Keeping football violence fed, the Scottish Daily Express


Only two months ago, TuS reported:


Toljan had not, of course, mocked Rangers in any way at all. On the same day, the Express delighted in this:


Did you see it? Did you? Ooooh, did it make you mad? Would you like to hurt someone? Go on, do it!

Despite the widespread concern about recent trends, the Express keeps its nose to the ground today with two reports sure to anger:


There is of course little laughing-off to be found in the text. In the next piece, with no sense of irony on social media, they give us a handy link to the offending video featuring a bit of swearing and talk of ‘no surrender.’


Worrall is from Hucknall Torkard in Nottinghamshire, the final resting place of that other romantic hero, Lord Byron. The Grand Orange Lodge of England gives no address. Maybe it’s in Hucknall Torkard?



Herald says ‘tripled’ yet NHS stats say down 80%: Who you gonna believe?


‘Shocking new figures’ from a Herald on Sunday ‘investigation’ form the basis for this latest scare story on NHS Scotland, building on Reporting Scotland’s series on the Carseview Unit in Dundee. As with previous topics such as Ecstasy deaths or dangerous dogs, some readers and writers are known to become excited if they think a bigger pattern is emerging even if they should know that it is their decisions which are creating its emergence in the first place.

I wonder, if there is any other evidence to back up the headline claim? See this official statement:

‘Over the last six years, collaboration and innovation from staff, service users and carers – along with the application of quality improvement and improvement science – has seen a reduction in self-harm of up to 68 per cent, a reduction in violence of up to 80 per cent and a reduction in the rate of restraint of up to 80 per cent across Scotland as of April 2018 compared to August 2012’

Makes you wonder, doesn’t it. I’m not a subscriber so I can’t assess the Herald’s research methods. Perhaps a reader can?

Also, you see the word ‘dangerous’ there in the headline? I did an extended search for any evidence of death, resulting from such constraint. I found lots, in England. I could only find one in Scotland in 2001:

‘There are no absolute safe restraint positions; even the recovery position has been associated with a restraint-related death in Scotland. Morrison and Saddler (2001).’

In England, from Mental Health Today in 2018, I found:

‘Thirty-two women died after experiencing restraint over a five-year period, according to new figures obtained by Agenda, an alliance for women and girls at risk.’

The article seems to be entirely based on NHS England and English politicians. There is no mention of Scotland anywhere. Then in the Guardian in June 2018:

‘A total of 3,652 patients suffered an injury through being restrained during 2016-17 – the highest number ever – according to data from 48 of England’s 56 mental health trusts. The figures raise serious questions about the effectiveness of the government’s drive to reduce use of techniques which critics say can be traumatic for patients and even endanger their lives.’

Looking, for comparable figures for Scotland, I couldn’t find any. It’s a bit different but Conservative Home helped out with:


The Guardian figures are for injuries due to restraint only while the above are for all injuries including ‘trips’, but, if they are correct……well I’m worried…….about the methods used by Scottish Conservative mental, health spokeswoman, Annie Wells.




Why with Scottish ‘Nationalism’ we’ll escape the other populist nationalisms threatening our future


Niall Ferguson gave me the idea for this. I know, he’s an arrogant, imperialist, hawkish, US suck-up, whose speech is now a pompous pretentious disgrace to his home city, Glasgow, but. Though I strongly disagree with his conclusions about what we should do (military build-up and global bullying), I like his thinking about how we can learn from the past. In particular, I like his analysis of previous periods of populism which we can then use to understand why the current one in the UK need not harm Scotland unduly.

In a 2016 presentation (link below) he identifies 5 pre-requisites for the kind of situation we saw from the end of the 19th Century and into the 20Th Century, which resulted in global wars. I’ve replaced his US examples with UK ones and have added two, at Nos 2 and 3:

  1. Rising immigration into working-class areas: As with the Irish in the 19th Century, now Eastern Europeans and refugees from Iraq, Syria, Somalia;
  2. Media reports of ‘Asian paedophile gangs’, ‘Somali’ or ‘Albanian’ armed drug gangs and London stabbings.
  3. Terrorism – White supremacists, returning Jihadis and the New IRA;
  4. Increased inequality: Approaching that of the Victorian era as the Conservatives protect the rich and punish the poor;
  5. A perception of increased corruption: the bankers, MP’s expenses, links with private health-providers and weapons manufacturers;
  6. A financial crisis: As in 2008 which is still keeping working-class incomes low in real terms;
  7. A demagogue (a political leader who seeks support by appealing to the desires and prejudices of ordinary people rather than by using rational argument) who appears to understand all of the above dissatisfaction from your point of view: From Hitler to Trump but in the UK to merely to Farage or Johnson?

