In a year of terrible events, we can still feel that this wee country is getting better as it drifts away from the callous, post-imperial, values of Tory Britain



I’ve been posting almost entirely good new stories, talking-up Scotland, in an effort to counter the depressing effects of our doom-laden, Unionist media. To finish the year off, here are a some of nearly a thousand of them, to hopefully lighten your heart:

Scotland has higher gross disposable income per head than most UK regions

Scottish graduates more likely to find work or further study than other UK graduates

Unemployment at record low, employment up, economy growing, youth unemployment amongst lowest in Europe, business confidence increasing, oil jobs returning, health indicators improving to world’s best: That’ll be Norway? No? Scotland!? SNP baaaad!

Scotsman headline is untrue: hate offences against Jews in Scotland are extremely rare by contrast with the rest of the UK?

Scottish public sector to put poverty and inequality at heart of decision-making despite UK Government’s abandonment of the principle

Ruth and Kezia sob as they hear Scotland is ranked as the best place in the UK to start a business. Will this good news never end?

Tourism spending in Scotland surges ahead of UK figure

Scotland takes nearly 26% of Syrian refugees settled in UK with only 8% of the UK population

58 000 baby boxes to help increase life chances and now Scotland will be the first country in the world to provide free sanitary products to ‘end period poverty’. This is the kind of country I want to live in.

Scottish Veterinary researchers working to improve the health and productivity of farmed animals in sub-Saharan Africa.

Scotland has the best performing trains AND the lowest prices increases in UK

Institute for Fiscal Studies reveals Scotland to have become more affluent than every other part of the UK bar the South-East of England and that much (most?) of this improvement has come under the SNP

SNP continues to build far more schools than Labour did/could

German Greens and Free Democrats repeat: ‘Door is open to Scotland in EU.’

UN condemns UK Government’s ‘human catastrophe’ on disability rights but praises Scottish Government’s actions

SNP to bring in free personal care for disabled under-65s by April 2019

Scottish teachers report lower job demands, better relationships and lower perceived stress levels than those in England and only 4% are considering leaving their jobs

Homelessness falls in Scotland as it rises in England, mainly driven by heartless Tory welfare reforms

The Auditor General strongly, with no qualifications, commends the Scottish Government on its ‘sound’ management of the economy. The lowest under-spend since devolution.

Scots most ‘digitally savvy’ citizens in the UK?

Scots the least respectful of the upper classes: More evidence of a difference that makes a difference?

Scottish Government meets its youth employment target four years early to place Scotland as among the most successful in Europe

Scotland’s homicide rate falls by 47%, is lower than the rate for England and Wales and has fallen faster than many other countries in the ten years of SNP government

Scottish food and drink exports still booming so is it still only 28% of the UK’s food and drink exports? We’re still only 8% of the population

Racial hate crimes increase by 33% in England & Wales while falling by 10% in Scotland: Who says we’re not different?

Scottish care workers to receive Living Wage for ‘sleepover’ hours while English care workers receive only the National Minimum Wage.

Would Nicola Sturgeon’s fairer and more equal Scotland be a more productive one too?

Despite massive increases in demand, NHS Scotland maintains performance levels extremely close to the most rigorous of targets and patient satisfaction is at an all-time high. Audit Scotland say: ‘There were no significant weaknesses in the overall quality of care being provided.’

8% of the UK population and 28% of living wage employers. More evidence that we are different enough to want to run the whole show?

Despite already having the lowest rate of child poverty in the UK, Scotland will become the first and only part with statutory targets to tackle it

With 1 in 4 living wage employers already in Scotland, the Scottish Government aims to make this a ‘Living Wage Nation’

80% of full-term baby deaths [in England] could be prevented by improving staffing levels. ‘There is not a shortage of midwives in Scotland’ (BBC Scotland)

Extracting the positives for Scottish Government from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation report on Poverty which you are unlikely to hear of elsewhere: Lower poverty, better qualified workers, lower domestic violence, smaller educational gaps and eating just as much fruit!

A good new year to all of you who read, share and comment here. I really value it.


30.12.17: 16:25


33 thoughts on “In a year of terrible events, we can still feel that this wee country is getting better as it drifts away from the callous, post-imperial, values of Tory Britain

  1. TSD December 31, 2017 / 4:44 pm

    Keep up the good work and all the best for 2018!


    • johnrobertson834 December 31, 2017 / 6:46 pm

      Thanks Trusted Saving Dame? Terribly Sensible Dollybird? All the best to you too.


      • TSD December 31, 2017 / 7:47 pm

        Trustworthy Steadfast Dundonian!


      • Clydebuilt December 31, 2017 / 8:26 pm

        Being Clydebuilt . . . TSD can only have one meaning for me. . . . Twin Screw Diesel. . . . . Too much time spent down the draughty yard

        Liked by 1 person

  2. David Howdle December 31, 2017 / 4:56 pm

    Good on you Prof.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ronaldgray61 December 31, 2017 / 6:10 pm

    Such a store of good news about Scotland. Good governance shows the difference.


  4. macgilleleabhar December 31, 2017 / 7:06 pm

    Thank you John for an educating and interesting blog. Thanks as well to “The All Stars” for imparting such diverse wisdom and knowledge in the comments.

    Bliadhna Mhath Ur agus slainte mhor.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Clydebuilt December 31, 2017 / 8:20 pm

    Brilliant effort John. . . . Looking forward to reading next year’s Good Scottish news . . . .


  6. Charlie December 31, 2017 / 8:41 pm

    Thanks for all your effort John, it really keeps me going. Have a good new year.


  7. Ludo Thierry December 31, 2017 / 8:54 pm

    Hi John and The Allstars. A wee Hogmanay story of excellent SNP Government which helped fund, plan and deliver a new export stream to end the ‘interesting ‘ year of 2017.

