Anger over Scotsman’s call for Miles Briggs to be listened to…at all as NHS taxi costs fall 14% in one year


 I’ve spoken to my family and we’re all calling for Miles Briggs to be ignored by the Scotsman. This means that four times as many people have called for the Scotsman not to use Miles Briggs as have called for a review of NHS Scotland patient transport services.

Under the headline, ‘Anger over £15m spent by Scots NHS on taxi journeys’, the Scotsman wrote: There are now calls for a review of patient transport services across Scotland amid opposition claims that some of the cash could be better spent on patient care’ but read the article and you find that the only call and the only claim is just the one by Miles. I guess only Miles was angry about it too. However, we find out below, that his anger may have been about the fact that the cost of using taxis had actually fallen, last year, robbing him of his story.

I’m angry too. The Scotsman has done the usual cheap tabloid trick of using figures for three years but implying that they are for just one to get a bigger more dramatic figure. Only £4.7 million was used on taxis in 2017/18, or 0.036% of the total £13 billion NHS budget. That represented a fall of £0.7 million or roughly 14%. So, the trend is steeply down but the story needed to big it up?

Finally, doesn’t Miles realise that Tories approve of big taxi fares? See this:

‘A knighted Tory landowner charged taxpayers £163 for a night in a luxury hotel and £113 for a taxi ride to an airport, the latest MSPs’ expenses returns has revealed.  Sir Jamie McGrigor, former Conservative MSP, for Highlands and Islands, claimed a total of £680 for a trip to Norway in May 2015, final-year expenses for 2015/16 shows. ‘

and this:

‘Conservative MPs have been told they can take night-time taxis to anywhere in London and book hotels for up to £150, even if they have spent the evening in the Commons bar. MPs are likely to spend much of the autumn in late-night votes, with the Tories expecting that Labour will force all-night sittings before the end of the year as parliament begins key debates on Brexit.’

Why ‘even’ if they’ve been in the bar all night? Surely, they will have been?

The Conservative Party – Miles by taxi!



9 thoughts on “Anger over Scotsman’s call for Miles Briggs to be listened to…at all as NHS taxi costs fall 14% in one year

  1. Alasdair Macdonald June 25, 2018 / 8:18 am

    The Scotsman has become really dire. I gave up decades ago when Mr Andrew Neill became editor, but, from what you have been writing recently, it appears to have become even worse.

    Underlying Mr Briggs’ ridiculous assertion is a class issue, ‘Taxis are NOT for the like of people who use public services’. They should be taking the bus home. Of course, people like Mr David McLetchie and the bibulous denizens of the Commons subsidised bars have an unquestionable right to have public funds spent on them.

    Bibulous hacks on expenses fall into the same category.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. John June 25, 2018 / 9:14 am

    Miles Briggs , the gift horse to the SNP that keeps on giving , the Scotsman use his quotes because he is always bashing the SNP , only Scotsman readers believe him , but they are easily deluded , everyone else knows Nicola has trashed any his arguments time and time again ,( not that the Scotsman will ever print any of that ) , he is a laughing stock !
    What happened to Alex Salmond’s bid to be on the board of the Scotsman , anyone know ? .

    Liked by 1 person

    • johnrobertson834 June 25, 2018 / 12:10 pm

      Salmond on the board – yes, gone all quiet. Too late to save it?


      • John June 25, 2018 / 12:19 pm

        Maybe .

        Liked by 1 person

      • Alasdair Macdonald June 25, 2018 / 8:43 pm

        I had heard that the owners of the Scotsman had not wanted to accept the bid, given the prospective buyer’s intention to appoint Mr Salmond to the board. The publishers, I understand might not be in to stable a financial position and the bidder is simply biding his time until the company folds.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Dan Huil June 25, 2018 / 11:52 am

    Glad I don’t buy or read the Scotsman. It’s just another British nationalist rag.

    Liked by 1 person

    • John June 25, 2018 / 1:50 pm

      True , I just take a look now and again online to see what the enemy is up to 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ludo Thierry June 26, 2018 / 8:00 am

    In case it’s helpful here’s a brief update re. Johnston Press situation from Sunday Times in May:

    May 6 2018, 12:01am, The Sunday Times

    The activist shareholder seeking to take control of Johnston Press, the owner of The Scotsman and i newspapers, plans to increase his stake in the troubled publisher following the departure of chief executive Ashley Highfield last week.

    Christen Ager-Hanssen, whose investment vehicle Custos is the largest shareholder in Johnston, said he intends to increase his holding of 20% to 29.9% ahead of the Edinburgh company’s annual meeting next month.

    The figure is just below the 30% threshold at which he would have to launch a takeover for the company through a cash offer to other shareholders.
    Ager-Hanssen said: “I’m very happy Custos succeeded in influencing the board to remove ‘Cashley’. He has been a disaster for all stakeholders in Johnston Press.

    As I understand the situation it seems that the existing board have organised a ‘poison pill’ arrangement which means that if the board is removed the repayment of bonds is triggered (approx. £200M). (And they talk about maintaining Free Markets under the capitalist system!!).

    Christen Ager Hanssen realised that it was pointless to effect a full boardroom coup in the circumstances and, instead, is doing it in stages. Will JP be in any shape to be rescued in any meaningful form? – Lord Alone knows – but Christen Ager Hanssen has had success in ths field in Scandinavia so knows a heck of a lot more about it than I do.

    Liked by 1 person

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