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The game is still on

Posted on November 29, 2019 by

Particularly alert readers may recall this excellent documentary from 2017, exposing how Labour’s PFI scandal has cost the Scottish taxpayer countless billions of pounds and crippled local government for decades with its extortionate financial legacy, as illustrated by the case of North Ayrshire.

Well, now there’s another one of it.

The title is self-explanatory, and it’s worth half an hour of your time.

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    1. 29 11 19 11:56

      The game is still on | speymouth

    125 to “The game is still on”

    1. scotspatriot says:

      I Detest Labour !

    2. Cod says:

      No real surprises in that 30 minutes – cover up continues to be covered up, dodgy tax avoiding companies continue to avoid tax, public funds continue to be wasted, and people who should be held accountable continue to not be held accountable, protected by others with a cavalier contempt for the public and the officials it elects.

      Sad but entirely predictable state of affairs.

    3. Big Bill says:

      Brilliant and very clear about what is going on with PPP/PFI

    4. manandboy says:

      Big test for the Scottish government – which they have already failed, by not investigating, albeit in the very embarrassing and debilitating context of Police Scotland.

      But this is only really about Labour who bought completely into Thatcher’s neo-liberal heist of the public purse, which is ongoing, as the film makes clear.

      The game is still on.

      The game is still rigged by a political establishment on the make, and on a scale beyond their wildest dreams. Career politicians in a gold rush to get their hands on a fortune, paid for by the taxpayer.

      Independence is simple essential. Then phone the rat catchers.

    5. manandboy says:

      Well done, Stu. This was a very big stone which has been needing to be turned over for a long time.

      Must check ebay for a sharp metal two-pronged hay fork. I’m in the mood for a revolution – French style.

    6. Capella says:

      This certainly sounds scandalous. The ubiquitous Leslie Evans gets a mention too. Pity this grand larceny of public finances doesn’t interest the MSM (though it does interest Private Eye). We all know why.

    7. dakk says:

      Scottish Labour’s britnat media operation is presently in overdrive with their NHS Scotland hospital scare stories to try divert attention away from the real scandals and corruption of the British parties.

      PFI/PPP scandals which most Scots have never even heard of thanks to the britnat media digest.

    8. Socrates MacSporran says:

      Yon Leslie Evans is some piece of work is she not.

    9. Murray McCallum says:

      Congratulations to the people involved in this video. I find their diligence inspiring.

    10. mogabee says:

      Holy fucking moly!!!

    11. stonefree says:

      Campbell Martin does an excellent job.
      Two points, Note the woman named and her association in the Salmond case and EU rules on the horizon will restrict (it’s said)the money within PFI/PPI (laundering). A Brexit allows this to make the UK an easy target

    12. Liz g says:

      I’m wondering if the people of N.Ayrshire could organise a private prosecution?
      With a view to having these Contracts set aside.
      It would,if successful, potentially open the door for a reset of all the other Contracts Scotland wide.
      I refuse to believe nothing can be done and the Scottish Tax Payer is locked into honouring these payments!

    13. John Bell says:

      An SNP Provost has underspent on her allowance for carrying out her duties – MSM headlines. PFI millions lost – nothing to see here

    14. Vestas says:

      Liz g says:
      29 November, 2019 at 12:18 pm

      “I’m wondering if the people of N.Ayrshire could organise a private prosecution?”

      You need permission from the Procurator Fiscal to bring a private criminal prosecution so that’s Catch22.

      You’re probably thinking of England & Wales where its much easier to bring a private criminal prosecution before a court.

    15. Liz while I agree with you what chance would we have of success with a police force and legal system who are in my opinion corrupt secret hand shakes etc., no wonder Rabbie said an honest man is the noblest work of God and he lived in Ayrshire ???

    16. wullie says:

      After independence all bills for PPP\PFI will be re-directed to the Labour Party and the officials who signed off the deal. Any independent Scottish government continuing to make these payments will be selling the Scottish public down the swanny just like labour.

    17. Patsy Millar says:

      Beggars belief; except it doesn’t!

    18. Capella says:

      Good grief – just type N Ayrshire PFI PPP into Google and you get a tranche of documents. Here’s only one:

    19. Mark Russell says:

      I do hope Gordon Brown can bring himself to watch this. The good old Scottish Establishment – just as corrupt as their counterparts down south. It’s all about the money.

    20. Republicofscotland says:

      Speaking of vile Labour MP’s or in this case ex-MP Pamela Nash is urging folk who hate the SNP or those who despise Scottish independence to visit their tactical voting site to keep the SNP out.

      It lists every constituency and tells you how to vote for Labour/Tory or LibDem in an attempt to thwart the SNP. Labour the LibDems and the Tories are three cheeks of the one arse in my opinion.

      Vote SNP.

      Meanwhile The Tories have plans for Channel 4, if they win this GE.

      Good on Channel 4 last night for using an ice sculputre when Johnson and his partner in crime Farage failed to show up to be interviewed. The snivelling wretch that is Michael Gove, desperately tried to get on the programme as a stand in for Johnson to cover Johnsons back, but his attempts were rejected out of hand.

      However in a sinister turn of events, the Tories said if they win this GE, have threatened to reconsider Channel 4’s broadcasting remit.

      The Tories have intimated that the state owned Channel 4, will see a “change” so that its better focused on serving the public if Johnson wins the GE.

    21. Capella says:

      That link BTW is to the record of the Scottish Parliament – North Ayrshire Council Public-Private Partnership Schools Project – in the Scottish Parliament at 5:04 pm on 1st March 2006.

      The opening statement by Campbell Martin IND MSP is stunning.

      Let us take Comprehensive Estate Services first. North Ayrshire Council publicly announced that Comprehensive Estate Services was a subsidiary of the Singapore-based CPG International. We pointed out to North Ayrshire Council that CPG International is in fact an Italian-based computer printer company, and the council responded by saying that it actually meant CPG Corporation, which is indeed based in Singapore. Unfortunately for North Ayrshire Council, when I wrote to the chief executive of CPG Corporation, he wrote back to say that Comprehensive Estate Services was not a subsidiary of his company, nor were there any cross-shareholdings.

