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The light at the end of the tunnel

Posted on November 24, 2016 by

We haven’t dignified the current media-imagined “crisis” in Scotland’s railways with coverage thus far, for obvious reasons, but it seemed worth briefly letting someone much better qualified to comment than us bring some perspective to the issue.


(From today’s Herald. Click to enlarge.)

Readers might well feel justified in wondering why it wasn’t until someone took it upon themselves to go to the trouble of writing to a newspaper, after days of sustained press hysteria, that some sane and balanced commentary on the situation appeared. But then again, if Mr Docherty’s expert opinion had been sought in the first place, we wouldn’t have been able to have a solid week of “SNP BAD” all over the airwaves.

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    1. 24 11 16 11:56

      The light at the end of the tunnel | speymouth

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      Hunting season « Wee Ginger Dug

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    125 to “The light at the end of the tunnel”

    1. Giesabrek says:

      Well, as you said Stu, we’ve had a solid week of SNPbaaad – job done by the MSM, regardless of the truth.

      And don’t think it’s lazy journalism, it’s deliberate in either printing lies or remaining ignorant.

    2. Macart says:

      Fair to say most folk were pretty much up on the political and meeja motives for the latest Essenpee badness. How and ever, nice to an informed expert opinion confirm that fact. 🙂

    3. Macart says:

      ‘to have an’

      Dang it! 😀

    4. Sinky says:

      I am sure we can rely on BBC TV six o clock news to interview Mr Docherty and use the highlighted quotes above which would be rather more informative than Brendan Rodgers telling us that Messi is the best footballer in the World.

    5. bobajock says:

      Oddly – I saw this one coming (like anyone else who knows the system) as soon as ‘trains’ got on the agenda.

      What confused me was the SNP reaction. It could have said ‘this^’ pretty much instantly as a parliamentary statement. Thereafter – unionists could confuse themselves with pointless rhetoric – as is their want.


    6. Peter A Bell says:

      The British Parties at Holyrood and their media accomplices are due Humza Yousaf a grovelling apology. It would be politic for the Transport Minister to accept this apology. The rest of us are under no such obligation. We have no reason to forgive those who bring our Parliament and our democracy into disrepute by their despicable conduct.

    7. heedtracker says:

      Has there ever been a benign political environment in the UK?

    8. Valerie says:

      Well done, Mr Docherty! A balanced, informative piece. Glad the Heral printed it at least!

      Good to see Stu picking it up too.

      Let’s hope this gent, of enormous experience, gets the airtime he deserves.

      This rail thing has been truly heinous. Of course all sane folk want the best services, but this episode has been a disgusting personal attack on a hard working Minister.

    9. potter says:

      Yup, 67% of Scotrails delays are caused by Network Rail, funny no one calling for Graylings head, given he is the Minister responsible.

    10. Bryan Weir says:

      I often wonder why it so often takes third parties like WoS to defend the Scottish government and its ministers. Are they incapable of doing this for themselves? Why on earth did Humza Yousaf not explain this when they were attacking him?

    11. Dr Jim says:

      Everybody and their pet bats know this is the usual political go at the SNP and those who don’t know are either stupid or conveniently didnae knows
      When the same RMT union guy (Jackie Baillie male clone) keeps turning up all over Scotland covering more miles than Liz McColgans training schedule it should begin to dawn on folk something’s not right about this

      I call this man Mr Hi Viz Picket line guy
      If there’s a picket line he’s on it telling us what a disaster the SNP are for Scotland

      If you cannae smell that you’ve gone nose blind

    12. Marcia says:

      If we had voted Yes in 2014 we would have a railway under public control. We didn’t, so it is still under the control of Westminster legislation that gives the Scotland Government a wee bit of railway freedom but not much.

    13. Cuilean says:

      Seven people died in the recent London tram horror but the UK BBC are not hounding the UK Minister of Transport to resign.

      Only in the Yoondom of Scotland are the people indoctrinated daily with a BBC anti- Scottish Government (i.e. anti-independence) narrative.

    14. gordoz says:

      Well done Rev for pointing this out and now that you have, this academic will be avoided like the plague by the TV stations as this comment does not fit the recognized SNPbaad agenda.

      Unlike in BBCland where a non academic, non Doctor type from Edinburgh; (simply called Scott) appears yet again masquerading as the reasonable man or member of the public with no axe to grind espouses supposed non aligned ‘joe public’ insight about how he’s now fed up with the SNP Govt for not protecting the public from a Westminster Budget.

      Get it (wink, wink)

    15. defo says:

      “Toxic political environment”
      Even the furriners see that now.
      More SNP BADS please, it’s working a treat.
      We can get on with the proper business of opposition politics after we win our freedom.

    16. Scott says:

      I would like someone to ask that barsteward Murdo if he agrees with this article and would he like to apologize to the Transport Minister no chance I suppose.

    17. Auld Rock says:

      Being of that age I first traveled daily from Greenock West to Glasgow when ‘steam’ ruled. As the line was being electrified we had a mix of clapped-out diesel multi-units and the remaining steam locos. Then the ‘magic’ Blue Trains. Throughout this period we had hold-ups and delays especially on Monday mornings and particularly during the period that they were lowering the track and installing the O/H catenary and which due to a geological fault resulted in a roof fall in the tunnel. The point of this is that after WW2 our railways were to put it mildly dilapidated and 60 years of Tory and Labour Governments did little to modernise except for a few piecemeal improvements.

      People who use the railways, know just those of us who use the NHS the situation most of us experience is generally good but NO organisation no matter how good can accurately predict when something is going to go wrong. As most Scots have at least a passing knowledge of engineering they are shrewd enough to understand the basic fact that if it’s mechanical it can break-down.

      Abellio’s problem seems to be just how they respond to a situation and believe you me ‘lack of information’ has been a problem since Noah was a lad and not just on the railways.

      Auld Rock

    18. Capella says:

      Well spotted. The naked propaganda motives of Labour and BBC Scotland must be evident to most of the public by now. That alone increases support for the SNP and the Scottish Government. Carry on recruiting MSM!

