Journalism shock: Bigotry tiny and falling in Scotland


You’d think you could rely on what one big polis told you. Sadly the ‘Scottish’ Daily Express has been let down by its source. I suppose checking the official statistics is overrated? Not what real journalists do? Typical ex-professor at a pretendy wee university! Oh, go on then, tell me about it then, smarty pants.

                                                                   2010/11                       2017/18

Racially-aggravated                            4178                            3249                down 22%

Religiously aggravated                       694                              624                  down 10%

Disability aggravated                          48                                284                  up 491%

Sexual orientation aggravated           452                              1112                up 146%

The large percentage increases in the reporting of disability and sexual-orientation aggravated offenses is shocking but does reflect a more positive trend in that these groups are more willing to come forward.

The fall in the reporting of racially and religiously aggravated offenses is not, I’m sure, evidence that people are become more reluctant to report these.

So, given that sectarian abuse is included in racially aggravated crime, we can be fairly sure that the Express is wrong. It’s also worth noting that religiously aggravated crime, as well as falling, makes up just over 10% of the total.


10 thoughts on “Journalism shock: Bigotry tiny and falling in Scotland

  1. gavin March 4, 2019 / 8:58 am

    Thing is: the very instant talk turns to Scottish self government, new currency, referenda (in Scotland) then there is a huge rise in bigotry within Scotland—-in the pages of the “British” press—–anti-Scottish sentiment abounds. Colonial jibes. British Raj mentality, including some scribblers who are Scottish ( cringe to the max).
    Too wee, too stupid, too poor—-you get the picture. £13 billion blah blah!—even though this figure is relevant to Scotland WITHIN the Union, not free of it.

    You even have rent-a-clowns like Richard Leonard stating Scotland cannot have an independence referendum, even if the electorate/Holyrood gives a mandate for such a thing— because England says NO!
    Leonard’s party Leader and his Deputy Leader are both on record as being in favour of a “United Ireland”; a circumstance which could NOT happen without a plebiscite on both sides of the Irish border. So his party are exhibiting their own brand of bigotry on referenda.
    Nor has Leonard apparently heard of Scotlands “Claim of Right”, signed of by most Scottish politicians in 1989 and whose sentiments were approved by Westminster’s House of Commons in 2018.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Contrary March 4, 2019 / 9:14 am

    Huh, we must be out of synch John – you’d have been posting this article as I was writing this comment, which is far more relevant here:

    BBC radio Scotland GMS, were reporting on football behaviour this morning, claiming it indicates a rise in sectarianism – but then had Prof? Tom Devine on to comment. I thought, oh no, an academic expert, but, in fact, he said many interesting things – that all the evidence, and he reeled off a fair amount, shows that discrimination was the lowest ever, and this rise in football hooliganism is, in fact, hooliganism – nothing to do with sectarianism, they are repeating words they’ve heard without understanding (I’m simplifying and paraphrasing here) – the sectarian aspect is just being FUELLED BY THE MEDIA.

    Just like the media is telling us lies and fuelling dissatisfaction regarding strikes/employment issues (do YOU really know why college lecturers are unhappy?) and our health service, they are in fact fuelling the epidemic of sectarianism that is not as bad as it seems – football violence is hooliganism, and you’d think the media would report it as such,,, if they were reasoning human beings.

    (Copied and pasted because I’m lazy)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Contrary March 4, 2019 / 9:19 am

      P.s. The phrase ‘fuelled by the media’ was Tom’s exact words, not my paraphrasing, and he sighed a lot in that exasperated manner we all feel and sympathise with.

      Liked by 2 people

      • johnrobertson834 March 4, 2019 / 11:30 am

        Can offer you and any other regular a part-time unpaid post where you email me if you’d like to do one. That way I do something else.


      • Contrary March 4, 2019 / 7:59 pm

        I volunteer Alasdair. See how thorough he is, listening to the radio, below!

        Do you need more things to do,,,? I could think up some tasks for you,,,

        Liked by 1 person

    • johnrobertson834 March 4, 2019 / 9:20 am

      Thanks that is useful. I’m too weak to listen to GMS. We’re out of synch? Were we before? I have no idea what you’re thinking now.


      • Contrary March 4, 2019 / 9:25 am

        Throw-away comment, trying to unfocus any attention from me not waiting until you’d posted something relevant 😉 – I was being inclusive you know,,,

        Liked by 2 people

      • Alasdair Macdonald March 4, 2019 / 10:22 am

        Professor Devine made the case which he first made a couple of years ago in the then Sunday Herald, based on the statistical approach he has applied with great success in demystifying Scottish History. You have just used the same approach in your article.

        He pointed out that the great majority of reported ‘sectarian’ items are committed by drunk young men at weekends to Police Officers, taxi drivers, shopkeepers, who have little recollection of using phrases like ‘fuckin Fenian bastard’. The immediate response of the BBC Scotland interviewer was to apologise to listeners for being exposed to such language in the morning! The interviewer then instanced the disgraceful spitting on an RC priest in Calton recently as an example of ‘growing sectarianism’. Again, professor Devine gave this assertion short shrift. It was generalising from a particular case.

        Professor Devine classified the behaviour as hooliganism. And, he excoriated the media for exaggerating the issue of ‘sectarianism’ and, possibly of fomenting it, by their undiscriminating categorisation of bad behaviour at football grounds as ‘sectarian’.

        The phone in this morning attempted to discuss this matter, but, as always happens on such debates it degenerated into uninformed claim (prejudice) and counter claim (prejudice), with the opening remark being the old chestnut that ‘we need to close the RC schools’ and ‘the entire world (sic) is laughing at us!’

        Liked by 1 person

    • Toni Young March 6, 2019 / 8:28 pm

      Tom Devine is the pre-eminent historian in Scotland. His publications are honest and balanced.


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