      That did not deter North Ayrshire Council, which decided to pursue the bid, judging that it was apparently credible. We can see that Comprehensive Estate Services has no experience in the construction industry and no experience of PPP contracts. It had, and still has, no functioning office—although the receptionist at a chartered accountant’s in Strathmiglo in Fife will take a message for the company if anybody really wants to push it. At the time of bidding, Comprehensive Estate Services had no accounts submitted with Companies House. It had a credit rating of zero and a company alert that said:

      “this company should be treated with a degree of caution”.

      Nevertheless, North Ayrshire Council told us that the bid was credible. I have with me the pre-qualification questionnaire that was submitted by Comprehensive Estate Services to North Ayrshire Council. Unfortunately, most of it was downloaded from the websites of other companies. The insurance documents, which are a prerequisite, refer to CPG in Singapore, not Comprehensive Estate Services. Most of those documents were out of date anyway. Furthermore, the PQQ was signed the year before Comprehensive Estate Services was incorporated as a company.

      Nobody noticed those flaws. The documentation was supposedly scrutinised by North Ayrshire Council, the Scottish Executive’s financial partnerships unit and Partnerships UK in London, yet nobody noticed any of the flaws that I have mentioned, and it was decided that North Ayrshire Council could proceed.

    22. Gordon says:

      Labour have always been the enemy of Scotland. At least the Tories are up-front about it. I detest Labour, and I’d class myself as a Socialist!

    23. mogabee says:

      “The Parliament is not necessarily an appropriate forum for a debate in which allegations are raised that are apparently the subject of police scrutiny—or at least have been reported to the police—and which we cannot comment on or debate. The issues are not primarily for Parliament or the Executive, but the debate has nevertheless brought clarity to some aspects of the matter, although perhaps not in the way that Campbell Martin suggested or intended”

      This was the final part of the debate in Holyrood that Campbell Martin secured to discuss the PPP of those Ayrshire schools. Very telling that Labour did not want to keep talking about it.

    24. Martin Wood says:

      Why is it …

      the only true journalists are forced onto youtube?

    25. Giving Goose says:

      Makes you angry, doesn’t it.

      Scotland is being ripped off and fleeced by Unionists at every level of representation.

      If you meet a Labour canvasser or candidate in this election, engage them in conversation about this and other corruption.

      Same with the LibDems and the Tories.

      After this General Election is complete, then in the political space that follows I would strongly suggest that we take the opportunity and start to put momentum behind a body or an intent to hold corrupt Unionism to account post Independence.

      It should be a “Truth Commission” or similar.
      I don’t care if someone thinks of it a witch hunt because it has to happen.

      Scotland simply cannot move forward without shining a bright light on the corruption that is at the heart of Unionism in all it’s various guises.

      The Union, costing Ayrshire voters £1 million a month. Now there’s a slogan!

    26. Tam Fae somewhere says:

      How much of the Scottish “deficit” is due to these contract payments?

    27. Capella says:

      BBC R4 lunchtime news blatantly advising voters to vote Tory to “get BREXIT done” copyright Dominic Cummings. Voting Tory in this election doesn’t make you a Tory, you know. So, former Labour voters, feel free to vote Tory, says the BBC.

      Could they be more blatant?

    28. Republicofscotland says:

      Wow, one wonders just how much public money in Scotland has gone to those and other offshore businessses. As usual its the public who suffer by paying through the nose for everyday services.

      As for Poloce Scotland they’re a disgrace, and don’t get me started on Leslie Evans.

    29. North chiel says:

      Propaganda Quay lunchtime “ news” keeps up the never ending “ crusade” against the SNHS and by association the SNP government re the supposed water contamination issues at the new Glasgow hospital. This continual “ drip feed” has now been going on for weeks and apparent “ new revelations “ seem to be a regular feature , in the countdown to Dec 12th . Just a coincidence I suppose , or perhaps some people might wonder how long BBC “ journalists “ have been investigating and perhaps “ sitting” on this ? Perhaps they think that if they can “ wound ” the Heath Secretary before the “ usual” winter Health service crisis , they can obtain their objective thereafter?

    30. Jack Murphy says:

      I listened in horror to all of this documentary—-EVERY single minute of it.

      To say I’m gobsmacked is putting it mildly.

      Many thanks Wings over Scotland for providing the link.

    31. Iain Hamilton says:

      Forgive my obvious naivety, but it seems obvious that the *only* way forward on this is for a blanket refusal to pay PPP payments to the private investors along with a message “so sue me”.

      The resulting court cases should raise enough of a stink that something will be done about this. The “something” being prosecution and jailing of those responsible.

    32. Golfnut says:

      @ Capella.

      ‘ could they be more blatant ‘

      Yes, they could donate money to the Tory party, £19,000 to be exact.

    33. galamcennalath says:

      So, councils (Labour then presumably) were being told that the only way to get schools or hospitals built was by PPP. The contractural arrangements where being organised by a body within Labour’s Scottish Executive. Councils had to sign contracts they weren’t allowed to see.

      Huge amounts of money was going to be made, is being made. Profits go off shore without tax being paid.

      Allegedly the details of all the decision making is being ‘covered up’ and agencies you would expect to be honest appear to be complicit.

      Then there’s Leslie Evans. Aye …. !

      You couldn’t make it up! Most folks simply wouldn’t think it possible.

    34. galamcennalath says:

      There are 129 projects that have been privately financed in Scotland, repayment costs will total £39.7bn, more than four times the capital value of the projects.

      Deficit? What deficit?

    35. Connor McEwen says:

      Giving goose at 1.33 pm.? Love it

    36. Albaman says:

      Leslie Evans eh, someone who’s used to conducting “shady” deals/arrangements! .
      Leslie Evans ~~~~~ Alex Salmond!, I still think that there is more to those particular allegations than “meets the eye” !.
      This film, in its entirety ought to be submitted to Channel Four (4) , as it’s the only T.V. Channel one could trust to use it without editing.

    37. Sharny Dubs says:

      Thanks for this Stu, if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck….