    19. Clootie says:

      …if journalism had not died the propaganda would have lost traction at the start.
      The article is too little,too late.

      A very basic investigation by our media would have killed the political spin ….but our media did not want to. That they did not want to report FACTS proves bias. I want old fashioned journalism that investigates and reports findings…one day this important craft will be recovered but it will take much, much longer to gain the trust of the public.

    20. carjamtic says:

      WoS always in the Eye of the Storm….thanks.



    21. Macnakamura says:

      38 degrees got the ball rolling first on this .

    22. DerekM says:

      Aye the latest yoon smear campaign of oh no doom gloom and disaster must be sacked for it SNP bad,remember on the day of the largest constitutional UK crisis Kez and her trains at FMQ`s and everybody was like wtf.

      Scottish red tory yoons up to their usual tricks lying their heads off trying to score political points and create deflection for their blue tory masters.

      I hear there is a post office angle being set up but how they switch tory bad to SNP bad on that one will be interesting to watch though i bet they have a bloody good try at it lol

    23. Auld Rock says:

      Meant to say, tunnel I was talking about was ‘The Fort Matilda Tunnel’, longest in Scotland.

      Auld Rock

    24. starlaw says:

      I think we all have Mr shouty guy from the RMT well sussed, its a pity the RMT membership don’t chuck this union dinosaur to where the rest of them went.
      People like him are the reason I walked away from unions years ago, its labour party first, union members being used to further the ambitions of a useless Labour Party in Scotland

    25. Scotland is up against the villainy of England. They are a devious and dangerous people. Constant vigilance is needed.
      Many thanks, Rev.

    26. Transport, Health, Education, our economy;
      Davidson, Dugdale, Rennie, and their gaggle of hangers on are basically liars, vandals, Unionist insurgents committed to destroying Scotland, our sovereignty, and visit harm and destruction on the citizens of Scotland, any way they can, because they are indoctrinated Brit fundamentalists, as brainwashed as ISIS terrorists,who will say anything, threaten anything, smear anyone, just to keep on the Yoon Payroll.
      BBC Scotland is on notice. Come independence,what will they do for a living?
      Meanwhile Harry is in the Caribbean on a Royal fucking visit.
      The world has reached tipping pointy.
      Scotland’s doin ok, despite your most malign efforts, Yoons.
      If you don’t like it move South to the Motherland and give us peace.

    27. Ruglonian says:

      I am entirely cynical about this whole thing.

      I think a number of people after the Holyrood elections identified a number of snp msps that were popular, reasonably high profile, relatively inexperienced, and now in ‘good jobs’ and waited for the opportunity to present itself.

      Humzas woes are a result of some ‘opposition’ msps getting delayed on trains going to work, rather than them having a bad experience in the casualty, with the emergency services, or some other element of devolved civic life that can be pinned on some other government minister.

      Anyway, the reason this has gone on so long is because they’ve struck gold with Humza – he ticks all the boxes for a target – his portfolio is something campaign worthy for next year’s elections, he’s popular with snp members so the online stramash with unionists is guaranteed, he’s not white working class so an element that want to point and tut at him are satisfactorily riled, and most importantly imo he’s not reacted brilliantly to this ‘crisis’.
      I think he’s been too nice, too accommodating to the media (rather than forcefully shutting down the story) and will be seen as the kind of weasel-worded politician that folk hate – this is his inexperience and desire to raise his profile showing, and that’s why this ‘crisis’ will be resurrected constantly until the next polling day – it’s an easy thing to shout about now for the opposition and media 🙁

    28. Robert Peffers says:

      Most of the readership, and commenters, on Wings know the truth.

      I say most as I’m personally deeply suspicious of some here, who claim to be supporters of independence but who frequently, and pointedly, lambaste the SNP for not doing enough.

      However, we are all also well aware that the Yoon Loon parties also have their own agendas to follow. They are backed to the hilt by those Yoon Loon organs that laughingly tell us they are the Scottish Media.

      Then we also have what the Westminster Establishment would have us believe are The Secretary of State FOR Scotland who is very obviously their chosen weapon to use AGINST Scotland.

      This last is ably assisted by the only non-SNP MPs of the WTA, (Westminster Troughers Alliance), (©).

      The only people in Scotland that believe these anti-independence liars are those Scottish sheeple still espousing the unionist parties and who sleepily are totally incapable of thinking for, and by, themselves.

      However, the general trend of opinion indicates these are all members of a dying breed of sheep that will soon be replaced by the traditionally hardier Scottish bred flock.

    29. galamcennalath says:

      There’s one thing worse that SNPBad, and that’s Yoon pundits who try to deny the phenomenon by claiming it’s Indy supporters who won’t accept criticism of the SNP.

      SNPBad is not criticism, it’s vast exaggeration of something minor at best or total fabrication at worst and therefore NOT holding to account.

    30. call me dave says:

      Excellent article, but the pale Trogan horse has bolted although this goes some way to redress the issue.

      Humza Yousafis is the latest in a long line of SG ministers to be targeted by BBC shortbread and the rest of the MSM.

      Their unionist helpers then carry the fight directly into the Holyrood chamber to whinge and pour scorn from the opposition benches for our delight on a Thursday at FMQs.

      Trouble is, that penny has dropped, most of the interested public know the routine.

      Trains, boats and next up will be planes as the APD has been left in the long grass by Westminster in the budget ready to be used to scupper any plans the SG may have to reduce the tax.

      I half expected the Hammond organ to cancel the tax altogether yesterday… but no.


      More shroud waving in the Hootsman and ‘city deals’ are good!.

    31. Graf Midgehunter says:

      12.00 FMQs live.

      Don’t ruin your eyes by using the BBC.


    32. call me dave says:

      Dang! Sorry Macart 🙂

      Forgot to post link: Business started and FMQs at noon.

    33. Sunniva says:

      Well said Iain Docherty. He calls it out for what it is – ‘it would be polite to call it duplicitous’.

    34. Robert Peffers says:


      None of my comments over the last two days seem to have arrived on Wings. Either that or Rev Stu has banned me.

