Are you following me on Twitter or Facebook as well or only just via the blog?

I’m finding myself doing more via Twitter and apparently getting up to 80 000 impressions. Will keep blog going but finding less time to respond to comments below.

Let me know if the blog is your only contact.

Thanks

John

 

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Lib Dem Unionitis as they suggest we copy a second old FAILED English scheme

In Holyrood on Monday, Alex Cole-Hamilton asked the Scottish Government whether it plans to introduce the National Child Measurement Programme in Scotland, which was introduced in England in 2005, in order to tackle childhood obesity? Is he daft or just deliberately provocative? England’s attempts to reduce obesity are failing! Why on earth would we copy their 14-year-old unsuccessful plan when ours are already succeeding?

Does nobody in the Opposition Parties / MSM Alliance read reliable, peer-reviewed research? No. See this:

From the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, reported in the Independent on 26th May 2018:

‘Under current trends it is predicted that 11 per cent of the population in Wales will be morbidly obese in 2035, roughly 340,000 adults, while Scotland is likely to plateau at about 5 per cent and England will rise to about 8 per cent.’

The researchers offered a surprisingly clear, confident and simple explanation for the significantly slower growth in Scotland – Scottish Government policy initiatives and resource allocation:

‘The government put a massive push on developing a route map for how we can actually combat this. They put together resources from the NHS that were proving to be effective. They did put a lot of work into it.’

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/morbid-obesity-double-britain-poverty-education-employment-study-a8369731.html

As recently as March 2019, Tavish Scott suggested we copy another FAILED English scheme on student teacher recruitment:

How good is the English system? It’s not good at all:

https://neu.org.uk/blog/how-bad-does-teacher-recruitment-crisis-have-be-dfe-calls-it-crisis

Is the Scottish system working? See:

SHOCK: Scotland has 35% more teachers per capita than Tory England and 46% more than Labour Wales!

Words fail me. Lack of brains or big blinkers fail them.

 

NHS Scotland sending only 0.03% and now even fewer patients to England for treatment

Well-skelped spokesperson?

Inevitably, smaller countries find themselves sending a small number of specialist cases to neighbouring large countries which have the critical mass to justify employing medics capable of treating rare conditions. I feel sure that such a relationship will exist between Denmark and Germany, Belgium and France or New Zealand and Australia.

Scotland had been sending an increasing number to NHS England up to 2014/15 but the figure has been lower, for three years since.

Miles Briggs (Lothian) (SCAUP): asked about this in Holyrood yesterday and the data below was offered:

https://www.parliament.scot/S5ChamberOffice/WA20190820.pdf

In 2018, NHS Scotland conducted an estimated 17 million GP consultations, carried out four million outpatient appointments and responded to 764,201 emergencies. (7)

https://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/uploads/docs/report/2018/nr_181025_nhs_overview.pdf

 

So, those 6 595 who went to England for treatment amounted to 0.03% of the total.

SHOCK: Scot Lib Dems fail to expose SNP double standards on free movement of transient Transylvanian tattie-pickers

The Transient Transylvanian Tattie-pickers Doowop Duo at the Fringe

Mysteriously, Alex Cole-Hamilton (SCOLIBDEM) asked the Scottish Government, on Monday, what proof of residency in Scotland is required when applying for the free bus pass offered to ‘older people.’ Who is he calling ‘old?’ I got the bus pass at 60 but took till 63 to get professorised!

The answer was:

Michael Matheson: Anyone applying for a National Entitlement Card (NEC) is required to provide original documentation to confirm their residency in Scotland and verify their personal details. This includes name, address, date of birth and proof of entitlement. A list of the acceptable proofs to confirm residency entitlement can be found on the NEC websitehttps://www.entitlementcard.org.uk/how-get-your-nec

What are they up to? The Lib Dems want free-movement, don’t they? Are they hoping to expose SNP ‘hypocrisy’ when 60-year-old transient Transylvanian tattie-pickers in Ayrshire have to pay bus fares?

 

Latest poll has SNP surging clear, Labour dead in water and no Swinson Swing!

A more attractive proposition as leader?

From YouGov based on fieldwork on 13-14 August with 140 Scots adults (18 plus?):

  • Con 20%
  • Lab 11%
  • LD 13%
  • SNP 47%
  • Brexit 8%
  • Green 2%

https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/g82fatejnj/TheTimes_190814_VI_Trackers_w.pdf

Is the miserable performance of the Greens a case for a Wings Party?

