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Why Labour are losing Scotland

Posted on February 18, 2015 by

The election of Jim Murphy as branch office leader has so far failed to produce a shift in the party’s catastrophic polling figures north of the border, with most projections still suggesting that Labour’s Scottish seats will be reduced to single figures in May.

Last night we catalogued a series of its howlers since Murphy took over, culminating in a humiliating climbdown over some false claims about cancelled operations in the Scottish NHS. The party’s Scottish health spokeswoman Jenny Marra turned up on today’s Good Morning Scotland to discuss the subject, and in doing so demonstrated exactly why Scottish voters are deserting it in hundreds of thousands.

The segment was buried away in the hours of darkness just after 7am and never referred to again in the programme, with Labour’s attacks on the SNP given repeated prominence instead, but presenter Gary Robertson nevertheless did an excellent job of putting Marra on the spot.

He challenged her to explain why putting the figures in the public domain would have helped patients (he got no answer), and he questioned her on why – as someone who wants to be Health Minister – she’d done such an abysmal job of understanding the stats when she got them.

Marra doggedly evaded the question, simply complaining that Labour had had to ask for the figures via FOI. When Robertson made the reasonable point that they’d proven themselves incapable of understanding them anyway, Marra continued to cling to the line like a liferaft, repeatedly declining the opportunity to apologise to the Scottish public for misleading them.

(“There was a mistake”, she said over and over again, distancing herself from it as if it had somehow been an act of God rather than her own incompetence.)

The data provided by the Scottish Government in fact could barely have been any easier to understand. It comprised a series of extremely straightforward tables listing in plain language the reasons that operations were cancelled.


Of the 506 elective procedures (ie non-emergencies) which Labour made the heart of its complaint, just 86 of them – 17% – were actually cancelled due to pressures on the hospitals. The vast majority were for unavoidable reasons, such as the patient dying beforehand, though no doubt Scottish Labour would have insisted the operation went ahead anyway.

But throughout the entire seven-minute interview, Marra refuses to hold up her hands and accept any responsibility for her own errors, or address a single one of the points Robertson put to her.

The statistics under the SNP government were already published far more frequently than they had been under Labour. Putting the figures in the public domain wouldn’t have helped a single patient. And the linchpin of Labour’s attack had been shown to be an idiotic misreading of incredibly clear data. Yet there wasn’t a word of contrition or humility from Marra. Despite being given multiple opportunities she couldn’t even bring herself to say I made the mistake”, let alone say sorry for it.

(We especially enjoyed her repeated indignant insistence that the real issue at stake was “transparency”, even as her leader scurried frantically around the internet trying to delete any shred of evidence of the clanger.)

We’re not sure we could create seven minutes of radio which better demonstrated the sort of politics that voters have utterly lost faith in. In desperately trying to avoid admitting any wrongdoing, or conceding that publishing statistics doesn’t stop people getting ill in winter, Marra inadvertently made a far more serious mistake – she sounded like a shifty politician people couldn’t trust to be honest with them.

Scottish Labour is now almost exclusively populated with those, and the results can be seen every day in the opinion polls. Readers might be forgiven for wondering how much more it’s going to take for Labour to learn the lesson.

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    183 to “Why Labour are losing Scotland”

    1. Marcia says:

      Well done young man you are worth every penny.

    2. Grant says:

      That is horrible to listen to. You can feel the hate. What is wrong with the British Labour party, what a real nasty bunch.

    3. jimnarlene says:

      So, that’s what’s the Marra, with labour.
      I’ll get my coat.

    4. BrianW says:

      I can’t bring myself to listen to it to be honest. It just makes me annoyed when presenters – political presenters at that – do not press folk for answers and allow them to fluff their way though an interview without physically answering a bloody question.

      Funny thing is that this Story re Jim frantically deleting Videos and tweets is being covered in some of the Papers today, but the BBC can’t seem to report it in their Unbiased and Impartial manner.. and it’s their f’n job to do that.

    5. fletch49er says:

      Brilliant! Squirmy, squirm! Move along now there is nothing to see here! Squirrel!

    6. Martin McDonald says:

      I got into my car at 7.50am and listened for an hour. There was no mention of Jenny Marra’s interview in that time, very unusual indeed. Instead they focused on trying to dismantle Shona Robison.

    7. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      I wonder if publishing weekly data, why weekly and not daily, and knowing the NHS penchant for normal reaction of large organisations to StatePorn targets will just focus on them to the neglect of other more relevant objectives.

      After all, we are seeing this in England with their school certificate objective, Police objects, ambulance objectives, University entrance and the BBC objectives
      This is very much the way Blair and his cohort introduced their micro management culture and look where that has got us.

    8. HandandShrimp says:

      The hatred is caused by the sense of entitlement thwarted. Labour are unrepentant about past mistakes and think they can brush them under the carpet and we will all come running back. Instead, we, the great unwashed electorate, continue to give them stick. They are as outraged and uncomprehending to the changes happening around them as the French aristocracy were in 1789.

    9. Bill Cruickshank says:

      Once again excellent investigative journalism. Thank you.

    10. swami Backverandah says:

      We don’t want Labour to understand their mistakes.
      We think they are doing an excellent job of turning people off politicians of all stripes, and we can only hope the SNP keep what integrity the public perceive they have, and don’t go the same way.

      Good news that Oborne of the Torygraph has slammed his paper’s cowardly obsequience to big business. One only wonders what took him so long.

    11. Bugger (the Panda) says:


      Why don’t we just make it hourly, and broadcast live coverage from all the A & Es?

      Then we could vote on our favourite and slime, on TV live, the underperformers?

      Great voyeurism and LCD entertainment.

    12. JimW says:

      Jim Murphy is trying to blaze a campaign trail that demands the announcement of a fresh initiative every day. We know that he cannot possibly make a meaningful announcement every day. He doesn’t need to. All he needs to do is get his name and photo in the media every day. It doesn’t matter to him if his ideas are easily picked apart, even in the unlikely event of the mainstream press deciding to do that. The old adage, “There is no such thing as bad publicity”, clearly applies to Jim Murphy. He is easy meat, and most readers of this site and others like it, are capable of making their own analyses of Jim Murphy’s self serving politics. So, here is an idea. Starve him of publicity. Ignore his demands for attention as though he was an attention seeking infant. Attack Labour policies in more general terms and don’t mention Murphy at all. It won’t be nearly so much fun but it would annoy the hell out of him.

    13. john ferguson says:

      Had a little time for J Marra, no longer, JAFLC.

    14. joe says:

      At the end of the interview does he say Labour then quickly changes to Labour , would be appropriate after that interview.

    15. katherine hamilton says:

      Hmmm. Why did she not point out they had to use FOI processes to get the info?! (I counted at least 10 times!)

    16. Findlay Farquaharson says:

      whoa, that was just awesome, i havent cringed so much since sept 19

    17. Snode1965 says:

      Finally BBC Labour presenter does his job that we pay him to do. Pity it only happens once every lunar cycle.

    18. pa_broon74 says:

      Working (loosely speaking) as I do for the NHS, I was asking a pal about the stats (its his job) they put out, I also asked if he was responsible for the stats mentioned above – he wasn’t.

      He pointed out that while HQ (where I work AKA NSS) manipulates and reports on data, they don’t own it – the health boards do. Since a lot of it is patient identifiable stuff, the security around its dissemination is very tight indeed.

      As far as I can gather, this is why stats aren’t put out weekly. Going by what my pal says, the reporting is time consuming with great pressure (as you would imagine) to get it right – which is to say, its not straight forward.

      There are those who moan about the number of ‘managers’ employed in the NHS who also go on to say why do they not spend the money on front line staff instead – the stuff that goes on here boggles the mind, but its all necessary.

      Not that Marra etc have any clue about that right enough.

    19. JB says:

      I’ve stopped listening to GMS and thank you for bringing this little gem to light. I know how difficult and frustrating it can be listening to the whole programme so I appreciate the pain and effort you suffered.

      At the end of the clip I did not know whethr to laugh or cry at the arrogance, blindness and self deception of this “politican”.

      I hope she continues her sterling efforts – until May.

    20. Sandra says:

      They can’t argue a case because at heart they don’t have one except “Don’t vote for them, vote for me”. They parrot prepared statements, ignore questions, are unable or unwilling to think on their feet. Pathetic.

    21. Doreen Milne says:

      We don’t need politicians who can’t think outside the one repetitive line of argument. She could have used the 7 minutes to say something relevant to the issue whilst apologising and stating they would be more diligent in their scrutiny of information before firing it out as if it’s gospel.

    22. Macart says:

      Incompetence or deliberately misleading the public?

      Either way Labour in the shape of Mr Murphy and Ms Marra had absolutely zero hesitation in slandering the SNHS and the Scottish government. Using contrived emergencies and crises to score political points, using people like political footballs regardless of the carnage they would inflict on public trust or perception.


    23. One_Scot says:

      She keeps repeating the point is, the point is.

