Lib Dem triumphant as he finds increasing self-harm for Reporting Scotland


I suppose, if you keep digging for dirt, preferably blood stains or body parts, you will find something now and again.


This is not Liam Kerr MSP

Liam McArthur has found a juicy if smelly morsel in a Freedom of Information request to the Scottish Prison Service which he has been able to pass quickly, before it even appears online, to Reporting Scotland. It’s on the website and was broadcast late last night. Here’s the gist of it:

‘The funding of mental health care for Scotland’s prisoners must be increased after the number of self-harm incidents “skyrocketed”, an MSP has said. Figures show there were 762 incidents in 2018, compared with 532 in the previous year – a jump of 43%. These include burns, cuts, attempted suicide, ligature, overdoses and swallowing items. Of the 762 total incidents recorded across Scotland, 517 were for cuts, 72 were categorised under “swallows item”, 41 for “overdose” and 31 as “attempted suicide”.’

There are around 100 incidents missing from that list at the end. Why? What are they? Why are we seeing only the one-year change? Did he ask for more? Does the trend look like a mere blip if you get the figures for say ten years? Is self-harm falling? I’ll report on this when I get the full response from the SPS.

 A visit to the SPS website for FoI, March 2019 screenshot and link above, reveals the work going on by the diggers, sniffing for blood which they can then pass quickly to our NoMedia, in a campaign attacking the SPS and by proxy the SNP Government.

As always, Reporting Scotland, neglects to include any context which might inform their viewers such as:


All of Scotland’s prisons have a full operational multi-disciplinary mental health team in place. Liam Kerr MSP will know this from his FoI request in only weeks ago. He is determined.

Why didn’t Kerr feed that one to Reporting Scotland I wonder?

Self-harm in Scottish prisons is much, much, lower than in England & Wales

 ‘In the 12 months to September 2018, there were 52,814 incidents, a 23% increase from the previous year, and a new record high.’

So, there were 52 814 incidents of self-harm in England & Wales in 2018 and 762 in Scotland in 2018. You can probably see where this is going.

First, the prison population in Scotland is 8 020 and 762 is 9.5% of that. The prison population in England and Wales is 82 543 and 52 814 is 63% of that. The population of England & Wales is around 11 times that of Scotland. So, self-harm is more than six times as common in English and Welsh prisons. Hey, great idea for a BBC Scotland Disclosure report?





14 thoughts on “Lib Dem triumphant as he finds increasing self-harm for Reporting Scotland

  1. Robert Graham March 18, 2019 / 10:16 am

    My thoughts exactly when this appeared on the BBC website ” WHO” ,Thanks for confirming my suspicions , these Libdems given recent and historical revelations should be so embarrassed they would hide from the public , every single current one has serious questions to answer for their actions .

    Liked by 2 people

  2. William Henderson March 18, 2019 / 10:20 am

    This selective targeting of Scottish governance has now reached the stage of being both sordid and seamy.

    Surely a way can be devised to limit this gross abuse of Freedom of Information with all the utter waste of valuable time of the staff of the institutions queried – not to mention the sheer cost of it all?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Paul March 18, 2019 / 10:28 am

    There are many probable reasons for the considerable difference between England & Wales and Scotland in reported self-harm by prisoners. Among these are:

    Lack of consistent, coherent and prisoner-focused sentence planning in E&W, resulting in prisoners being placed in prisons far away from home, causing problems for families with the logistics and funding of regular visits and thereby providing support.

    The UK Government’s welfare reduction policies are hitting prisoners’ families hard, and thereby cause greater anxiety and stress for the prisoners. While also an issue in Scotland, the Scottish Government is mitigating part of this.

    The impact of privatisation of services for prisoners in E&W, on both the care and the rehabilitation opportunities prisoners receive.


  4. Robert Innes March 18, 2019 / 12:40 pm

    Hi John,

    Off topic, but I wanted to bring to your readers’ attention, the phenomenal success of your blog as noted at the end of this post in Scot Goes Pop’s review of internet “hits”, as I suspect you are far too modest to do so yourself. Can be found here: –

    Congratulations, your work is a huge resource to the Indy movement as well as being a good read.

