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Wings Over Scotland

The flexibility of figures

Posted on January 15, 2017 by

It’s a well-known fact, of course, that 87% of all statistics are made up. But as this site regularly observes, if you’re the Scottish opposition and media there’s no need to invent fake ones when you can twist the real ones to present an image completely at odds with the reality.

The Sunday Times today has some fine examples of the craft of massaging figures for the purposes of deception. It carries two separate scare stories on the NHS, both of them using figures which aren’t based on any sort of news, but on opposition spin on existing stats. One comes from the Tories, under a dramatic headline:


The banner is pulling a classic trick – the £685m figure is actually the total sum spent in a decade, not the single year that most people would assume (since there’s no good reason to measure spending in decades, so headlines usually don’t do it). But remarkably it’s just about the most honest thing in the paper’s health coverage today.

The article goes on to note:

“The private healthcare bill for Scottish taxpayers hit £78.5m in 2015-16, new figures show. That compares with £61m when the nationalists came to power.”

Which is an interesting way to present the comparison, because £61m in 2007 money adjusted for inflation is actually, um, £78m.


The other attack is based on a Labour press release.


This is another classic of spin. NHS Scotland has had the best A&E waiting-time stats of anywhere in the UK every month for almost two years now, so it’s difficult to put a negative slant on figures when they show over 93% of patients being treated within the target time, especially when the equivalent numbers in England and Wales are significantly worse (at 84% and 78% respectively).

But if you can’t make the percentages sound bad, then simply saying “91,788 people” makes it sound like a lot by presenting it without any context about the 1.7 million or so who WERE seen promptly. And it helps if you also leave out the context of the previous year, because Labour forgot to mention that they pulled the exact same trick almost word-for-word (this time in the Daily Record) 12 months ago:


Compared to the figures for 2015, the number of patients having to wait longer than the target times for treatment FELL in every category: by 420 (0.5%) for those waiting more than four hours, by 1099 (13%) for those waiting more than eight hours, and by 263 (20%) for those waiting more than 12 hours.

Cutting the numbers of patients suffering extended delays by 13% and 20% is pretty impressive progress in a single year, an impartial observer might think, and having 19 out of every 20 people treated within the shortest target isn’t too shabby either for a service under as much pressure as the NHS.

But on reading today’s Sunday Times you’d come away with the impression that healthcare in Scotland is collapsing, an idea reinforced by a column of near-hysterical doom-and-gloomery from Gillian Bowditch in the same edition.


(Exactly THREE women were diverted from the QEUH maternity unit, and they were sent to hospitals elsewhere in Glasgow, not left to give birth in the gutter.)

None of the pieces contain anything that’s technically untrue. But by juggling the stats with spin, selectivity and omission of context they tell a story that’s as good as a lie.

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572 to “The flexibility of figures”

  1. heedtracker

    What’s my Slovene girlfriend using to divert,


    Its an odd way to go about your toryboy business on planet toryboy, pretending Teresa’s great escape from the evil EU speech, isn’t actually happening, in your Scotland region of greater England.

  2. Les Wilson

    Watching May during this speech to me, shows a con artist in full
    flow.All will be just brilliant, we will have great trade deals, be able to trade with the EU, but we will not be in the single market though but that will work out ok.

    We will work out a deal over the Irish border issue, because we love them dah dah dah.
    We do not want barriers between home countries (a ref to Scotland, just not directly mentioned)

    It is all going to be great, really, great, we are great you see!
    This sounds so good for a disaster in the making, all a desperate con.
    Seems Indy2 is a sure thing, we need to prepare.

  3. HandandShrimp


    I think that is May accepting that they will lose the High Court battle and they can’t waste time going into lengthy appeals.

  4. galamcennalath

    What May wants and what May get’s offered by the EU are two quite different things. I hope the listening UK public gets this!

    What stood out, though, was saying MPs to get to vote on final deal. Presumably that means ‘relationship with EU’, just. Not anything wider? What happens if they reject it?

  5. Liz g

    Is it jist me or does she sound like she has been cherry picking Nicola’s speeches?

  6. Capella

    Is it a Cameron tartan jacket? Looks like Black Watch to me. More appropriate don’t you think?