      “The point is”, this woman is an absolute disgrace of a human being, working for a sewer trolling outfit.

      That is the only point I can see she makes.

    24. R-type Grunt says:

      It shouldn’t need to be said but I’ll say it anyway…

      Well done Gary Robertson, for doing your job.

    25. Aidan says:

      Well-done Rev!
      Had looked over the FOI info yesterday as was on slab’s website.
      Reasons for the cancellations are clearly detailed as your article shows. A mystery of incompetence how slab misinterpreted them.
      Going public with that cast NHS staff and hospitals in a poor light so imagine there is some anger at that stunt within the NHS.
      Jenny Marra ?
      Simply awful that she wouldn’t even apologise.

    26. Alastair Campbell says:

      Transparency – number of full voting members of Scottish Labour please.

    27. Doug Daniel says:

      I thought Marra was supposed to be a bit of a rising star, but she’s really quite poor. She’s not even particularly good at dodging questions – her response to the point that Labour used to only publish annual figures was “all governments have statistics”, or something equally weird.

      Labour have clearly buggered up here. When the SNP makes a mistake, they generally hold their hands up, admit they’ve cocked-up, and apologise, humbly. Contrast that with how Labour behaves – they try to pretend the mistake never happened, until they’re forced into admitting something went wrong, but then talking about it in the third person as if it was just some random, naturally-occurring event, and then blame it on the SNP. Fallibility must not, under any circumstances, be admitted.

      Handle it the way the SNP do, and the public think “fair enough, everyone makes mistakes and at least you’re honest about it.” Handle it the way Labour do, and the public think “you politicians are all the same – you’re arrogant, you think we’re mugs, and we can’t trust you.”

      Is it any wonder the SNP remain so popular?

      Situations like this are a test of a person’s character, and Marra failed, miserably.

    28. Grizzle McPuss says:

      The most naïve thing that I’ve ever asked, but…

      Isn’t it depressing how we never seem to come together as a country and celebrate our (Scottish) successes?

      A major problem for me is that the NHS should be a neutral topic.

      Given that all political parties and their members state (and we assume sincerely) that the NHS is “vital…number one priority…cherished…” then why the hell do we allow it to be used in these cynical ways.

      I never cease to feel depressed on behalf of the NHS staff of all skills & levels who work damn hard on our behalf, but whose efforts are continuously demeaned and used by the (cheap) politicians in a futile pissing contest.

      It’s perhaps time that we stop the politicisation of the health service, accept that we all want what is best and agree to cross-party agreement that the service is apolitical.

      (As you may have detected; the Marra interview irritated me first thing this morning, just as it did last night on the BBC. I’m losing my sense of humour over this matter)

    29. Morag says:

      We’re not sure we could create seven minutes of radio which better demonstrated the sort of politics that voters have utterly lost faith in.

      That’s all very well, but if it’s buried away at 7 am and never referred to again, it doesn’t necessarily have much of an impact.

      BBC Scotland is a disgrace.

    30. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “That’s all very well, but if it’s buried away at 7 am and never referred to again, it doesn’t necessarily have much of an impact.”

      Yeah, well, that’s what WE’RE here for.

    31. heedtracker says:

      We’re being taken for right mugs by the red tory, blue tory, BBC/UKOK press creep show. Hey it worked 18th Sept 2014 and so here we are again…

    32. indyme says:

      At the end does he say

      “Jenny Marra, Labour,” before correcting himself and say Labour?

    33. Soda says:

      You should contrast that interview with the way Shona Robertson was treated a little while later. She could barely start a sentence without being talked over and repeatedly interrupted.

    34. HandandShrimp says:

      I thought the big story of the day was whether e-ciggies should be allowed on hospital grounds. That seemed more important than any other burning national or international issue of the day.

      BBC – dumbing down near you, today and every day.

    35. Jim Thomson says:

      I mentioned it on the previous thread towards the tail end, so I’ll mention it here again …

      The BBC News website (Scotland section) presented me with an opportunity to take a survey. I took the chance and told them what I thought. (let’s just say it was in F minus territory)

      Not sure how many visitors they are sampling but I suspect that from a bunch of wingers visiting, there will be a few opportunities to provide them with helpful and “constructive” feedback.

    36. MochaChoca says:

      Reminds me of the multitude of “Independence £450 million NHS blackhole” stories of the 16th Sept on every news outlet.

      Aside from the fact it would have had hee haw to do with the referendum, it was simply not true, but the only sign of a retraction was a Douglas Fraser tweet a month later:

    37. manandboy says:

      Well done Stu. You’re a real Pro.

      McTernan tells her the Target audience – “families up and down the country”.

      Jenny Marra then acting out the role of the friend of ‘families up and down the country.’
      She speaks to ” people across Scotland” and to “the people of Scotland”.
      Pure electioneering.

      She comes across as unprofessional, under educated, ill-informed, arrogant and unrepentant.

      She demands the truth from the Scottish Gov.
      but is silent on the truth about Labour.

      In short, another cheap, lying, grubby Labour politician.

      She is the best Labour have got for the job of Shadow Health Spokesperson.

      Labour? Not even close to being good enough to run Scotland.

    38. grahamlive says:

      Sounds like she’s been getting tips from Ed ‘these strikes are wrong’ Miliband.

    39. call me dave says:


      Freudian slip or having a wee go at Labour, or just a misinterpretation. 🙂

      “Jenny Marra, Labour,” before correcting himself and say Labour?

    40. K1 says:

      She’s selling her future self out for the short term illusion of her present sense of self importance. This woman has no integrity; no true self. Mirrors the party she represents perfectly.

      Vote Labour; Become A Zombie

    41. Grouse Beater says:

      A least Marra did not claim it was an honest ‘mistake’.

    42. Luigi says:

      It’s a sign of character weakness when someone cannot admit they made a mistake. A trait that seems to be endemic in the Labour party these days.

    43. Clootie says:

      Nothing to do with Labour getting it wrong!
      on a par with the classic of youth:-

      “It was a bad boy that did it and ran away”

    44. One_Scot says:

      Seriously, is Labour simply a magnet for people with this type of psychological profile, or do they actually head hunt them.

    45. gillie says:

      You wouldn’t want to declare you are a member of the Labour party if you end up in hospital. I would imagine that NHS staff would take particular delight in ramming a rectal thermometer where the sun does not shine.

      Can anyone organise a You Tube video of two people with Jim Murphy and Jenny Marra facemasks outside Glasgow Royal Infirmary apologising. That would be a real hoot.

    46. bunter says:

      Was it not her that turned up outside a closed hospital and complained about lack of staff?

    47. Iain says:

      Never got to hear this one but I did get to hear the unbalanced follow on with the Shona Robertson. I shall take your word that Gary Robertson gave Jenny Marra a rough time. And so the low brow quality of GMS applies to both in this case, still that is not usually the case, you only have to look at the back to back interviews with Cable and Ewing yesterday to see that.

      Also I must say I am really disappointed the SNP have caved in over this weekly stats call. Shona Robertson bleating about the chief statistician making the call was weak. A gift for Labour, they should have told them to stick it. More stats don’t make things better. As far as I am concerned as a member of the public is monthly stats are fine, I don’t want people wasting time producing meaningless weekly counts, how much effort is being wasted on that? And what for, because the Labour Party cronies think it is a good idea??

    48. heedtracker says:

      “That’s all very well, but if it’s buried away at 7 am and never referred to again, it doesn’t necessarily have much of an impact.”

      Really aggressive BBC Scotland anti SNP and anti Holyrood propaganda has kicked off at 6am for years and always at their most aggressive too.

      Good way to get the ticker going though, if you’re a YES vote. A bit depressing sometimes though, as is fully intended by the shills. Bloody hell sometimes the attacks got so bad, it felt like they’d all gone completely insane, as imperial masters do tend to anyway. Mind when they parachuted in their arch teamGB propagandist Jim Naughty to sort us out once and for all?

      On balance, there is rather a lot at stake for some very well paid BBC con artists, so its maybe no wonder they’ve dropped all pretence of that BBC world famous impartial neutral reportage shyste.

      Here in England, BBC never ever mention Scotland at all now. They really should be called the English Broadcasting Corp but BBC R4 still seems to like a posh Scottish accent for news reading, and ofcourse Jim Naughty’s groveling/cringe to everything English speaks for itself.

    49. Cuddis says:

      Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. If only there was a way to get this sort of incisive journalism into MSM. Stu, you provide a sterling service. Long may it continue.

    50. Papadox says:

      Is there no person in SLAB who wants to genuinely try and honestly improve the lives of their constituents? Appears not.

      They just want to be a mill stone round the neck of democracy and consume all they can like parasites. I’m sorry to say the SLAB branch office is beyond redemption and neads to be burnt root and branch to kill off the deadly virus which taints everything it comes into contact with.

      The EBC & MSM are supporting this corrupt and diseased system which is destroying any integrity or faith in our supposed “democracy”. They will sink with the sewage, their own choice.

