Conservatives FAIL as FEAR of crime in England is TWICE the level of that in Scotland!

Second poll confirms human effects of falling crime levels in Scotland

The YouGov poll based on fieldwork on 16th and 17th July reinforces the stability of SNP support (42%) and the collapse of that for the Tories (13%) and Labour (15%) but, notably, reveals a sharp difference in levels of concern about crime. Only 16% of Scots rated it the most important issue while between 28% (South) and 35% (London) did so across England and Wales.

https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/sjg6udq97x/TheTimes_190717_VI_Trackers_w.pdf

An Ipsos-MORI poll a year ago told the same story:

https://www.ipsos.com/ipsos-mori/en-uk/issues-index-concern-about-crime-reaches-seven-year-high

A clearly related phenomenon can be seen in surveys showing that Scots feel they are experiencing a fall in crime greater than that reported by the police! See this for more detail:

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

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SNP exonerated by BBC figures as Scotland’s drug deaths are shown to be caused by neoliberal UK Governments in the 1980s and 90s

Scotland’s drug death crisis is based disproportionally upon older drug users who began using heroin in the 1980s and 90s under the Tory and New Labour neoliberal economic policies which lauded greedy individualism, and which destroyed communities through a failure to create employment and a misguided war on drugs. Similar effects can be seen in the higher levels of drug deaths in the North of England and in Wales, also outside of the more affluent South-East which was protected from the worst of those policies. Researchers have shown this to be a predictable and widespread phenomenon:

Drug Overdose Rates Are Highest in Places With the Most Economic and Family Distress

https://scholars.unh.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1339&context=carsey

From the BBC:

During the 1980s and ’90s there was a significant increase in problem drug users in Scotland, which peaked about 20 years ago. There is now an ageing population of drug addicts, mainly men, who have been using heroin for decades. Biologically they are ageing much faster than their real age and they develop multiple morbidity, particularly around respiratory diseases, liver diseases and blood-borne viruses and this adds a further vulnerability with regards to overdose deaths. Last year, more than two-thirds of drug-related deaths were aged between 35 and 54.

Deaths among younger users had been falling since the SNP came to power but rising again as Tory austerity cuts bite.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-48853004

Conservatives blamed as child mental health unit referrals ‘up nearly 50%’ but only in ENGLAND

Reported throughout the day as a UK-wide phenomenon somehow validated by the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP), this turns out to be based on English schools only and with the RCP merely asked to comment after the event (confirmed by telephone to me this morning):

Referrals to child mental health units from UK primary schools for pupils aged 11 and under have risen by nearly 50% in three years, the BBC has learned.Replies to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests from 46 health trusts indicate they rose from 21,125 to 31,531.The government (sic) says it is “determined to improve mental health support”.BBC News also sent FoI requests to 500 primary schools in England about serious mental health episodes.It found that 191 primary school pupils had self-harmed on school grounds in the last four years, according to responses received from 155 schools.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-48935631

An RCP spokesperson said:

These figures are deeply worrying and build on evidence which shows emotional disorders in children have increased in recent years. Services for children have been historically underfunded [by the UK Government] meaning they are unable to meet increased demand. The government’s (sic) aim to provide mental health support in all schools within the next 10 years will be too little, too late for many children who need that help now.

There has been a worrying increase in referrals in Scotland reported by Audit Scotland but at the level of 22% over 4 years compared to the 50% over only 3 years being suggested by the RCP for the UK as a whole:

Mental health services for children and young people are under significant pressure. The number of referrals to specialist services increased by 22 per cent, from 27,271 to 33,270, between 2013/14 and 2017/18, with rejected referrals also increasing.

https://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/uploads/docs/report/2018/nr_180913_mental_health.pdf

Sarah Smith: This is VERY convenient for the SNP enabling them to ignore criticism of schools in Scotland.

The Better Together shroud-waving on drug deaths toppled over into a carrion-fest

LUDO THIERRY

The Better Together shroud waving actually toppled over into a carrion-fest. I heard a tiny bit of Ian Dale’s programme on LBC and heard ‘Orange?’ Cammie frae Kilmarnock report that the Scottish drug’s deaths could be explained “..in 3 words (sic) ESS – ENN – PEE” – Ian Dale reverted, sadly, to his right wing tory roots and came out with a pile of tabloid pish so I – thankfully – re-tuned to the Scottish League Cup Group Round coverage and had a much more stimulating and educational listen for the next 90 mins. For a bit of accurate and useful info re. how the SNP Scottish Govt management of Drugs Policy (within its very restricted authority and funding within this Westminster/Whitehall ‘reserved’ policy area) is finding smart ways to tackle the PROFITEERS rather than the users. See the link and snippet below from the Scottish Legal site:

https://www.scottishlegal.com/article/drug-possession-virtually-decriminalised-in-scotland

In 2017-18 there were 32,399 recorded drug offences, 84 per cent of which were for possession. Of these, 19 per cent reached court, compared with 29 per cent in England and Wales.

Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC recently told the Commons Scottish Affairs Committee: “In relation to offences of simple possession, I have, through the recorded police warnings scheme and prosecution policy, supported the use of alternatives to prosecution, including diversion.”

Prosecutors tend instead to go after people who profit from drugs.

There were 5,228 recorded crimes related to the drugs trade including supply, importing and cultivation and 5,390 convictions, implying only a fraction of people are convicted for possession alone.

Three per cent of those convicted of drug offences are jailed, most are fined or given a verbal warning or community service.

Police Scotland said: “Drug crime data can be influenced by a number of factors such as trends. While enforcement activity alone is not enough, we will continue to target drug dealers.”