    35. Fred says:

      Zoomer Murdo Fraser judging by his CV, apparently hasn’t even ran as much as a wulk stall!

    36. Proud Cybernat says:

      ‘scairwaves’ (c) Proud Cybernat.

    37. Black Joan says:

      Well said, Iain Docherty.

      A proper newspaper, interested in reporting the truth, would not wait a week and then confine this authoritative writer within a column labelled “for outside contributors” — as if it is something slightly dodgy to be held at arm’s length.

      Iain Docherty’s message cannot be repeated too often. Major’s government drew up the idiotically complex sell-off and Bliar gave early warning of his troubled relationship with the truth by reneging on his promise to reverse privatisation. The regiments of lawyers and accountants required to create and oversee the contracts, and the fat-cat, monopolistic rolling stock leasing companies (including big banks, I believe), were hugely enriched.

      Wingers are wise to all this, but others will have imbibed the message that the MSM has been flogging all week: SNP BAD. Job done.

    38. ClanDonald says:

      For those who haven’t seen it, here’s the link to the Office of Rail and Road report which proves that trains in Scotland are performing 5% better under the SNP than they did under the previous Labour / Lib Dem administrations:

      They average around 90-91%. Before, under the unionists it was about 84-85%. Yet the unionist parties are demanding Humza Yousaf’s resignation. Pathetic, isn’t it?

    39. Neil Cook says:

      Just waiting for the red & blue Tories to bring out their eminent Professor with the macky on degrees from Oxford & Cambridge to debunk the article as per normal practice.
      As the writer has called them out I imagine his coat is on a shoogly peg.

    40. orri says:

      If I was paranoid I’d wonder at a maintenance engine strategically taking out overhead lines the day after things had almost settled down again. Didn’t realise Network Rail wasn’t devolved. But there’s fuck all Scotrail can do if the lines are down other than sue for loss of earnings due to network failures.

    41. Legerwood says:

      Well done to Mr Docherty for pointing out the obvious with regard to the trains and well done to all those who made these points, and more, time and time again in the comments section of the newspapers over the course of the week. I include myself many their number.

      But the question surely must be: why did the minister not make the points right at the beginning? Why did he not defend the work the Scottish Government’s record with regards to the rail network and all the improvements taking place on it? Improvements that any reasonable person can see will take time?

      The Minister’s defence of his brief and of the Government’s record would have been easy to make but he fluffed it.

    42. Dan Huil says:

      Well done Mr Docherty. The britnat bbc will ignore him of course. More britnat desperation to follow. No white Christmas?! SNPbaaaaaad.

    43. Stoker says:

      Has anyone called out the Slabber twat who announced the cancellation of a non-existent train journey schedule? I believe it was the failed teacher come brickie (lego probably) N.Findlay?

    44. Cadogan Enright says:

      Please share this appeal to raise funds to produce 50,000 professionally made DVDs in a special folder aimed at people who would not ordinarily question the political output of BBC Scotland.

      Also, see post at 11.52 above – the Prof has published figures showing Scotrail outperforming trains in England and Wales

    45. Doug says:

      This is another example what many of us assume is poor defending by the SNP to counter act the torrent of blame apportioning from the unionist parties by simply providing facts and evidence.

      However I wonder if this is actually a long game by the SNP by allowing the unionist parties and media to gather as much rope as they demand to blame the SNP for problems which are nothing to do with the SNP but are often Westminster reserved etc. Thus when the truth comes to light after a few days of bashing away and the SNP are exonerated by facts and figures aka truth and the media eventually have to accept they (media) are incorrect – it is creating a narrative which is actually benifical to the long term goal.

      The Media and Unionist Parties are regularly found to be crying wolf.

      If those of us who can see through the wolf crying at the start step in and disprove the claims it doesn’t allow time for those who are not as observant to also digest and come to their own conclusions. It is after all easier to convince someone that their opinion is correct if they think they have come to their opinion themselves.

      Just a thought.

    46. Gary45% says:

      Thanks for putting this on Stu,
      Just like the constant kicking of the Police, NHS etc, the Yoons are making an erse of themselves over this, they STILL DON’T GET IT, and never will.
      Had a wee discussion with 2 Naysayer/Brexiteers this morning at work.
      A WBB and some WoS a4 fact sheets will be posted to them shortly.
      They had no idea what its all about, 2 future converts? maybees Aye?
      “Guns” Jong Un should be a laugh on FMQs, showing us her only reason for being,
      ” disappearing up her own erse, whilst mumbling SNP Baad.”
      Hopefully get it on Yatube tonight.

    47. Greannach says:

      Stoker @ 12:29

      I think it was MSP Neil Findlay who complained about the non-arrival of a non-existent train.

      Of course he is one of the Branch’s, indeed Europe’s, leading political thinkers, so his complaint must be valid.

    48. Vegan god says:

      I get why commentators think the SNP don’t make a robust defence when nonsense like the transport non issue gets pushed by the yoonatics and msm. My view is that it probably wouldn’t make much difference. Better to try and maintain dignity. Fighting back just allows yoonatics an opportunity to keep the story running. Vigorous defence looks like they got to you. Better to just move on.

    49. Bob Mack says:

      It goes beyond the pale to believe that a Senior figure of the RMT did not know that different aspects of the rail network were the responsibility of various departments.
      He would know them intimately and yet here we had him mouthing off at the service and at the SNP for failing to give the contract to public service,which he also knew was limited by the tender process.

      There are many ordinary workers who are led by dyed in the wool Labourites. I have always maintained the Union leaders are a threat to the independence movement as they primarily choose to affiliate to Labour who have set their hat against independence. My own cousin went to Parliament on a Labour ticket ,being a union convenor

      Unions are a great thing ,but Co- joining with political parties is not.

    50. Macart says:

      @call me dave


      Out of house today, but thanks anyway. Glad to see you’re keeping better.

    51. Sinky says:

      Yet again BBC have two yoons to discuss FMQs

    52. Stoker says:

      Greannach @ 12:44 pm:

      Thank you for the confirmation.
      Aye, as valid as a return ticket on Thomas the Tank Engine.