      In God we trust, POLITICIANS ACCEPT CASH!

    51. Mealer says:

      Aye,Jenny Marra and creepy Jim seem to like creeping about A&E units.Theres a wrongness about them.

    52. manandboy says:

      In 6 minutes and 59 seconds starting at 8 minutes past 7 on GMS,
      Gary Robertson demonstrates the kind of interviewing
      that the BBC could have, and should have, conducted
      throughout the Referendum Debate.

      Instead, decisions were taken on a strictly political basis
      that rigorous interviewing of the No Campaign
      would not be done,
      courtesy of Labour’s placemen,
      Messrs McQuarrie and Boothman at BBC Scotland.

      Had the BBC done so, and at the same time offered both sides
      the same crack of the whip,
      would anyone, anywhere, dare suggest
      that the Referendum result would have remained the same.

    53. Tony Little says:

      I haven’t yet listened to the clip and will do so later. I’m just terrible disappointed with Jenny Marra. I had though that she was different from the rest but either I was wrong, or she is having to go along with things she knows are garbage due to the malign influence of McTernan and others. (Hense her struggle to admit an error – under instructions that she can say anything but NEVER admit that UK Labour in Scotland had made a mistake.

      Does anyone know – are we STILL at war with Eastasia?

    54. gillie says:

      Jenny Marra can’t read and can’t count. Jim Murphy spent 9 years at univeristy and still didn’t graduate. You know what that means folks.

      Labour says Scottish education is in “CRISIS”

    55. Big Jock says:

      Luigi – I work with someone who never makes mistakes! I tell you it’s a bloody nightmare. Always quick to point out othr peoples errors mind you.

      I make mistakes all the time at work. That’s life and I get over it quite quickly learn and move on.

      Someone who can’t handle making a mistake is etremely sensitive,thin skinned and insecure. That is what leads to arrogance believe it or not. Arrogant people are basically insecure but come across as confident when they are not.

      Arrogance protects their insecurities.

    56. kininvie says:

      Out canvassing yesterday, I ran across a gentleman who took the line of ‘you are all the same; all politicians break their promises’ etc. etc. During the conversation he said he’d had a Labour chap round, but he got the door slammed on him. I asked why, since he hadn’t slammed the door on me. “He said I was wrong and he was right,” was the answer.

      Labour attitude in a nutshell…

    57. ronnie anderson says:

      Wid that lady in Dundee who had her operation cancelled phone the hospital Herself,& save the Scottish Taxpayer the expence of FOI fae Labour MSPs.

      Who in the name o the wee man needs weekly statistics of our Scottish NHS.

      An am no missing oot Nicola & Constance fur fawing intae this trap,being complient wie Labour does,ent pay dividends JUST SAY NAW, or better still ask how many patients that WEEKLY information would benifit.

      STOP playing polite politics SNP MSPs an get it rite intae they FUCKERS. YOU.S / WE can clean up politics & would be Politicians after we get Independence,its a dirty buisness & YOU,S chose to do it,get the jaikits aff & get stuck IN.

    58. Foonurt says:

      MP Murphy in hiz black-airts pairtnurrs, urr bad basturts.

      Onae mair, in Dugdale wull bae SNP steert. Hurr ah lawyer, efturr awe.

      Vote SNP.

    59. Bob Mack says:

      This of course is floating like a lead balloon in the Various Health boards.They feel Murphy is indirectly discrediting all their hard efforts by trying to get to the S.N.P I know this is fact as my other half visits many Health Boards regularly.
      You reap what you sow Jim.

    60. Grouse Beater says:

      Labour’s demand that NHS statistics are published weekly is another attempt to keep NHS staff in fear – so much for Marra’s repugnant claim that the NHS is ‘the people’s’ health service.

    61. Johnny says:

      The worst bit is that I imagine she thinks it went well because she got through it without actually saying sorry. It was cringeworthy to listen to, I am embarrassed for her. If she wasn’t squirming, she must be some sort of robot.

    62. Scott says:

      Another cracker from Murphy.
      Jim Murphy wants working class’s offspring to be middle class.he must be MC as he has never worked in his life,oh sorry did I not hear him say he tried joinery or building at the time of Independence debate.I thought we were all Better Together so must be class less,what an idiot and he wants to be FM.

    63. Big Jock says:

      manandboy says:

      18 February, 2015 at 12:14 pm
      In 6 minutes and 59 seconds starting at 8 minutes past 7 on GMS,Gary Robertson demonstrates the kind of interviewing
      that the BBC could have, and should have, conducted
      throughout the Referendum Debate.

      P45 in the post then! LOL

    64. Cuddis says:

      @heedtracker 12.09
      On your concerns about the sanity of anti-SNP commentators, I watched the YouTube video again recently of the Jackie Bird / Alex Salmond interview on the Al Megrahi issue. She was incandescent with rage. Totally unprofessional and borderline nutty. In the business world any professional acting this way would find their career short lived and rightly so.

    65. Sunniva says:

      She bangs on about transparency, but she could not have been less transparent by refusing to admit to a mistake. She refused to be accountable.

    66. Mark Rowantree says:

      God that was painful listening. Just endlessly repeat shit, don.t ever answer the question, , everything’s the SNP’s fault and most of all don’t give them any credit at all for doing anything right!
      No frankly I can’t understand at all why Scottish Labour doesn’t have a commanding lead in the polls?

    67. Publishing stats is only part of the solution, perhaps you need the education to understand what you are reading. It is depressing to discover that after a 9 year university course that this simple piece of data proved so difficult. be grateful you didn’t have to pay for that education like you would wish for the youth of this country Mr Murphy.

    68. Johnny says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell @ 11:44am:

      “Yeah, well, that’s what WE’RE here for.”

      And glad we are too, Stu. I know sometimes people on here feel a little like people who read this are the ‘underground’ but the truth is that Wings likely has a bigger readership in Scotland than most of the Scottish newspapers (save the big two tabloids and maybe one or two others…..but certainly more than The Guardian surely?).

      So when things get coverage here a lot of people ARE made aware of them, for which I am glad.

    69. Iain Gray's Subway Lament says:

      The Red Tories are going to find themselves in far deeper trouble on the NHS even than this since they will find it impossible to deny that THEY were the ones who started the NHS on the privatisation route thanks to Blair and his acolytes like Murphy.

      Since Marra seems obsessed with information being free we will be only too happy to oblige her by giving out free to the electorate detailed figures on just how many MPs and Lords in the Labour party are in the pay of private healthcare firms.

    70. Kennedy says:

      I’m sure Red Ed claimed that he would weaponise the NHS. Once the Scottish branch office got hold of said weapon they shoot themselves in the foot. Incompetent. The media should be all over this. Not just BBC, STV are complicit liars. It should not be left to a blogger from Bath to inform the public. No offence Stu, sterling work. We need broadcasting devolved. No one could argue that we couldn’t do a better job ourselves.

    71. annie says:

      I thought when she ruled herself out of the deputy leader election that she was at least aware of her own limitations. She strikes me as someone who wakes up every morning wondering if this is the day everyone else is going to be aware of her limitations, yes Jenny today is that day.

    72. Luigi says:

      The red tories seem to have decided that the HNS will be a key battle ground in the coming GE. It makes sense, I suppose, given that their core vote is now very old and more dependent on NHS services than any other group. Still, it has to be countered, pronto. The SNP need to focus on this group also – the grey voters could swing it and allow the red monkeys to hang on by the skin of their teeth. Most folk assume that Murphy is targeting Labour YES voters, but I wonder if he is targeting elderly SNP NO voters? (there are also quite a few of these about).

      I don’t know what the SNP strategists are planning to do with the elderly voters, but they need to focus on this key group and start moving now.

    73. BJ says:

      She kept saying the point is that they had to resort to the FOI to get the data. What use is the data to these fools? Even with the information they still couldn’t get it right. She made herself look very silly.

      These pathetic liars will never change from putting party before people at any cost.

    74. gillie says:

      Peter Oborne resigns from the Daily Telegraph over the way the paper has reported the HSBC scandal.

      “The past few years have seen the rise of shadowy executives who determine what truths can and what truths can’t be conveyed across the mainstream media.” – Peter Oborne

      He wasn’t at all concerned over the way the Telegraph reported the referendum debate, was he now?

    75. Proud Cybernat says:

      Outstanding piece, Rev.

      Marra is an utter disgrace. SLAB will not learn. They will not learn because they have yet to understand the meaning of humility and that their belief in their god-given right to rule Scotland exists only in their own minds. They don’t understand that the electorate in Scotland have woken up. Labour no more. We’re sick of your lies. We’re sick of your deliberate misinformation.

      Mark Twain once said: “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.”

      That is what McTernan and his Labour cronies depend on–afterall, mud sticks.

      Proud Cybernat says: “A lie can travel half way around the world but the internet will head it off at the pass.”