  7. Dr Jim

    What a load of panicky lightweight mince to say the same thing again

    “We want our cake and eat it”

    It appears everybody is correct the Tories have’nt a Scooby

  8. msean

    Just repeating repeating stuff now.

  9. scotspine

    May says “we don’t want to see Spanish fishermen being made poorer”….. That’s the North Sea No voting, Leave voting Scottish fishermen getting shafted by those they trusted then.

    Nae luck!

  10. John H.

    I can’t see her hands. Has she got her fingers crossed?

  11. Nana

    She can wear tartan knickers if she likes but she still talks shite.

    Contradictory patronising shite.

    What part of “no cherry picking” does she not understand.

  12. Robert Graham

    I haven’t seen or heard maydays speech yet , Number One grandson is more important than a lying English con artist gender dosnt matter all the cut from the same cloth , well i guess she has told all the sweaty Scots to f/k off you dont matter , nothing you say is listened to ,Well Listen up Dear we aint going away and as you lot used all yer Ammo the last time yer f/ckd this time round , wheel oot Broon and Darling just to make sure eh ! . Lets see who blinks first Honey .

  13. heedtracker

    So what’s the deal, handed down to Scotland, other than getting our EU citizenship ripped up in front us by another country’s neo con nats?

  14. heedtracker

    Nothing from Ruth the Mooth. Has Ruth learned to hedge?

  15. heedtracker

    So its NO deal, but its a deal, bad, good, none…

    BBC Politics
    3 mins ·
    “No deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain” says the PM as she warns against “punitive deal” that punishes Britain, saying the UK wants to be a “good friend and neighbour”

  16. ronnie anderson

    Fer fek sake would some of the companies that make SatNav’s send Saint Teresa ah free sample, she’ll end up at ah destination in ah Coo field.

    Get up an bar the gate , Coo fields ur only in Scotland .
    That speech reminds me ah need Waffle’s.

  17. Ken500

    Clear as mud

  18. heedtracker

    Oddly trusting of Angus, after Britnat toryboys, red and blue, royally shafted us with their historic The Vow shyste.

    Angus Robertson MP
    22 mins ·
    Good News: UK PM will consider Scottish Government priorities.
    Bad News: She ruled out single European Market #hardToryBrexit #bigproblem

  19. Liz g

    Nana @ 12.34
    Are you drappin hints ye don’t like her or somthin

  20. galamcennalath

    Q: When MPs vote on the final deal, if MPs vote against, will we stay in?

    A: May says there will be a vote. MPs have voted for the government to get on with Brexit. She is sure parliament will want to respect the views of the people.

    Does the woman ever give a straight answer to anything?

  21. ronnie anderson

    Bill Cash ( on sky) We’ve been in alliances with country’s for 400 yrs, noo whit country’s would that be Bill, Scotland the nameless .

  22. Dan Huil

    @heedtracker 12:42pm

    I think Angus is being a wee bit sarcastic. Whit wi the hashy taggy thingy an aw.

  23. Andrew McLean

    May said we would look at Scottish proposal after she dismissed Scottish proposal.
    Fuck you too May,
    Indy ref 2 now on.

  24. heedtracker

    Farage likes it. At least he’s a toryboy that is saying something. Scots tories are hiding behind Ruth the Mooth, red and blue.

    Nigel Farage ?@Nigel_Farage 6m6 minutes ago
    I can hardly believe that the PM is now using the phrases and words that I’ve been mocked for using for years. Real progress.

  25. Arabs for Independence

    Radio Shortbread doing all it can to avoid Brexit discussions this lunchtime

  26. heedtracker

    Has UKOK planet toryboy had on a actual non tory Scottish opinion yet? Or is it the usual tory BBC led media’s Scotland black out.

  27. galamcennalath

    The fundamental flaw in all of May’s logic is that she proposes that the EU will allow the UK to benefit.

    The EU will not let this happen or every other right wing nut job party across Europe will stand on a ticket of “we want what the UK got”.

    What the EU will want, more than anything, is for mainstream ruling pro EU parties to be able to say to electors, “do not vote for right wing nut job parties, or what happened to the UK will happen to you”.

