But you!

When debate reaches this point, I understand blocking

“There’ll be an SNP landslide”

“But you, but you, but you!”

“Labour has lost Scotland”

“But you, but you, but you!”

“We’ll have more pandas than Tories”

“But you, but you, but you!”

Listen to yourself!!

Even Jones of St Giles Trust says Glasgow “has a massive knife crime issue” on Channel 4 News, It doesn’t

It bloody rips my knitting when folk are allowed to misrepresent Scotland unchallanged on National TV. Here’s my e-mail to both The St Giles Trust and Channel 4 News
 
“Dear Sir/Madam
 
I was very disappointed to hear Giles Jones on Channel 4 news describe Glasgow as having a “massive knife crime issue” as it
doesn’t.
 
Whilst historically knife crime in our city was a significant issue, in 2004/05 there were 137 homicides (which include murder and culpable homicide figures) in Scotland – in Glasgow, there were 40 cases alone, double the national rate.
 
The introduction of the Violence Reduction Unit in 2005, which took a holistic approach to violent crime has resulted in a halving of the homicide figures to 62 between 2016/17, a figure I aver your trust would envy
 
Last year this had reduced by a further three to 59. A sharp instrument was the main method of killing for 34 (58%) of those cases and all but one of them involved a knife.
 
This homicide figure was the joint lowest number of recorded homicide cases for a single 12-month period since 1976.
 
I understand the metropolitan Police have sought to understand how the Glasgow success might be replicated in London, which is a sound indorsement of our success in reducing knife crime in Scotland.
 
If Mr Giles would like further in formation on just how we’ve achieved this success he may want to follow this link
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
Piers Doughty-Brown
Glasgow
Scotland

Alister Jack deludes himself that we Scots are thick enough to fall for his bollox!

Where the feck do, they dig these idiots up from? Alister Jack states to the effect, he wants to get Brexit out of the way, then end the uncertainty of independence!

What’s more outrageous, is, he made this statement to Scottish farmers, the very folk that Michael Grove nicked £160 million in convergence funding, instead gifting to English farms!

I mean, just how dumb does he think we are!! Does he really think we’d be suckered into forgetting the uncertainty of Brexit, and happily view independence as the greater uncertainty?

Alister Jacks’ bollox is born of the Joseph Goebbels school of lies “One should not as a rule reveal one’s secrets, since one does not know if and when one may need them again. The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, it should be a big lie, and one should stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.”

Frankly it’s a mistake to assume our population is politically unenlightened. There’s a need to keep a close eye on, and rebut the lies about to emanate from Alistair Jack and other such Tory politicians (i.e. Kirsten Haire), who continue to labour under the absolute delusion they’ve an absolute right to rule, by-way-of the biggest lies they can manufacture!

On the up side, Alistair Jacks’ comments smacks of a man experiencing a squeaky bum period!

Cyber Nats, Really?

 

So, let me see if I’ve got this right?

 

Messer’s Angus Robertson; Stewart McDonald MP, and Alyn Smith MEP have in no uncertain terms condemned the on-line behavior of some purported SNP members, in consequence, some of those purported members have decided to resign their assumed membership.

 

Angus Robertson is quoted as saying “This can’t go on. People can’t go on thinking they can sit in front of their keyboards and do nothing but send abuse to people they don’t agree with. You wouldn’t do it in public, you’d be thrown out of a pub for doing it, you’d never do it at a family event, why on earth would you do it online”

 

In real life, would anyone accept a salesperson unleashing a torrent at abuse in response to your choice of product being other than their promotion? Moreover, would their employer tolerate such behavior towards a potential client?

 

During my career as a union officer, I dealt with many cases of gross professional conduct, prime amongst such cases were that of bringing the company into disrepute i.e. Behavior that paints the company in a poor light thus alienating existing or potential customers. The same principle applies to political party membership, as in any collective, no matter a member’s frustration on a matter, their actions shouldn’t bring the collective into disrepute.

 

Personally, I’m skeptical of the quoted numbers of abusive SNP members on social media, especially as anonymity allows anyone to purport to be anything, they choose including false membership of political parties. However, I do accept there are some amongst us less temperate than the course of cordial debate would expect.

 

I’d aver there’s simple solutions to the issue;

The @theSNP’s fact-checking and rebuttal service, must up its game in several areas.

 

Although I note an increase in tweeted rebuttals over the past few days, in the period leading up to May 6th, 2019 the service had tweeted just 29 times whereas the opposition parties had unleashed a tsunami of SNP disinformation across social media, inter alia Broadband (reserved), Tax; Employment law (reserved) hospital infection rates etc., in apparent confidence that only SNP members would attempt to rebut, rather than the party itself.

