EXCLUSIVE: Opposition parties and journalists spend £750 000 of taxpayers’ money trawling for bad news. ‘BBC demands’ increase by more than one thousand percent!

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A Freedom of Information request for data on the sources of demand for information from government departments, by TuS, has revealed that around £750 000 has been wasted on trawling for ‘scandals.’ This does not include the many requests made directly to such as local authorities, health boards or Police Scotland.

FoI

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/549805/response/1316185/attach/2/FOI%2019%2000357%20Response.pdf?cookie_passthrough=1

The average cost of a Freedom of Information request has been estimated at £234, so:

  1. The total cost of requests from all these groups trawling for bad news is around £750 000 since 2009.
  2. The costs incurred by opposition parties, often then fed to Reporting Scotland, the Herald and the Scotsman, is more than £300 000 and they are using such methods increasingly.
  3. The costs incurred by the newspapers such as the Scotsman and the Herald which often announce that they have done so, and then fed to Reporting Scotland, is nearly £400 000 and increasing steeply.
  4. The demand for information from TV broadcasters, mainly BBC judging by their own announcements, and had increased by 1600% in 2017.
  5. An unnamed political blog has made 10 such requests in the last year. Which is it? This was the first from TuS.

While there are legitimate reasons for some FoI requests, we know from the scare stories that were constructed out of a few of these that this is money not well-spent.

 

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How Reporting Scotland INVENTED a crisis of infected hospitals for us

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‘After because of’ or ‘after just later?’

They don’t always report the news, though they like to pretend they do. Sometimes they just make it up. Consider these:

NONE of the five patients who died recently in two Glasgow hospitals died BECAUSE of hospital acquired infections from pigeon-droppings or from any other source.

ALL forms of hospital acquired infection are MUCH less common than they were only ten yeas ago

Surely that’s not true. We all saw the dramatic headlined stories repeated daily, on the deaths of three in the Queen Elizabeth, and on the two babies in the Princess Royal, in the last week of January 2019.

With regard to the three at the QEUH, Reporting Scotland, repeatedly but incorrectly, said that the deaths had been ‘as a result of’, ‘after’ or ‘from’ the fungal infections they did have. This was untrue. In one case the patient had died from an unrelated cause and in the other two, the infection had been only a ‘contributory factor.’ I complained and the editor replied, first to admit that their reporting ‘did not quite come out as intended’ and then, after a second complaint, to admit that they were ‘wrong’ and to ‘apologise’. Full details at these:

When Reporting Scotland are caught lying, they say it ‘did not quite come out as intended’

Reporting Scotland editor apologises for Jackie Bird being wrong and ‘has a word with her’

Despite the above, they went on to use these misleading terms, implying causality again.

When reports of the deaths of two babies with hospital acquired infections, at the Princess Royal, emerged, we saw the same use of suggestive but inaccurate language. The babies had died ‘after’ infection. Today Reporting Scotland were careful not to say that the infection had caused the deaths but left the impression that the hospital infection was the story.

Here is the real news on the three main groups of hospital acquired infections:

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SAB

file:///C:/Users/Owner/Downloads/CBP-7533.pdf

So, not one patient had been killed by a hospital-acquired infection. Despite this and the reality of fast-falling rates of such infection, the media frenzy led by BBC Scotland with the opposition parties in joyous support, the Scottish Government will allow an inquiry:

hospinquiry

Now everyone, including the Scottish Government, knows that five deaths, among many thousands of other deaths, where a hospital acquired infection was only a contributory factor in these five, is not the objective basis for a national inquiry. This is a classic moral panic and a classic scare story with politic and irrational human emotions, not science or reason, at its origin. The reporting and not the actual, low and falling, level of infection in hospitals, has caused the inquiry.

Unable to ‘lay a glove’ on the most competent and popular government in Scotland’s history, the state broadcaster is using the NHS to conduct a proxy propaganda war against the whole idea of an independent Scotland capable of running its own systems.