    It’s not about trade, tariffs, markets, or even retribution … it’s about the security and integrity of the EU going forward.

    I await EU response with interest.

  28. Macart

    May has a list of wants…. hmmmm yes and don’t we all?

    Hard brexit, no access to single market. Promises to keep all those lovely working rights in place too. Strange though that this is somewhat at odds with Liam Fox’s statement on deregulating the workplace to make the UK competitive. Perhaps a lack of communication going on there? 😀

    Oh and a bit of exceptionalism thrown in on financial services for good measure. So all in and all out for all countries of the UK, but financial services get an out do they? UH HUH! (EPIC LOL)

    Regardless, that is pretty much that. FM’s response should be good. I’m guessing along the lines of ‘pursuing the current proposal laid out by the SG till it is absolutely ruled out altogether by Westminster’, or some such.

  29. Nana

    @Liz g

    I loathe the very sight of her Liz g, find it really difficult to watch or listen.

  30. carjamtic

    The hills are alive with the sound of….a robot polishing a turd.

  31. gus1940

    In case anybody has forgotten – in the run up to the EU Referendum May was said to be a Remain supporter.

    Given her speech this morning – that was a lie or she is a total opportunist hypocrite.

  32. galamcennalath

    Adam Marshall, director general of British Chambers of Commerce said May’s speech changed little for members:

    In business, what you achieve in a negotiation – not what you bid for – is what really matters.

    The Brexit process is no different. While businesses now have a clearer sense of the prime minister’s top-line priorities, they will come away from her speech knowing little more about the likely outcome of the Brexit negotiations than they did yesterday.

    Aye, that’s about right.

  33. Liz Rannoch

    Are we going to believe ANYTHING this witch says? She talks all conciliatory and then follows up wi’ hardly veiled threats. The only good thing that came out of this is ‘no hard border with ROI’. A wee mention of the other nations being listened to – aye right! I am sick to the back teeth o’ roaring at the telly “what f**king country?” Been doing that a lot since that excuse stood outside No10. She’s a sleekit, conniving, lying bit o’ keech.

    Sorry for the rant and it doesnae make me feel much better. Away to bash some pillows.

  34. Bob MACK

    Bottom line. Either the EU gives us what we want or we will become a business friendly economy through deregulation and offering to be an offshore tax haven with few regulations to rival the EU.

    How stupid. The EU could simply create an internal unit which offers the same with additional advantages of an EU trade deal to any foreign business. The justification ? Little England is threatening to disrupt their business and national interests.

    Over inflated sense of worth I fear.

  35. Dan Huil

    Holyrood must vote on any EU deal.

  36. ronnie anderson

    Ah need tae gie Saint Teresa some credit , she kens how tae animate people & no fur the better, just look at the posts on here Fast & Furious lol.

  37. Nana

    Brexit debate Scottish parly 2pm

    I can’t watch as my blood pressure is already through the roof after that speech for Mayhem!

  38. Ian Brotherhood

    @Nana & Lizg –

    Ditto here.

    I’m 54 this year and I’ve never ever known what it feels like to live in a country free of Tory rule. (That includes New Labour.)

    Utterly fucking sick of it, and seriously wondering if I’ll live long enough to see anything different.

    Pinning some final shredded hopes on NS and a firm date for Indy2…


  39. bjsalba

    After a two day trailerfest on May’s speech, I was expecting something more.

    Soft Brexit.
    Hard Brexit.
    Red white and blue Brexit.

    And now…………….

    Global Brexit.

    I just want to puke.

  40. heedtracker

    Still nothing from Ruth the Mooth types of toryness. Maybe Scots twitters down

    BBC Politics
    4 mins ·
    “Incredibly disappointing for anybody who thinks democracy matters” says Lib Dem leader Tim Farron who claims the PM’s Brexit speech was a “theft on democracy”

    Carbuncle’s crew do have form on thieving democracy but no idea what this guy means.

    Scot cons say

    ScotConservatives Retweeted
    Eddie Barnes ?@EddieBarnes23 3h3 hours ago
    Britain can lead the world after Brexit by clearing it of landmines, writes @RuthDavidsonMSP

  41. Breeks

    Reaction to Mays speech…

    “I was chuckling at some of it to be honest, because it seemed like she was channeling UKIP ” says UKIP’s deputy chair Suzanne Evans.