      M? shock is how involved are the Scottish police and government.

      We need a good clean out!

      Roll on Indy, we got work to do!

    38. robbo says:

      And it still goes on and on.

      £30 million for Ferry’s anyone? To a company with NO fecking ferries!

    39. North chiel says:

      Just watched the documentary, the sums of money involved is staggering £390m paid over circa 30 years for an initial outlay of £80m. Makes you wonder if ppi was a deliberate ploy at the time to put Scottish local authorities ( and tax payers) into significant long term debt and hoc to these corporations. If the Scottish government had significant “ borrowing” powers then surely they could have loaned to local authorities at interest rates ensuring these schools & hospitals could have been paid for at a more realistic cost? It seems to me that this is why the Westminster establishment & government ( who can borrow at very low rates at present) don’t wish our government in Edinburgh to have any significant borrowing powers. ( keeping the Scottish people & Government “ in hoc”) . Surely after independence , the first thing an Independent government in Edinburgh would do would be to negotiate to terminate these “ rip off deals” and “ pay off” these sharks with funds borrowed at a realistic interest rate . The considerable savings could then be passed on to local authorities ( and consequently the taxpayer) .
      The previous unionist Labour administration at Holyrood is clearly exposed for all to see in a policy of keeping Scotland and our people in “ hoc” to greedy corporates . No doubt it would be interesting to identify prominent shareholders and or directors of these organisations. No difference here then between Labour or Tory unionists when it comes to deliberate impoverishment of Scotland and our people .
      We need Independence and we need Independence now!

    40. manandboy says:


      Just a reminder – I know all this stuff is well known. Isn’t it?

      To understand PFI/PPP, you have to go back to 1979 when Mgt Thatcher slammed the door closed on Socialist Britain, and opened wide a new door to Neo-Liberal Britain. Out went a social democracy and in came the politics of greed and wealth.

      Mgt Thatcher was converted to this new ‘faith’ by POTUS Ronald Reagan apparently. The turnaround was introduced by stealth. No announcements were ever made, no explanations were ever given. The Working classes, the poor and the disadvantaged knew nothing of what was about to happen and never saw it coming.

      It started with ‘Privatisation’, a policy sold to the electorate as ‘creating a society of shareholders’. But no one read the fine print, except the Banks, the Hedge Fund managers, the Finance Industry and the rich who knew a bargain when they saw one. Oh, and the politicians – with inside information.

      Since then, we’ve had the buy your Council House Big Sale, PFI/PPP and Austerity. All just variations on the theme of greed. Robin Hood took from the rich to give to the poor. Thatcher, Major, Blair and Brown, Cameron, May and Johnson, all of them neoliberals, took from the poor to give to the rich. And on it goes.

      Remember Government Information Films? We could have done with one on Neoliberalism.

      Maybe in an Independent Scotland.


    41. galamcennalath says:

      PFI/PPP. If it isn’t actually criminal, then it certainly is immoral. It was a scheme dreamt up to rip off public bodies.

      From a ‘public purse’ perspective, how could anyone have ever justified it? It wasn’t a system to allow private money to build and run public buildings for a modest acceptable profit …. it appears to have had grossly excessive profits built in.

      Those within central government who were pushing it were either very stupid and gullible, or benefited financially, or benefited politically.

      And to add insult, the contract holders appear to be avoiding paying tax on their profits!

      The money is still being paid out … the public deserves to know who really did it, why, and how it can be sorted.

    42. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Anyone with half a brain could see right from the get-go that this Labour PFI initiative (and its inevitable heavy-duty enforcement) stank to high heaven. I was only peripherally involved due to being on the school board of our local school at the time here in Glasgow, which was being refurbed and extended under PFI, but it was exactly the same experience. In the then Labour neo-Stalinist mini-state, there was “no alternative”.

      We brought our serious concerns to our then local MP, one Donald Dewar. He just shrugged it all off. (Surprise, surprise. Sadly, we weren’t.)

      The independent expert in public health care, the admirable Prof Allyson Pollock, got involved due to its deployment in the building and operation of hospitals, and was scathing about what it meant. Had a tussle on late-evening telly with some thuggish Labour minister of the time who tried to bully her into silence.

      The thing is, it’s not just about the money, which is bad enough on its own, it’s also about the corporate omerta that enshrouds all these deals. They concern essential public services using public money, yet you can’t find out anything and you can’t hold anyone to account over anything. “Commercial confidentiality” is the getout, and the only official interaction possible is through an old legal contract. If it ain’t covered in there, sucks to you, local council.

      What all this does, though, is supply the missing motive for why NorthBritLab are so hell-bent on preventing independence. They are dead scared that then the truth about this dirty business will finally come out and expose their incompetence, ignorance and possibly much worse.

      (And Lesley Evans was deeply involved in the N.Ayrshire business too, it would seem. That was a right zinger.)

    43. Terry callachan says:

      Of course its important to note that
      Leslie Evans was involved in the cover up
      Leslie Evans is involved in trying to get A Salmond convicted of offences allegedly carried out years ago
      Leslie Evans was promoted and is now head of Westminster’s civil service Scotland
      And the chancellor and prime minister throughout this period was Gordon Brown
      And police Scotland was brought under one roof in 2012 presumably to ensure that it was no longer possible for local police to hide criminal activity

      Only Scottish independence will allow us the people of Scotland to have control so that we can make sure that the people who are responsible are held to account

      Under the British Westminster regime people get shifted from one country to another and are free to carry out criminal acts on behalf of government with impunity and anonymity

    44. Connor McEwen says:

      Just to repeat earlier remarks.Giving Goose 1.33pm. Cracker. Also involved. The senior civil servant in Alex Salmond case.

    45. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      John Bell @ 12:26,
      Martin Wood @ 13:28,

      Got it in one, both of ye.

      The ever-reliable missing-in-action Scottish Fourth Estate. Paid to look diligently the other way.

    46. Terry callachan says:

      How many individuals benefit financially including perks promotions jobs for their children and free gifts from PFI and PPP you can just see it happening where people get a phone call or called to a meeting where they are told that either you keep your mouth shut and go with the proposals or you are mothballed it’s the common way of business corruption and nepotism and once you have taken a reward you are IN you are captured a prisoner to that reward which on another page or seen through different eyes is described as a bribe.

