Scotsman writers failed for ‘cheating’ in statistics test for bairns

This isn’t the first time I’ve had to fail members of the class for serious mistakes, especially G Herrod and R Espcot, in the reading and reporting of statistics, but these will be the lowest marks ever due to the frankly awful misrepresentation of what the data do actually tell us about trends.

Question 1: Using the ISD data, what does this tell us about A&E performance?

Your answer:

more than.png

The ISD data:


At times I’m not sure if you’re being stupid but to headline the 102, refer to it as ‘more than 100’ but to fail to offer any context is inexcusable. What about the 26 325 total or the fact that the 102 are a mere 0.38% of the total?

What about English data for context? Ironically, you could have looked back at the first week in February 2018 for a comparison and you would have found a fall from then in performance of 2.5% or ‘nearly 3%’!

Mark out of 50: 0

Question 2: Using the ISD data, what does this tell us about trends in the discharge of the terminally ill from hospitals?

Your answer:


The ISD data:


Isn’t the trend in this graph somewhat obvious? Why have you not mentioned this? Why were you not precise with your headline figure? Why is there no context at all?

Also, I’ve warned you before of the risks in hanging about with Speech & Drama students especially M Lennon.

Mark out of 50: 0

Journalistic ethics score: SFA


14 thoughts on “Scotsman writers failed for ‘cheating’ in statistics test for bairns

  1. Contrary February 14, 2019 / 9:29 am

    Good to see you haven’t lost your marking skills John, it’s always good to see an explanation of why marks are given (or not in this case) because that helps the ,,,student,,, to,,, improve,,, hmm. Well, we can hope!

    Have you seen the news that not only did question time invite on an extremist repeatedly to give an erroneous view of opinion in Scotland, but went as far as to EDIT OUT the counter argument from a politician afterwards – pretty serious I’d say, what kind of score would you award question time? Of course, the BBC will claim that it wisnae them, its a separate group that produce QT, but I’d like to see what kind of mark each would get.

    I updated my conspiracy theory btw, I think it’ll be floating about in your Ethernet somewhere (though of course you are under no obligation to find it, it’s a good edit though, honest, although still long!). Strange how each individual link posted okay, but the group of them together didn’t – but I think some of the issue is with one of my devices, sigh, I’ll try clearing it out again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • johnrobertson834 February 14, 2019 / 4:52 pm

      QT – No award – required to withdraw from course having brought University of PQ and Prof Robertson into disrepute.

      Ethernet – do I have that? Got the urls though. Fascinating, Will read and think. Thanks for keeping me in your loop sts..


    • Contrary February 14, 2019 / 9:02 pm

      Quite right! Expel them! Dishonourable discharge!

      As to ethernet, well, there is such a thing as an Ethernet cable, so it IS a thing, but I’m using it as the Internet version of the ether – they invented that in way back didn’t they, when they hadn’t figured out there’s a vacuum out there in the cold of space. And they thought your body was full of ether too didn’t they? Before they discovered organs,,, hmm.

      I need to start thinking up a good game plan for starting mass conversions to independence, but I don’t know what it is yet. Knowledge of secret services techniques helps, countering media blatant nonsense is probably more difficult – they have the most erratic output and so you can usually only counter it after the fact (which has the appearance of always being on the back foot), but we need to have people’s minds already countering misinformation before the fact. Knowing the array of powers we’ll be up against helps – no doubt funding for misinformation could be coming from oil and gas, financial sector, the US, the UK, em, any others?

      Oil and gas is a big one, they hate Scotland because we won’t have them fracking onshore (despite there being plenty of the stuff off-shore!!?), but we could make it look as though we are going to be fully on board with all oil and gas friendly stuff and be really really enthusiastic about the petrodollar – that might keep their anti-Scottish agenda low key, and mollify the US a bit. Trident – ugh – probably renting out faslane and coulport would look the best from both sides, keep the US sweet that they’re still getting their pile of shite broken-before-built out-of-date murdering system bought by the UK state, of course it can stay, for a small fee! (Strained grin, silently thinking ‘but you can get it to f-—k out of there in the next 5 years’). We can start building up conventional forces close by ready to move in once we get rid of it. We must not let any piece of land or water go, just look as though we’ll be incredibly accommodating.

