Will BBC praise Police Scotland as car theft falls in Scotland yet soars in other parts of UK?

From Direct Line, in iNews today

In line with a wider fall in crime in Scotland, car theft claims here have fallen 23% in the last four years. In sharp contrast they have risen across the UK with almost unbelievable increases in parts of England.

You might remember that BBC Scotland made much of the allegedly low rate (24%) of car thefts being solved two days ago. It’s only 10% across the UK:


A car is stolen every 5 minutes in the UK – here are the country’s theft hot spots



SNP blamed as none of improving NHS Scotland’s boards in 10 worst places for cancer treatment waiting times

BBC Scotland keeping away from this kind of NHS story

This worrying report is all over BBC 1 ‘National’ News and the UK website but absent from any Scottish reports. Maybe the Scotsman will try to post it as if it is about Scotland and just hope we don’t read on past the headline?

From the Department for Health & Social Care (the Department), NHS England and NHS Improvement, yesterday:

‘Between July and September 2018, only 78.6% of patients were treated within 62 days of an urgent referral, down from 83.8% between September and December 2014 when we last reported on it.7 NHS England assured us that additional investment will be available to help improve its performance against cancer waiting times as part of the NHS Long Term Plan. However, NHS England could not give a commitment as to when the cancer waiting times standard will be achieved again.’


From NHS Scotland ISD in March 2019:

82.7% of patients started treatment within the 62-day standard, an increase from 81.4% in the previous quarter.


Perhaps more worrying is the dramatic variation in performance between boards in England’s more affluent and less affluent areas. Greater Glasgow’s performance under great pressure in demand, of 77.4%, or Western Isles, 75%, challenged by its remoteness, seem quite positive in the light of these:

The worst waits (% of patients started treatment in 62 days during 2018-19)

  • Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells 60.8%
  • Royal Wolverhampton 62.8%
  • Weston Area Health 67%
  • Southend University Hospital 67%
  • Bradford Hospitals 67.1%
  • University College London Hospitals 68.4%
  • Mid Essex Hospitals Services 68.5%
  • Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals 69.2%
  • East and North Hertfordshire 69.2%
  • East Kent Hospitals 70.7%
  • https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-48600926

How many more are there not listed, in the gap between these and 75%?


Scotsman headline blames Scottish ministers when it should blame Westminster

 The headline could not be more explicit. ‘Scottish ministers’ are to blame for the failure to open a drug consumption room in Glasgow and save lives by doing so. Read on and the truth of the situation is revealed:

‘The opening of such a facility in Glasgow has the backing of the health board and the Scottish Government, but the issue of drug control is reserved to Westminster. Last year the UK government refused a request from Glasgow City Council amid legal concerns.’

However, we then read:

‘Dr Maté, author of In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, a book about tackling addiction, said concerns over legislation were a “cop out”. He said: “It’s just an excuse – the government can change the law.’

Is the retired Dr Mate confused? Which ‘government’ does he mean? The Scotsman reporter knows that ‘Scottish ministers’ cannot change this law. Wait, is he writing this from England? Who knows these days?

On the treatment of the drug problem in Scotland, Scotsman readers might benefit from these: 

Why drug-related deaths in Scotland are NOT two and a half times higher than rest of UKFrom Reporting Scotland last night: ‘Drug-related deaths in Scotland are two and a half times higher than the rest of the UK.’ That would be a huge difference and straight off the bat as they say, it’s just not very…

BBC Scotland’s go-to-guy on SNP anti-drugs strategy both wrong and corruptFormer Glasgow University professor Neil McKeganey has long been BBC Scotland’s favourite go-to-guy when they wanted somebody to try to undermine the Scottish Government’s ant-drugs strategy. One rogue academic against the evidence of many experts; that’ll will be ‘balance’, I…

Waiting time targets for drug and alcohol treatment smashed in NHS ScotlandThe target is for 90% of people referred with a drug or alcohol problem to wait no longer than three weeks for treatment. 6 609 people sought alcohol treatment and 4 638 sought drug treatment. Despite these numbers, 94.9% seeking…

Most Scottish health boards exceeded target for alcohol and drug treatment waiting times while NHS England’s services fell into crisisAcross Scotland, between 1 April and 30 June 2018, 6 927 people sought alcohol treatment with 94.1 waiting three weeks or less. 4 823 sought drug treatment with 93.7% waiting three weeks or less. Of Scotland’s fifteen health boards, only…

Off we go? Within days of Scottish independence debate restart, BBC Scotland attempt to deceive and to create fear on drug treatment figuresEarly today and six times before 9:00 am, BBC Scotland’s insert in the Breakfast show, announced: ‘BBC Scotland has found people addicted to drugs are having to wait up to six months for treatment including for methadone prescriptions. Figures show…

BBC Scotland News misuses research findings to lie and scare about drug use in Scotland


Are Scottish Tories seeking SNP help to scupper their own leadership election?

Yesterday, at Holyrood, Michelle Ballantyne seemed to be asking the Scottish Government to introduce a ban which, if applied across the UK, would prevent the Tory leadership election from taking place:



TuS constitutional expert, Professor Cutlass, was pessimistic given that the Conservative Party is not a Scottish party and thus not subject to Scottish Law.


Young carers in Scotland to get special discounts

(c) Carers Trust

From news.gov.scot yesterday:

‘Young carers aged 11-18 are to benefit from a new nationwide Young Scot package of discounts and opportunities. The offers have been designed by young carers themselves with extra discounts available at certain stores and leisure venues as well as other opportunities, such as free cinema tickets and CV advice. The Young Scot project is the first element of a wider package of support announced in September 2017 by the First Minister that also includes the forthcoming Young Carer Grant and free bus travel for recipients of the grant.’