      Scottish independence will allow us to vote for people who promise to change matters and improve things introducing honest standards , if they don’t carry out their promises to us the taxpayer and voter we just sack them at the next election.

      Only people we choose will govern us
      Those who govern us will live in a Scotland and will be accountable to the Scottish government they will not be controlled by another country or another countries politicians or political partys

    47. Capella says:

      “Hold my beer”, say the Labour councillors of Aberdeen. They go down to the LSE, borrow vast amounts of money, which will be paid back over a period of time UNLESS Scotland votes for independence, in which case it has to be paid back immediately. This will bankrupt the good citizens of Aberdeen who voted mainly SNP but Labour is in coalition with the Tories to keep control.

      Goerge Monbiot wrote an excellent article about these PFI contracts i 2010 – The UK’s Odious Debts:

    48. kapelmeister says:

      Lots of New Labour’s donors benefited from PFI/PPP.


      “Stop independence and stop brexit
      The terrible twins of division”

      That’s the Lib Dems new mantra judging by Rennie’s Scottish manifesto launch. If independence avoids being outside the EU then how are they twins? It’s been said afore but Willie’s really nae too bright.

    49. Terry callachan says:

      Scotland does not have a deficit

      What Scotland has is England taking all its wealth and giving us a bit back then rhey give us an assurance once a year that it is spending the rest of our money on things wholly unaccounted for no explanations no accounts no proof of costs just a verbal assurance that Westminster can be trusted

      Just like PPI and PFI

      Same people at the core
      Same corruption

      Same cure , Scottish Independence

    50. Clachangowk says:

      This is a letter I wrote to the Herald in March 2009:” I find it remarkable that before New Labour adopted PFI as their pet funding strategy, senior Labour and Tory politicians were on record against PPP/PFI as being a flawed concept:

      Yvette Cooper, now a Treasury Minister, clearly voiced her concerns in an article in the Independent on July 26, 1996 when she attacked the then Conservative Government’s proposals: “so long as the PFI is viewed as a wheeze to invest and provide services without the bill showing up on today’s government balance sheet, serious problems will remain. The wheeze for the public finances and taxpayers of today risks being a burden on the public finances and taxpayers of tomorrow”.

      In his book ” Pretty Straight Guys”, Nick Cohen says ” PFI had been introduced by Kenneth Clarke when he was Chancellor in the Major government.He cheerily admitted afterwards that the PFI was a dreadful idea. He had only accepted it as a temporary expedient because the Major government had enormous debts and he couldn’t raise money any other way ——- New Labour turned Clarke’s stopgap into a foundation of public finance.”

      So it appears that New Labour adopted a Tory wheeze and even now, when the costs are beginning to hurt they still push on with it; even in Scotland blaming the SNP for not using PFI to build the new Forth bridge.

      You couldn’t make it up”

      My sense is that a lot of people in and associated with the Labour Party made a lot of money.

    51. Capella says:

      Article in The National about a letter written by Robert the Bruce which still survives at Brodie Castle. The NTS are fund raising to create a special showcase to prevent it from deteriorating. Fund raiser here if you’re interested:

    52. wullie says:

      IMHO. You have to be corrupt to vote for unionist politicians there surely cannot be any other reason

    53. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Clachangowk @ 16:13,

      Aye, and we should never forget who was the chief architect of that despicable Labourite turnaround, master of the “something-for-nothing” cunning plan with a very nasty sting in its tail, the coward Gordie Broon.

    54. A few years ago lbc were running a show about the high interest rates of a pay day loan I got on air and asked if they thought the pay day interest was high what did they think of the ppi interest rates and that you had to apply,for a pay day loan we did not apply for ppi loan but we’re having to pay it back anyway they could not get me off quick enough needless to say I no longer get on air their motto is phone in have your say but your are veted first and if you are proving them wrong you do not get on they hate the truth it is like holding a crusifix up to a vampire sheer terror two of their place persons have never let me on Obrien andFogarty those 2are so reasonable but not reasonable enough to accept a democratic vote I have accused lbc of fraud asking people to phone in then not allowing them on

    55. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Recently deceased relative was totally staunch old-school Scottish Labour.

      I remember a discussion with him about Blair, just before the invasion. He supported Blair. Even years after it, when the dogs in the street knew Blair was a war criminal, he proudly showed off a signed photo of him with Blair at some gig in London (and yes, he did ‘make a donation’ to get it.)

      His solitary beef with New Labour was PPP/PFI. He predicted it would cost them, and all of us, dear.

      Although we didn’t see eye to eye I was very fond of him and am genuinely glad he’s not around to see how right he was.

    56. One_Scot says:

      The UK is a fucking cesspit. The sooner Scotland breaks free from this shithole of a UK the better.

      No wonder the unionist trojan trolls are hiding.

    57. manandboy says:

      No bigger neo-liberal project perhaps than North Sea Oil & Gas. Rob Scotland to fill English coffers. Nearly 50 years of production and every penny gone to our Imperial Masters in southern England. Even now, oil and gas is hardly featured in the media much. The McCrone Report was kept secret until 2005, after which there was still hardly a cheep from British Unionist broadcasting and the Press.

      Sickening really.

      The only solution is independence.

    58. kapelmeister says:

      Gisela Stuart, who as a Labour MP publicly supported George W Bush in the 2004 presidential election, is at it again. Now proudly sharing an election platform with BoJo.

    59. North chiel says:

      Sickening what has been going on in Britnat Labour Scotland prior to SNP governance. Holyrood should now vote for a Public Enquiry into this and associated issues . The people of Scotland deserve answers on this and every aspect of what has gone on needs to be investigated & exposed .

    60. manandboy says:

      There has to be a revolution in Scotland, after Independence. Scotland robbers, corrupt politicians and their business partners must be weeded out, beginning with the Unionist Alliance at Holyrood and in Council Chambers everywhere. Its coming. PFI beneficiaries will do jail time, long time.

