000 km north of Helsinki), only the western branch north of Kemi to Kolari is still diesel, but its passanger service is fairly seasonal (ski season).

    The best thing is the car sleepers. You can drive your car into a special carriage in the evening in Helsinki or Tampere, spend the evening in the restaurant/pub car, sleep in your cabin and arrive in Lapland in the morning, drive your car off the special carriage and drive the last 100-600 km to your final destination. It’s like taking your car on an overnight ferry, only inland!

    Sorry for the digression on Finnish state railways (Valtion rautatiet, VR). It’s still all state owned but they’ve split the infrastructure from the actual train service, and for the past few years our rightist Minister for Transport has tried to push for privatisation of trains – but not the network – and citing her ideologically based delusions. People – general public and Ministry of Transport civil servants – have been telling her to just look at the UK. Rail privatisation doesn’t seem to have worked all that well. Thank god we have a general election coming up so the privatisation of trains might get a reprieve. Also the stealth privatisation of our health service, cloaked in the much more pleasant-sounding soudbite “freedom of choice”.

    Sorry to have gone off rail on such a rant about Finnish politics. Let’s get back on track, rail infrastructure in Scotland. Reserved to Westminster, so Holyrood has no say, can only mitigate (what a suprise, seems to be a pattern).

    Getting back to my story, June/July 2017. I and my fellow travellers had no trouble, no problem with Scotrail trains. However, we had a huge problem with Network Rail. Their swing bridge at Banavie had broken down, so we, coming through the Caledonian Canal in our leaking sailboat had to wait 21 hours on top of Neptunes Staircase before we could descend to the sealock, meet the boatyard tow at near high tide to tow us to the boatyard at high tide to get the contraption under our floating boat, and the receding tide left the boat effectively on dry dock. Network Rail’s infrastructure (swing bridge) failure added a day and a night to our trip. Where’s our compensation, eh?! haha.

    We were quite the famous thing throughout our days on the Caledonian Canal. The boat had overwintered at Lossiemouth, first leg was under Kessock bridge to near Inverness, the start of the canal. We were motoring, plan was to rig sails at the small marina near Drumnadochit on Loch Ness. Only, someone left a sluicing rope loose on deck, then trailing. The captain and the first mate didn’t notice it, like they should’ve. Anyway, we were backing s/y Kleopatra to her berth and… Well, rope, propeller = FUCKED.

    We sailed through Loch Ness (so stormy we had to take shelter) and Loch Long (tending to so calm it took us 8 hours to sail the last 2 km (1NM); somehow limped through all narrow canal bits, the bridges and locks. By then all the Scottish Canals staff knew us, our leaking Finnish sailboat. They were super helpful and friendly, put us in locks first for safety even tough captains of English luxury yachts were clamoring to go first (“Bloody English bastirts”, muttered one our super helpful young Scottish Canals staff).

    Even on a canal, in a lock, inland waters, safety is more important than some rich guy’s ego. The staff of Scottish Canals were excellent in that respect.

    Also excellent in perhaps bending the rules a bit for us, the Finns in our leaking boat, trying our best. The Scots Canals staff hummed and hawed about using sails on the canals… But maybe if they didn’t know, eh? Nods each way.

    We were a tourist attaction when we finally got down Neptunes Staircase, delayed about 21 hours because of a failure of a Network Rail swing rail bridge.

    The English yachers who’d towed us to top of Neptunes Staircase afterwards didn’t look us in the eye… So no outside towing. OK, our boat has an inflatable dingy and a modest outboard motor.

    All the tourists filmed our tiny dingy going this way and that to tow the 9.5 ton 39 ft yacht, daft 1.8m. Then clapped, cheered. We might be on many, many social media accounts.

    Sorry for a stupidly long post, maybe I was just too inspired by St Andrew’s day, ha ha.

  80. Sarah says:

    @yesindyref2 at 8.20: do you mean a discount on tickets or on railcards?

    On another topic: we have a Council by-election next week and it appears the SNP are taking it very seriously, thank goodness. Not that it will change the controlling party of Highland Council but it would be nice to see SNP win a council seat in a by-election as an indicator of the electorate’s feelings.

  81. yesindyref2 says:

    That’s what it’s all about @lumilumi, thanks for the interesting read.

  82. yesindyref2 says:

    Tickets. No idea if there’s any more discounts, we don’t used the rail much, hardly at all.

  83. velofello says:

    @ Legerwood, now you’ve let the cat out the bag, Tesco underlings will be whipped into find a blocking solution to your scheme, you rascal.

    The Ayr to Glasgow rail service is first class.I do smile though when I hear the sighs of waiting passengers if there is an announcement that ‘the train arriving is 2 minutes late”.