I’m not worried, much. Here’s why:

  1. Immigration is rising less in Scotland and the dominant media and political narratives are not negative ones – no hostile environment here;
  2. Crime, especially violent crime, is falling, dramatically;
  3. England is a parliamentary democracy long hostile to presidential-style leaders and which destroys them if they get delusional: Thatcher, Blair;
  4. There are no convincing strong charismatic leaders in the UK: look at Farage or Johnson and laugh;
  5. The EU is a powerful force against such leaders and will destroy them by undermining their economies;
  6. The EU, especially its strongest members are clear friends of Scotland and will protect it, once independent, as they are doing for Ireland;
  7. The SNP and Scottish Government remain popular and largely -free of the scandals which have damaged all of the others;
  8. Scotland is moving inevitably, if frustratingly slowly, toward independence as a model social democracy.

Thanks Niall but don’t come home.

Five ingredients for a populist backlash – Niall Ferguson – Zeitgeist 2016



Daft overblowing of NHS Scotland whistleblowing ‘spikes’ and ‘surges’


The Scottish media are all over this, as they love to do, with NHS Scotland ‘crises.’


No sign of a ‘tsunami’ yet. Here are the actual data on calls to the new NHS Scotland Whistleblowing Alert and Advice Line:


From 13 to 24, that’s nearly a 100% increase! No, it’s not 200%, Scottish Labour! Yeh, I know it’s nearly twice as many but that doesn’t mean a 200% increase. The increase is the same as the first figure so it’s 100% of the first figure? See? Oh god…….

But, why is it not a spike or a surge? Because it’s absolutely too fnn wee! There are around 138 000 people employed in NHS Scotland. 24 of them contacted the line. That’s 1 in every 5 750 or 0.017%.

The increase after only one-year is almost certainly just a factor of greater awareness of the system and remains only a tiny damp spot.


The Scottish media ‘Wheel of Crisis’ turns to Schools BUT finds things are better under SNP!


If it’s not hospitals with pigeon poo, it’s the police and their bangers. If it’s not the lack of VTOL fire engines for remote areas, it’s teachers’ workloads. Today the Herald and others, have funnelled the findings of the latest ‘research’ from a teachers’ union, the NAS UWT, on pupil behaviour. Here’s an extract from the Herald:

‘More than two-thirds of teachers responding to a union survey have said they believe poor pupil behaviour is a widespread problem at their school. Almost 700 teachers responded to the survey teaching union NASUWT carried out in Scotland between February and this month. A total of 67% of the 673 respondents said poor pupil behaviour was a widespread problem at their school.’

There are more than 51 000 teachers in Scotland. I can’t fid the NAS UWT membership in Scotland, but these results are taken from a UK-wide survey where 5 000 of the 300 000 members responded giving a sample of 16.66%. That would be OK if it was properly sampled but it’s based on self-selection where only those who were bothered enough responded – squeaky wheel gets the grease? Self-selecting samples are completely unreliable and a union containing at least some maths teachers clearly knows that but, hey, representing members interests comes first.

But wait, there’s more!

Do you believe poor pupil behaviour is a widespread problem at your school?

Judging by the report, the research question triggering 67% of the 673 respondents to agree was close to the above. ‘Poor pupil behaviour’ is a bit inclusive is it not? Looking out of the window at dogs fornicating? Doodling? Talking in class? I feel sure if you’d asked my colleagues and me, that question, back in 1980, you’d have got 99% agreeing. The guy drinking in the walk-in cupboard refused to respond.


‘Today’s teachers less worried about poor behaviour than they were under Thatcher. SNP blamed.’



Who did Scottish Labour get their arithmetically challenged propaganda from this morning for Reporting Scotland?

torrance.png kellyrepeal

It’s funny but just wait.