      Otherwise what’s the point of Independence if it means just the same corruption and exploitation but with a different label on it.

      I am seriously scunnered with what the English are doing to Scotland.

    61. John H. says:

      I accidentally caught Sally Magnusson trailing tonight’s Reporting Scotland just now. Guess what? The SNHS “scandal” gets top billing again.Using the parents of dead children to try to discredit the SNP. BBC Scotland (I almost typed Labour there) should be ashamed of themselves. I hope that the Labour Party never get anywhere near to power again in Scotland. After independence,BBC Scotland will have to be cleared out, and the sooner the better.

    62. mike cassidy says:

      Leslie Evans gets the top job.

      And OT

      If you thought Americans getting their paws on our NHS for financial reasons was a grim prospect

      How about if they get to force their impossible science on it!

    63. shug says:

      I have said it before but the SNP is to slow at getting into power and undertaking reviews of the Labour party decisions.

      North and South Lanarkshire it would be hard to find a contract that did not have a strong smell about it. Even the Scot Squad would be suspicious.

      The Glasgow provost has to repay expenses – has anyone ever looked at the expenses under Labour – if not why not

      I know the BBC will be looking the other way but if the SNP is in power they should be washing out past corruption and instigate some DPA reviews on the BBC and make them squirm

    64. twathater says:

      Liz g @12.18 pm A private prosecution would be a great idea and a very worthy benefactor of a crowdfunder which I am sure would garner support . This corruption has been openly hidden for decades and is legendary . A private prosecution could open MANY MANY doors which should have been opened and dealt with ages ago ,

    65. Dr Jim says:

      Donald Dewar, a man who traded away 6.000 square miles of oil filled Scottish waters to England to be First Minister in his very own big new building

      The Tories steal and take what they want from Scotland, Labour do deals with the Tories for Ermine coats and lifetime income for themselves and when the Liberal Democrats get the chance they do both

      It’s no wonder their desire to keep the Union together is obsessive because using the power of England we can’t get rid of them, but in an Independent Scotland there’d be no more jobs for life protection for these people

      Scotlands votes would count

    66. wullie says:

      PPI PFI In my humble opinion IS \ WAS a criminal enterprise. An independent Scottish state had better lay the bill for this robbery at the feet of those responsible for the contracts. We the Scottish people aint paying for this crap.

    67. North chiel says:

      P.S Glad to see Stu “ back on track “ and exposing Neo Liberalism & the “ real enemies “ of Scotland , and by the way that’s not our FM NIcola Sturgeon , a genuine Social Democratic .

    68. Liz g says:

      OT….. Anybody know how a proxy vote works in practice?
      My Eldest is a proxy for two friends,she’s had a letter confirming that she is,but no polling card or it’s equivalent.
      Also the couple’s polling station is different from her own.
      Would she have to attend theirs?

    69. Colin Alexander says:

      Is the issue that it’s a profit making exercise for private equity or the amount of profit is excessive?

      Eg Wheatley Group which now owns housing associations across Scotland, though it was originally supposed to put local housing in local community control ( according to the then Labour run Glasgow City Council) starting with the transfer /privatisation of Glasgow’s Council Housing stock into Glasgow Housing Association.

      They’ve borrowed huge sums on the bonds market.

      For example: International bonds: Wheatley Group, eg £300,000,000 is one of the bonds.

      Who is paying for the private-equity profit? Tenants and factored home owners and the taxpayer.

      Year after year Housing Association rents and factoring fees of factored properties have faced rising bills above the rate of inflation.

      The Chief Executive, Martin Armstrong receives a salary of £269,000 as at 2018

      Do you think that’s a reasonable salary? To put it into perspective, which is approximately double what the FM receives and the UK Prime Minister gets approx £150,000.

    70. Colin Alexander says:

      Wheatley Group Chief Executive Martin Armstrong receives £317,000 a year ( including pension contributions).

    71. callmedave says:


      You can vote in your own polling station if it’s the same for them.

      Otherwise get to their polling station and use proxy OR

      If you cant get to their polling station must be a postal proxy vote.

      I think that’s what it means. Better check anyhoo.

      Pressed return too quick there. 🙂

    72. Helen Yates says:

      Wow, that was an interesting as well as horrifying half hours viewing, makes you wonder what other councils have been up to. I’d say the level of corruption throughout the Scottish government/civil service doesn’t bode well for our fight for Independence, the more wealth involved the more corruption involved. it’s rather worrying to think what we are up against.

    73. wullie says:

      Will an independent Scottish government take us for mugs and treat us in the same manner as Westminster. Or will they have the balls to rid us of these criminal financial burdens such as ppp\pfi.

      Or will if be business as usual where the rest of the world looks on and sees the Scots as a soft touch whose resources can be removed from them and their elected representatives will do nothing to stop it.

    74. Sinky says:

      O/T Heard John Swinney whom I like and respect saying on TV that voters in Kirkcaldy should still vote for their SNP candidate and having looked into the background I agree

    75. Sinky says:

      Meanwhile Glasgow Health Board have apologised for ongoing distress ti parents iver the alleged water contamination.

      It is the media should be apoligising the the parents ongoing agony and the dedicated staff who have to put up new patients anxiety thanks to media poltucising a couple of tragic deaths

    76. Muscleguy says:

      I seriously wonder how long these metal framed, metal and composite panel skinned (how fire safe are those panels?) buildings will last. I predict that they will not last until the end of the contract and those holding the golden goose contracts when that happens will evacuate their assets and declare themselves bankrupt to avoid the inevitable costs.

      Even if all the setting up and contracting is allowed to run the state of these buildings is a scandal waiting to happen. Here in Dundee a group of buildings in the Grassmarket occupied by various govt department offices (at least until things like local passport offices got gutted) had a roof blown off in a storm. The Wellcome Trust Biocentre in the university where I worked lost building panels. Right outside our lab with ropes through the windows holding them on.

      The inlet for our air con was right next to the outlet for the animal facility’s cage autoclave. A stench would pervade our lab in the afternoons we were powerless to prevent. I could go on.