    Me , I sigh at the inefficiency of traffic lights, no vehicle movement from the adjoining roads on green yet vehicles sit idling on the red light waiting for green.

  84. Sarah says:

    @lumilumi – good story, thank you!

  85. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi Lumilumi,

    Good to see you posting comments again!

    For you…

    BTW: check out “Kevin Turvey” (Rik Mayall) on YouTube. That was his signature tune. (A BBC Scotland production.)

  86. Legerwood says:

    Petra @ 8.38pm
    Devolving responsibility for Network Rail.

    I think the SG should be very careful with that idea. NR has a pile of debts and costs a ton of money. If Westminster devolved more money along with it then maybe OK otherwise I would think twice, maybe 3 times, about that idea.

    geeo @ 7.54pm

    We have done a couple of circular tours around Scotland using our Railcards. West Coast line – Glasgow to Fort William O/N in FW, bus to Kyle of Lochalsh, had time for a walk over the bridge to Skye. O/N then train from Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness. Then home after an overnight stay.
    Fantastic scenery.
    Did circular tour up the East Coast over the Forth Bridge. Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness then home.

    yesindyref2 @ 8.20pm
    Did not know you could use the National Entitlement Card to get discounts on train tickets. Will have to check it out. We have Senior Railcards so can get a discount even at peak times and can use them throughout the UK and on Heathrow Express and Gatwick Express which we have done several times.
    We use the trains quite a bit so easily save the cost of the cards.
    Vellofello @ 9.01pm

    Tesco already know. Hee, hee.

  87. Cactus says:

    Seasonal Scottish Greetings to y’all frae Cambuslang Wingers!

    Many a Winger be here like aye.

    Today is our day.

    Nice Wing.



  88. Legerwood says:

    Meanwhile in other train related news. Crossrail and HS2 costs spinning out of control and someone about to lose their job – no not Chris Grayling – at least not yet

    From the Guardian online

  89. yesindyref2 says:

    Looks like the guy doesn’t have much ambition for the fishing industry either.

  90. boris says:

    The British Army later arrested 55 Arabs and 70 Jews and tried them for murder. 25 Arabs were publicly hanged. Only 2 of the 70 Jews were convicted and sentenced to death. A sentence later commuted.

  91. wull says:

    OT, but with regard to several posts above, BBC has this:

    ‘European Council President Donald Tusk, meanwhile, has stressed that the deal the EU struck with Theresa May was the “only possible one”.

    ‘He said: “If this deal is rejected in the Commons, we are left with, as was stressed a few weeks ago from Prime Minister May, an alternative – no deal or no Brexit at all.”‘

    If, as expected, the House of Commons rejects May’s ‘deal’ on Dec 11, that will clarify the situation. It leaves only two possibilities instead of three. The choice will then be between a ‘No deal Brexit’ or ‘No Brexit at all’.

    That kind of simple choice is what is needed for a referendum: two alternatives, not three. With May and her ‘deal’ gone, could that pave the way for these two then be run off against each other? In a new, decisive pre-March 29 referendum …

    So, no more May-style fudge – just a straightforward choice between a ‘No Deal Brexit’ and ‘No Brexit at all’. On the ballot paper …

    Nicola Sturgeon said the SNP would support a second referendum on Brexit so long as it was guaranteed that whatever way Scotland voted in that second referendum would be respected. This time round, Scotland will get what Scotland votes for. England will too, therefore …

    Nicola Sturgeon, in accordance with the SNP manifesto at the last General Election and with the subsequent Green-supported vote in Holyrood, has also consistently made it clear WHY there is now a mandate for a 2nd independence referendum. It is because Scotland is being taken out of the EU against its will, despite voting to ‘remain’ by a clear majority (62%).

    A new referendum on these two stark alternatives – ‘No Brexit at all’ OR a ‘No Deal Brexit’ – would at last force the whole of the current UK to face up to the reality in which it finds itself. It would also kill two birds with one stone.

    If Scotland votes for ‘No Brexit at all’ while England (or rUK, meaning basically England, but with Wales and Northern Ireland thrown in) votes the other way, for a ‘No Deal Brexit’, that will have consequences that go deeper than simply the European question. It will bring the 1707 Union between Scotland and England to an end. In the most legal and legitimate manner possible …

    Scotland gets what it wants – continuing EU membership – and England (with its additional bits) too gets what it wants: it breaks away from the EU. At one stroke, England therefore becomes independent from both the EU and, indeed, from Scotland. And Scotland becomes an independent country within the EU, which has been the SNP’s policy for decades … While the UK simply, of itself, dissolves with one of its two parts (Scotland) going one way (into the EU) while the other part (effectively England) goes the other way (out of the EU).