    “I was chuckling at some of it to be honest, because it seemed like she was channeling UKIP” says Nicola Sturgeon, launching the Indyref2 campaign and lodging constitutional papers with Scotland’s Court of Session… Or are we still waiting on the Supreme Court and Article 50?

  42. Nana

    Whatever you do, don’t ask any questions as it’s not in the national interest

    Translation, we don’t have any answers

  43. heedtracker

    Super yoon man and latest SLab rising star Dr NO! also completely mute. They’s a strange crew, red and blue tory Britnats in Scotland.

  44. Liz g

    Ian Brotherhood @ 1.13
    Don’t you doubt it…. We’ll get there.

  45. Robert Peffers

    @Macart says: 17 January, 2017 at 11:19 am:

    “Robert Peffers is a dangerous man… “

    Me? Dangerous?

    Naw! I’m a wee auld softie really.

    ” … They are the foundation of our society and our rights.”

    Never a truer word, Macart.

    I’ve just posted a comment that includes the distortions of our real history that Westminster has forever lied and rewritten.

    Their claims that there were, “Treaties of Union”, with Ireland that added a kingdom to the United Kingdom formed in 1707. No such Treaties have ever been agreed or signed.

    Westminster just propagated the lies that they were treaties but the headings on the documents do not include the words treaties or treaty.

    As to Irish History it seems there as many Irish histories as there are Irish historians.

    The facts are that Westminster was then titled simply as, “The United Kingdom of Great Britain”, but as the Kingdom of England partner in the United Kingdom had annexed Wales in 1284 and all Ireland in 1542 the United Kingdom actually already included all of Ireland and so there could not be a treaty of union between the Kingdom of Great Britain and part of itself.

    It was thus an Act of the United Kingdom of Great Britain to acknowledge that all Ireland was part of the united Kingdom that would then be known by the title, “The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland”. It thought there was no need to mention Wales as Wales is geographically part of Great Britain.

    However, civil war had already broken out on Ireland between the Irish nationalist republicans and the Irish unionists. So Westminster’s next claim of there being a new Treaty of Union was still also no more than an act of the Westminster Parliament as again you cannot make Treaty with yourself.

    This time it was the Creation of what Westminster termed, “The Irish Free State. Which of course could not actually be free state because it stipulated that the elected members of the Irish legislature were compelled to swear loyalty to the King of England who was also King of Scots.

    What that Westminster Act of Parliament did was to put the southern part of Ireland on the same footing as the other Westminster dominions like Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the major parts of the then Globe of the World coloured pink. Look-up what dominion means in the dictionary.

    sovereignty; control.

    synonyms: supremacy, ascendancy, dominance, domination, superiority, predominance, pre-eminence, hegemony, authority, mastery, control, command, power, sway, rule, government, jurisdiction, sovereignty, suzerainty

    That, sure as hell, does not look like a Free State of any kind to me.

    The next bit of Westminster textual prestidigitation. Came in 1921 but again was not a Treaty.

    So, we have Irish republicans and Irish unionists battling in out in Ireland and the Westminster Government uneasily in the position of a sovereign power. Westminster at first assumes the disturbances are caused by a small minority of ‘gunmen’, who are not presentative of the majority of Irishmen. Then, as the situation worsens and the killings continue, the Westminster Prime Minister decides to intervene and arranges a truce on the understanding that a meeting will be held between the government and the two combatants.

    But, hang on, how can this be a, “Treaty of Union”, when the Westminster Parliament claims to be sovereign over all Ireland? What’s more both lots of Irish combatants are under Westminster rule. Whatever else it is it not a Treaty of Union between The United Kingdom and Ireland.

    In fact there never was a Treaty of Union. The Southern Irish declared unilaterally that they were a republic and that is what they remain today.

    So the whole invented rigmarole that the united Kingdom has more than two kingdom partners is pure and simple Westminster propaganda. The union is, and always has been legally a bipartite union of the kingdoms of Scotland and England and although it contains four countries it is not a union of four countries as it is being run by Westminster now. Far less is it the Parliament of the country of England believing itself to be renamed as the United Kingdom and the master country over three subservient annexed countries.

