READ THIS! The Great Obfuscation [Thanks to B le Panda!]


10 thoughts on “READ THIS! The Great Obfuscation [Thanks to B le Panda!]

  1. Contrary August 28, 2017 / 7:20 pm

    Many thanks to Panda for this! I note in the 2006/7 report Niall has an email mentioning the accrual method of guessing as numbers – something Richard Mrphy has alluded to. We can assume the most recent GERS is just more of the same then? We all know the numbers are made up, but the way it is presented is so complex, where do you start with refuting it? These reports are refreshingly well laid out with reasonable assumptions clearly stated, it does take someone with an extraordinary mind to be able to do this.

    And why do we not already know of this, and why hasn’t GERS been forced to change?

    Is it like the McCrone report, everyone prefers to ignore it, nothing to see here, that was the past,,,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ludo Thierry August 28, 2017 / 8:13 pm

    Hi John – Hi Contrary et al.

    We owe a debt to M. le Panda for reminding us about these wonderful pieces of work compiled by the late Neil Aslen. I confess that I wasn’t properly appreciative of the prodigious work he had put into this at the time. My understanding of figures, accounting methods and spreadsheets etc was poor++ at that time. Over the interim period – I – and everyone else seeking a new and better Scotland – have had to start developing many extra skills – including a modicum of accountancy knowledge. Mr. Aslen’s superb work in this field must be recognised for its ground-breaking quality. Fortunately, this mantle has today been taken up by other hugely talented and energetic experts such as Richard Murphy. Scotland is lucky to have friends such as these.

    It is hard flipping work living in these early days of a better nation isn’t it?!

    Thanks John for making a blog article from my recent efforts to demonstrate the less than credible figures being quoted in news bulletins regarding the Scotsman’s daily ‘sales’. Much appreciated that you have brought the info to a wider audience.

    One piece of policy improvement that hasn’t had a lot of coverage/comment as far as I had noticed was the change in process the SNP Scottish Govt has introduced regarding the release of FoI responses.

    Previously responses went directly to the person or organisation making the FoI enquiry. Under the revised process the FoI responses are being immediately released directly to the full public online.

    The BBC report quoted some Lib Dem joke called Tavish Scott complaining bitterly: “Immediately publishing information publicly removes the incentive for journalists to pursue stories as they fear that whatever they uncover will immediately be made available to all their competitors.”

    Yes – you got that right. This Tavish bloke is supposed to be a ‘liberal’ and is complaining about the free release of public info to the full public because it doesn’t allow the press (that’s that same press owned by mega-greedy corporations/individuals) – to ‘hoard’ the info unto themselves until they’ve had an opportunity to make money from their ‘monopoly’ hold on the info.

    I was pleased to see the relevant SNP Scottish Govt Minister explain a few home truths – amazingly the beeb carried the quote (below):

    A spokesman for Parliamentary Business Minister Joe FitzPatrick said: “This is an extraordinary statement from Tavish Scott, who is suggesting that the Scottish government is now releasing too much information, implying that we should instead cut back on the amount of material we release”.

    The Scottish government said FoI legislation has been extended to extra public bodies and that access to national records has been reduced from 30 years to 15 as part of a drive to improve transparency.

    That story cheered me immensely (a smart SNP Scottish Govt finding innovative ways to use the process of govt to improve public access to info and reduce the anti-democratic media’s ‘hold’ on the power of information – all part of the long, slow grind to Indy) – Thanks all, Ludo

    Liked by 2 people

    • johnrobertson834 August 28, 2017 / 8:28 pm

      Thanks Ludo. Yes difficult times. Well-made point as always. But…this has had only 96 reads while the Underspend on the bridge story soars toward 10 000!

      Liked by 3 people

      • Contrary August 28, 2017 / 8:51 pm

        Well, that’s what you get for not putting a pretty picture with the headline.

        I just thought of this, I can scroll through and read your full articles without clicking on anything (after refreshing the page). I wonder if it is more to do with the type of device being used, your majority of readers could very well just have the whole page up to scroll through like a website, and it is those posts that are linked directly to that get the clicks. You notice that Wings has a ‘read the rest…’ Link to the article, and many blogs (eg weegingerdug) have side links to articles that you tend to use? I reckon people might be reading without letting you know, outrageous, of course. Hmm. Sigh. You are going to change the format now, aren’t you?

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Ludo Thierry August 28, 2017 / 8:47 pm

    Hi John – at 10,000 views you do realise that your article is getting more customers than the full price Scotsman?!

    Cheers, Ludo

    Liked by 1 person

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