    That scenario has the further advantage that the UK will have broken up by mutual consent. The people of England (basically) will have chosen to go its own way, and the people of Scotland another, quite different way. A parting of the ways, indeed, but all of it by mutual consent. There should therefore, in principle be no rancune or hostility between the two partners who formerly made up the UK. We both mutually agreed to this separation: it can no longer be said that one wanted to ‘separate’ and the other didn’t! No – each of the two parties is doing just what it (or at least its majority) wants to do and chose to do, so there can be no rational ground for grievance on either side. No one is being hard done by … no one abandoned, no one coerced … England chose one way, Scotland another, and since the two ways were incompatible, that was it – the old Union (not so old, only since 1707, but old enough all the same) simply ceased to be …

    It doesn’t make us enemies, and it doesn’t have to be bitter. Even as our two nations go our two separate ways, we can still see ourselves as ‘old friends’ … And wish each other luck, as we move down the different roads we have each respectfully (in both senses of the term) chosen to follow …

    It’s almost the ideal way to end the Union, in fact …

    Of course, there could be other outcomes. There is no guarantee that that scenario will in fact transpire, but – the way things presently stand – it could be the most probable result of a referendum between No Deal Brexit (England’s preference) and No Brexit (Scotland’s preference).

    Though I would certainly be well pleased by such a result, it does have certain inconveniencs, and it might not be completely ideal for the present leadership of the SNP. For it is pretty clear that the SNP definitely does want England to stay within the EU or, at least, as closely tied to it as possible. But, if that cannot be achieved, because a majority of Englanders really do want to leave the EU … well, at least the SNP’s overriding goal of an independent Scotland within Europe will have been achieved. So it might not be ideal, but it is not without a great deal of consolation for the SNP, all the same …

    Of course, a quite different scenario could also arise, though it looks highly unlikely. It could happen that not only England but even Scotland votes for a ‘No Deal Brexit’. In that surprising event, the UK would continue. And it would do so completely outside the EU. Disastrous and quasi-suicidal for everyone concerned, especially for all of us here in Scotland … and for every sincere follower of this site (WoS).

    Would that really happen? I can’t see it: surely we couldn’t be that daft! But if it did – horrendous thought – we would only have ourselves to blame.

    Another alternative – by no means impossible – is that both Scotland and England/rUK vote, this time round, for ‘No Brexit at all’. In that case the UK would continue. And we Scots would no longer have grounds for holding indyref2 – not, at least, prior to 2021. With that outcome, our grounds for holding it simply evaporate. Or melt – like snaw aff a dyke. The mandate, even as given by the Holyrood parliament (as well as by the SNP’s GE manifesto) would no longer be valid.

    For if the whole of the UK drops Brexit, no substantial change in Scotland’s material circumstances will be taking place that is sufficient to warrant a second independence referendum. We are not, after all, being dragged out of Europe against our will. Bye bye Indyref2 … to my great regret, but I would have to admit that such is indeed the consequence. Not bye bye for ever – but, at least, unfortunately, for the time being …

    Judging by the positions the SNP leadership has taken ever since the Brexit referendum result was announced, it seems pretty clear that this was actually what the SNP (at least at the tope level) prefers. It is what they wanted to happen all along. That is what they wanted the Brexit referendum to result in – a clear vote for the whole of the UK to stay within the EU. Fundamentally, it seems to be what they still want.

    Indeed, it seems undeniable that they want this even more than they want a pre-2021 independence referendum. They have never tried to exploit the Brexit issue in order to hold Indyref2. If they had a choice between holding Indyref2 prior to 2021 or keeping England in or as closely tied the EU as possible, they would for sure choose the second of these two options.

    For the SNP leadership the possibility of calling Indyref2 is only their backstop, a safeguard they have set up in case their priority does not happen. And what is that priority which, for them, takes priority over holding Indyref2 during or prior to 2021? Simply this, that England/rUK at least stays in the Single Market and the Customs Union or – better still – completely within the EU.


    I am not an apologist for the SNP, but nor am I an opponent. You could call me a friendly critic. Without a doubt, the SNP remains the only viable vehicle through which Scotland can attain her independence. To that extent, the SNP has my full support, and my vote(s). I still do not believe that they were justified or indeed authorised to compromise in any way with Scotland’s pro-EU-membership vote … but other people on this site who are equally or even more committed than I am to the independence movement saw that issue differently from me, and that is their right. The furrow the SNP chose to plough after the Brexit referendum made it clear that the SNP give great importance to an independent Scotland continuing to enjoy the same kind of friction-less border with England as currently exists.

    If they can possibly avoid it – even if it means delaying independence for several years or more – they want no restrictions or controls whatsoever to appear along our land border. They want to maintain, almost (but not quite) at all costs, that completely free movement of goods and people to which we have become accustomed.