    Boring old dusty history it may be but if a nation does not know where it came from it cannot ever decide where it wants to go and thus doesn’t know where it aims to end up.

    Which is exactly where the Scottish unionist stand right now and where the Westminster Government has fooled itself into being.

    Both have quite simple lost the plot and are hitting out in all directions without aiming at anything in particular.

    They remind me of a cadet on the shooting range with a Sten Gun in his hands.

    While still standing he pulled the trigger and the recoil sat him on his arse with the gun, thank God, pointing in the air.

    The Instructor yelled at him, “What the hell do you think you are doing”, and he replied, “Ah dinna ken, Sir”.

    We called him Dinna Ken, thereafter. His name was then shortened to Ken and last time I met him he still answered to Ken. I think his original given name was William.

  46. Grumpy Lad

    Just curious on everyone’s opinions after May’s speech.

    Do you reckon there’s any chance whatsoever that the Ruth Davidson Party will ever support independence? Their forerunners in the Unionist Party would be embarrassed to see them shift from representing Scotland’s interests to enforcing London dikatats.

    Or is the unionism so far ingrained in their very DNA they’ll never give it up even with the Brexit disaster about to collapse upon us.

  47. heedtracker

    Exact opposite of what all new and exciting Donaldo’s crew of liars and spivs are preparing for tonights BBC Scotland Jacky Bird smirkathon,

    “Absolutely no one is talking about Leaving the single market” explain exasperated tantrumy toryboys.

  48. galamcennalath

    The £pound SURGES back up to where it was little over a week ago!

    They could spin shite into sugar.

  49. Jack Murphy

    Following Prime Minister May’s speech today,the sooner Scotland is out of this UKOK Union the better, and remain in Europe as a Scotland member of the EU.
    I for one will NOT be dragged out of the EU,and I mean it.
    I say this as an Anglophile.

    The Tory Leader,Ruth Davidson MSP in Scotland will be doing her best to tell us things ain’t all that bad in her Blesed Bettertogether UK.

    We are Europeans! Full stop.

  50. Macart

    @Robert Peffers

    And that is an example of why you’re a dangerous man.

    In a good way. 🙂

  51. heedtracker

    It does appear that Teresa’s speech is of no interest at all to yoon culture in the north of England land. Most odd.

    Kezia Dugdale Retweeted
    Edinburgh Labour ?@EdinburghLabour 20h20 hours ago
    Tonight Edinburgh East Labour are holding an open consultation on @claudiabeamish Bill to ban fracking in Scotland.

    Duncan Hothersall ?@dhothersall 1h1 hour ago
    Duncan Hothersall Retweeted David Forrester
    Indeed. All parties have past positions to be embarrassed of in LGBT rights. That’s why no party should seek to own LGBT equality.

    Fracking, LGBT, smallpox, landmines, just don’t mention Brexit, if youre a red and blue tory unionist. Maybe it really is not that big a deal for yoon Scots.

  52. Nana

    @Ian Brotherhood

    I believe next time we will win. The more people like May spout rubbish the more Scots will vote Yes.

  53. Smallaxe

    Robert Graham says:
    17 January, 2017 at 12:34 pm
    “I haven’t seen or heard maydays speech yet , Number One grandson is more important”

    Peace and Love Always, Robert to You and to those You Love

  54. Thomas

    Do these wankers never get fed up with this shit, always miss-representing the figures always telling lies. We can see through your lies enough is enough. Oh and hows the circulation recently ? going down at all ? good…. you get what you deserve, when will you learn.

  55. Robert Peffers

    @HandandShrimp says: 17 January, 2017 at 12:08 pm:

    “Would you buy a used trade deal from this woman?”

    Naw! An Ah widdna buy a used wummin frae yon atterie auld, (festering old), trade deal aither.

  56. Robert Peffers

    @Les Wilson says: 17 January, 2017 at 12:16 pm:

    “Watching May during this speech to me, shows a con artist in full

    Yes Les, but the fact that you know she is a con artist is all the proof you need that she is NOT really good at it. If she was you wouldn’t know it until too late.