    53. ronnie anderson says:

      Notice from the Wheeltappers and Shunters Club.

      On entry please leave your bogie’s in the car park alang wie yer grease guns, more importantly Nae BLIS or TORIES welcome.

      Humsa Yousaf yer oan Free Membership fur Life.

    54. Desimond says:

      I dont think this has shown Humza in any bad light or shown any inexperience.
      The problem the opposition and media have is when they complain about stuff, the SNP say “Oh interesting, lets have a look see and see what we can do”…

      Action over angst.

      If its not NHS Scotland, its something else, now the trains…they want a public fight so they get headlines (James kelly sigh!) and seem important, the SNP just play rope a dope and work on the issues while the opposition shout out into the wind and the public increasingly see them as vassals.

      Soon there will be nothing left and that is when the attacks will come from Humza and friends. Nicola im sure is playing long game strategy.

      Watching Mags Curran try to edge her way back into profile the other night on BBC2 using Ralways Non Issue was evidence enough to me that theyre almost at rock bottom.

      Desimond (a neigbouring Toryglenner)

    55. Free Scotland says:

      @Doug at 12:39

      Yes, I agree. It’ll all come back to haunt them sometime soon, possibly in the form of a booklet with the title: “101 reasons to distrust the unionist media.”

    56. Fred says:

      Zoomer, Murdo Fraser taunting the FM over the Brexiteers sitting behind her. My own MSP is in enough trouble but I would never vote for anybody who voted Brexit. Just sayin!

    57. Dr Jim says:

      It’s coming up to winter so the knives will be out over NHS A&E figures next or delayed discharge numbers for older folk
      or people slipping on pavements,…OooH!

      If only we had power over pavements
      Still I suppose we could put up road signs to remind people to be careful on pavements,

      We’ve got full unadulterated and complete power over road signs…Now that’s what I call the most powerful devolved parliament in the known universe

    58. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Orri 12.15 Like you I fail to see why a Maintenance Crew ‘d train would pulldown live overhead wires , as I understand it there would be a Guard on a Maintenance train , who should make sure his train is safe to move. We’ll just have to wait on the enquire to see what occurred.

    59. call me dave says:

      ‘Institute of Fiscal Studies’ analysis of the Autumn (winter) statement seems to point out that it’s the worst for folk since the 1920’s.

      The bottom 30% of population UK wide will suffer the most and precisely the group that Theresa May promised to help in closing the gap between rich and poor.

      Lots of JAMs coalescing now in the UK wondering “How did we get here”.

      Norman Smith, Aunties darn Sarf correspondent, asks the nation on Auntie’s tv and radio, do you trust Theresa May or not?

      Well I just watched FMQs and I know who I trust.

      Independence asap please!

      Bigging up ‘The National’ on the Beattie Programme but he’s not too happy about it. 🙂

    60. Robert Peffers says:

      @call me dave says: 24 November, 2016 at 11:34 am:

      ” … I half expected the Hammond organ to cancel the tax altogether yesterday… but no.”

      Aye! Call me Dave, and we all know which, “Organ”, that guy is.

      Mind you there are several free choices that I have seen used on social media to describe him. Prick, dick and fanny are the more mild versions but by far the most commonly used starts with the letter, “C”, and it sure ain’t cat.

      call me dave says:
      24 November, 2016 at 11:34 am
      Excellent article, but the pale Trogan horse has bolted although this goes some way to redress the issue.
      Humza Yousafis is the latest in a long line of SG ministers to be targeted by BBC shortbread and the rest of the MSM.
      Their unionist helpers then carry the fight directly into the Holyrood chamber to whinge and pour scorn from the opposition benches for our delight on a Thursday at FMQs.
      Trouble is, that penny has dropped, most of the interested public know the routine.
      Trains, boats and next up will be planes as the APD has been left in the long grass by Westminster in the budget ready to be used to scupper any plans the SG may have to reduce the tax.
      I half expected the Hammond organ to cancel the tax altogether yesterday… but no.
      More shroud waving in the Hootsman and ‘city deals’ are good!.

      Graf Midgehunter says:

    61. Flower of Scotland says:

      Saw this earlier on Twitter.

      Thanks for highlighting it.

      Wonder what SNP MSP will be targeted next week?

    62. Robert Peffers says:

      Oops! Now I have the answer to my previous test that I posted. I need to reinstall Microsoft Edge as it has become corrupted. It won’t allow me to search the pages or the site and I cannot cut, delete or paste within the browser.

    63. Dr Jim says:


      Three, if you count Brian Taylor whos job is to remind the other two Yoons of more SNP Baad things to say and then reword what they did say to make it sound even worse

      When the SNP were first elected Brian Taylor did a seminar for “Journalists” on how they should set about tripping the SNP up and there’s a video of part of it somewhere that a less than partisan real journalist filmed on his phone
      with Brian Taylor pointer in hand laying out how to do it with the aid of notes and a whiteboard

      Filmed inside BBC Pacific Quay, although I’m definitely not implying the BBC are biased in any way shape or form, It’s just sometimes they’re mistaken or the context of their reporting is something we lesser folk can’t seem to grasp as It’s beyond our understanding of the complete picture and political dynamic

      N ah toally get tha so ah dae, Duuuhh

    64. Robert Peffers says:

      If anyone was waiting for a reply from me on the forum, I did reply but my browser had become corrupted and I have now reinstalled it.

    65. liz says:

      Great having that letter.

      Yoon gormless fool, James Kelly has been bleating on – having to stand on a crowded train, etc.

      I detest the various shades of Tories at Holyrood.

      On the previous thread there was a mention of ‘post truth’ being spread on social media when we know it’s actually the corp media, BBC etc who are lying

    66. yerkitbreeks says:

      Sanity – but lo, Professor Docherty seems to be putting his head above the parapet.

    67. HandandShrimp says:

      Didn’t catch the FMQ today but if Kezia was still rabbiting about trains the day after the OBR forecasts and Westminster Autumn Statement then she needs her butt kicked by her own people.