    Their preferred way to get that is for both Scotland and England/rUK to be independent countries within the EU or at least – second best option – that they both be in the CU and the SM. So, if ‘No Brexit at all’ (the new ‘Remain’) were to defeat a ‘No Deal Brexit’ (the new ‘Leave’), both in England as well as in Scotland, (in a new referendum on Brexit prior to 29 March 2019) Indyref2 would be off the immediate agenda … But, nevefrtheless, according to their own lights (not mine!) the SNP leadership would still have made a substantial gain.

    That is, the SNP leadership will have safeguarded and maintained that completely open border between Scotland and England which they see as ultimately advantageous (and maybe even necessary) for an independent Scotland to thrive. While they will have helped to save the UK temporarily from that dissolution which remains their ultimate objective, they will still be able to look forward to Scotland becoming the kind of independent country they want it to be. She will be in the optimum situation, for the continuation of free trade and movement with England will be of the greatest possible benefit to her own citizens (and also to England’s, though that is incidental).

    If such an outcome were to occur, no one should doubt that ‘Scotland becoming an independent country’ will still remain the SNP’s principal goal. That objective will not have been abandoned – it will simply have been postponed. Not indefinitely, they hope – maybe only for few years. The SNP leadership, I suppose, wanted to avoid creating potentially permanent problems along the Scottish-English border that could be a thorn in the side of an independent Scotland for many generations to come. Instead of opportunistically exploiting the Brexit vote to attain independence more quickly than they had expected, they therefore opted for a more cautious but no less committed approach. If a new referendum along the lines suggested by Donald Tusk results in a UK-wide No Brexit (= Remain) victory over a No Deal (= Leave) Brexit, Indyref2 will be sunk – for now – but the SNP’s long-term strategy will still be very much in place.

    Whether or not that long-term strategy will work might be another question. Or at least a matter for further speculation. But at least that outcome will not faze the SNP leadership – they will have made a gain, and still be on course towards their goal.

    Likewise, if our southern neighbour does definitively choose to leave the EU, even without a deal and we – by contrast – choose to stay in it, so that the UK simply dissolves itself … well, inthat case, the SNP will already have achieved their objective. Scotland will be an independent country again, moreover within the EU. Not in the optimum circumstances the SNP leadership would have preferred – there will be a border, even a hard border between England and Scotland – but we will still manage OK. Even very well indeed. This new circumstance might even give all of us the clarity we need. And help us to get on with it …

    The only thing that could upset the applecart would be if even Scotland voted for a ‘No Deal Brexit’. But – surely – that is not going to happen.

    So why doesn’t the SNP simply go for it? By taking Donald Tusk at his word, in three easy steps, as follows: 1. Make sure that the House of Commons sinks May’s Fudge (and May will go down with it) … 2. Help build the coalition for a run-off referendum between the two remaining options: a ‘No Deal Brexit’ versus ‘No Brexit at all’… 3. Campaign for ‘No Brexit at all’ in Scotland, and warn – or rather, simply inform – England/rUK that if Scotland votes for ‘No Brexit’ while they (England/rUK) vote for a ‘No Deal Brexit’, then the UK will thereby have automatically dissolved itself. The 1707 Union will no longer exist. They will be free to go their way, and we will go ours.

    For both countries that formed the old UK, the will of the people will have prevailed.

    Even Mrs May should be pleased – she keeps saying that the will of the people has to be respected. (Although, of course, we know that that is only to be the case when the people’s will coincides with what she wants, because her own will remains paramount. That’s why her dog’s breakfast Brexit deal corresponds only with her own paramount priorities, which were to stop all immigration she didn’t want and control all borders. She’s a paramount chief!)

    And even if none of the above actually happens, isn’t it interesting that Donald Tusk has already prejudged the outcome of the question put to the European Court by the Court of Session in Edinburgh? The one which Mrs May and her government tried to appeal to the Tony-Blair-invented so-called UK Supreme Court, in a vain and unsuccessful attempt to prevent it from even reaching the European Court. Donald Tusk might not have the competence to judge the matter but he is already foreseeing the outcome when he says that ‘No Brexit at all’ is still an option. Which means, of course, that Article 50, which initiated the whole Brexit process, CAN be withdrawn. As Lord Kerr, the Scotsman who actually drafted Article 50, has been saying all along. Despite all the efforts by a mendacious and ignorant media to contradict him – Adam Boulton take a bow – in order to deceive and misinform the public.