    ” … All will be just brilliant, we will have great trade deals, … It is all going to be great, really, great, we are great you see!”

    That’s another thing. I would estimate that around 98.999% of the English nation have never quite got to grips with the fact the, “great2, in “Great Britain”, is simply a geographic term that indicates something or other is the largest one of a group of somethings – as in, “Great Yarmouth”, “Great Cumbrae” or, “Great Balls of Fire”, (Weel! Mibbies no the last ane).

  57. Ian Brotherhood

    @Lizg & Nana –


    Cheers to you both.

    Quite looking forward to NS’s statement now.

  58. K1

    From Rev’s twitter feed, think this sums up May’s speech, (thanks for all the feed back as I haven’t watched any of it and huv nae intention of doing so):

  59. Robert Peffers

    @Liz Rannoch says: 17 January, 2017 at 1:00 pm:

    “Are we going to believe ANYTHING this witch says?”

    Well you can please yourself, Liz, but I’m believing nothing.

    ” … The only good thing that came out of this is ‘no hard border with ROI’.”

    Believe that, Liz, and you will believe anything.

    The reality is that if there is a hard UK exit from the EU the proverbial smelly stuff will hit the ventilation machine and both Scotland and N.I will be seeking to get out ASAP. The Republic can do what it likes but will be faced with a stark choice. There is no way in this old World that the EU is going to agree to have a great big glaring hole in the free trade zone that will be an open Irish Border.

    The Republic will have to choose between sticking with England and N.I. or, much more likely, Ireland becoming one nation again and staying in the EU.

    That leaves England and Wales surrounded by EU member states or at least states that want to be EU member states.

    I get the feeling of recent times that Ireland is closer now to unification than it has been since the Norman Conquest of Ireland that began the Irish Troubles.

  60. Breeks

    galamcennalath says:
    17 January, 2017 at 2:22 pm
    SNP initial response….

    Yup. Happy enough with that.

    Be happier still if they broached the matter of sovereignty, but softly, softly…

  61. HandandShrimp

    Now that the UK Government has spelled out this plan of action, the case for a second referendum has collapsed:

    Ruth Davidson is having a giraffe.

    What May has said todat is exactly the doomsday scenario that Nicola set out prior to the May 16 elections as exceptional circumstnaces that would trigger another independence referendum. The Greens agree so the majority is there Ruth and there isn’t a thing your No Surrender Party can do.

    Kezia is….actually Kezia will do whatever Ruth tells her as the diddy No Surrender Party.

  62. sensibledave

    Hi All

    It would appear that everyone now understands our negotiating position – i.e. exactly as I said it would be.

    Our opening stance has to be all the things we want – it couldn’t/shouldn’t be anything else.

    As I have said previously, it will be up to the EU’s leaders to decide what level of tariff they want to be charged on their German cars, French Champagne etc exports – and then convince their electorate in each country that it is worth destroying their exports, killing jobs, cutting their GDP – to “punish” a friendly ally for the democratic decision its people made.

    …. interesting times.

    Now, you can all write all the stuff that demonstrates that you have no idea how to negotiate (i.e. you will tell us that we wont get this and we wont get that and we are going to leave with no deal and its all going to be awful and the UK is going to go into financial meltdown – but only because you want and need it to, which will probably colour your judgement a tad and therefore you will be wrong.)

    I quite like the line that “no deal is better than a bad deal”. That will set the hares running methinks.

  63. K1

    Man runs onto Wings shouting ‘I’m on fire’…no one takes a piss on him.

  64. yesindyref2

    @Robert Kerr
    Very interesting article. I’ve always been careful commenting in the MSM about NI politics, as they voted to Remain and are a potential ally for us, but Arlene Foster is one I’ve been very unimpressed with. In spite of that vote, she was like “we leave with the UK”. In fact I’m surprised the intervention was made by the NI Government in the UKSC Appeal. Peter Robinson theough not perfect, was way better.