Conservatives failing schoolchildren as mental health referrals in England are more than twice the level of Scotland

In the wake of the Scottish drug deaths crisis reporting, repeated 6 times this morning on BBC Breakfast and on the website, we hear:

‘A BBC investigation suggests there’s been a significant rise in number of UK primary schoolchildren referred to mental health services over the last three years’

In the fuller online report, we read:

Referrals to child mental health units from UK primary schools for pupils aged 11 and under have risen by nearly 50% in three years, the BBC has learned. Replies to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests from 46 health trusts indicate they rose from 21,125 to 31,531.

However, none of the examples reported are from outside of England.

There is a worrying increase in referrals reported by Audit Scotland but at the level of 22% over 4 years compared to the 50% over only 3 years being suggested by the RCoP for the UK as a whole.

Mental health services for children and young people are under significant pressure. The number of referrals to specialist services increased by 22 per cent, from 27,271 to 33,270, between 2013/14 and 2017/18, with rejected referrals also increasing.

https://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/uploads/docs/report/2018/nr_180913_mental_health.pdf

Footnote: I await a response from the RCoP on access to the full report so that I can access a breakdown of the Scottish responses.

Conservatives FAIL to protect England’s children in care from sexual exploitation!

BBC Newsnight conveniently ‘forget’ that NONE of ‘Britain’s Hidden Children’s Homes’ are in Scotland

I know, this commenting on UK media reporting on England as if it was the UK can get a bit repetitive. Some have worried about my mental health, but I go on.

Fresh from being all-too-interested in Scotland’s drug deaths crisis, we saw the above heading and heard:

‘Police forces have told Newsnight they’re deeply concerned about the number of vulnerable children going missing from unregistered and unchecked accommodation.’

The story went on to report horrific tales of neglect and even sex exploitation from ‘Bedfordshire, one part of England but did not let the viewer know that the report would only be about England.

After extended observation of police activity in Bedfordshire and then Luton, we heard:

‘We surveyed every children’s service department in the UK to find out exactly where all these young people are coming from.’

This is the frame showing the closest we get to any suggestion that Scotland might be involved:

No Scottish cases were offered, and we’re returned to Bedfordshire. Incidents in the South-West and South-East of England are then considered but Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland never feature. Despite that, the report finishes with:

‘What’s playing out on these streets (Bedfordshire) is a national problem and calls are growing for a national response. With the use of unregulated homes across the country the police are demanding regulation.’

To finish The Children’s Minister’ is grilled but his England and Wales only remit is never mentioned and the situation in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland seems not to matter.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0006vwj/newsnight-17072019

Are there any unregistered homes in Scotland? See this from OFSTED:

Children in residential settings are particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse by adults working in those settings who are responsible for their welfare. Yet the Inquiry has noted that there are no professional registration requirements in place for staff, other than social workers, working in children’s homes in England, unlike in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Sarah Smith:

‘It’s very convenient for the SNP to be able to criticise Westminster for this when they have devolved powers to privatise the Scottish care system too but won’t!’

All those times when the BBC/Tory Alliance could not happily drool as they have done with Scotland’s drug deaths

‘People are waiting too long for treatment’ though targets have been beaten?

Scotland’s drug deaths were headlined and savoured right across the full range of BBC output, on BBC 1 News, BBC Breakfast, Reporting Scotland, Politics Live and on Newsnight. I did not watch BBC Wales or Northern Ireland, nor did I listen to Good Mourning Scotland, but I feel sure the same or worse was done there too. It was done often without any or sufficient consideration of the limits Westminster sets on the extent to which the Scottish government can tackle the problem but Sarah Smith was to, typically, win the prize for sheer dishonesty and naked Unionism as she lied about drug patient treatment and suggested, sickeningly, that the deaths were convenient for the SNP because they enabled them to blame Westminster:

‘Of course it’s VERY convenient for the Scottish Government to argue that they’re being hampered by Westminster’

https://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Drugs-and-Alcohol-Misuse/Publications/2018-12-18/2018-12-18-DATWT-Summary.pdf?81350344420

Had the SNP said that the deaths were convenient for the UK Government because they enabled them to blame the Scottish Government, imagine the righteous, hypocritical indignation.

We may have a drug deaths problem but there’s much to be pleased with in SNP-led Scotland. See these many but recent stories often selectively edited, distorted or ignored by the BBC but known to many of us as evidence of the many ways in which Scotland is drifting way from the horrors of the Land of May:

NHS waiting lists nearly FOUR times longer in England than in Scotland

Scottish patients have far better access to GPs than those in England

Already better-staffed NHS Scotland doctor training meeting recruitment targets

NHS Scotland’s astonishing performance in operations completed

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

As NHS England is pulled into ethnic nationalist self-destruction why there is no Scottish crisis in nurse staffing

NHS Scotland’s steadily improving home care strategy for last days

The untold story of NHS Scotland’s 100% IVF service creating AND saving lives

SNP Government acts again to stem obesity increases and avoid UK ‘crisis’

Homophobic hate crime surging SIX times faster in England and Wales

Almost all ethnic groups in Scotland experience significant fall in crime

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

Racist hate crime charges in Scotland fall by nearly half

Reporting Scotland ponder what to say as crime in Scotland falls 16% in one year

Scottish Water has NO serious pollution incidents while England’s nine privatised companies have 56!

Scotland on target for affordable homes and way ahead of non-Scottish parts of UK

Customers of state-controlled Scottish Water much more satisfied than those elsewhere in UK

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

Do not think I could not find more like these.