When they cannot find a real problem within an infinitely improvable public service where such do often emerge, they are prepared to go well beyond any form of responsible journalism, to actually construct part of the reality of their viewers’ lives and to scare them into an aversion to change of any kind..

 

 

Alex Cole-Hamilton exposes huge SNP Government-funded 142.8% rise in Business Studies student teachers to enable many more to study subject in schools

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I need an accountant. Did I claim for 3 sofas too?

This massive increase funded as a result of SNP education policy decisions will maximise the availability of courses available for pupils to study business management and accountancy courses at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher level. The longer-term benefits for the Scottish economy are incalculable, by me anyway.

businessPGDE

 

 

 

 

 

Scotland’s tidal power hits massive record of 12GW!

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In Energy Voice today:

‘Simec Atlantis Energy’s chief executive Tim Cornelius announced that the Meygen tidal array had exported more than 12 gigawatts (GW) of energy to the Scottish grid. The tidal turbine has now beaten the previous world record held by SeaGen. Mr Cornelius said: “Meygen has now exported more than 12GWh of tidal energy to the grid in Scotland, surpassing the previous record held by SeaGen in Strangford Lough (11.6 GWh). The project announced the completion of its construction phase and the start of the tidal projects 25-year operational phase last April. During Phase 1A the tidal array generated 6GW of energy and saw monthly production of 1,400MW a month of tidal energy.’

https://www.energyvoice.com/otherenergy/193129/meygen-tidal-turbine-notches-up-new-world-record/

Earlier reports here on tidal power:

A tidal surge for Scottish energy?

Leading academic says Alex Salmond crowdfunding has inspired Orkney tidal turbine scheme

More signs of a tidal surge in Scotland’s renewables industry

World’s largest tidal power array comes on line in Pentland Firth and is ‘a triumph of public policy’ due to Scottish Government support

Scotland’s tidal energy expertise to help poor communities in South-East Asia

MAJOR NEWS: World’s first tidal-powered hydrogen generated in Scotland after £3 million funding from SNP Government

As world’s largest tidal energy plant in Pentland Firth generates 1GWh which is enough for 700 000 homes, will Scotland become the most energy-rich country in Europe?

Surf ‘n’ Turf: Innovative new tidal power generation for Orkney

Orkney tidal schemes praised after European Commission visit

Orkney’s giant tidal turbine is the world’s most powerful

 

 

Labour’s Neil Findlay exposes increased GP staffing across almost all of Scotland

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I’m sure we are all grateful for the above parliamentary question enabling us to see that, since the first SNP government, GP numbers have risen steadily in all but 5 of the very smallest of Scotland’s 14 health boards. Note that in the challenging recruitment areas such as Borders and Grampian, GP staffing has gone up and that in Highland and Shetland, the fall has been too small to indicate any significant trend. Notably it has been in two constituencies with relatively high-profile Conservative and Lib-Dem leadership, Dumfries & Galloway and Orkney, that we see major problems. You have to wonder what, after decades of control, David Mundell and Liam McArthur have been doing with their time when they could have been working to use their cultural capital to persuade GPs to settle in these places.

Readers will know that there has been other evidence of success in SNP management of the GP population. For a wee reminder, see:

Why did BBC Breakfast pretend GP staffing figures for Scotland are not available?

Big increase in number of women GPs is excellent news for Scotland

No GP Crisis in Scotland but..

Report of GP staffing crisis in England appears before Scottish media can fake equivalent story

Scottish GP vacancy rate now only one -third of that in non-Scottish parts of UK

In the Scotsman today, 93% of Scottish patients get appointment with GP within 2 days!

Lib Dems feed STV with dubious tale of GPs working too many hours

Scottish GP Contract rated ‘far superior’ by BMA, introduced today, to strengthen patient care

Scottish GPs agree to new contract by 71.5%. Did the 5% wasted forms have willies drawn on them?