    Keep up the good work, please.


  5. John March 18, 2019 / 4:23 pm

    If it’s a Lib-Dem it must be Liam McArthur , Liam Kerr is a Tory .


  6. Ludo Thierry March 18, 2019 / 5:28 pm

    Meanwhile the Scottish focussed SNP Scottish Govt gets on with finding innovative and imaginative ways to improve the daily lives of the Scottish people (all of them) – see snippets and link below from site reporting the very welcome news of a scheme to explore with recently retired/part-time (and hugely experienced) Medical Staff opportunities for innovative and flexible short-term work to support rural General Hospitals:

    Recently retired doctors are to return to work as part of a new collaboration to support health services in remote and rural areas.

    Under the new Scottish Clinicians Collaborative, which is being developed by the Scottish Government and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, clinicians who have recently retired or are working part-time can take on short-term work to support rural general hospitals where recruitment can be challenging.

    Speaking at the launch in Edinburgh, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:

    “We are committed to high quality care in our rural communities. These highly experienced clinicians have told us that they would welcome the opportunity to maintain their clinical interests in more flexible ways, making them ideally suited to working in rural environments.”

    Consultant Surgeon Robert Diament retired from NHS Ayrshire and Arran in 2018 and now works as a travelling Locum Consultant Surgeon in Scotland’s
    remote and rural hospitals.

    He said:“This joint venture is an opportunity for senior consultants from across the country to come together and provide specialist services wherever and whenever they are required. This support is required in some of Scotland’s more remote communities where the sustainability of specialist hospital services is particularly challenging.”

    NOTE: beeb Scotland actually picked this story up for their Scottish News page (and there are some magnificently barmy quotes from Tory MSP Miles Briggs concerning the scheme – truly the Tories in the Scottish Parlt are seriously bonkers).

    PS – That’s some political grenade Speaker Bercow has tossed at Theresa and her Tory Govt at Westminster – interesting development for sure. Do you imagine the Tories will demonstrate a ‘change’ in the proposed ‘Deal’ by indicating they will include a new section transferring authority for immigration to Scotland to the Scottish Parlt and Scottish Govt? – no – me neither – but it would almost certainly work as a way out for them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • William Henderson March 18, 2019 / 5:44 pm

      On the matter of Bercow’s ‘grenade’, Ludo, I notice the following in the BBC report:

      “He told MPs parliamentary conventions dating back to 1604 meant they could not be asked to vote on precisely the same subject twice in the same session.”

      Note the date – 1604 – a whole 103 years before the present Parliament of Great Britain came into existence. It concerns precedent from the previous English parliament. Now, then, if that’s OK what doors does it open for the use of precedent from the pre-union Parliament of Scotland?

      Might be some fun to be had here….. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Ludo Thierry March 18, 2019 / 5:57 pm

    Not half William – your point is a good one – here’s hoping a few boxes of historical/constitutional/political tricks are being opened (under the stresses and strains of Brexit) which will advance the cause of Scotland’s political independence at a faster rate than our Westminster chums can imagine!

    Liked by 2 people

    • gavin March 18, 2019 / 7:11 pm

      Alas Ludo, if you have a brass farthing thes days, you can buy an opinion to suit——

      Professors Crawford and Boyle “Scotland was extinguished…….by the Union”.

      Misha Glennie on his radio 4 programme on the nations of Britain “Scotland gave up its sovereignty”—-no mention of England doing likewise.

      David Mundell, our pretendy SoS—-“Scotland is a part, not a partner in the UK”.

      Westminster is “our thousand year old Mother of………..blah, blah, blah!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. diabloandco March 19, 2019 / 8:40 am

    so the Lib Dems are keeping up the dishonesty – seems their in trouble in Liverpool too. it seems an interesting place to start a smear campaign given the Liverpudlians reaction to the Sun newspaper – coming to a Lib Dem councillor soon!

    Liked by 1 person

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