      Most delays are caused by lines, points and signals. That is Rail Track’s responsibility. RT are already under public ownership. Most people know that. I haven’t heard anyone blame the Government for these delays on my daily commute. Most of us are well aware that this is an infrastructure issue and decades of underfunding.

    68. call me dave says:

      Och! James Kelly. He made me smile as he ‘called’ on the FM to take action on unwanted calling…the irony! 🙂

      Anyhoo! It’s the most sensible thing he has raised in Holyrood for a while to be fair.

      Jings…I must stop taking these red tablets

      Then we had Murdo extolling the Autumn statement and then the FM replying, regretting the fact that he once had ambitions to be a serious politician.

      Both Ruthless and Deputy Deadwood ignoring the real story yesterday which was the disaster of the UK finances and instead decide to play with their train-set. Says it all really. 🙁

    69. john young says:

      An American journalist summed it all up about the msn Charles Hegge or something like that,vested interests rule there are no or very little in the way of truthful reporting,most of the journos pool info garnered from 3rd/4th parties,as long as it is in line with the views of the owners/establishment it,s ok all else is blanked.

    70. Greannach says:

      Desimond @ 1:06

      I saw Margaret Curran on TV desperately trying to get a profile. I suppose when you’re Margaret Curran any profile is better than the complete obscurity she has plunged herself into.

      I would like to see her having a higher profile so voters could remind themselves why they didn’t choose her to represent them.

      For me, the top ten moments of Ms Curran’s Comedy Cavalcade of a career were:
      1. Her inability to button up her coat;
      2. Publicising her cardboard cut-out supporters (Doctor Who);
      3. Trying to use the word “Realpolitik” in an interview;
      4. Her enduring friendship with Johann Lamont;
      5. Voting in support of George Osborne’s budget;
      6. Voting in support of the benefits cap;
      7. Voicing her dislike/fear/disdain of foreigners;
      8. Appearing in publicity shots with Eggie Murphy;
      9. Twisting her neck to look adoring into Ed Miliband’s eyes;
      10. Cheering the election UKIP’s candidate to the Euro Parliament.

    71. heedtracker says:

      BBC Politics
      1 hr ·
      “We are not going to plan for something which we do not want to happen” says Lib Dem Alistair Carmichael on civil service planning.

      Worth an iplayer watch later, Carmicheal today monsters tory lack of Brexit plan, before and after referendum. Fun to watch though, as Carmicheal neatly segues his schtick between absolutely no Scottish independence 2014 planning whatsover, and all because him and “did not want it to happen.”

      Only yoon culture can produce chancers like these guys.

    72. Grendel says:

      starlaw says:

      24 November, 2016 at 11:20 am

      I think we all have Mr shouty guy from the RMT well sussed, its a pity the RMT membership don’t chuck this union dinosaur to where the rest of them went.
      People like him are the reason I walked away from unions years ago, its labour party first, union members being used to further the ambitions of a useless Labour Party in Scotland

      As an RMT union Rep can I point out that the RMT haven’t called for anyone to be sacked. The only union leader who has is Whelan of ASLEF.

    73. heedtracker says:

      Just the usual stitch up going back, way back really.

      Plea for new rail powers hits the buffers
      Calls for additional powers to be given to the Scottish Parliament which would have helped deliver a “rail revolution” north of the border have been rejected by the UK Government.

    74. Chic McGregor says:

      Did we ever have an anagram comp. for

      Alistair Carmichael?

      If not, I give you:

      Liar McLiar is a cheat.

    75. JLT says:

      Detest our national media. Absolutely detest it!

      Honestly, if we gained independence, I would sure that half of these clowns would never again be allowed to get away with half of the drivel that they write.

      As to the opposition, shame on them also. Self-serving needs rather than discuss the issue in a honest way.

    76. Proud Cybernat says:

      “Use the Powers”

      ‘Rood Almighty – The Most Powerfullestest Parliament in the Whole of the Known Universe EVER (rail network powers excepted)’

    77. heedtracker says:

      Liar McLiar is a cheat.

      What a nerve he’s got. Westminster’s got some of the world’s greatest and most awful bullshit arteests!

      “Tony Blair
      Tony Blair: Brexit could be stopped if Britons change their minds
      Former PM marks political comeback with interview, but says there is ‘too much hostility’ for him to return to frontline”

      Graun. NO links the PNR, if that’s ok.

      Is there anyone more capable of making Brexit worse, swinging teamGB more UKIPerish?

    78. galamcennalath says:

      Greannach says:

      moments of Ms Curran’s Comedy Cavalcade of a career

      … also….

      ) She appeared unable to answer any question put to her. At first I thought this was just political evasion, but then I realised she often didn’t actually understand the questions!

      ) Her ill mannered shouty behaviour. A stairheid rammy was right.

      IMO one of Scotland’s poorest politicians of recent times, and there were plenty to choose from!

    79. Lochside says:

      Humza to me has always looked weak and appointed above his ability.However,he has been scapegoated in this fabricated BBC led and Unionist inspired ‘crisis’. But is it beyond him to have defended himself and the SG with a few of the salient points made in this article?I get the impression of a panicked response instead on his part of promising nationalisation. .which would be great but is impossible for Scotland at the moment and sounded implausible and desperate.

    80. Proud Cybernat says:

      If there is any SLabour politician who so perfectly exemplifies that party’s brazen culture of self-entitlement and privilege (whilst giving their electorate hee-haw in return), you would be hard pushed to find a better specimen than Magrit Pat Curran. GYTF hen.

    81. heedtracker says:

      Lochside says:
      24 November, 2016 at 2:47 pm
      Humza to me has always looked weak and appointed above his ability.

      You have got to give people the chance to grow and get experience in their MSP jobs. They’re in a unique, new democracy and two parliaments to contend with.

    82. mr thms says:

      The BBC in Scotland has neglected to mention Network Rail by name in these articles on the subject..

      “Scottish rail passengers are being warned to expect disruption as upgrade work begins across the network.

      ScotRail said a revised timetable would come into place on 22 October, lasting until December.”