    And if Tusk is saying it, surely May and all her buddies involved on the UK side of the negotiations have heard it from him already. She, and they with her, have known all along that withdrawing Article 50 has always remained a real option. The appeal she made to the UK Supreme Court against the decision of the Court of Session to refer the matter to the European Court was therefore totally disingenuous from the outset. She knew it was wrong in UK Law, she knew the European Court will uphold the petitioners’ view that Article 50 can be withdrawn at any moment and she did not want the public to know that this was the fact.

    This was not ignorance on her part – it was mendacity, so that she could ram through the anti-foreigner Brexit that she had always coveted in her heart from the very beginning of the EU Referendum campaign. She didn’t say it publicly, because she thought Cameron/Remain was going to win. And she wanted to make sure she was on the winning side so as not to damage her political career. She was a ‘Leaver’ pretending to be a ‘Remainer’ for no other motive than self-interest. Her only principle is that she wants to stop immigrants from entering the country just as much as Nigel Farage does, and she wishes that those whom she regards as ‘foreign’ to her who are already here would just disappear and go somewhere else.

    A complete fantasy that is never going to happen even anyway, even if she does by some catastrophe manage to get that dog’s breakfast of a Brexit that she negotiated, for these purposes. As John Kenneth Galbraith said decades ago: no matter how many constraints and controls governments try to place on immigration, people from poorer parts of the world will always migrate to richer parts of the world, and nothing will ever be able to stop them. It’s happening, Mrs May: grow up, learn to live with it, and welcome the inevitable. Or was your maiden name Canute?

  92. Ghillie says:

    Truthful headline:

    Daily Mail is Dismal.

  93. Ghillie says:


  94. Cactus says:

    Same tae you and everybuddy in Scotland Ghillie!


    It’s 11 o’clock.

  95. Sarah says:

    @wull – extremely interesting comment, thank you. The dissolution you describe is indeed the ideal one “no hard feelings, let’s sort out the dismantling amicably”. Perfect.
    Just have to wait and see – gulp.

  96. Gosh Wull – an interesting read.

    Re Article 50 – We shall find out on December 4th what the Advocate General for the EU thinks and they say that his judgment usually reflects that of the ECJ – not too many sleeps away!!!

    I agree with the theory of a lot of your post but I do wonder if the SNP premise for a proposed Indy ref 2 is still a viable. They have said that being dragged out of the EU against our will is a material change but could we not argue that the way we have been treated by WM demonstrates a massive abuse of any Union , yay, even that the Union is dead.

    They have ignored our views, our needs, our Government, our MP’s, our MSP’s and Holyrood, our Courts and Legal system, our People and have told us that we are just a part of the UK – a region. This, in total defiance of the terms of the Union.

    I think we could still present a case – not as strong a material change as a forced Brexit , granted, but there does come a time when enough is enough!

  97. A rare St. Andrew’s day to you Cactus! and all Wingers.

  98. Jings! Just read the article about HS2 and spiralling costs – flipping eck!

    They are talking about spending an extra £45 billion on surrounding infrastructure for the cities along the route and yet the country is up in arms about Brexit costing £39 billion.

    Can you imagine what £49 billion could do for the infrastructure of Scottish towns and cities but we’re not even included on HS2 – unless that £49 billion is being spent on connecting Wales, Cornwall and the S. West of England, and most of the British Isles north of Manchester and Leeds including Scotland and all the Islands…

    These people are living in a fantasy world.

  99. Welsh Sion says:

    Just before it comes to an end, my dedication to you on your National Day – and with acknowledgements to the original.

    15. (of 20.) Scots Wha Hae – Reprise

    Scots, wha hae wi’ Salmond bled,
    Scots, wham Sturgeon aften led,
    Welcome tae yer gory bed
    Or tae destiny.

    Now’s the day, an’ now’s the hour:
    Seize oor chance a’ last fir power.
    See the fearties start tae cower.
    Scotland will be free!

    Wha will be a low appeaser?
    Wha will bow tae Lunnon’s Th’resa?
    Wha sae base as be a greaser?
    Let him turn an’ flee.

    Wha fir Scotland’s Pride an’ Aw’
    Freedom’s sword will strongly draw?
    Bondsman stand or Freeman fa’:
    Let him follow me.

    By th’ oppressive woes and pains,
    Of oor sons in servile chains,
    We will drain oor dearest veins
    But we shall be free!

    Lay Westminster oh so low.
    Traitors fall – like every foe.
    Liberty’s oors wi’ every blow!
    Let us vote fir SNP!

    Songs for the New Politics

  100. Cactus says:

    Wake me up when December begins… or November ends.

    Tomorrow is the 1st of December 2018, like.

    Aye fucking Love Scotland xx.

  101. Golfnut says:

    @ Meg Merilees.

    With £200 billion coming from Scotland’s economy you can see why they don’t have any qualms about spending £49 billion on infrastructure in England, and yet they have cut Scotland’s paltry £30 billion pocket money.