      The design and planning of these types of buildings leave a lot to be desired. Their only benefits seem to be that they are cheap and quick to build in comparison to an actually solid builidng.

      The one in NZ I did my degrees in was solid stone, with a buried basement (Eelectron microscope suite (solidity), anatomy body store (opposite the goods lift), a glassblower (soon defunct) and the animal rooms). I was in our lab on the first floor corner one Sat morning when a 4.8 quake hit. No worries as we say.

      I’m not sure I would want to be in one of these buildings in a decent quake. I would worry that that the concrete floors were not tied securely to the steel frame or in a way which was both strong and flexible enough in a quake. I think about the CTV building in Christchurch NZ which pancaked in the big quake killing dozens.

    77. callmedave says:

      The Rev is looking for this but I’m not on twitter of facebook.

      Maybe someone can tell him it’s on his own twitter feed a longish scroll back.

      Or post it too him. 🙂

    78. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Liz g @ 18:24,

      I’ve done it in the past for both my girls. Shortly after the person concerned has applied for a proxy vote and named you, you should have received a document that declares your standing and for what period (indefinite or just a one-off – the person making the application can choose). Shortly before the election itself, you should receive a second document (sheet of paper) that identifies you as being proxy for that particular election and for whom, and that one at least you should take with you to the polling station, ie. their normal polling station. The people manning the polling station should have the proxy vote indicated in their lists, so they should be expecting you. What follows is then just as if you were doing it for yourself, except of course you vote as instructed.

      That’s how it happens in Glasgow, anyway. Because of the suddenness of the election, these two separate stages might possibly get conflated, especially if the proxy is a one-off rather than a period one.

    79. Golfnut says:

      PFI wasn’t Kenneth Clarks idea, it probably originates from Buildeberg( haven’t got time to check the spelling). PFI is a world wide scam, designed to transfer government funding from public to private. Surfaced I think at the same time ( coincidence, I don’t think so) as the idiots guide to macro economics, the household budget. Clark’s comment that he recommended it because of debt etc was disingenuous at best and tied into the no money in the budget excuse.

    80. Dan says:

      Speaking with a Posty today whilst out knocking doors and leafleting.
      After I’d asked him if he had developed individual specific techniques to get mail through every sodding type of labyrinth draft excluder letterbox seal on his round (I use wooden spoon for the poke which also protects fingers from nippy pets)… he brought up the Posty strike.
      He was disappointed no Scottish political party that he was aware of had picked up on the threat to the USO – Universal Service Obligation, which means it is the same postage price for deliveries across the UK.
      Clearly if this is scrapped then Scotland, as it currently is with courier prices, will most likely then require higher postal prices for those sending to, or posting from Scotland.
      I guess once we end the union this may all change anyway. In fact this might be the sole remaining subject used by Better Together 2.0 – “Vote No to self determination and a better future for you and yours because the price of a stamp will be higher in Scotland”.

      After a long week padding about the doors there was a surprise late winner to the “roaster of the week award” when a highly informed citizen unleashed this superb triple salvo which nearly had me on the floor… laughing.

      Exhibit 1 – “Sturgeon just wants to stay in the EU so she’ll get a bigger pension”. (technically they may actually be correct seeing as leaving is going to crash the fookin economy, but I have an inkling this wasn’t where they were coming from)

      Exhibit 2 – “Salmond wasted the oil money”. (Just WTF)

      Exhibit 3 – “They (politicians) are all just idiots”. (I censored myself from mumbling “takes one to know one”)

      I’m marking this one down as a work in progress as like a challenge. lol

    81. georgie nicholson says:

      This country is a cesspit. Scotland has to get free for the sake and futures of our children. The link between Leslie Evans and Alex Salmond is concerning though. Thank you Stu.

    82. Liz g says:

      Robert J Sutherland @ 7.16
      Thank you very much Robert J…
      I’ll pass on the info if only because I know the couple want their vote for the SNP 🙂

    83. Col.Blimp IV says:


      Surely it is only by attaining independence that this insidious threat to the USO can be avoided.

    84. Colin Alexander says:

      Tonight programme STV about Nicola Sturgeon, on now 8.30pm

    85. callmedave says:



      A bit of missionary work definitely required in your locality 🙂

      “Salmond wasted the oil money”.

    86. Dr Jim says:

      The BBC debate:

      I hope everyone watched as the Brexit guy continually tried to shout down and intimidate Nicola Sturgeon

      He doesn’t know her at all does he, what a little squint of a man so full of himself he ended up bawling “ask me ask me I’m a business man”

    87. mike cassidy says:

      You thought Alexander De Pfeffel was bad.

      Stanley Johnson

      To the lack of manners born

      (via Turkish, German and French genes)

      (not archived so the videolink works)

    88. Dr Jim says:

      This election is getting more insane by the minute when the TV people ask Alex Massie for an unbiased opinion of Nicola Sturgeon, I mean Alex Massie,, jeez!

      Oh and you’ll notice they’ve brought up the *Marmite* politician crap again, that’s the word they used for Alex Salmond

    89. Dan says:

      callmedave at 8:34 pm

      TBF the responses on the doors have generally be favourable with just the odd exception.
      Political conversion therapy is my new challenge these days seeing as cheating twats with E bikes have ruined the timed stages on the strava cycling app.

      The only thing I can come up with re. the wasted oil money statement that could be true, is that in the 80s Alex bought a gallon of Castrol GTX instead of Duckhams Hypergrade.
      That Castrol stuff was shite and known to hold moisture and sludge up engines, so if that occurred it was definitely oil money wasted.

    90. callmedave says:


      🙂 You might be onto something there.

      Not watching the TV debates so depressing having to see it all unfold, same old Scottish issues and scaremongering by the yoons, all been exposed before on the debates but it’s whack-a-mole day everyday in Scotland. 🙂

    91. One_Scot says:

      Not sure if I have mentioned it before but Colin is one of the trojan trolls. But you all probably know that already.