      Labour just don’t get that we now live in the Information age where SLABBC’s propaganda can be debunked in seconds thanks to sites like this and others.

      Well done sir.

    76. ronnie anderson says:

      Appologies to Angela Constance. I meant Shona Robertson.

    77. GrahamB says:

      … and she’s supposed to be one of their brightest stars for the future?
      Well done Gary Robertson, for a change, (thought he was getting his jotters last year) but perhaps he could have added that the NHS is DEVOLVED so nothing to do with the GE in spite of Bradford’s claim last night that it would be a key battleground.

    78. Dr Jim says:

      Just because people are dead doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be counted
      Heard that somewhere before
      Let me think…mmm

    79. undead shaun says:

      She mentions FOI’s and one of the most prolifient submitters of these is Jenny Marra and the labour party.

      Every request takes someone hours of work to obtain the data and check it. It doesnt happen at the puch of a button as she tries to imply.

      And as the labout party were once upon a time the government in Scotland, they should know better.

    80. Joemcg says:

      The No side were outraged that we used the NHS as a weapon in September. Look what’s happening now. Hypocritical bastards.

    81. Les Wilson says:

      “And the linchpin of Labour’s attack had been shown to be an idiotic misreading of incredibly clear data.”

      Let’s call it what it was, deceitful lies for a political agenda. That sums up the whole of the UK labour movement, and the Northern Branch is right up there with them.

      Desperate people do desperate things, and they are doing just that, every day.

      In ref to the freedom of information requests, I am sure the BBC have a standing order for them!, and feed them to Labour. That is my view anyway.

    82. Desimond says:


      re ‘Had the BBC done so’

      The clue is in the first B, in fact, all Bs!

    83. john king says:

      Maybe if people like Jenny Marra didn’t spend so much time demanding answers from health boards (at their expense) they would have more money to spend on operations eh?

      An FOI request can cost the body being questioned up to £450.00 a pop(£25.00 quid an hour) I tried to find out how many FOI’s SLAB have made but you can bet you bottom dollar it is in the hundreds, anyone smarter than me have the knowledge as to how we find out just HOW MUCH slab is costing the public so they can dig for (non existant ) dirt!

    84. Eppy says:

      Maybe I am just a bit sad but quite often as I lie in bed of a morning I listen to R4 on one radio and Radio Scotland via on a small earpiece on a different radio. It is quite an enlightening, if not maddening, experience.

      The script for Scottish pieces is often identical to the one on R4 but often shortened, (allowing me to see that it was originally written at “head office” and disseminated to the provinces.) What is more interesting is potentially sensitive articles that are covered on R4 but not mentioned on Radio Scotland, or are buried further down the running order.

      I am sure that some media studies geek could do a fuller analysis but there does seem to be a fair bit of bias in simply the order of coverage or who gets the “prime slots” for interview.

      Well done to Gary though for actually getting stuck in this morning but shame on the rest of the program for burying the fiasco that was Jenny Marra from any later coverage or failing to ask Jim about his vanishing you-tube posting.

    85. lumilumi says:

      Reminded me of another Labour politician.

    86. bookie from hell says:

      When weekly stats show better results than Wales ,England,n ireland ,labour will say it’s propaganda

    87. Calgacus says:

      Ha ha liebore “weaponised” the NHS and shot themselves in both feet.

    88. Iain says:

      Would you consider keeping, and publishing, an ongoing tally of Labour’s almost daily blunders, with explanatory notes describing them briefly for those who had missed them, before theirpanicky deletion by the Murphists? A column showing those items which had or had not been retracted once authoritatively disproven would be very useful. All of this would counteract Murphy’s apparent belief that anything, however farcical, can be said then unsaid at will, since the electorate has no memory at all.

      It recalls alas Murphy’s efforts to create scare stories about the threat to pensions, even after the high archdeacon Davidson himself had stated otherwise in the Commons.

    89. chalks says:

      This is the standard of politician now in the Labour ranks, shocking.

      Marra has just been on the radio telling us that we need to have our Primary 1’s outside exercising more.

      Now, call me a lunatic or a thug ; )

      BUT, would the child obesity levels not be up due to the fact that lower income families have less money to spend and we all know that fatty/unhealthy food is cheaper to buy than healthy food.

      SO, it may not actually be exercise that is the problem, but more of an economical one, which of course, is to a large extent outwith the Scottish governments powers….

    90. Rob James says:

      I think their continued assault on the NHS could very well backfire. If I were a member of staff trying to perform my job to the best of my ability, I know what my reaction to the constant accusations would be.

      In addition, pensioners spend a great deal of time back and forward to hospitals and generally hold the staff in high esteem. In fact for many, their whole world revolves around this. We need to reinforce their belief and make them aware of the misinformation.

    91. X_Sticks says:

      Grouse Beater says:
      18 February, 2015 at 12:23 pm

      “Labour’s demand that NHS statistics are published weekly”

      Next headline:

      CRISIS: NHS swamped by SNP statistics bureaucracy.

    92. lumilumi says:

      Anyway, why are Labour concentrating on devolved issues?

      It’s a UK GE. Even if Labour won a majority in Westminster, it couldn’t change SG policy on devolved matters except maybe by providing more money in the block grant – unlikely as they’ve signed up to blue Tory austerity. Or by re-reserving powers – something I think they in their heart of hearts want to do.

      Labour are relying on the Scottish electorate not knowing which areas are devolved, which reserved.

      Labour are deliberately trying to confuse and scare the voters.

      Labour want a stick – any stick – to beat the SNP with in their desperate battle.

      Labour have started their Scottish GE campaign a year early.

      Or all of the above.

      Amply aided and abetted by the BBC and the MSM. A sad day for democracy and journalism when the MSM are the enemy of the people.

    93. Macart says:

      A mistake was made….


    94. Jamie Arriere says:

      Vote Labour, get mistakes

    95. manandboy says:

      Meanwhile, another individual with a limited vocabulary,
      Dave Cameron, had this to say at 12.26 today:-

      “Speaking during a visit to a factory in England,
      Mr Cameron said, “In Scotland, a lot of people vote SNP,
      they will definitely ally with Labour,
      and I think it is very worrying
      that you could have a Labour government
      propped up by a party
      that actually want to abolish our country.””

      Dave, do tell us – how do you abolish a country?

      And, which country are you thinking of, Dave, or did
      you skip History at Eton, Oxford and for the rest of your life since? No you didn’t, you got an A Level in it.

      Dave, you find it very worrying that in a democracy, and in a Better Together State which has Broad Shoulders, and in which we are all one big family, two parties should form a coalition Government. Are you really sure about what you are saying, Dave?

    96. chalks says:

      Slagging off the NHS in Scotland is just cheap headlines for them.

      It is in a bit of a state, but it’s better than the rest of the uk, all the SNP have to do is publish the figures from when Labour were in power, publish figures from England as well as a comparison and let’s see what people would prefer.

    97. r esquierdo says:

      I have never watched a circus where every entertainer was a clown.

    98. Ricky says:

      This is brilliant Stu.

      Labour will use anything to cover up their own faults. The NHS in Scotland is devolved so why is it used in a GE ? What policies do Labour have for our NHS?

      I hate labour more than the rest by a country mile. They have consistently lied to Scots for decades.

      Do we really want scrotes like these running our country. J Marra i thought was ok but this is not the first time she has blabbered her anti SNP shit out and along with Murphy and Dugdale need to be brought to hand and asked WHY we would vote for them.

      Not one presenter asks them what they offer. Just old BT type scares and bad SNP.

      If these buggers get into power i will give up on Scotland completely . If we vote them in we get what we deserve.

    99. manandboy says:

      David Cameron said this today,

      “you could have a Labour government
      propped up by a party
      that actually want to abolish our country”

      which means that he still has Independence on his mind.

      Just as we thought. From now on, all politics in the UK
      will be Independence politics.

      It’s the only game in town.

    100. Blair paterson says:

      The Scottish government should stop giving stats., on the NHS and just say we will do our best with the money we get from Westminster after all the unionist party’s hold the purse strings ,independence would have solved all this .

    101. Jamie Arriere says:

      Oh joy, there’s going to be weekly figures on the NHS – so any attempt at identifying trends and considered long-term perspectives is going to be lost to the weekly prospect of Ya-boo Labour & the MSM leaping onto one figure each week to kick the SNP with.

      It’ll be like at a football match where they cheer every pass, except there’ll be no cheering.

      Eleanor Bradford’s probably had all her leave cancelled

    102. heedtracker says:

      @ Cuddis
      18 February, 2015 at 12:25 pm
      @heedtracker 12.09
      On your concerns about the sanity of anti-SNP commentators, I watched the YouTube video again recently of the Jackie Bird / Alex Salmond interview on the Al Megrahi issue.