    A dreadful indictment on Westminster attitude to Scotland.
    It is also why they had absolutely no difficulty in finding £500 billion to bail out the banks and have no compunction in selling off the shares to their pals in the city at knock down prices.

    What is also despicable, no criminal, is the damage they have inflicted needlessly on social care, the poor,disabled, underfunding of services and of course the worst pensions in Europe.

  102. Collie says:

    Who gives a flyin fuck about England or their Navy.

    Only a total fuckin wanker would post anything relating England or their Navy on Wings.

  103. Cactus says:

    Quinie frae Angus here

    Under Cactus’ surname since ….ahem… cloak and dagger….

    Me and a few others sitting here in a wee Wingy-hide-out after a lovely evening… with the honest-to-goodness Ronnie A and friends. Many things have come to light. I love the multi talents and the the creativity of this sub-set of the Yes movement. Loads more to say on this subject. We still need to hear from the Perth Wing.

  104. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Cactus/Quinie –

    This half of the Perth Wing is pished.

    Over and (belch) out…


  105. Thepnr says:


    I’m pretty sure that I posted on Wings a good while ago that there will be no middle road for Brexit. We will be either totally in or totally out of the EU.

    I’m just waiting now to see which is which.

    @Ian Brotherhood

    The other half of the Perth Wing is too.

  106. Thepnr says:


    I don’t know if you’ll be annoyed at me putting this link up again but I seem to remember it made you want to cry. And no wonder.

    I think everybody should watch it and don’t mind remembering them.

  107. Cubby says:


    Forget a Brexit deal. I think you need to get a book deal.

  108. Thepnr says:

    Hope I haven’t upset anyone!

    I like Johnny Cash as I think he kind of got it, seems to have thought a little like I do.

    Did you know why he was called “The Man In Black”? Here’s why.

  109. Cactus says:

    We are here.

  110. Cactus says:

    Welcome tae Santa Season.

    That’s next.

  111. Cactus says:

    Earlier was a first…

    Ah’ve never let anybuddy post under my alias before.

    Cheers QFA.


  112. Cactus says:

    Where’s yer fuckin’ facts Tories?

    Said Ruglonian.

    Ra Love.

  113. Cactus says:

    And how ye doing.

    Said me…

    Fuckin’ Cactus.

  114. Liz g says:

    Hey Cactus xx

  115. Cactus says:

    New bottle liz g…

    Fuckin’ aye!



  116. Cactus says:

    iScotland sooner before ye fuckin’ know it.

    Religiously FUCK.

    Love 2b free.



  117. Az says:

    Yeah so I use trains ll the time, albeit generally limited to the greater Glasgow area. Sometimes I find that the train I’m waiting on, according to the platform monitor, is running 2-3 minutes late. What often happens though, is that the time it’s estimated to be late by reduces, and it ends up being less than a minute late eg departing the station 50 seconds after it probably should.

    However, almost any time that’s happened – up to 5 mins in original message, it has arrived at the destination at the time you would have expected.

    I have never seen a train omit a station unless it was supposed to. Furthermore, I simply don’t believe anyone who states otherwise, because that would be actual newspaper story MegaSNPBad for a couple of days, and it would occupy metres of pages.

  118. Cactus says:

    Ian Brotherhood.





    We are here.

  119. Cactus says:

    We are ready.

    We are.


  120. Cactus says:

    Can aye getta fuck?



  121. Cactus says:

    Hi Ian B and Alex and a’body

    Cactus and me and Gillian say ‘Hi” cos we are listening to “Sound of Silence” and feeling happy and mellow. Hope all you Wingers have had a lovely evening xxxxx

  122. Liz g says:

    Wull @ 10.48
    Interesting post Wull lots to think about.
    But no as much as Ruth and her “Scottish” Tories.
    If a new Brexit ref is called as a straight in and out they will need to do a lot of explaining no matter which side they choose!!
    Corbin too, they are all going to loose so much credibility,no matter how they Campaign.
    So much so that it’s no impossible that the other part of the mandate might kick in..
    The bit about the Scottish People indicating they have had enough of this shit and want another vote.
    Because Westminster are getting in to the position that they are dammed if they do hold that vote and dammed if they don’t.
    Also to have a vote that stops Brexit but hacked Scotland off enough to want to hold Indy Ref 2
    Would protect Holyroods Powers while we get Indy Ref 2 anyway.
    I don’t think we can leave it too long, because among other things the Clair Ridge resources will paying for HS2 and it’s satalight projects soon….
    I do wonder though while article 50 may be able to be reversed. Can everything “just” be reset?
    There are businesses that have already moved and the other EU countries have costs.
    Will the UK need to pay reperations to stay in?
    Will they keep all their terms and conditions or will there need to be a new “remain” deal, none of which will play well in England!
    I’m also wondering what the time line is to change the Westminster Legislation that requires the UK to leave the EU on March 29th.