    @Robert Peffers
    Interesting what you say about the 1801 “Union with NI”, I’ll have a good read of that later. In the past there were Unionists trying to claim the UK didn’t start until 1801 (MM from the Herald for instance), so I’ve quoted them the text of it, and compared it to our 1706/7 one to put them in their place. But I’ve never looked at it in its own right.

  65. Meg merrilees


    Frustrated at reports that it is the failure by Sinn Fein to elect a new leader that has caused the collapse of the N.Ireland power sharing agreement.. FFS the DUP only RE-proposed the same person who is refusing to compromise with Martin McGuiness – how can that be considered a positive move?

    Heard a very good explanation on the Radio yesterday when Naomi Long (UUP? certainly not Sinn fein or DUP) was interviewed and explained very fully that the DUP have been arrogant and have increasingly told Sinn Fein what is going to happen rather than sharing the decisions… all sounds so familiar.

    Have the DUP brought N Ireland to its knees just as the brexit talks become crucial in an attempt to get WM to take over the reins again and force closer union?

    All the opposition parties need to unite and make this a vote against Brexit/tory rule and the Union but will they buy it because ultimately Sinn Fein want a United Ireland…

    What a mess!

  66. yesindyref2

    @Meg merrilees
    Such biased media, and it’s getting worse at a rate of knots. Trump will now be the hero who is going to have a great trade deal with the UK where the USA gets everything and the UK nothing, but the UK will be ever so grateful to be the 51st state of the USA but without representation in Washington. Kind of a historical revenge for “No taxation without representation”. The UK thinking it’s playing in 7 no-trumps – has been Trumped. Oops. That’s the Atlantic Bridge for you.

    Meanwhile May (rightly I think) has said it will be a hard Brexit for the rUK as no deal is better than a bad deal. Well, she’s absolutely right and should remember that when talking to the USA. According to Phillips O’Brien, Trump has assembled the toughest business negotiating team in history, and what does the UK have? Boris Johnson and Dickie Davis. God help them.

    Ruth Davidson is repeating her insistence there be no Indy Ref 2. That’s not just bad advice for Scotland, it’s bad advice for the UK and her boss Theresa May. The last thing the UK needs as it launches itself on the high seas of the brave new world of an unfettered UK – which might actually work well for it by the way – is a mutinous crew, where half of Scotland want nothing to do with it except as a good neighbour, and two-thirds actually want to stay in the EU. That’s what she should be telling May.

    As it enters the now uncharted waters of open world trade, the UK needs certainty and a fast but solid ship of state, and with Scotland dragging on, that it most certainly does not have. Same as with NI.

  67. woosie

    In the Borders now, listening to ITV’s news for Cumbria and Southern Scotland; everything’s ok, we’ll go global, some Scotchfolks not pleased. Keep calm, make a cup of tea, and watch the big game Auntie Beeb’s letting you watch between Lincoln City and Ipswich!

    If we can’t get out of this midden before the gbp is worth 50 cents, I’m emigrating to Iceland.

  68. Rock


    “Ouch! Rock, you just got skelped hard by Robert on that one….dare ye tae show some humility and admit you are way off beam wi your ‘shite and pedantry about “kingdoms”.

    He has repeated his usual shite and pedantry.

    The colony of Scotland has not signed any international agreements in its own name in more than 300 years’ colonisation.

    The UK is a member of the EU and the UK gets out of the EU.

    No one outside the UK gives a damn about the UK’s internal arrangements.

  69. Rock


    How can Scotland stay a member of the EU? That’s an easy one Rock, they, the sovereign member states of Europe simply recognise Scotland as an independent sovereign state before we leave.”

    The EU does not have colonies and regions as members.

    The Scottish region of the UK has absolutely no legal status in the EU.

    Independence first and then we can talk about EU membership.

  70. Fred


  71. heedtracker


    Are really Lord Sewel Rock? Clocking off from running your Victoria Secrets franchise in Banchory?

  72. mr j r geddes

    the union between Scotland and england no longer,exists we do not need a referendum cause since the recall of the Scottish parliament and the claim of rights the union of Scotland and England is defunct.
    Westminster never has or ever had the power to give Scotland a government.
    that rests on the Scottish members of the united kingdom of parliament and in doings so destroys the union
    no referendums are necessary Scotland is a independent country.

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