Earlier SG interventions to improve the lives of carers:

NOT in the news today: More than 80 000 carers to get more support in Scotland than rest of UK

Carers are invisible in Scotland’s media. The only story I could find was STV’s ‘Pensioner robbed by fake carer during bogus home visit’ yet there was a big newsworthy headline available, showing Scotland in a good light and making the…

Four humanitarian interventions by the Scottish Government in 4 days! ‘Scottish carer’s allowance to be 13% higher than the rest of the UK’

Scottish care workers to receive Living Wage for ‘sleepover’ hours while English care workers receive only the National Minimum Wage.

Scottish care workers have been receiving the Living Wage of £8.45 per hour since October 2016 and will now receive the same rate for all ‘sleepover hours worked. This will make a big difference to around 40 000 workers. Most…



Why they’re really BBC Notreporting Scotland

Back in 2014, I was often asked why I focused on identifying bias in what BBC Scotland was reporting and not on what they were not reporting. I understood the concern but pointed out that identifying bias in actual reports can be quite objective if done scientifically but trying to draw attention to bias in deciding not to report something was inevitably more subjective. A news agency can always say that they didn’t report on something because they missed it, had too little time or resources for it or that it seemed less important than the stories they did report. Only when a story is collectively viewed as very important, covered widely by other agencies and then ignored by the one being researched, is it possible to make a strong case for bias by omission.

Recently, I’ve noted four good examples to show that it can be seen:

  1. Boris Johnson’s tax cuts for the well-off: When Tory leadership candidate, Boris Johnson made his offer yesterday to raise the threshold for the higher rate of tax in England, Wales and N Ireland and to pay for it with Employee National Insurance contributions, collected from across the UK including from Scottish employees, he presented the SNP with an open goal and the Scotsman and the Herald reported the injustice. Though regularly fed pro-Union messages by these two newspapers, Reporting Scotland ignored the story this time.
  2. Energy bills used to subsidise submarines: This stunning report actually appeared on the BBC UK website and was picked up by the Scottish press but once more ignored by Reporting Scotland. Based on a report from an academic suggesting that ‘the government is willing to burden householders with the expense of nuclear energy because it underpins the supply chain and skills base for firms such as Rolls Royce and Babcock that work on nuclear submarines’, the story was another gift to the SNP though they too failed to run with it.
  3. Carers in Scotland get more support: This report from the Scottish Government telling us that carers in Scotland were to receive £452 per year more than their equivalents in the rest of the UK was ignored by all of the Scottish MSM including by Reporting Scotland despite being posted prominently on the Scottish Government website, familiar to all journalists.
  4. Britain’s Number 1 Teacher Education Faculty is in Scotland: Though St Andrews University hitting second place in the overall Guardian rankings got some attention, BBC Scotland ignored it an went for the giant fatberg in the town’s sewers instead. None seemed to see or care about the fact that the University of the West of Scotland’s School of Education in Ayr had come out at the very top of its category in a stunning result.

I’ve said many times before that no conspiracy is required to produce this kind of bias. Years of conditioning in an education system and in first media jobs, produces journalists who just know what to do to satisfy those above them in the news agency they work for. It comes naturally.

Scotland’s renewable power moves toward constant supply with battery twice the size of current (sic) biggest in UK

Tesla’s giant battery in Australia

In the Guardian yesterday:

Scottish Power is to undertake the most ambitious battery power project in Europe in an attempt to unlock the potential of the UK’s wind and solar farms. The company will connect an industrial-scale battery, the size of half a football pitch, to the Whitelees onshore windfarm early next year to capture more power from its 215 turbines. The first major onshore wind power storage project will lead the way for a string of similar projects across at least six of Scottish Power’s largest renewable energy sites over the following 18 months. The battery has more than double the power capacity of any existing battery in the UK.’


This news follows a gutsy not gusty trend in Scotland’s wind power developments:

Mammoth wind farm to meet needs of 40% of Scottish homes and starts one year AHEAD of schedule

‘The multi-billion Moray East Offshore Wind Farm project will kick into life almost a year ahead of schedule from its operations and maintenance centre at Fraserburgh Harbour. It is hoped that it will bring a significant…

8% of the population but 28.5% of the wind-powered electricity

The UK as a whole generates up to 20 000 MW with wind power, on a good day, on and offshore. Scotland generates up 5 700 MW. I suspect Scotland does it more reliably due to more windy days but…

New Moray Wind Farm to create ‘hundreds of local jobs’ as Scottish wind power breaks records

In Energy Voice yesterday: ‘Developers of a controversial Moray windfarm claim the project will create hundreds of local jobs, while adding almost £27 million to the local economy. Force 9 Energy, project developers of Clash Gour Windfarm, yesterday announced…

Scotland’s wind energy smashes through 100% threshold but fails to bother BBC Scotland

Never mind those bloody windfarms, this one will bleeow yoh hice dine! From the WWF, yesterday: ‘Wind output in November broke through the 100% threshold for the first time, with 109% of total Scottish electricity demand being met from renewables,…

BBC Scotland have only murder on their minds as Scotland’s wind turbines produce enough power on one day to power three times more homes than we have!

Starting the day as I do with the BBC Scotland news insert at 06:26am, fuelled only by coffee, is a high-risk strategy. They had only murder on their minds. There were two killings, one which was decades ago, to start…