      “Transport Minister Humza Yousaf has told MSPs that “ScotRail has learned lessons” following a series of problems on Scotland’s railways.

      In an emergency statement at Holyrood, he apologised to rail passengers who have been affected by disruption.”

      I also missed the start of FMQT and i’m wondering if any of the leaders of any the parties mentioned Network Rail today?

    83. heraldnomore says:

      Good chat with Cosgrove and O’Neill on The National’s 2nd birthday on the Beattie show, after FMQs, with the host confessing to not reading the paper (which might explain a lot and surprise no one).

    84. heraldnomore says:

      And if you haven’t already then Craig Dalzell’s response to comment on his GERS paper is well worth a read:

    85. Robert Louis says:

      Honestly, the London Government yesterday told us the economy is about to go to hell in a handcart due to brexit, and we have frankly incompetent MSPs from Labour, and (using a phrase I saw elsewhere) ‘post-truth Ruth’ Davidson wittering on about trains instead.

      Fact is Queen street station is being upgraded. the glasgow Edinburgh line is being upgraded. There is a new train station being built on the outskirts of Edinburgh, and the rolling stock is being updated and upgraded. This is what is going on. Other problems have been caused by Network Rail, which is under the control of Westminster. Almost all the major delays can be attributed to those things.

      Silly unionists and the blatantly biased BBC will carry on blaming the SNP. Morons, the lot of them.

      Improvements include the following;

      150 single track km of new electrified railway

      One new station. Edinburgh gateway (Gogar)

      Three completely redeveloped stations, Cumbernauld, Haymarket and Queen Street

      One new electric depot, Millerhill

      Platform extensions at four stations, Linlithgow, Polmont, Falkirk High and Croy

      42 minute fastest journey time on the E&G line

      30% increase in capacity by 2019

      I’ll eat my hat, if I see the BBC in Scotland running all that tonight as their main news item, to explain some of the delays. Much easier to just say ‘SNP BAAAAD’.

      All details publicly available at

    86. Ronnie says:

      In November 2015 ScotRail’s performance was 83.3% while so far this month performance is sitting at 87%. This is a significant improvement on last year and better than the UK average of 85.1% for November.

      So far this year ScotRail have achieved 89.8% punctuality which is 1.1% short of their contractual obligation. There are 13 train operators in the UK that are performing worse than ScotRail and 9 that are better.

      ScotRail staff are mystified where this apparent ‘crisis’ is coming from. It is clear that it has been manufactured but someone but is it being used as a vehicle to drive nationalisation or as a stick to beat the Scottish Government? In any case rail franchising is reserved to Westminster so the railway can’t simply be nationalised (though the Scottish Government may submit a bid for the franchise when it comes up for renewal). The infrastructure is owned, operated and maintained by Network Rail which is an arms length body of the UK Department for Transport.

    87. liz says:

      Now Guardian Yoon in chief, Severen is on the case, producing a graph showing Scot Rail’s worsening performance.

    88. Dave Robb says:

      Not too much o/t-

      Amid much falsehood the SNP is attacked over Scotrail performance.

      The genuine incompetence and short-sightedness by Tories and Labour from 1993 – 2003 to plan and fund enough new rolling stock is the ONLY reason for the current rolling-stock shortage. It also caused havoc and unemployment in firms building railway stock.

      This is why every unit damaged in collisions or accident is rebuilt and put back in-service – there aren’t any spare ones.

      The situation WILL ease from 2017-18 even if the Scottish Government does absolutely nothing that it has not already done.

      The shortage is so acute that there is fighting in England’s regions over who gets the small number of units to be transferred from Scotland, in order for Scotland to get a larger number of new units and to be allowed to increase total stock by hanging on to most of the older ones.

      In other news Glasgow will get a new tram-train. This is not as simple as Frank Macaveety (sic).

      At the moment there is a standard service of at least 8 trains per hour between Glasgow Central and Paisley Gilmour street, 6 of which are non-stop running at up to 75 mph. 2 more stop at local stations on the way. They accelerate slower than trams between stops. In addition 2 trains run on the other branch to Paisley Canal for part of the route. it is mostly single-track in each direction, no chance to overtake.

      The 2 Councils are delighted to announce 4 tram-trains a hour into the mix. What is their maximum speed? It’s not impossible, but it’s certainly not going to be simple nor without consequences.

      A tram-train is NOT a cheap way of getting train services. It can get a rail service into town centre streets or tunnels as a pre-metro. It has capacity and speed constraints, more so if it is looked at as a cheap option to avoid capital expenditure.
      European cities generally have wider streets and greater commitment to social transport. Their railways often have multiple tracks and flyovers. The UK generally does things 20-30 years late and without spending enough.

      The heavy rail option was expensive. I disagreed with the cancellation. I also thought it was wrongly planned as a businessman’s trip to central Glasgow line and not a line to serve people in grater Glasgow. Much better to have linked it into Glasgow Crossrail though the City centre to Airdrie, Cumbernauld, Falkirk and Edinburgh.

      However, this ain’t going to happen now.

      The current plan has got the attention of Glasgow’s Labour councillors. It is difficult to think of a group of people less likely or less competent to plan in detail for the benefit of the public at large.

      Yet they are to deliver this vital link effectively, on time and on budget. Dream on!

    89. Dan Huil says:

      To me it’s always a good sign when britnat politicians and the britnat media become obsessed with their own propaganda. They say there’s a crisis so therefore there must be a crisis therefore they have to keep chuntering on about that so-called crisis because to stop would be to tacitly admit there was no crisis to begin with. Britnats are disappearing up there own backside.

    90. Macart says:


      Not particularly shocked to hear any of that Ronnie. TBH soon as the usual suspects started screaming catastrophe and demanding resignations, I wandered off to do some essential sock drawer maintenance.

      I think I even managed a few levels of the DOOM BFG edition (getting addicted to the young Macs console games) and made some baking for the freezer over the past few days.

