After reading the headline:
‘More Scots going to university as gap between rich and poor narrows’
I read on in the full expectation of a few ‘ifs and buts’ but found nothing much at all that could bring storm clouds on the horizon of the SNP. Opening with:
‘More Scots are now getting to university. Record numbers of Scots have secured a place at university with progress on those from the poorest backgrounds, new figures show. A report by university admissions service Ucas found 33,530 Scottish students got a place in higher education – up two per cent on the previous year. The number of students from the poorest 20 per cent of neighbourhoods getting a place also hit a 10-year high after a three per cent rise. And the gap between the richest and poorest 18-year-olds getting a place is at a ten-year low.’
The report is fair and balanced. They can do it if they want to or if they can’t find negatives or if they don’t have the time to look for them or if they need one or two of these to throw back at critics – ‘We do report good news! Often!’
I suppose it would be expecting far too much to expect the writer to have been reminded of this from UCAS
‘The problem is that there is rather less sub-degree HE in the non-Scottish parts of the UK than in Scotland but most of what there is appears to be recruited through UCAS; meanwhile in Scotland there’s a much larger amount of HE provided in FE colleges, pretty much all at sub-degree level, which is not recruited through UCAS at all…. Indeed, it’s the HE provided in colleges which gives Scotland the edge in overall participation rates.’
Wow? – In the Herald? – just wow.
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Repressive tolerance (Marx) – enough to make people and themselves maybe think they are fair and balanced not like in Soviet Russia.
Oddly enough I’m also forced to award a Brownie Point to the beeb this morning – Can we all recall the Project Fear stuff about mobile phone ‘roaming charges’ back during Indyref 1? – Well, beeb N.Ireland took the unusual beeb journalistic step of actually asking the 4 major mobile phone operators what their plans are for N. Ireland post-brexit (on current ‘clear as mud’ proposals from Treeza). All 4 gave very similar responses indicating would plan to work around situation and maintain absence of ‘roaming charges’.
Yet another Better Together ploy that won’t play in Indyref 2. Well Done beeb (doing good by stealth).
Link and sample comment from O2 below:
O2: “We currently have no plans to change our roaming services across Europe. We will be working closely with the government and other European operators to try and protect the current arrangements so our customers can continue to enjoy free EU roaming once Britain officially leaves the EU.”
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Will BBC NI have a different agenda re Scotland from BBC Scotland? BBC Salford often put in wee pro-Scotland/SNP bits in attempt to damage London Tories especially Brexiteers without worrying that they may be contradiction Pacif Quay position.
Of course at the next referendum roaming charges will be shroud-waved again. Why bother with facts? They will even tell us we’ll be thrown out of the EU.
Shroud-waving – I like it.
For those new to it:
(especially in the context of health-care funding) the practice of focusing on the potentially negative effects of a particular policy in order to influence public opinion. – ‘he accused Labour councils of shroud-waving over spending cuts’
a relative of ambulance-chasing much loved by RepScot
I cannot claim authorship of the term. I first read it many moons ago when it was used by former Scotsman editor, Harry Reid, in the days when the Scotsman actually tried to produce proper news, analysis and comment.
Hmm well. A good report, but did they relate this good news directly to Scottish government policy? So points for actually report something good about Scotland, then negative points for not actually giving it realistic context?