      Good point about defence forces – who do we have? What happens when they swear loyalty to the queen, is that to our queen or to their queen? Royalty – we are going to have to keep them for the duration of any indyref, people are going to have to suck up any republic chat and just keep shtum, we don’t want to even go there, they are untouchable for now, and avoiding rocking that boat is essential. Even hinting at it is a bad idea. There are plenty of commonwealth countries out there, and Scotland does so love to be a part of a family of nations, so we can live with it, and will possibly have no choice. Independence itself has no effect on our royalty – ours is separate as it is (they just happen to be the same people), but we will likely have to agree fees for maintaining them – it’ll be fine, just do it. It’s a battle for another day. If we see any chat about royalty at all, we need to shut it down, it isn’t relevant and just a distraction from the issue at hand.

      Distractions – one of the key techniques, trolling I believe it is called these days. Anyone picks up on an irrelevant point in what you’ve said and tries to turn it into an issue – ignore it, and either carry on with your actual point or move on. (The most famous example is of course ‘what currency will you use’). In fact we need a list of what to look out for in general:

      Person claiming to support independence, but (caveats) – e.g. I’ll only support independence if I get free ice cream.

      Person claiming to support independence, but makes personal attacks on others. e.g. His version of independence is shite, mines better. He said the walls should be painted blue, we can’t have him speaking out for independence.

      Anyone that insults the person instead of debating the subject. E.g. You are an idiot, why don’t you shut up.

      Any comment that induces a feeling of anger. (That’s personal to each person so can’t really give an example, the purpose is to make you angry, so just don’t be. And yes, that IS possible)

      Anyone that confuses constitutional issues with party political or everyday issues. Eg. the NHS is shite! You can’t want independence!

      Plausible comments with unsubstantiated inferences that have a slightly sinister tone – there are some pretty clever comments online going about, these are harder to spot. In general people you actually talk to can’t pull this off, so it’s an online thing. People injecting themselves into conversations, not being bullying or offensive, but introducing subjects slightly off-key. I don’t know how much influence these have, but could lead up to arguments, discriminatory statements, distraction into non-relevant subjects.

      Best thing is to avoid any of these – just make no response. Or at least not directly. Countering any misinformation is good, and can usually be done as a separate comment somewhere nearby but not in direct reply, and not making any reference to the original comment. In real-person interactions, choosing someone completely different nearby and discussing loudly a countering argument, but again not directly referencing the original statements. ‘Avoiding confrontation’ I guess!

      We don’t have to be all happy-clappy and love everyone, but discrimination is one thing to avoid, each to their own you know. Remember we’ve all been subjected to centuries of propaganda, it’s just that some people have bought into it and are still doing so. Don’t be cruel while trying to break down their world view, they will need time to undergo a grieving process, for the loss in security they felt, the approval they felt – you know they will feel far better about themselves once they are on board with believing in their country in the end – but they will be feeling loss at the start. You know what it’s like when couples break up, the worst thing you can say (for a start) is ‘plenty more fish in the sea!’. Same feelings.

      Um, I’ve still to consider the financial sector and need to look at how we deal with politicians, I’ll give you a rest though, this is a massive dose of brain-spew.

      (Any comments on the above great fully received)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jon February 14, 2019 / 10:32 am

    Read yesterday that.

    Gina Davidson head of Communications for Richard Leonard has been appointed Deputy Political Editor at The Scotsman.
    Going by this article she has started her work.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. gavin February 14, 2019 / 12:27 pm

    Alas John, many in your class have been seen hanging around that boy from the remedial class, J. Goebbels.
    A bad lot, that boy, and as your dear Mama used to say–“Flee wi’ the craws an’ ye’ll get shot wi’ the craws”!

    The expected output from G Herrod and R Escot is already greatly diminished, and if this decline continues, there will be nothing left for you to mark.

    Liked by 1 person

      • bigjon999on February 14, 2019 / 8:27 pm

        Sorry – not able to find any similar Scottish data… will keep digging 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • BIGjon999 February 14, 2019 / 8:42 pm

        Found a little bit of info –
        “The estimates in the North Report of the number of lives that a lower limit would save do not include Scotland, which account for about 7% of drink drive-related casualties in Great Britain, so the overall number of lives saved would be even greater.” on the ROSPA website:

        Click to access drinking-and-driving.pdf

        If Scotland has 8% of UK population but is responsible for only 7% of drink drive- related casualties this suggests that Scottish drivers are more aware of the dangers and more responsible in their actions – linked to a more caring, citizen-friendly government?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Legerwood February 14, 2019 / 1:49 pm

    News today: A&E in NHS England worst figures since 2004

    Liked by 1 person

    • johnrobertson834 February 14, 2019 / 4:57 pm

      Even worse maybe if they have used the allA&E as opposed to Type 1 only. I’ll pursue.


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