      Anyroads, toenails next (giving me gyp something awful right now) and I might have time after that for quiet snooze. 🙂

    91. Dr Jim says:

      @James Westland

      Yes that’s the main part, but there’s another part you don’t see in this video that was not shown but was filmed by phone
      and that’s the juicy bit

    92. bjsalba says:

      Macnakamura is right, it was 38 degrees that started this off.

      Used to sign their stuff regularly, but now I wouldn’t touch them with a bargepole. I regard them as Labour shills.

    93. galamcennalath says:

      Scotland’s immigrant beavers are to be allowed to stay. Cool. Do they get to vote in IndyRef2?

    94. Chic McGregor says:

      Well, we have our next one, with the organisers of T-in-the-Park cancelling this years’s event, it will be:

      “Why didn’t the Scottish Government give the organisers financial support?” 😉

    95. I’ve just caught with FMQ. I stand by my earlier statement. The Unionist Better Together are as effective as a fish riding a bike.
      Dugdale and Davidson, the Double D of Better Together joined forces in bombasting meaningless rants about the rail service, which served only to illustrate what a waste of oxygen they are.
      Cole Hamilton wanted the Administration to intervene and stop Edinburgh Council building houses, despite a Lib Dem oft repeated mantra to drive decision making down to local level, and Murdo The Queen’s Eleven smirking and laughing his way through Tory Tossery abut what a wonderful Autumn Statement Hammond delivered yesterday.
      They are of course, demob happy already. Only two weeks to go, and it’s off on their holidays.
      They do not give a damn, and it is clear that only the Greens remain in the Real World, although PH and his little quorum need to live in the real world, rather than tout for Long Term Green policies all the time.
      The SNP budget on the 15th of December should be interesting.
      Labour to abstain, again?
      45 minutes is far too long, BTW.
      Still it gave the Tory Boys more exposure, laughing their fucking heads off and wagging their fingers in the direction of the Administration.
      I see the Referee made it back safely from Portugal.

    96. Yesterday when I was out campaigning in the local council by election here in Levenmouth in Fife.

      I had a older man claim the SNP couldn’t the railways.

      So I challenged him to provide examples of his assertions
      in regard to the railways, he couldn’t, all I got from him is that it’s in the newspapers.

    97. Sorry that should have been run the railways

    98. Sinky says:

      Robert Louis says @ 3.21 pm:

      Just heard extended rant on rail “crisis” from Kezia Dugdale on Radio Shortbread but no coverage of NicolaSturgeon’s reponse on the huge investment in rail system.

    99. S says:

      Dave Robb

      Interesting post Dave. I noticed you raised the issue of a “Glasgow Crossrail” – I have long thought, one of the biggst failings of an integrated transport system in Scotland is just that, the lack of a Crossrail link in Glasgow.

      When the railways were nationalised in 1947, Glasgow had termini at Central, St Enoch, Buchanan Street and Queen Street High Level. If you were going north to south or west to east, (0ther than on the Helensburgh to Glasgow service) you had to get from either of the first two termini to one of the other two.

      Seventy years on, even though St Enoch and Buchanan Street have been closed, this unsatisfactory system still applies. I remember, back in the 1960s, there was talk of building a central rail hub on the old High Street goods yard, nothing came of it.

      A central hub would be of more use than a direct rail link from Glasgow to the airport.

      Even if there has to be a direct link from Central, using the Gallowhill spur, would, to me, make more sense than a tram service from Gilmour Street. There already is, of course, a shuttle bus service from Gilmour Street to the airport, and a good service it is too. A tram line is, to me, a very-expensive replacement for this.

      Also, if you are travelling to and from the airport and points north and east of Glasgow, the 500 express bus from Buchanan Street is by far the best option.

      As for Glasgow’s Labour Councillors delivering the new link. If the signs are right, it will not be down to them, since McAveety and his gang will be looking for a new sinecure post the May Council elections.

      I occasionally have cause to attend a somewhat boozy lunch in Paisley. Using my free bus pass – I get the express bus from here in darkest Ayrshire to Buchanan Street, then take the 500 from Buchanan Street to the airport, where I nip onto the shuttle bus to Gilmour Street. Easy-peasy, fast, comfortable and trouble-free.

    100. twathater says:

      Watched FM questions at lunchtime, I really despair at the calibre and sanity of the opposition, especially as there were visiting dignitaries in the VIP area, my god what must they have been thinking listening to the garbage and drivel spouted by Jaba, Kelly, WATP Fraser and Ruthenfuhrer ,BTW RUTH I am sure your ample salary would allow you to buy clothes that actually fit you.
      The lot of you are an absolute disgrace and embarrassment to the people of Scotland.I would ask that the opposition at least put forward credible humans to ask questions of the SG not the current crop of mumbling sectarian zombies from both sides
      Afterwards listening to tooreloo the pishtalker (BTW I am sure your beeb salary would allow you to buy a jaikit that fits ) he and his fellow media munchkins were finding it extremely hard to find something or anything to pin SNPBAAAAD on

    101. bjsalba says:

      @heedtracker at 4 November, 2016 at 2:38 pm
      Is there anyone more capable of making Brexit worse, swinging teamGB more UKIPerish?


    102. For the n to the nth time, and sorry I am going to shout.


      DO IT, DO IT NOW!

    103. Proud Cybernat says:

      Ah well – ‘T in the Park’ cancelled next year–taking a year off for a break because of the challenges of last year. Osprey nests and flooding at last year’s event. No doubt more SNP Baaad propaganda coming up on a BBC TV screen near you soon.


    104. yesindyref2 says:

      Exactly. Yousaf is being too nice, and needs to ahve more confidence in himself. The problem with the opposition is that they don’t really care about the railways, it’s possible that Abellio are the best thing since sliced bread for the rail service, there’s not been enough time to tell.

      The target for puncuality by the way is from memory 91.1% within 5 minutes. Achieved is 89.8%. So all this indignation is over missing the target so far by 1.2%.

    105. yesindyref2 says:

      Didn’t really see anything about that one, but a couple of nights ago there was a big digger on the tracks outside my unit with a long arm, that could take them down if it went too high, and other times they’ve been out there cutting trees – a tree could take out the overheads, specially if it was on an embankment There’s a lot of light, but it’s still basically dark when they’re working! These things happen.