    92. Dr Jim says:

      The news from the journalist spin room is that Nicola Sturgeon won the thing by a mile because she’s a class politician and expert and comfortable at doing these debates and Adam Price came next
      The two *main* parties were OK to poor and Swinson came out as dismal
      Oh and nobody even mentioned the Brexit guy

      They’re going to be excluding Scotland FM from these things soon, she’s too good for the rest of them

    93. Liz g says:

      Call me Dave @ 6.29 & @ 6.31
      Thanks for the Information too Dave…I only just saw it while catching up 🙂 Robert J’s was the first I saw when I came back on Wings…..
      I’m quite keen that my Daughter “gets this vote done” as Iain Murry is the current MP ….. I’m sure you understand 🙂 🙂

    94. boris says:

      Evans stated that the nature of the complaints had been brought to her attention by Mackinnon and she appointed Mackinnon to formally investigate the matter and take the appropriate action as required by the new procedure. But in doing so Evans compromised the procedures she and Mackinnon had only recently put in place. Plonkers comes to mind.

    95. Dan says:


      What is this “TV” thing you refer. I get the impression it is some kind of archaic device that the population would be better served if it didn’t exist.
      Nowadays we have the internet where you can find out what’s really going on and watch interesting and thought provoking stuff like Black Mirror.
      New episode idea…
      Title : Jocks – End of Days
      Plot : The year is 2020 and a sinister plan is developed by an evermore desperate UK Government and Secret Service to maintain their stranglehold on the Scottish resources they covet so much.
      An award winning Scottish butcher is setup and caught in a honey-trap, and then blackmailed into moving his Haggis making business to a new facility in an annex of Porton Down, Salisbury…

    96. Colin Alexander says:



    97. Colin Alexander says:

      I was proud to see Nicola Sturgeon tonight, standing up for what is right, saying: No, I would not launch nuclear weapons to murder thousands of thousands of innocents and destroy civilisation.

    98. call me dave says:

      OK I don’t watch any ‘TV’ it’s the computer for me. I know what you mean though. I only referred to it in ‘common parlance’.

      I’ll catch up on the reports in posts and clips on WoS twitter.


    99. Colin Alexander says:

      Vote SNP

      The party that opposed the Iraq War.

      The party that wants money spent on bairns, no bombs, especially the type that waste £billions to murder millions.

      They’re no perfect, far from it, as people like “One_Scot” slag me for pointing out but, they are still the best vote for Scotland. Still the best vote for working class and middle class people in Scotland.

      Now they are talking independence, I’m happier with them.

    100. Phronesis says:

      The bland blob of WM government takes no responsibility for the corruption of power and fall out of policy decisions. Scotland should demand that all revenue raised in Scotland is diverted away from the blob at WM and returned to our functioning government to administer Scotland’s circular economy as an independent nation.

      ‘Circle was touted by its founders as a “new model” of private healthcare in the UK with 49.9% of its equity owned by employees and providing equity in exchange for a guarantee of a share of a consultants or GPs private business. However since then Circle has moved to reduce the equity owned by its employees…Its most notable NHS contract to date was the disastrous contract for Hinchingbrooke hospital. In 2011, Circle won the contract to run the debt-ridden hospital, however the company abandoned this ten year contract in early 2015 after only two years. The hospital received a damning CQC report after the announcement by Circle that it was quitting the contract ’

      ‘Over the past few years, BMI’s strategy for development in the UK has combined private healthcare patients via the insurance market and self-pay, plus expanding its work for the NHS. BMI’s management has been enthusiastic about the role private healthcare company’s can play in the NHS…Netcare ltd, until 2018 the company’s leading investor, had a group strategy that listed becoming a “provider of choice” to the NHS within its first “strategic pillar”. Their outlook in the UK market listed several avenues of growth within the healthcare market…increased business from local contracting due to rising NHS demand and funding constraints; and an increased number of private patients due to a failing NHS…GHG has had close ties with the Conservatives. The company’s Chairman Sir Peter Gershon was recruited by the Conservative party just before the election in 2010 as one of David Cameron’s independent efficiency experts who identified the £12 billion in spending savings an incoming Conservative government could make. Although his independence is open to debate given that GHG openly admits it will benefit from NHS spending cutbacks’

      ‘While in public they have been presenting themselves as the future of the NHS, a Corporate Watch investigation into the accounts and finances of five of the major private healthcare companies has found widespread use of tax havens,* including the British Virgin Islands, Luxembourg, Jersey, Guernsey and the Cayman Islands, and tax avoidance schemes Barclays or Vodafone accountants would be proud of’

      A timeline of the NHS (and taxpayer’s money)being used as a cash cow for corporate sharks.

    101. manandboy says:


      Just ask the Colonies.

      “An ugly truth: is cinema finally facing up to Britain’s colonial past?

      The Nightingale is a rare attempt to depict the brutal reality of British imperial rule. The industry must do more to tell it like it is.

      The Nightingale, which shows the violence perpetrated against Indigenous Australians in the early 19th century.

      Jennifer Kent’s new thriller The Nightingale is a tough watch. The setting is lawless, early 19th-century Tasmania, and the opening half hour, especially, is a catalogue of violence: rape, murder, beatings, senseless slaughter, even ecological violence. The victims are chiefly women and indigenous people; the principal perpetrators are uniformed British soldiers. The Nightingale reminds us that Britain’s colonisation of Australia involved the killing of tens of thousands of Indigenous Australians, with at least 270 documented massacres and many more untold tales of cruelty. The film’s violence prompted walkouts when it screened in Sydney earlier this year, but Kent has maintained that it is historically accurate. “I couldn’t go into this part of our history and water it down,” she said. “Like many other countries that have been colonised, the indigenous people of Australia were subject to horrendous treatment by the colonisers. The systems of power were brutal, and I wanted The Nightingale to reflect this.”

    102. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Colin Alexander 22:21,

      Oh, you are such a cutie pie, the way you bait and switch, alternately blowing hot and cold. Recently you hated the SNP and were going to vote Labour, today you’re an SNP stalwart. Tomorrow? Who knows? One is sometimes even tempted to think you are more than one person. (I hope it’s not clinical.) Your name certainly isn’t “Colin”. Or “Alexander”, is it?

      So One_Scot has you down to a tee, as any regular here knows full well.