      Bird is a spectacular example of BBC power and glory long to reign over us but its not just BBC Scotland, its across their whole giant network. As in, couple of morns ago BBC World Service 6am world news round up with a couple of their paid shills/commentators and one, an Irish women, started raging at how a “tiny minority” in Ireland had forced Ireland to become an independent republic, wasn’t that a terrible terrible thing and now its all causing problems for Sinn Fein. Cant remember why but she’s the first Irish citizen I have ever heard angry about not being governed by England and Westminster. Keeps her in BBC work maybe.

    103. Fiona says:

      The basic problem with the NHS is lack of money. This is abundantly clear in the parallel debate comparing NHS England and NHS Wales. The Nuffield report noted that on the whole services are broadly comparable across all 4 NHS services in the UK: yet the narrative being pushed is that Wales is worse than England. To do that they cherry pick particular “performance indicators” and ignore others. But it is clear that nobody has enough money to do everything demanded, and all are doing their best in the face of this austerity.

      The “performance indicators” are the targets, and as ever, they are set not by professionals in the field, but by bean counters. Bean counters can’t understand very much, but they can count. So they count things that can be counted, and call those things important. Then they persuade the rest of us that their priorities are sensible and we should care.

      I do not care, frankly. Because these simplistic “targets” do not touch on the important issues. From recent experience, hanging around in A&E does happen: but it does not happen while waiting to be seen, as these people suggest. It happens between being assessed as in need of admission, and a bed becoming available. At least that is what happened to me ( far less than 4 hours) and my partner (more than 4 hours) last year.

      Why are there no beds? Well one reason is that bean counters decided that it was inefficient if there was not full bed occupancy: so there is no buffer at busy times. Any one can see that in a hospital full bed occupancy is necessarily inefficient but that did not stop them spending a fortune on PFI contracts to build new hospitals with fewer beds than the ones they replaced.

      Yet Ms Marra thinks the answer to such problems is more statistics. Statistics is the problem in and of itself, IMO. Because statistics such as rates of bed occupancy underpinned much of what was done

      One thing that strikes me about the interview is not related to the NHS, however: it is about politicians’ approach to such interviews. What makes my skin crawl is the robot-repetition of the same phrase no matter what is said. Do they think we do not notice? Are they persuaded that saying the same thing many times in a short period is somehow effective in persuading the audience that your point is correct?

      At the very least should they not come armed with the right number of points they wish to make to cover the length of the interview? Ms Marra had one, to cover nearly 8 minutes. I suspect that a new member of the school debating society would be aware that one for 8 minutes is not going to cut it. But politicians are less competent than that. And labour are not alone in that.

    104. heedtracker says:
      Straight in, gloves off, BLAME Alex Salmond. Scottish NHS must be a hell on earth, BBC.

      Patients harmed at Aberdeen dental school

    105. Chitterinlicht says:

      Very good from Mr Wings

      also very good from Gary Robertson so credit to BBC.

      Not very good from labour

      As a side note has anyone else noted the ‘SNP government in EDINBURGH’ line getting used a lot from labour?

      Like it’s somehow a foreign nasty place (unlike London) secret from the rest of Scotland?

      I may be paranoid.

    106. Ronbon says:

      Another piece of brilliant investigative journalism. It feels like with a few exceptions the Scottish Government constantly faces a barrage of criticism from the Unionist parties and media. Really had my eyes opened during the referendum campaign and disgusted by bias shown by BBC.

      Thank god for Wings,keep up the otstanding work Stu.

    107. Murray McCallum says:

      The Labour Scottish Branch Office has the weirdest way of demonstrating their commitment to NHS Scotland by constantly undermining it.

      Maybe it’s a cultural thing within their Head Office? You know, like, the same way Tony Blair is committed to peace in the Middle East.

    108. Flower of Scotland says:

      Thanks Stu. I have not listened to Radio Scotland or watched any BBC news for a long time now. I agree with Morag. The BBC is a disgrace!

      I know if there is anything worth reporting I’ll here on here at Wings. Great article. Thanks again and have shared on Facebook.

    109. Black Joan says:

      According to SLAB, yon Marra wumman has a history degree, a law degree and qualifications in Scots and English legal practice. All that education and she still doesn’t know how to deal with an awkward question, or how to apologise. Her education has failed her. Must be the fault of the SNP.

    110. Stoker says:

      Snode1965 says:
      “Finally BBC Labour presenter does his job that we pay him to do. Pity it only happens once every lunar cycle.”

      Nah, mate, don’t kid yersel, that was staged.

      Look at the time of day the interview took place.
      How many listeners would that propaganda outlet have at that time in the morning? My guess would be no more than a few hundred, max.

      I believe it was set up behind the scenes, something along the lines of: “OK, Jenny, we’re going to get you onto tomorrows early morning show and press you for answers and an apology, but you stick strictly to this script (she’s then held her script on a post-it) and DO NOT DEVIATE FROM IT, OK.”

      Yes massa, she replies.

      This way, due to the constant severe questioning of BBC credibility – or lack thereof – the BBC get to say “but we do give Labour Party reps a tough time” and point to hidden “interviews” such as the one with Marra.

      The most watched and listened to news programme in Scotland is, apparently, the BBC Reporting Scotland programme @ 6.30pm every night Mon-Fri.

      When the BBC start properly grilling Labour Party reps on the 6.30pm programme, instead of giving them free party broadcasts outside old unused buildings, then i might start to think about taking the BBC seriously, until then it’s all farcical propaganda.

      There is something extremely very wrong in any country when a so-called “national” broadcaster has more power and control than that countries government, and when it does not have to answer to that country’s government, that’s not democracy.

      Protect Scotland’s interests, bin the BBC and vote SNP.

    111. paul gerard mccormack says:

      Apologies, slightly O/T BUT I was watching the end of that kids BBC Scotland late night political review thing with the Tunnock’s tea cake background and Japanese imperialist flag kinda interior design thang goin on, and i thought to myself, THIS is just how i imagine the way television used to be in Honecker’s EAST GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC.

      Never mind the wrapping, just listen to the bollocks.- The collusion between the state broadcaster and the labour party in scotland is scary. Devolution for the BBC has to be the way to go for SNP policy then we would see a real difference. Just clear all the sycophants out.

    112. Angry Weegie says:

      Seeing the figures laid out, no one could have misunderstood them, not even those with the brains of the average SLab politician.

      This was not a mistake. This was simply a lie, and the fact that they told the lie while standing in front of an identifiable hospital, thus indirectly criticising the staff inside, is something they should certainly apologise for.

    113. Foonurt says:

      Murphy, in awe yoan drearie tribe ah leeries.

      Vote SNP

    114. tombee says:

      Well done Gary Robertson. At last some semblance of a forensic interview at the BBC. Let’s hope others follow his example, but I’ll not hold my breath.
      The deceitful Jenny Marra at her best. An abomination, pure and simple. She shrunk from the questions put at every turn exacerbating the original fraud committed by Murphy’s broadcast, by continuing to,forcefully, attempt to delude the listening audience with prevarication on after prevarication culminating in a shameless and demeaning attitude. Thereby insulting the intelligence of said audience. Disgusting!!.

    115. Arran says:

      Let’s hope Labour never learns it. So the reason to send Labour into their graveyard is justified; RIP. And a new shining Scottish Social Democratic Party with the intelligent 50% of old Labour supporters can emerge.

    116. Geoff Huijer says:

      She’s the Shadow Health Secretary?

      What a complete embarrassment.

      And she’s the best that Labour could come up with
      for that position?

      What did they do? Draw straws when they were
      outside ASDA when celebrating ASDA’s IndyRef

    117. cirsium says:

      good comment, Fiona 1.26.

      In addition to building hospitals with fewer beds, these PFI contracts continue to leach huge sums of money out of the four NHSs and will do for decades to come.

    118. Macart says:

      @ Black Joan

      All that education and Ms Marra still doesn’t have the common human decency to apologise to both the SNHS or the Scottish government.

      Mind you we’ve yet to hear any form of apology from Labour on any subject they’ve been found wanting on from the past several decades. We have it on good authority that it was always someone else’s fault. War, economic mismanagement, expenses scandals, PFIs, ALEOs, introduction of the bedroom tax, projected tribalism, the demonising of opponents and their voters. You name it, it was down to someone else.

      Ergo they have no need to apologise.

      All the education in the world can’t make them better public servants or better people.

    119. Fred says:

      THe worst kind of scaremongering from this halfwit Marra. As if people presenting for surgery are not anxious enough they’re subjected to this cynical undermining of the system, a system which saves live day & daily.

      These clowns have resorted to ambulance chasing so save their careers, aided and abetted by a willing media. The fact that Gary Robertson gets plaudits is indicative of how biased the system usually is.

    120. Staunch says:

      I’m starting to suspect that each and every Labour member that’s required to speak on a topic publicly has the following piece of paper handed to them:


      Instructions for interview:

      Stonewall, stonewall, stonewall. Talk pish. Blame SNP. Repeat until time runs out.

    121. Valerie says:

      BBC parliament for some reason is live at Holyrood, and Fergus Ewing has just put Marra in her place on North Sea decommissioning of rigs.

