Another case (😊) in the real story of Scotland’s economy: Scotch whisky exports grow to almost £2bn

Again, from Reporting Scotland’s least-used business source:

Scotch Whisky exports rose to almost £2 billion in the first half of the year. Exports increased in value by 10.8% to £1.97 billion, compared with the same period in 2017. Analysis of official HMRC figures published by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) also shows the volume of exports increased by 5.6% to almost 558 million bottles. Exports to emerging markets continued to grow, with a 34.8% increase in the value of Scotch Whisky going to China, and a 44.4% increase to India. The US remains the largest export market by value at over £400 million, with France largest by volume at almost 90 million bottles. The European Union remains the biggest regional destination, accounting for 39% of the volume of Scotch Whisky exports and 31% of their value.’

Scotch now accounts for more than 20% of all UK food and drink exports!

8% of the population, over 25% of the food and drink exports. How could this wee stupid country expect to survive? How could we pay off all ‘our’ debts to the UK? I need a drink.



Another case in the real story of Scotland’s economy: Hospitality retail growth up 11%


More from that Marxist-Nat cell at Insider business magazine:

Scottish Licensed Trade Association review finds 49% of those surveyed enjoyed growth over the summer period – up 11% on the same period last year. A review by the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) surveyed 600 retailers within the hospitality sector across Scotland, with 49% of respondents recording growth in their business over summer.The figure for the same period last year was 38%.’

Of course, this is only the latest. See these  2018 only reports of real strength in the Scottish economy even before independence, undermining those regular fibs about a deficit based on debt we didn’t need, nuclear weapons we won’t have, military spending we see little of, massive infrastructure spending in the South and so on and on:

Umpteenth post on underlying strength in Scottish economy: Property investment up 19.8%!

Scottish business confidence well above UK average

SNP blamed as private businesses experience too much demand and overcrowding with new staff second only to Labour-mayored London.

Scottish business confidence stays high…Ah but!..Oh shut up Revoking Scotland!

63% fall in large business insolvencies as Scottish economy reveals strength

See this Douglas? Business investment in Scotland up 250%!

Scottish Business Strength No.77: Small Scottish construction firms’ growth up 17%

Scottish small businesses still more confident than those in non-Scottish parts

Business activity soars to four-year high across manufacturing and service

Business confidence in Scotland soars by 24% while it sinks 29% in non-Scottish parts of UK

Scottish businesses more likely to be stable than those in rest of UK: News from a parallel universe unknown to our mainstream media

Scottish Government supports economy with new business rates unique in UK

Scottish business confidence higher than in any other region of UK



Complaint to BBC Scotland on poor quality of coverage of hate crime


Fig: Trends in hate crime in Scotland

On Reporting Scotland, at 1.30pm and 6.30pm the coverage of hate crime in Scotland was of poor quality leading to distortion of the content. There were three flaws:

  1. The report covered the only aspect of hate crime where there has been a major reported increase – that against the disabled. For public information, given that this was the only aspect covered at any time by BBC Scotland, the report should have mentioned that hate crime based on race, by far the most common form of hate crime, is falling and that this is unique to Scotland.
  2. The report, once at 1.30 and twice at 6.30, led with the unsubstantiated claim that it is estimated that 93% or more than 90%, of such incidents are not reported. Such a claim is highly significant in that it may lead to disproportionately increased anxiety among disabled people or their friends and family. This could influence important decisions about the travel, education or living arrangements made for disabled people A source for this claim is required in reporting by a public service broadcaster. Giving a source would enable viewers to at least begin to evaluate its reliability.
  3. The scale of such crime needs to be reported to enable viewers a sense of perspective. For example, there were 3249 case of hate crime based on race reported and only 284 cases based on disability. The lack of such context was important given the report’s extended focus on a handful of single, admittedly disturbing cases. I have long experience of working with disabled students and remember them being treated with tremendous kindness by staff and other students. A reliable source:

 It will be interesting to see the response to this given that my last complaint seemed to result in a quiet wee victory. Of course, it might be a cunning new tactic of just absorbing criticism. See:

Is this a first? Reporting Scotland’s editor apologises fully for errors in reporting on alleged school exclusions of children with autism


BBC Scotland, reporting the news that matters: One mad cow, one bad polis email, one unreliable stat, one black panther, maybe!


68 people like the idea of a black panther in Ayrshire?

Reporting Scotland continue to headline and to milk the one mad cow from Huntly. A reporter was sent to Boghead Farm to report that and I quote: ‘Bugger all has happened here all day! There will be no results for at least a month. OK, the farmer and his wife are ‘devastated’. That do for your story? It’s boring here. You said I’d get a real story to cover.’

Right, here’s a real biggy: ‘A temporary police officer has sent an email saying he doesn’t want just two female armed officers because the ‘testosterone balance ‘would be wrong.


‘ The email has two errors and, like Prof Robertson does with our errors, we’ve put (sic) after them. We doorstep the Justice Minister and get him to agree it’s bad. He smiles patiently, as you do with bairns, and says the Chief of Police will sort it out. Have BBC England ever done that with the Home Secretary? They’re too scared?’

Next: ‘Offences against disabled people are the most under-reported hate crimes in Scotland. It’s estimated that 93% of such incidents are not reported. Wait, are we not going to mention that other hate crimes based on religion and race are falling in Scotland yet soaring in England? It’s not newsworthy? Wait do we not need to source that claim of 93%? Won’t that Prof Robertson complain about us again like he did on the autism school suspensions thing?’


Finally: ‘A police warning to the folk of South or is East, Ayrshire telling them not to approach a black panther sighted in the fields near Drongan and Coalfield. They can be quite dangerous, the folk in those villages. Do we need to tell them not to approach a black panther? Mind you it must be getting on a bit that panther. It was first seen in 1969 during the peak of LSD consumption in the UK.’