    103. Colin Alexander says:

      Happy St Andrew’s Day.

    104. James Barr Gardner says:

      Jack McConnell was the First Minister of Scotland from 22 November 2001 till the 16 May 2007. He gave back to the London Treasury £1.5 billion as he could not find anything that warranted this money to spend on in Scotland.

    105. Famous15 says:

      Saint Andrew would be really cross if he saw what his favourite little Caledonia was having to put up with.

      He would expect his little Caledonian Scots to have the To be free.

    106. Reluctant Nationalist says:

      The state of that St Andrews Day Google doodle by Scott Belmer. Never knew I lived in Brazil.

      What, the fuck, is that creature in the foreground with blonde hair? An abo or something? Haha.

    107. Ghillie says:

      Oh YES!


    108. Mr John Stuart Anderson says:

      Happy St Andrews Day!

    109. Dorothy Devine says:

      And a very happy Saint Andrew’s Day to one and all – I had my haggis ,neeps and tatties last night as I had misplaced a day this week , that’s what comes of getting old!

      I watched a bit of the debate last night so that I could hiss the villain – Nick Robinson .

      I was astonished by that very aggressive, arrogant chap in the middle .I look forward to him not winning a seat.

    110. starlaw says:

      manandboy 11:29

      In Tasmania the white men buried Aborigines up to their necks in the ground then played polo with their heads . . this was sport. Britain is the only country in the world to achieve genocide with the wiping out of Tasmania’s Aborigines.

    111. He who dislikes tories says:

      The one name that stuck in ma Thrapple was Leslie Evans. Was she no the wummin that Was at the forefront of the sex allegations against Alec Salmond . A westminster plant if ever there was one. You can severely weaken the economy of a country with a lot of PFI and PFF projects

    112. Ottomanboi says:

      It is fine the SNP taking the ‘moral high ground’ but when dealing with the British it pays to be ready to get down and play very dirty, or else.

    113. Dan says:’s google doodle

      Have you seen the size of the mitts on folk!
      It looks like a disturbing image of a future Scotland, inhabited with the offspring of a breeding program between Jo Jazz Hands Swinson and Peter Schmeichel.

      And talking of mitts, I’ll need a couple of pairs on today as it’s minus 10 C on my thermometer… FFS
      I’ll have to look out the mountainbike for transport, as I know there is no way I can get into the car as door handles and door seals will be frozen solid and break before the door can be opened.
      Some folk think I look young for my age, that’s because as a Scot, I’ve spent almost half my life in crogenic suspension!

    114. Willie says:

      PFI has saddled Scotland with the poorest quality infrastructure imaginable. The dogs in the street know it.

      Roads, schools, hospitals and all rolled up in horrendously expensive finance one wonders why the populace have been so somnolent to the outrage that surrounds them.

      But maybe the public don’t care. Maybe they are but something you wipe off your shoe before carrying on. Maybe the public gets what it deserves. Too thick, too stupid, too disengaged to be interested in key assets that are the lifeblood of our society.

      And now, through the devolution settlements restriction on borrowing, the Scottish Government is now going to be going down an even more private PFI route than the current discredited model.

      And it’s name for anyone remotely interested is the Mutual Investment Model…. or MIM. Check it out if you can be bothered. Derek Mackay never told you about that. But hey, do the donkeys really need to know.

    115. Willie says:

      Oh and for anyone who is remotely interested the new Mutual Investment Model that is going to be introduced in Scotland is also being introduced in Wales.

      It is not however being introduced in England.

      Sup it up Jock!

    116. Famous15 says:

      Reluctant Nationalist why not go the whole road and take your racist bigotry with you!

      Scott Balmer is not my favourite artist but celebrating Scottish joy and diversity for the Google Doodle is the message he wished to achieve for St Andrew’s Day. Good!

    117. John H. says:

      Dan. A touch of vaseline covering your door locks and all round your door seals will prevent sticking.

    118. Colin Alexander says:

      Robert J. Sutherland

      I would like to think, that it’s cos of many people like me on Wings and other blogs criticising SNP mistakes that has caused the SNP leadership to re-evaluate their strategy and put independence at the front of the SNP’s campaign this time around.

      I’m no a fake indy supporter. I have NEVER spoken against Scottish independence. I believe in Scottish independence 100% and no critic of my blog input, or other contributions to the indy debate can show a single post from me that even suggests otherwise.

      I AM an SNP supporter now. Primarily for independence.

      I’m SNP: Cos I want Scotland to be free.

      Vote SNP.

    119. Ghillie says:

      Dan @ 9.24 am

      There has to be something in that.

      We folk of Scotland have traditionally found ourselves preserved, kippered and been close to frozen through our interesting weather, which does fluctuate in its preferences through time.

      But jings it doesn’t half keep us on our toes!

      Wake up folks!

      Embrace what we are sent. Restaurant out. Cosy in. Look out for your neighbours.

      Independence is coming =)

    120. Gary45% says:

      Ian Brotherhood@4.47
      Sorry to hear about your relative.
      I am on the tablety thingy for a few days, intermittent Internet.

    121. Republicofscotland says:


      In effect it was in effect it was a complete genocide by the British empire.

      “The Tasmanian genocide (fl. 1826-1829) is where Whites from Britain wiped out nearly all the people of Tasmania, then called Van Diemen’s Land, now part of Australia. They sent the few hundred that remained to prison camps where they died of disease and despair. Truganini (pictured), the last full-blooded Tasmanian, died in 1876.”

      “In 1817 Whites discovered that Tasmanian lands were great for raising sheep. From 1819 to 1824 the British government took, without treaty or payment, huge amounts of Tasmanian land.”

      Sound familiar?

    122. Elmac says:

      Republicofscotland an others

      If ever proof was needed of the despicable evil of the British Empire then Tasmania is it. I was lucky enough to visit Tas last year and explore a lot of the island. A lovely part of the world, a much gentler landscape than Australia itself, but I never saw a black face in 1.5 weeks.

      You cannot turn back history but you can feel ashamed of our ancestors’ part in it, and there were a lot of Scots involved.

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