      She looks like an idiot with no clue of her business/brief.

    122. Luigi says:

      tombee says:

      18 February, 2015 at 1:52 pm

      Well done Gary Robertson. At last some semblance of a forensic interview at the BBC. Let’s hope others follow his example, but I’ll not hold my breath.

      Gary Robertson can be pretty good when he wants to be (or when he is allowed to be). He does give Labour reps a hard time about 1/10 times and SNP 10/10 times. I suppose that is the BBC’s idea of balance! I suspect he wants to be a bit more fair at times, but when he threatens to do so, he is quickly reminded by his line manager that his BBC contract is on a shoogly peg.

    123. Luigi says:

      If only a BBC whistle blower would spill the beans on what goes on behind closed doors. What a day that would be.

    124. Nighneag says:

      Note that Ms Marra couldn’t cite any plausible public benefit arising from publication of the data; it’s all about publishing it for her party’s political ends. I’d rather we focused on service provision; FOI in this instance appears to have been perfectly fit for purpose. ‘Purpose’ of course being to furnish Murphy and Marra with data they do not understand, for all it’s in a format your average P7 maths set would find clear as day.

      Like other commenters I was pleased Gary Robertson used his (perfectly decent) capacity for critical thought and would welcome more of this from the BBC.

    125. Dr Jim says:

      Nicola Sturgeon will open the new SNP shop in Kirkintilloch this Saturday from 10am if you can turn up to cheer her on that would be great…if you’re in the area..
      Also our new Candidate for East Dunbartonshire will be there
      That’s John Nicolson…
      So the invitation’s out for Selfies with Nicola on Saturday If you haven’t met John yet come along
      My flags in the boot AYE READY

    126. john king says:

      “Patients harmed at Aberdeen dental school”

      I saw that news item and it angered me greatly

      I was asked if I wanted to go for treatment to Kirkcaldy dental School over a year ago, and so went for a course of fillings and a replacement crown and general scale and polish , over the course of a year I attended the school and rarely got the same student twice, I was treated with care and respect, and my treatment was second to none, I have nothing but praise for the students and their tutors, and nearly £1000 worth of treatment provided absolutely free.
      Now I have teeth like these 🙂

      Tellingly in the last paragraph,
      not one patient complained,
      so much for patients being harmed eh?

    127. Valerie says:

      Just on the Peter Oborne resignation. I find it odd that he is finally outraged by the biased reporting on HSBC. From what I can tell, he is a raging right winger, and staunch admirer of that vile creature, Ian Duncan Smith.

    128. Kenny J says:

      Yep, just fillibuster till the end of the time-slot you been given, spouting the line McTernan have written on your arm.
      Just like Mr.Ed in 2011 repeating the same answer 5 times to Damon Green. Strangely, could not find the video. Plenty of comments on the interview, did Labour have it disappeared.

      BTW, Rev, speaking of Mr. ED, the Sunday Times did a chapter and verse on the Milliband tax “arranging” after daddy went, involving house shuffling, Mr. Ed, Dave and mum, and lots of money. If you have an account with them, you could perhaps find it. Maybe 4 years ago, maybe more, long before I told them to shove their paper.

    129. lumilumi says:

      I thought I read some positive Scottish NSH news on the BBC website earlier today but when I went to look for it, it’d been disappeared. For a while I thought I’d imagined the whole thing.

      I had to google several keywords to find it. And it’s not like it’s ancient news, last updated at 13.09 TODAY.

      “Mortality rates fall in Scottish hospitals”

      Maybe it was allowed to be on the front page for a while because somebody didn’t realise mortality rates falling by 16% in the past seven years is actually GOOD.

      Then Elanor Bradford/John McTernan/similar got on the job, explained that words “rates” “fall” and “Scottish hospitals” don’t always constitute a good story for Labour/BBC, and the story was duly buried somewhere in an obscure corner of the labyrinthine BBC website.

      Because, as we all know, the BBC/Labour story is the NHS “crisis” in Scotland.

    130. Connor Mcewen says:

      Seen a little bit of bbc parliament where an author was publicising his book about marketing and politics.The Tory mob of Satchel and Satchelbag is infamous for negative and fear mongering marketing tactics

    131. One_Scot says:

      BBC Scotland have easy access into our living rooms, which allows them to brain wash us with Labours agenda, and they have the cheek to force us to pay them to do it.

      From BBC Scotland and Scottish Labours point of view, what’s not to like.

    132. With Slabbers attacks on the NHS is there any wonder that the NHS will not cure their verbal diarrhoea. Slabber must see the writing on the wall now that the Bishops have shown that God is on the side of the SNP.

    133. lumilumi says:

      And now I feel completely stupid because I’ve misinterpreted the clear-as-day data and I wholeheartedly apologise for misleading WoS readers with my comment about falling mortality rates in Scottish hospitals. (See what I did there? 🙂 )

      I had another look and the story is from 18 November 2014, somehow it turned up on my screen today (clicked something on the BBC website) and seeing the date 18 didn’t read the rest of it (the date). My bad and I’m very sorry. 🙁

    134. Valerie says:

      Ooo, Marra on her hind legs in Holyrood, and will not apologise. She is going to brazen it out.

      I feel sorry for NHS staff :(.

      Anyone who has been seriously ill, will know full well how hard they work 🙁

    135. Patrick Roden says:

      @ Rev,

      Can we please have this article as a ‘sticky’ at the top of Wings.

      Perhaps it will stop the panicked yelps of:

      ‘watch it folks, this is all a cunning plan by Labour to lul us into a false sense of security and we ignore them at our peril’

      They are a bunch of incompetent liars and a ‘rising star’ in the Labour Party, is simply another drone who can look someone in the eye, while lying through their teeth and do so without showing shame, or ‘getting a pure minter’ as we say in Dundee.

      Anyone with an ounce of self awareness would have rolled their eyes let out an embarrassed laugh and said something along the lines of, ‘yes we got that one wrong and I apologise to the SNP/NHS, but No, she missed a perfect opportunity to sound almost human and instead followed the Blair/Mandelson political philosophy, of never apologising or admitting you got something wrong.

      The fact that they are losing is down to their inability to switch off this way of thinking, because the kind of people who are able to think on their feet, were filtered out, when Blair was chosen as New Labour Leader.

    136. karmanaut says:

      @Angry Weegie

      I totally agree. The only way someone could look at those statistics and “make a mistake” is if they didn’t read them.

      Nobody, not even someone in Labour, is that dumb.

      It was another lie. Get the headlines. Job done.

      Compliant MSM means no need for a retraction later.

    137. Yesitis says:

      Scottish Labour and BBC Scotland just make me angry now.

      That`s about it.

    138. Gary says:

      Listen to the very end part where he thanks her. He refers to her as “Jenny Mara, Labour’s health…”. A slip of the tongue? This is awful, just admit error and move on. Trying to get mileage where there isn’t any (because Millibland said so) and doing what Westminster does so well – cheese off the electorate to the point where they won’t vote. Maybe that’s the point?

    139. tombee says:


      Yes Luigi, I agree. But if a wayward child, excuse the comparison, attempts to redeem itself, especially under difficult circumstances, we should praise the child for his/her effort.
      Mr Robertson does perhaps suffer under constraints but he does have his moments which must be a relief, to some extent,to his professional pride.

    140. Big Jock says:

      Correct Patrick. Some are suggesting this is some kind of master plan. It isn’t.

      Blair McDougal thinks he was successful and so do the media. He forgets he nearly lost the referendum after starting with a 20% lead. Imagine if the SNP finished on 30% at the GE and Labour on 25% after starting with a 45-50% share of the vote.

      This would be declared a disaster for the SNP and a success for Labour! Yet such is the twisted world of BBC etc. Blair’s near failure is brushed over.

      They won the referendum becuase time ran out for the yes side. Not because the no side won the argument. They were heomoraging voters every week.

      This is why Labour will not close the gap. It may even widen. McDougal and McTernan are failures. The Labour party just haven’t understood that yet.

    141. set fazurs tae malky says:

      Our friend Jenny Marra did the same disingenuous thing with college places when in education….100,000’s of places cut etc etc, when real numbers of full time courses went up

      she didn’t distinguish the Scottish government ending funding for part-time 2 hours a month flower arranging classes that resulted in no exams or qualifications and their concentration of funding into full time college courses that could lead to jobs…

      So she has previous in terms of numbers. maybe she isnt trained too well in Maths. Seems that when you have maths and economics to deal with, the standard unionist response is get a lawyer…

      But then being trained in history and law means you think everything is about interpretation and facts are just mallable tools to be bent into your narrative.

      Those that fail to learn from history are destined to repeat it. In Jenny’s case, the SNP just ignored her numbers over college places, so you obviously thought she could get away with it again since she was treated in a “poor wee jeeny,…. she can’t count, bless her cotton socks.” kind of way

      this is the new blood in the labour party…

    142. jackie g says:

      Nicola Sturgeon is currently giving evidence to the Scottish Parliament on her legislative programme.