    106. Macart says:

      Anyone watching or listening to early evening news?

      I have it on good authority that apparently both the OBR and IFS are talkin’ pure pish. Ayup, apparently they’re only think tanks and forecasts are just that forecasts, speculations. Near choked oan mah fruit scone.

      There’s gratitude fur ye.

      Brexit is proving somewhat divisive between the money world, the Brexiteer politicians, the media and HMG cabinet.

      Narratives not quite matching are they? All not well in better together land then?

      Oh dear. Oh deary me.

    107. Cuilean says:

      This time last year the Forth Road Bridge’s unforeseen closure had the Yoons’ all howling doom, with BBC Scotland drumming up nightly complaints.

      This year’s run up to Christmas and the BBC are leading the charge regarding trains running late.

      Must be a Yoon Christmas thing.

      BBC Reporting Scotland & Prof Tomkins’s motley crew must scour the Scottish weather forecasts, praying for blizzards to close roads & train tracks, to blame on the SNP.

      ‘It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Third Class’.

    108. mr thms says:

      Please share…

      On BBC Scotland news, at half past one today, there was an item about a rail connection to Glasgow Airport.

      It mentioned a previous Glasgow Airport Railway Link was scrapped.

      This is a report about it from the time..

      Actually it was the final section of the project, a spur from Paisley to Glasgow Airport, that was cancelled.

      The Scottish Government still went ahead with the Paisley Corridor Improvement Project

      “The £170m PCI project was funded by Network Rail and Transport Scotland under the Glasgow Airport Rail Link Act of 2007. The project was completed in 2012.”

      This new announcement today is therefore for the completion of the final section of the project started by the Scottish Government, the spur from Paisley to Glasgow Airport.

    109. Macart says:


      “Scotland’s immigrant beavers are to be allowed to stay. Cool. Do they get to vote in IndyRef2?”

      Well I’ll be dammed! 🙄

    110. Ron Maclean says:

      I’m surprised the First Minister didn’t quote Professor Docherty at FMQs today. I can understand her not bothering to read The Herald but surely she follows Wings Over Scotland and Peter A Bell.

    111. Iain says:

      Surprise, surprise, the yoons are caught out lying again. Meanwhile the bbc ignores world news again. It’s headline news was Russian bombing in Syria yet total news blackout about the 73 innocent deaths caused by American bombing two days later.

    112. Capella says:

      O/T BBC reporting on worldwide TV hit series they won’t broadcast – again.

      “Outlander wins Book Week Scotland vote
      Readers have voted Outlander as the best book set in Scotland or by a Scottish author to be adapted for television or film.
      The Book Week Scotland poll saw 65% of almost 5,200 votes cast go to US author Diana Gabaldon’s series of stories…

      Among readers’ reasons for choosing Outlander was its strong female lead and the use of Gaelic and the Scottish landscape…

      The TV adaption of Outlander has been shown in the US by Starz and in the UK on Amazon Prime.”

    113. Tinto Chiel says:


      Good news about Outlander, eh?

      Mrs TC and I were in Germany last month and were talking to the charming hotel owner about Brexit and our magic 62%. He liked Scotland and said his favourite programme was Outlander. Of course, I had to explain it was not available on terrestrial TV here and the reasons for it.

      “Die Englaender sind deppen,” says he.

      Who were we to disagree?

      Every little helps.

    114. Ken500 says:

      A few rail workers are sabotaging their industry because of their affiliations to the Labour Party. They complain about matters that are not devolved. The SNP Gov are investing £Millions trying to improve the system.

      On the whole the staff do a really good job and the railways run efficiently. There will be major improvements. Cuts in journey times. They are coming.

    115. Legerwood says:

      Proud Cybernat says:
      24 November, 2016 at 5:05 pm
      “”Ah well – ‘T in the Park’ cancelled next year–taking a year off for a break because of the challenges of last year. Osprey nests and flooding at last year’s event. No doubt more SNP Baaad propaganda coming up on a BBC TV screen near you soon.



      I expect the opposition parties will go big on this because the Scottish Government gave them £150,000 – I think that was the sum – to help with the expenses etc of the move. Fiona Hyslop was attacked right left and centre for it until someone pointed out that Labour when in power at Holyrood had also given the organisers money.

      If I remember correctly the money from the Scottish Government came with a claw back clause if the event did not go ahead. I hope Ms Hyslop remembers that and is ready to face the all too predictable onslaught over the next few days.

    116. Ken500 says:

      Holyrood FM ‘questions?’ Should be changed back to half an hour. That is enough of the ‘opposition’ most folk can stand. Including barbie Ken who dislikes Scottish voices on BBC Scotland.

    117. yesindyref2 says:

      BBC Celebrity Antiques Road Trip: “So here we are at the headquarters of the RSPCA, Britain’s best loved …”

      No it isn’t, it’s England and Wales, in Scotland we have the SSPCA. No wonder so many charities in Scotland are pro-Indy, they lose contributions because of the EWBC. In Northern Ireland it’s the Ulster SPCA.

    118. Chic McGregor says:


      ““Die Englaender sind deppen,” says he.

      Who were we to disagree?

      Every little helps.”

      Und dummkopfen?

      Every Lidl helps

      Gie it Aldi.

    119. Gary McCutcheon says:

      The reason the SNP said nothing in my opinion is they are trying to get people too think for themselves and applying what they have learned to tell other people.It is kind of neat if you ask me,it shows people who are either stupid or down right corrupt up for what they really are.

    120. Tinto Chiel says:

      Quite, Chic.

      Aldi’s lebkuchen are really good, btw.

      Und “Stollen Bites” sind sehr gefaehrlich.


    121. Fred says:

      Like the plain choc marzipan Tinto & the Toro Loco Reserve. Sehr Gut! Jah.

    122. Tinto Chiel says:

      Thanks, Fred.

      Toro Loco Reserve?

      This requires investigation…

    123. Fred says:

      Tinto, Toro Loco has a white label, the reserve requires a corkscrew & has a black label. 🙂

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