  123. Cactus says:

    Jesus’ known birthday is soon…

    Are U religious?

    Next event…


  124. Cactus says:


    Did you know.

    Eleven more comments till 5,000 WOS posts.

    Countdown Lovers xxx.


  125. Cactus says:

    Wake up tomorrow….. what do you see..

    A Scotland… free.

  126. Cactus says:

    Tonight continues to be a good night…

  127. Cactus says:

    Hey Cairnstoon like…


    Picture it.

  128. Cactus says:

    Scotland is gonna be free to what she wants to do… taste it

    Hey Wings…

    Ahm a reader of.

  129. Cactus says:

    Missed the do…

    Do aye give a fuck?


  130. Cactus says:

    Hey December 2018..

    Yes is awesome.


  131. yesindyref2 says:

    Here’s one for you Cactus

  132. Cactus says:

    Good shout yesindyref2…

    We have a feeling.



  133. Cactus says:

    Blah blah blah blah blah…..

    Aye know U.

    Do U know me?

    Do you know U?

    Ken yersel.

  134. Cactus says:

    Fuck is a word… SO is cunt.

    Tis time tae understand.

    To learn, like.

    Be shocked!


  135. Cactus says:

    Was walking earlier, People are putting their Xmas trees up…

    Aye saw it yesterday.

    Is that normal?

  136. Cactus says:

    Be sparkly!

  137. Cactus says:

    Yer maw is yer maw (if you still have her)

    Love her Lovely.

    Reality check.


  138. Cactus says:

    Who’s next up…

    Nana, Petra, Ken500, Hamish100, Breeks…

    It’s all a sweet lil mystery.

    Rip it up n start again.

  139. Cactus says:




  140. Cactus says:

    Thesaurus dot com fur being internationally entertaining…

    Come in Mr Cairns.

  141. Cactus says:

    Early morning challenges are welcome…

    Challenge me Scotland.

    Challenge me.

    Or concur.

  142. Flying_Scotsman says:

    I don’t like to gloat over anotthers misfortune but…..

    Did I just feel the world get slightly lighter?

  143. Cactus says:

    Och ah guess there’s nae need tae challenge me one like…

    Ahm jist pure pressing fur #indy jist like U.

    Yer still welcome though.

    Whit’s the thyme?

    Till the morning.

  144. Hamish100 says:

    Is it safe to get up for work?
    Is Cactus sleeping? Lol

    Vote for Independence
    No illegal wars
    No Nuclear weapons
    No paying for England’s high speed train to the north (Birmingham)
    No rees- mogg
    A pro people parliament thats socially just.

  145. Nana says:

    Brexit is taking us places that should concern us. Here’s Michael Gove forcing GM food on us as soon as the European rules no longer apply. Just the day after I was asking him whether he’d act to keep food standards high, too

    Scotland must go our own way

    Thread: It’s true that the default is that UK will leave the EU with a catastrophic No Deal Brexit on 29th March.

  146. Nana says:

    The Tories will be delighted

    I believe this is the fellow who took over from Raab.
    Perhaps he could tell the Scottish Tories

    Brexit: countdown to disorder

  147. Nana says:

    Happy St Andrews day from Malawi

    Major Independent, Strategic Review of Scotland’s European Interests and Strategy

    UK may never recover £1.2bn invested in EU Galileo satellite system

    Sound on the video not working for me

    So it turns out the Saudis wanted us to see more of this than Downing Street did. Why?

  148. Colin Alexander says:

    The SNP again desperate to appear on the BBC, the nemesis of democracy for Scotland as shown by indyref1, so the SNP can try to save the UK Union, so they can play with the Brits at Britnat politics and appear to be Great Britishers.

    But, what a “surprise”, the BBC aren’t fair. The great “shock”, the BBC is biased in favour of England’s political parties.

    Is Nicola Sturgeon trying to save her own wee devolution puppet kingdom from a £billion Great British
    Brexit cuts, by pawning Scotland’s national sovereign right to democratically choose whether we should crawl on bended knee as second-class Britishers or be an independent nation again where Scotland people decides what’s best for Scotland?

    MPs will vote on the Brexit deal on 11 December 2018. If MPs vote for that deal, the FM has no more excuses for humming and hawing: before the Christmas holidays, either she calls indyref2 or alternative election or it’s increasingly likely the SNP have capitulated and have thrown their lot in with the Unionists to become the saviours / servants of the Union.