      Expect onslaught tonight from BBC Scotland? Guarenteed SLAB will be out in full force.

      Thankfully i do not watch BBC or STV as i can’t stand to listen to them and their drivel also only bought my HD TV in Nov so it saves me money not wanting to put my foot throught it!.

    143. galamcennalath says:

      Someone representing NHS staff – union, Royal College of Nursing, doctor, someone – needs to speak out and tell these Labour opportunistic scumbags to stop slating off the Scottish NHS as a cheap perverted way of attempting to get at the Government and the SNP.

      It’s nasty!

    144. Steele says:


    145. steveasaneilean says:

      @galamcennalath – the BMA, the doctor’s trade union, launched just such a campaign yesterday (have a look at their website).

      As for Jenny Marra refusing to apologise for scaremongering by Labour on a false basis despite being asked four times to do so? Just showed a real lack of grace and humility which I am sure will not go down well with anyone in the NHS – staff, patients or relatives.

    146. Helena Brown says:

      I must thank Stu for listening to this, I gave up GMS so many years ago now that it is ancient history. I gave up because I could smell bias and that has made either listening or watching impossible these days.
      I too am sick to death of Politicians without a conscience ripping into the NHS, I used to work there and one of my duties was to prepare stats. I certainly would not have got much done had I to produce them more than once a month.
      WE can all do without Politician’s the Belgian’s managed for a good while, we cannot do without our NHS.
      I am in total agreement that we should let people know who has share in Private Medical Companies. Alistair Darling for one and there are a good lot in the House of Lords.
      There is nothing wrong with our NHS, so stop trying Labour.

    147. Clydebuilt says:

      Marra’s a rising because the BBC says so. Just like when the BBC told us how big Gordon Brown’s brain was…..and erm it wasn’t

    148. Big Jock says:

      Galam – My brother is fairly high up in his field in the NHS. There is a reluctance to speak out on political matters. Trust me 90% of health workers are on the SNP side.

      I am not sure what the internal rules are. However I know that they are discouraged from revealing themselves in the media.

      It would need to be a collective as you suggest. That came out and explained their joint feeling on the Labour spin and duplicity.

      This may indeed happen, but individuals are pretty impotent when it comes to speaking out. If you think of your own workplace. Would you be willing to stick your neck out and have your job jeopordised. Not sure I would or should be put in that position. It’s the boards that need to agree to do this at a higher management level.

      At the moment the NHS staff are sufferring with us listening to the propaganda and lies.

    149. Stoker says:

      Valerie says:
      “Fergus Ewing has just put Marra in her place on North Sea decommissioning of rigs.She looks like an idiot with no clue of her brief.”


      Her brief is listed officially as: “Health, Wellbeing and Sport.”
      (warning – contains very disturbing pictures and dodgy content)

      And as we officially now know – she can’t even perform that correctly and is a proven liar with zero credibility.

      She is a disgrace and like the rest of the Labour reps she insults the majority of our hard working NHS staff every time she opens her trap.

      We all should be questioning the unions who are backing these liars and helping them to destroy our country and our SCOTTISH NHS.

    150. Bob Mack says:

      I agree.I am shocked that the employee union representatives are taking this lying down.Then again their allegiance to Labour may be over ruling their duty to protect the integrity of their members.

    151. Flower of Scotland says:

      Yeah! Gil Paterson SNP for Cydebank and Milngavie and Christian Allard SNP for N.E. Scotland getting stuck into Labour in the NHS debate at Holyrood.

      Well done them! Showing Labour up for their disgraceful lies!

    152. ronnie anderson says:

      Am I slow or something Sottish Gov nolonger in the domain of .Its now

      Now hurryup and change the name of NHS wie a big big S at every Hospital in Scotland & every piece of paper of every health board.

    153. thedogphilosopher says:

      McTernan obviously has his new 10 Commandments hung on the Bunker wall:

      1 Campaign negatively at all times
      2 Stonewall at all costs
      3 Screw principles, screw integrity
      4 Keep piling up the dirt until it sticks
      5 Contribute to the narrative: SNP Bad, bad, very bad
      6 Treat the electorate like the goldfish they are
      7 Always be getting your face in the papers, or on the telly
      8 Politics mean never having to say you’re ‘sorry’
      9 The End always justifies the Means
      10 Machiavelli was a big cissy

    154. Muscleguy says:

      Journalists are like some sharks, when they smell blood in the water there’s a feeding frenzy. So I don’t think Robertson holding Marra’s feet to the fire signals any change in attitude or bias at PQ, it was just a feeding frenzy and he would have felt remiss had he not laid into her.

    155. Fireproofjim says:

      Jackson Carlaw in the NHS debate ripping into Jenny Marra and Jim Murphy. Callig the Labour Party inconsistent and making things up. Also saying that though he disagreed with many things the SNP had done they had done many good things especially in the NHS.
      Good for a Tory!

    156. MrObycyek says:

      If people like Jenny Mara can be considered a rising star then it really does not say much for the others that make up Scottish New Labour. They all seem to be thicker than a pound of mince.

      I can’t help but wonder just how much damage New Labour will be allowed to do before all their loyal supporters see sense and see them for what they really are.

      When people say they have always been Labour voters and that they always will be do they not understand that Labour is gone and it is New Labour they are supporting? A party that has rid itself of all the things that Labour were supposed to stand for?

    157. MrObycyek says:

      I meant to post Marra not Mara and for that I apologise. See Jenny it is not that hard to say sorry!

    158. KennyG says:

      It’s really sad and pathetic that she couldn’t just say they got it wrong and instead tried to blame the SNP.

      SLabours only election strategy is to smear the SNP, but because they are so spectacularly inept it keeps backfiring on them. All we can hope for after may is that they fade into obscurity. Although with the EBC around I wouldn’t hold my breath.

      I would bet Gary Robertson lifted his notes for that interview straight from wings. It’s just a pity more like him don’t do it more often.

    159. Syd Paterson says:

      When Shona Robison was first Elected to Holyrood I was the first person to visit her office to tell her that during the election campaign Jack McConnell had made a statement that all Heart operations were being done within 88 days from consultation. My Consultant told me that the waiting time was about 6 months just a couple of weeks before his statement. Who was telling the truth. I tend to believe the Consultant. Anyway Shona got it sorted out for me. I am still not an SNP supporter but I still think she and the SNP are doing a good job and i’m happy to lend them my vote.

    160. Jim Thomson says:

      @Fireproofjim 4:36pm

      So, the Tories are now capitalising on the SLab weaknesses (at last). It does, however, spell danger in the marginal seats where the Tories are a close second to Labour.

      Jackson Carlaw’s missus was the Returning Officer for the referendum in South Ayrshire btw.

    161. Bill McLean says:

      As I wrote on last thread if SNP get a decent number of MPs and some leverage with Labour, if they win the GE, we must go for devolution of broadcasting!!

    162. ronnie anderson says:

      Am gonna hiv ago at making Marra soup. John King kin ah git ah Tumshie fae yer gairdin.

    163. jim heraghty says:

      Once again, the BBC can claim ‘job done’ because the interview took place, but the irritation is that it is ‘hidden away’ at a time when the least number of people are listening.

      And many people do not have the benefit of being aware of the ‘wings’ site to help them out.

      And ‘word of mouth’ is often simply not heeded by those whose minds are closed.

      But we’ll keep trying.

    164. Kevin meina says:

      I heard Jackson Carlaw at an Indy debate in Largs and unlike his fellow panellist that prick Wilson he was actually quite reasonable for a Tory.
      He said that if it was a yes he would be first at barricades making sure Scotland got what it was due.

    165. Paula Rose says:

      ronnie anderson – I’ve an idea

      submit the recipe for the soup without paragraph breaks under the name Marra and the Rev will do all your preparation!

    166. Effijy says:

      What a squirming sycophantic toady of a woman!
      I can see a great future for her in the Labour Party,
      might even get Fud Smurphy’s job in late May 2015?

      The Masters never need to apologies to the Westminster slaves.

      To be fair, everyone must have already realised that lying is what Labour do for a living. Why apologise for doing what brings in a great wage, great pension, seat in the house of Lords, Gala Diners from the weapon manufactures, etc. Yes that is the life.

    167. Ferncake says:

      And yet, and yet…

      We are all convincing ourselves here that the mendacity, lying and incompetence of Scottish Labour will reap a grim electoral harvest on May 7th.

      Rest assured however that there is still a very sizeable cohort of people out there who would stick their head in a gas oven if Gordon Brown suggested it, who think that Archie MacPherson really is a politician, and who are conditioned to believe that Scotland exists thanks only to North Sea oil.

      In that respect it matters little just how much we delight in Labour’s deceits and disasters, there is still a huge job of work needing done to fully dislodge the bastards.

    168. Krackerman says:

      Now THAT is how an interview should be conducted.