    See below the piece from the ScotGov news service reporting Keith Brown’s trip to Canada to promote Scottish Food following the Canada-EU trade agreement which permitted non-offal meat exports to Canada following a 46 year hiatus. Following the Oct.2017 snippet is one from today reporting that McSweens’ have been able to export enough packs for an estimated 40,000 Haggis Suppers for this Hogmanay alone. Truly amazing to observe what real joined-up Scottish Government can delay for ALL the peoples of Scotland.

    19/10/17 00:01
    Haggis on the menu in Canada
    Since the red meat ban was lifted, Scottish companies have been working to produce a haggis recipe that meets Canadian regulations. The import ban on offal remains in place.
    Macsween of Edinburgh have benefited from a range of Scottish Government support to help with their growth ambitions, including Food Processing & Marketing Cooperation Grant funding and specific supply chain and logistical advice on accessing the Canadian market through the Market Driven Supply Chain project.
    Attending an event in Toronto to showcase Scotland’s food and drink produce to Canadian buyers, Economy Secretary Keith Brown welcomed the news.
    He said:
    “Haggis is known the world over for being a truly iconic symbol of Scotland.
    “It’s great news that Macsween have been able to develop a haggis recipe for export to Canada. After waiting 46 years I’m sure there will be many Canadians and ex-pat Scots looking forward to having Scotland’s national dish at the centre of their table at the next Burns’ supper.

    31/12/17 00:01
    Hogmanay haggis for Canadian Scots
    The first haggis exports to Canada have provided enough to feed 40,000 people since the ban was lifted in August.
    Ahead of Hogmanay celebrations, Economy Secretary Keith Brown welcomed the news that 17,500 packs of Scotland’s national dish have gone out from haggis firm Macsween – the sole provider to Canada – and said the Scottish Government will continue to support Scottish companies to unlock trade in Canada and the US in 2018.
    Wishing Canadian Scots a happy Hogmanay, Economy Secretary Keith Brown said:
    “After developing a new recipe that meets Canadian regulations in August, Macsween’s of Edinburgh have shipped seven tonnes of haggis to Canada – enough haggis to feed almost 40,000 people.
    “This Hogmanay, the huge Scots diaspora in Canada will be looking forward to having Scotland’s national dish at the centre of their table after a 46 year wait. This reflects the increasing interest in, and love of, Scottish food and drink in North America.
    Macsweens have shipped 7 tonnes of lamb haggis & vegetarian haggis into Canada since the ban was lifted at the end of August 2017. This equates to 17,500 packs in different size formats or enough haggis to feed almost 40,000 people.

    Here’s hoping we all enjoy an INDEPENDENT 2018!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Redrock January 1, 2018 / 9:46 am

    All the best for 2018, Lang may your lum reek!

    Been sitting here liking virtually all your posts, sorry if I miss any, it’s no reflection on the post more on my attention span.

    Please keep up the good work, I recommend you to everyone I get into debate with, but not enough take it onboard. I use your posts to counteract the insidious narrative of ‘ we’re a doomed ‘ so commonly met it’s all pervasive.

    For 2018 we need your morale building more than ever so please do keep your efforts as they are well appreciated.

    Everyone of us needs to keep on spreading the word till the message is taken on board by all but the most thrawn unionist, namely Scotland is already a distinctly different place from the rest of the UK. We do things our way and get better outcomes and will blossom and thrive once we can make all the decisions ourselves.

    Enjoy the rest of the holiday season and make sure you don’t overwork as we need you to keep up the good work for the long run (hopefully not too long).


  9. gavin January 1, 2018 / 12:54 pm

    Here’s tae ye John, and all your admirable crew.
    Health, wealth and happiness for 2018, and mony mair years tae come.


  10. Ann Rayner January 1, 2018 / 2:11 pm

    Thanks a lot for coming up with so many good stories about Scotland. Its great to have somewhere you know you can find something positive when there’s so much really crappy misinformation about.


  11. Brian January 1, 2018 / 5:46 pm

    Echoing what so many have said… a great, upbeat, good news site using impeccable sources. I too pass on your site via links to so many of the doubters I come into contact with. Even now, 3 years past indyref, there are so many people just not paying attention, or worse, still believing what they read/see in the MSM.


  12. macgilleleabhar January 2, 2018 / 10:31 am

    I have stolen this from Tax Research UK but I am sure Professor Brian Murphy will forgive me.

    Tax Research UK 2
    National institutions
    Posted: 01 Jan 2018 02:50 AM PST
    I confess that I enjoyed this comment in this morning’s Times Red Box email:

    This year … marks 70 years of two of our great national institutions: the National Health Service and “David Davis”. One is a hugely expensive, abstract concept born out of a different political age and now prone to long delays, broken promises and poor quality service. The other is where you go when you’re poorly.

    Quite so.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ian Clark January 2, 2018 / 12:06 pm

    When you started on the good news approach I drifted away to some extent. However I found myself regularly coming back. I’ve been surprised at just how much I’ve come to value what you have done and are doing. Your stream of positive stories reflecting our moral, social and economic strengths has provided not merely ammunition in the fight against the unitary statists, but a continual reinforcement of a positive national self image. It is undoubtedly much better being positive but willing to critically engage with challenges than being defensive and forever reacting to ‘problems’.

    Your original motivation may have been concern about your emotional and mental wellbeing, but we have all benefited from (one of?) the way(s?) you attempted to tackle it. Something to be genuinely proud of John. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • johnrobertson834 January 2, 2018 / 8:04 pm

      That’s very kind Ian. Encouragement like yours means a lot to me. John

      BTW I still can’t look at Jackie Bird!


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