Early this morning:

‘Scottish Labour is claiming the national police is getting what it calls ‘a raw deal’ from the Scottish Government on funding with spending on equipment lagging well behind other UK forces. Using figures from the House of Commons Library, Labour says Police Scotland has the fifth lowest level of capital funding of all the UK’s forces.’

What, are they saying Scottish Labour actually read stuff from a library? Aye right. Wait, maybe they have a wee pal working there? What does that remind me of?


I can’t quickly find the source (I doubt David would help) so here are the main points from ITV:

Figures obtained by Scottish Labour from the House of Commons library show that out of 42 police forces across the UK in 2017-2018, Police Scotland was fifth from bottom for capital investment funding.

The statistics put total capital expenditure at £34.1 million for the force – working out at £1,526 for each of Police Scotland’s 22,370 employees.

Police Scotland is second only to the Metropolitan Police in the UK for staff numbers, with a total of 39,733 people employed by the London force.

The Met has total capital expenditure of £431.4 million, with an expenditure of £1,857 per employee.

West Midlands is the third largest UK force, and it had an expenditure of £1,759 per each of its 10,375 employees, totalling £18.2 million.

Needless to say, ITV’s journos didn’t spot it. I hope you have.

The reason that capital expenditure in Scotland is relatively low per head of officer in Scotland is because we have far more police officers per head of population and, at least in part because of that, we have far less crime! Duuuh! Capital expenditure is not based on how many police officers you have but on the population of the country or region. If they’d thought to work out the capital expenditure per head of population of the whole country, that might have been more useful, if kind of pointless.

See these for evidence:

Scotland’s Police and Prison staffing at MUCH higher level than in England

Scottish Labour’s ‘man’ in the BBC reveals only 0.06% of police vehicles break down in typical day

Despite uninformed Scotsman scare story, Scots reported EXPERIENCE of crime has fallen MORE than the police statistics!


BBC Scotland’s Kaye Adams’ loose tax arrangements

Regular use of this device anti-clockwise helps you spin Scottish news toward the negative

HMRC seem to be as hopeless at recouping tax revenues from curious beeb Scotland employee tax arrangements as they are at raising even minimal taxes from the oil majors operating in the Scottish Sector. Bet the Norwegian equivalent of HMRC would be closing down all these curious tax arrangements in the blink of an eye. Link and snippet below: (Nice wee earner that Kaye has found herself with beeb Scotland ain’t it? – my thanks to a post on Wings alerting us to this strange situation)

Loose Women presenter Kaye Adams has triumphed over HMRC, which demanded £124,441 in PAYE and NIC from her personal service company on the basis that IR35 applied.

The dispute concerned two contracts with the BBC to present a series of programmes on Radio Scotland in the periods 16 March 2015 to 31 March 2016, and 4 April 2016 to 31 March 2017. HMRC had also raised assessments under the IR35 rules in respect of income from contracts operated in 2013/14 and 2014/15 but effectively dropped the tax demands for the earlier years just before the tribunal hearing.

The tribunal concentrated on the written contracts between the BBC and Atholl House Productions Ltd, which required the company to provide the services of Kaye Adams to present “The Kaye Adams Programme” each weekday morning on BBC Radio Scotland. The contracts specified that at least 160 programmes would be presented for a minimum fee of £155,000, and any further programmes would be paid for at a rate of £968.75 per programme. In other words, the company was paid a “piece-rate” of £968.75 per programme.

The question of whether Adams was obliged to provide her services to the BBC and if the BBC was obliged to pay her (a mutuality of obligation) centred around the issue of who had first call on Adams’ time.

The BBC did exercise editorial control over the content of the programmes, but it did not have control over Adams’ work outside of BBC Radio Scotland. The BBC could sanction Adams retrospectively if she took actions which brought the BBC into disrepute but that did not amount to control.

The BBC contracts in the two years covered by this case amounted to around 50% of Adams’ income in that period, but the tribunal thought it inappropriate to view those two years in isolation in respect of her overall professional career.

The written contracts gave the BBC the right to ask Adams to attend editorial training and to undertake a medical, but it never exercised those rights. The tribunal concluded that Adams was not seen as part of the BBC organisation but instead as an external services provider. (Nice work if you can get it as the saying goes).