    169. lumilumi says:

      @ ronnie, 4.11pm

      Thanks for the update on the Scottish government’s new webby address, duly bookmarked. (The public body that used to be called the Scottish Executive from devolution until SNP victory in 2007 when it got called by its proper name, the Scottish Government.)

      dot scot, great, isn’t it? 😀

      Why can’t WoS be dot scot? Or is that too parochial? Or just an adminstrative problem? (site owner outside Scotland etc.)

      I remember when I first got on the Internet. In the era of schreechy 256 kb landline phone modems (I’ve now got the slowest and cheapest option of my local service provider: cable, theoretically 100Mb, usually 45 to 85 Mb). I started doing my banking online in the very early 1990s (over the screechy modem) when you had to know text-based Lynx to do it. No easy mouse clicking here and there. God, I was so advanced back then! I’ve regressed now, or become lazy. If you can’t click it, forget it.

      Helsinki University (my alma mater) was involved in the early development of these interconnected computers and users worldwide so naturally they had the address from the very beginning.

      The capital of Finland (Helsinki) woke up 20-15 years later and had to do with until they struck a deal with the Uni. Now takes you to a joint front page and you can choose the city or the university. The university still owns the address and I hope the city compensates them enough for being able to use it.

    170. Tony Jensen says:

      Jenny Marra did not make any mistake.she deliberately tried to mislead us and hoped that her ‘misinterpretation’ would go unnoticed

    171. Mike says:


      Something you may want to investigate. I believe Labour has been whitewashing Jim Murphy’s past online to the extent of hiding years post 1985 when he claimed he left South Africa in order to avoid National Service with the SA defence Force.
      This period in Jim’s life is very sketchy and it took a bit of effort to find out what the official version is.
      According to Labour and Jim Murphy He left South Africa when he was 18 in 1985 he then attended Cardonald FE college in Glasgow. Now here is the strange bit. they claim he was there for 7 years from 1985 to 1992. I don’t know any college courses which take 7 years and it gets even stranger because according to the official spin online he then attended Strathclyde University from 1992 to 2001 that’s a further 9 Years.
      So the official line is Jim Murphy spent a grand total of 16 years in Further Education.
      I think somebody is hiding missing years and I believe those missing years were spent serving within the SA defence force fighting in Angola for the Botha Apartheid regime. You may want to dig into to it a little.

    172. Cadogan Enright says:

      I wrote a few respectful snail mails to Gary Robertson pointing out more obvious imbalances on morning radio. I assume others write in too? – it would be nice to think he is beginning to dust down his professional reputation and act in a more informed and professional manner.

      @Mike and Stu 10.05 – 16 years sounds like a bit of a gap – would the ANC government in South Africa provide any data? and if so, who would the best person to pursue this?

    173. Gizmo says:

      FFS if a 1000 people died because of Labour but they had to resort to a FOI request to get the exact number they’d still bat it away and try to deflect blame on the SNP – for utilizing the fucking FOI legislation Labour brought in.

      How can anyone vote for these intellectual pygmies who are simply wandering around the place grasping for anything to make the SNP look bad – true or otherwise.

      A mistake was made. Yes the same mistake Slab keep making – thinking that people aren’t paying attention when they lie, distort and deceive.

    174. Jim Oliver says:

      The lady is not for turning!!…..remind you of anyone!!

    175. Robert Peffers says:

      And the Lord said unto Murphy, “Thou art Labour and upon this rock I will build my House of Commons and of Lords. Go forth and multiply, divide, add and subtract”.

      Murphy, though, after nine years, came fifth and failed his exams. For multiplying he divided, for adding he subtracted and so the Houses of The Commons and of The Lords had foundations built upon shifting sands.

      And so it came to pass that the good prevailed and the bad were banished to their true homes in the south.

    176. Robert Peffers says:

      @john ferguson says:18 February, 2015 at 11:26 am:

      “Had a little time for J Marra, no longer, JAFLC.

      This is a mental syndrome that has been endemic in the Labour Party ever since the very first elected Labour MP was elected to Westminster. That MP was Keir Hardie.

      In April 1888, Hardie stood as an independent labour candidate in Mid Lanark and finished last. At a public meeting in Glasgow on 25 August 1888 a Scottish Labour Party was formed, with Hardie its first secretary. Its first president was Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham, the first socialist MP, and later founder of the National Party of Scotland.

      Hardie then stood in West Ham South in 1892. Hardie won by 5,268 votes to 4,036. In Parliament he advocated a graduated income tax, free schooling, pensions, the abolition of the House of Lords and the women’s right to vote. In 1893, Hardie helped to form the Independent Labour Party. He Lost his seat in 1895. In 1900, Hardie organised a meeting of various trade unions and socialist groups and they formed a Labour Representation Committee and so the Labour Party was born.

      In 1900, Hardie, representing Labour, was elected as MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Aberdare in South Wales which he would represent for the remainder of his life. In 1906, the LRC changed its name to the “Labour Party”. There was a General election called and the Liberals had a landslide victory. With a swing of over 20 per cent and the election of 29 Labour MPs.

      So the Scot who started as a Home ruler with the Liberals helped form the Scottish Labour Party, then the Independent Labour Party, then The Labour Party and after joining the Establishment abandoned all his Home Rule and anti-Royalist ethics and set the trend for Labourites until this very day. Once they sink their snouts into the Establishment trough they lose all integrity and abandon all principles.

    177. Robert Peffers says:

      @JB says:18 February, 2015 at 11:32 am:

      ” … I hope she continues her sterling efforts – until May.”

      Indeed she is. I’m just listening to Dugtail at FMQ’s and she’s done it again. She’s attacking the SG’s provision of Child Care. She’s got the figures wrong again. Nicola has been reminding her of the great increases in hours provided since Labour were in office.

    178. Robert Peffers says:

      @Sandra says: 18 February, 2015 at 11:32 am:

      “They can’t argue a case because at heart they don’t have one except “Don’t vote for them, vote for me”. They parrot prepared statements, ignore questions, are unable or unwilling to think on their feet. Pathetic.”

      That just about sums it up nicely, Sandra.

    179. Robert Peffers says:

      @Soda says:18 February, 2015 at 11:45 am:

      “You should contrast that interview with the way Shona Robertson was treated a little while later. She could barely start a sentence without being talked over and repeatedly interrupted.”

      I’m looking forward to the first independence movement interviewee who is treated like this to turn the tables and it’s quite easy to do.

      When interrupted by the presenter you just allow him/her to ramble on until they just sort of taper off. Then, you just continue to sing dumb. This wrong foots them and the presenter now has a self created problem to overcome.

      He/she has a first aim of creating a free flowing narrative but it has now just dried up. This is anathema in all broadcasting but particularly so on Radio. (The audience will think their radio has broken down).

      There will thus be an awkward pause that it is the presenter’s main job to avoid and overcome. They have two options – either they continue to pointlessly blether on or they attempt to prompt the interviewee to respond. If they choose the former they have blown it and get a flech i lug from the production team.

      If they attempt the latter option the interviewee says something along the lines of, “Oh! In view of the way you took over the point I was attempting to make I just assumed you were now answering the points for me – just carry on and I’ll continue to listen to you”. By this time the producer will be throwing their headset against the wall and screaming.

      The interview is effectively ended and they have to fill in somehow and most are quite unable to think upon their feet. “We are sorry for this breakdown and normal service will continue as soon as possible”.

      Once like that is enough to have an earthquake effect on the jobs in the Broadcasting company.

    180. Robert Peffers says:

      @:call me dave says: 18 February, 2015 at 11:54 am:

      “Freudian slip or having a wee go at Labour, or just a misinterpretation.”

      Let me put it this way – with the person in question there is not the slightest chance it was anything whatsoever to do with, “having a go at Labour”.

      Some time ago I had an e-mail converse with him upon his very obvious bias. He seemed genuine in his complete belief he was totally unbiased. This even after I quoted him examples of his obvious bias.

      The guy really does think he is doing an even handed job of presenting political matters. He also has a very overblown opinion of his own ego. Rather like a second rate Scottish version of the English third rated Nick Robinson. Every time I see either of these numpties I get a wee mental picture of them saying, “I never had sex with that interviewee”.

    181. Robert Peffers says:

      @Luigi says:18 February, 2015 at 11:57 am:

      “It’s a sign of character weakness when someone cannot admit they made a mistake. A trait that seems to be endemic in the Labour party these days.”

      Do you think there might be the slightest chance that the Labour Party, as a Hole Err! whole, (did I spell that correctly?), all just suffer from Dyscalculia?

    182. Peffers says:

      @One_Scot says:18 February, 2015 at 11:59 am:

      “Seriously, is Labour simply a magnet for people with this type of psychological profile, or do they actually head hunt them”

      I explain it elsewhere, One_Scot. They all come to Labour full of hope and integrity. Then they join the Establishment, get their snouts in the trough, and a change comes about that’s more startling than depicted in the great Scottish literary work, “The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”.

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