In their previous poll for 5-6 August which had an almost identical result (no more than 1% up or down for any party) at the UK level, we saw for Scotland:

  • Con 23%
  • Lab 12%
  • LD 14%
  • SNP 39%
  • Brexit 3%
  • Green 8%

https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/8i9x45cenq/TheTimes_190806_VI_Trackers_w.pdf

The Lib Dem figure in both polls suggests they are going nowhere with no Swinson Swing in sight. Notably, Lib Dem support falls consistently as you travel North in the UK from 28% in London to 14% in the North of England to 13% in Scotland. Despite this they may well retain their 3 or 4 seats in their clusters, like cancers around a power plant, in the North and East.

Crime

As before, perception of crime as an important issue, reflecting the actual levels, is much lower in Scotland:

  • London 37%
  • Rest of South            29%
  • Midlands/Wales 35%
  • North 36%
  • Scotland 17%

 

Balancing the editorial choices of BBC Scotland as they unsettle you early once more with sexual assaults and overcrowded prisons

It’s all about choices. I won’t repeat how and why it happened but BBC Scotland ‘news’ this morning gave us a bitter headline opener with two very negative stories about life in Scotland and that kind of thing must wear some of us down.

So, to keep your mental state in balance, TuS can remind you of another report on the same broad topic.

BBC Report 1:

‘The Scottish criminal justice process often leaves those who’ve reported sexual assaults marginalised and feeling let down according to a report just published.’

TuS News Balancer 1:

The conviction rate for sexual assaults is an objective indicator of how well a criminal justice system is treating victims so:

Scotland’s rape CONVICTION rate is 13 times higher than in London

I haven’t seen this reported anywhere.

BBC Report 2:

‘Scotland’s Chief inspector of Prisons says she’s very concerned that the number of inmates is starting to exceed capacity.’

TuS ‘Antacid’ Balancer 2:

I may overbalance your system here but there are so many positive reports on Scotland’s prison service, all missed by BBC Scotland, that I can’t make an easy editorial judgment, so:

SHOCK: Lib Dems or Tories devastated that NO ONE (0, FA) escaped from Scottish prisons!

Have Scottish Lib Dems drawn another blank as they reveal ‘astonishing’ fall in prison staff assaults?

Have Scottish Lib Dems been disappointed to find Scottish Prison Staff are NOT doing a Damien Greene?

Drone activity in Scottish prisons plummets!

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

Suicide rate in Scottish prisons lower than in much of Europe

Bad news for Lib Dems as all of Scottish prisons revealed to have complete health teams

England’s prison officers and mental health nurses, the ‘canaries’ first to show effects of poisonous Tory policies? ‘Not on our watch’ in Scotland

Why are prison officers staying in post in Scotland as they flee the tide of violence and self-harm in England and Wales?

As England’s prisons sink into crisis, Scotland’s prisons benefit from a ‘consistent government’ with ‘political guts’ 

You can bet that last one didn’t make the news as the Chief Executive of Scotland’s Prisons said in 2017:

‘Compare that [England] fairly, and I think evidentially, with what’s happening in Scotland, and I think what we’ve benefitted from here…has been a consistent form of government. Some may disagree with that view, but I’ve been running the SPS for approaching six years now and no doubt, I have benefitted from a consistent requirement presentation from the Scottish Government in terms of what prisons should be doing, and that relationship, therefore, builds up over time.…I think we’ve had consistency and clarity of expectation. I think related to that has been, therefore, a consistent approach to the funding.’

https://www.holyrood.com/articles/inside-politics/what-are-we-doing-right-scottish-prisons-isnt-working-england

Child homelessness surges in Tory England to nearly TWICE the level in Scotland

In an official report today:

Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, has published new research which shines a light on the thousands of children growing up in homeless families. The report, Bleak houses: Tackling the crisis of family homelessness in England, reveals the terrible reality of how some children are living in converted shipping containers and office blocks, and B&Bs, in cramped conditions, often miles away from their schools. The report shows that while official statistics show 124,000 children in England living in temporary accommodation, this does not include the hidden homeless who are ‘sofa-surfing’, often in very cramped conditions. New analysis conducted for the Children’s Commissioner for England estimates that in 2016/17 there were 92,000 children living in sofa-surfing families.

https://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/2019/08/21/thousands-of-children-growing-up-in-shipping-containers-office-blocks-and-bbs/

No doubt a similar reservation on the official statistics might apply in Scotland but using them for like-for-like comparison, the Scottish rate of child homelessness looks to be just over half per  head of population of that in England

The number of children in temporary accommodation increased by 180 children (3%), to 6,795 compared with the same date one year ago.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/homelessness-scotland-2018-2019/