As anti-SNP media scrabble desperately for a crisis in NHS Scotland, GP numbers hold constant and access for patients remains far better than in any other part of the UK

SNP act to maintain Scotland’s competitive advantage in GP staffing and satisfaction

Scottish Government funds new initiative to reduce planned waiting times in the wake of BMA praise for its new GP contract and illustrating what the Nuffield Trust called ‘a unique system of improving the quality of health care.’

New Scottish GP contract rated far superior, by BMA, to English equivalent as Scottish GP numbers hold steady and NHS England loses 1 000 in one year!

Already the best staffed and least stressed in the UK, Scottish GPs to get better contracts

SNP Government invests £2.5million so that GPs have more time with patients

SNP Government to invest £71.6 million to improve on what is already the best-staffed and the most contented primary care system (GPs) in the UK and perhaps beyond

 

Now a fourth sub-poll puts SNP well ahead but Tories still apparently feasting on rancid Labour carcass

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Young Tories feast on carcass of Labour dinosaur

Starting in early February 2019, we’ve seen Ipsos MORI, YouGov and Opinium sub-polls with around 400 Scots sampled altogether, putting SNP support at 44, 41 and 40 percent, Conservatives at 14, 22 and 24 and Labour at 29, 21 and 18 percent.

The latest, from YouGov again, has the SNP stable at 41 but the Conservatives continuing to climb at 29 and Labour fading dangerously to only 14%. 160 Scots responded on 18 and 19 February.

https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/zz37bx0uqp/TheTimes_190219_VI_Trackers_w.pdf

As before, this is a sub-poll so there are limitations but when it seems to be telling a similar story to all of the others in the same approximate time period, we can probably give it some credibility.

So, we can say again that media stories of civil war and allegedly damaging sex scandals are having no effect on the SNP or on the Tories. We can, also, say with some confidence that Scottish Labour is collapsing, and that Unionism is sadly trumping social values in those deserting to the appallingly stupid Scottish Tories.

There is, however, a strange smell about both the Tory swell and the SNP stagnation below 50%. I have, only, a gut feeling about both but I know it’s a shared one. While I accept the notion of ‘shy Tories’, I do not believe we are approaching 30% support for them and I live in a town where they hold both the MP and MSP positions, marginally. I also do not believe that, after five years of population change and, even more so, after these last two years of farcical, disgusting behaviour by Tory leaders, that the SNP has not swallowed enough former Labour supporters to push up to around 50%

As you know, I’m a statistically crude information handler without the skills to seriously attack these polls but, readers help me, are they understating support for the SNP and overstating it for the Tories because of their sampling? Are their samples, perhaps because they’re constructed at the UK level, too adjusted in favour of:

  1. Older, say 55 plus, voters?
  2. More affluent, ABC1, voters?
  3. EU leave supporters?

Subtle masters of the arts of psephology and of significance, and the like, do not snigger. I was a mere prof of media representation and psychological effects, requiring only a few scatter and bar graphs for my evil purposes.

Whadya think?

 

 

Massive fall in handling of offensive weapons in Scotland in last ten years

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https://www.gov.scot/publications/recorded-crime-scotland-handling-offensive-weapons/

I think we’re all getting a bit embarrassed with comparisons revealing Tory England to be a place in hell. While there are times when I will persist because the justifiable target is not the poor souls living there but those suffering from the Scottish cultural form of Stockholm Syndrome, sometimes termed Campbell’s Disgust, where victims start to identify with their colonial masters and come to despise their own people.

I don’t need to remind you of the horrific levels of knife-related crime in England’s cities.

The above image comes from a June 2018 Scottish Government publication which was used to answer a lazy FoI request in January 2019. It shows an incredibly steep decline in deviant behaviour rare in the history of crime.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/foi-201900000073/

While I feel sure the causes will be multifactorial (I have more than one ‘ology.’), including falling birth-rates in poor areas and among single mothers, home entertainment replacing street activity, increased youth car-ownership and even lowered lead levels in the environment, government policies must take some credit too.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/04/what-caused-the-crime-decline/477408/