    If there’s no indyref or indy based election plans announced before Christmas 2018, then it seems likely the SNP will have answered whose side they are on regards UK Union devolution v independent Scotland. Scotland’s politicians bought and sold for English gold – again?

    We’ll find out soon.

  149. yesindyref2 says:

    yadda yadda yadda

  150. Golfnut says:

    A rather, to use an old-fashioned word, scurrilous accusation.
    You would accept, I presume since you profess to be an Indy supporter, that Scotland isn’t subsidised by English tax payers, no payments of English gold either for her salary or her expenses, nor indeed for any SNP MP or MSP. Many refusing their full entitlement and some taking no more than the living wage.
    I would think that proof of your assertion is in order.

  151. Colin Alexander says:


    I am in fact giving the SNP the benefit of the doubt until it is clear as to how they respond to a Brexit deal being established.

    If no indyref announcement or “election for indy” following a Brexit deal having been agreed by UK Parliament, that will probably be the deciding factor.

    So, I am waiting till then.

  152. Cactus says:

    Afternoon Hamish100, we had a bit of a blow-out last night, again, oh the whisky Nancy oh, have an excellent day bud 🙂

    One is drinking full fat sugar Irn-Bru!

    On a bus back tae Glasgow.


  153. sassenach says:

    Coco (the clown) @9-15

    Why not go out and play with the traffic, we’d be far more impressed!!

  154. Cactus says:

    Hey sassenach, a fine afternoon to ye, ahm back in Glasgow having a matinee pint somewhere on Hope Street.

    Steel Panther is playing the glory hole!

    Tis gonna be a long 1st of D2018.

    Celebrate everything.

  155. Hamish100 says:

    cactus iRN BRU!! – Well known tory brand . No doubt with a caramel waver.

    Whurs yir backbone

  156. Cactus says:

    Hehe, twas a full bru courtesy of Ruglonian, reminiscing.

    How was your St Andrew’s day Hamish100…

    How did you celebrate?

    3-day-bender in progress 😉

    Be excellent.

  157. sassenach says:


    Stay safe, my good man – there’s only a few of us left!

  158. Cactus says:

    Staying safe with a little bit of being on the edge seventeen.

    Fleetwood Mac is playing ra now.

    Battery about to go…

    Ra morra like.

  159. Cactus says:

    Jukebox has now defaulted to only playing Fleetwood Mac.

    Aye Love the FM.

    10% remaining.


  160. Cactus says:

    Ah don’t dance anymore Scotland (other than getting the willow intae the buff, work that one out Winger Sandy.)

    Ah just spin around on the spot like. 😉

    Are ye dancing Scotland?

    Are ye spinning?

    7% LEFT.

  161. Cactus says:

    Ah might as swell burn oot ma battery…

    Theyre still playing Stevie.

    FM rules.


  162. Cactus says:

    Having a most excellent day in oor city with ma best bud Ed…

    Someday ah’ll be Saturday night!

    Glasgow is the best.

    4% power.

  163. Cactus says:

    Today is now.


  164. Cactus says:


  165. Cactus says:

    There can be only 1%


  166. Cactus says:

    0% remaining


  167. North chiel says:

    Wull @ 1048 p.m. last night. Very interesting post and I would agree with most of what you say. However, if there is to be a second EU vote then I strongly am of the opinion that England & Wales will vote to remain in the EU . I am also of the opinion that May if and when she loses the vote , might well avoid a 2nd EU vote for this very reason. Consequently, I suspect it more likely that she will call a GE and go directly to the people ( with the full blown state propaganda apparatus behind her aka 2014 indyref1 frenzy.). The Tories will have to run with her deal or very similar as their mandate . Thus the Labour Party will probably have to run EU ref 2 ticket (and/or possibly Norway type deal?). The question is for us in Scotland , what does the SNP have as central issue if GE transpires?
    If May wins election , we have a mandate for Indyref 2 as no SM access. However, if she loses then we have possible softish Brexit scenario ( SM&CU ) or 2nd EU vote and good possibility of U.K. remain vote.
    If high number of SNP MP s returned ( 35-50) and Corbyn needs support , then could our FM extract a favourable “ interim” deal for Scotland to include possibly immigration , welfare, dwp etc powers , ( genuine Devo Max short of defence / FA)??. Note I said “ interim”.
    I would certainly not rule out May going for a GE ? Have other posters any ideas on this and what the SNP strategy would be in this scenario? Also , how does the Westminster “ power grab” fit into the scheme of things if possible soft Brexit/ Labour minority gov outcome ? Can our FM refuse to support minority Labour gov. unless powergrab is reversed . If May forms a new gov. and proceeds with “ her deal” would then be the moment to call Indyref2 ?? So many questions??

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