OK Professor Smartypants, what’s wrong with these stories. What would you have reported on instead?

How about:

The Brexit threat to Edinburgh’s world-leading cancer research?

UK Government set to challenge Scottish court ruling that could prevent Brexit?

Mundell breaks ranks to air concerns over transition extension?

Why are murder and violent crime soaring in England and Wales but not in Scotland?

Margaret Fleming murder trial collapses?

Scottish ministers pile pressure on firms dodging modern slavery duties?

73% of Scots back increase in taxes for higher public spending?

Illegal killing of birds of prey falling fast in Scotland?

NHS England sent 154 eating disorder patients to Scotland?




Long-awaited SNP Baby Box evaluation report is in but with mixed results – cool for cats but hot for cricketers!

The long-awaited evaluation report on the usability and safety of the so-called ‘SNP baby box’ was submitted to the Scottish government yesterday and leaked to Talking-up Scotland. Here are the key findings or at least the ones we feel you’d be better off hearing.

The evaluation was carried out by independent researcher Professor John Robertson, retired from the University of the Best of Scotland, for a very reasonable fee.

The report consists of a number of cases studies designed to test the boxes rigorously in a number of challenging situations


  1. Herr Schrödinger’s cat

The cat seemed to cope well with a stay of twelve hours in the box, but Herr Schrödinger had been unable to predict the outcome with any confidence when lying on the floor as he could not see into the box from that position. In his best Englisch, Herr Schrödinger said ‘Der Schottlander Nazi Partei Kinderkasten ist wunderbar!’

  1. Pandora’s dad, Hephaustus


Instantly recognising the unsuitability of the SNP Baby Box for his fiery blacksmith’s foundry, he gave it to his daughter, Pandora. She used it to contain sickness, death and many other unspecified evils. Being open-topped, the box was a complete failure and should, according to expectant mum Ruth Davidson, interviewed by researchers, carry a warning that it should not be used to store all the evils of the world.

  1. English cricketer’s ball-protection-box

Cricketer, Ian Googly-Underhand, reported: ‘It was a bit big even for a wide man-spreader like meself but once well-squeezed-in, it proved effective protection especially against low bouncing balls. However, after a long inning, things got a bit hot down there.’ 

  1. Finnish sniper shield

Using the Finnish version of the box, army snipers found that when they hid behind a baby box, they could not be seen by attackers unless they stood up. Attackers were also reluctant to shoot back reporting anxiety that there might be a baby in the box.


Prof Robertson has reported that this evaluation of the baby box has been inconclusive and that he is available at modest cost to extend the research with, for example, tiny ballet dancers on musical boxes and for firework storage. For ethical reasons, he is unable to test them as cots for babies.




BBC Scotland silent as murder and violent crime soar in England and Wales but not in Scotland


As the UK news agencies, including BBC 1, agonise over the awful surge in violent crime in England and Wales, BBC Scotland News ignores the obvious newsworthy story – ‘Why do Scotland’s streets now seem less mean than those in much of England and Wales?’ – and scrabble around for anything bad. Today, after the expected one mad cow story, they found that a temporary police officer had sent a sexist email about female armed officers. First thing in the morning they obliged the Minister for Justice to say he condemned the incident and that he was confident the chief of police would handle it. Can you imagine BBC 1 going to the Home Office minister and expecting them to answer for a similar case?



There were 736 murders including terror attacks in England and Wales in 2017/18. This was a fourth consecutive rise and up 12% in one year! Offences involving knives were up 15% in one year!


In Scotland, in sharp contrast violent crime was 35% down since 2008/9 and up only, a not statistically significant, 1%, since 2016/17. There were 59 killings in 2017/18. The population of England and wales is between ten and eleven times greater than that of Scotland. All things being equal, the murder rate in Scotland would be higher than 70. It was 59. Isn’t that newsworthy?

They claim, when I complain, that they write what is newsworthy. How about:

‘No mean cities anymore?’

They could get someone to sing it to the Stranglers tune.


‘Thurrs noa been a murrderrr!’


Leading researcher calls for hard border to keep ‘Mad Cow Disease’ out of Scotland


A single case of BSE has emerged in the Huntly area and has been dealt with resulting in no further risk. Scotland and Northern Ireland were given Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) negligible risk status in May 2017. The last confirmed case in Scotland was in 2002. The last case in Wales was only last year and the last in England was in 2012. England and Wales are not due to have their status reconsidered before 2020 at the earliest.

Previously, the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers submitted the application for re-grading with the help of the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity. In March 2017, they noted:

‘We applaud the work done by Fergus Ewing and his officials in advancing and pursuing ‘negligible risk’ case on the industry’s behalf and look forward to being free to trade under our new status as early as the summer.’

Some readers may remember how BSE started. If not see this from Frederick A. Murphy, DVM, PhD, Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California in

‘In the early 1980s in England the rendering process (by which livestock carcasses are converted to various products, including protein supplements for livestock feed) was changed. Earlier, a solvent extraction step had been used to extract fats (tallow); this step was stopped when the price of the petroleum-based solvents used to extract fats went up. The infectious agent is solvent-sensitive. Otherwise, the infectious agent is extremely hardy — it can survive boiling and many disinfectants but is readily destroyed by extremely high temperature (such as in an autoclave), or by oxidizing agents, or by solvents.’

The first reported case was in West Sussex in 1986.

Given the likely source of the disease in the ‘unclean’ parts of England or Wales, Professor John Robertson, author of Dirty Globalisation: Drugs, Human Pandemics, Industrial Waste and Mad Cows, has called for a hard border with armed guards to preserve Scotland’s square sausage production chain and, of course, to prepare for Scottish independence post-Brexit.