 

The paucity of rebuttals I’d aver, is directly correlated to the number of folks the service follows, which is currently one! That being @SNP.

 

“Michael Corleone” (The Godfather), said “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.” Leaving councils out of the equation, the SNP face 94 opposition MSPs and 614 opposition MPs, for the rebuttal service to have any credible function it’s arguable keeping just one friend close and 708 opposition MSP/MPs at a distance, needs to change and that change needs to be swift, we’re are in uncertain times politically and can be sure the opposition parties will want to exploit that uncertainty.

 

The service must also increase its presence to the SNP membership. The @SNP follows 1,666 and has 224,400 followers, compared to just 4,840 following @SNPMedia.

 

With just 4,840 followers, it comes as no surprise that some members in absence of fact, play the person rather the ball when challenging the opposition, I fully understand the frustration (but not the abuse), however, an effective fact checking service should provide members with the tools with which to rebut false information sans ad hominem attacks.

 

Messer’s Angus Robertson; Stewart McDonald MP, and Alyn Smith MEP, were absolutely right to bring the issues on on-line abuse to the fore of our thinking and without pulling their punches, some suggest their terms of reference “”cowards”, “weird”, “creepy”, “snarling”, “vicious”, “poisonous” and “vile” were unpalatable, to mu mind not as unpalatable as being the precipitant of such abuse?

 

 

“SNP declares war on cybernats on tackling cybernats” 2

I read The Herald’s article “SNP declares war on cybernats on tackling cybernats” with, well some disbelief!

 

There is of course no place for vile and bellicose comments in the act of political discourse (seemingly except for the bear pit of Westminster’s’ commons chamber) and whilst Angus Robertson is quoted thus

 

“ … The immediate challenge for the wider Yes movement is to reach out to the open-minded and undecided voters … however if the environment online is poisoned by aggressive shouty insulting, often anonymous, keyboard warriors, this is unlikely to persuade anybody and more likely to turn people off entirely and that should be a real concern.”

 

Tactically I’d aver this is an error. Not so much as an error of action, but an error of priority.

 

The catalyst in many intemperate exchanges is the willful and somewhat plethora of factual misrepresentation on social media by the opposition parties, usually without citation, and unrebutted by the SNP.

 

My experience is the SNP seems to play Aunt Sally to opposition slurs on Social Media, whether bespoke, or merely retweets from the more salacious newspapers, who’re in the habit of creating dystopian subheadings of expert reports, gleefully retweeted by the opposition and of course unionist supporters.

 

It would come as a surprise to learn that contained within the recent Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QE) (including Institute of Neurosciences and Royal Hospital for Children) inspection report the following are noted

“What NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde did well

  • Good staff compliance with standard infection control precautions, including hand hygiene.
  • Good staff knowledge about how to manage a blood spill and also transmission-based precautions.”

“The Scottish Government requires NHS boards to report on a range of key infection prevention and control indicators… We reviewed the latest published quarterly data, and this demonstrates that the NHS board is performing within control limits for all indicators.”

 

“Some patients we spoke with or who responded to our survey said:

‘I could not fault standard of cleanliness, I had visitors in, one had been in another hospital, could not believe amount of times staff were in and out cleaning surfaces.’

‘The staff are always cleaning equipment, washing their hands and

making sure everyone’s bed is changed daily.’

There remain areas for greater improvement at the QE, however, I’d aver the SNP are not responding to the slings and arrows of outrageous opposition slurs by highlighting the positive findings of the report.

 

Much the same can be said on this issue of child poverty, of which the SNP are continuously assailed as perpetuating, however The SNP have got it right on the Right to Buy, there’s no such right in Scotland, and the Joseph Rowntree report (Poverty in Scotland 2017) concludes

 

“Overall poverty rates are now lower in Scotland than in the UK, and the difference is greatest for people in the social rented sector (37% in Scotland compared with 44% in the UK as a whole).”

 

I’d aver the SNP have achieved much for the folk of Scotland, however, it’s not enough for Nicola Sturgeon to deliver pelters to the opposition parties during First Minister’s Question Time, There’s a far wider audience on social media than for FMQs, as such there needs to be a permanent social media team, to unspin the damaging comments both the opposition and unionist supporters populate our social media with daily.

 

The SNP could learn much from the retail industry where the bigger brands have dedicated social media teams, who respond with impelling alacrity the moment there’s an assault on their brand something like this blue tick account purporting to do just that…

Fact is howevr, they have tweeted just 29 times in the last year!

 

I take the view, if the SNP are more supportive in removing the catalyst of so many intemperate exchanges on social media by simply presenting the facts behind the spin, not only will the more bellicose supporters enter cordial debate, the so called soft no voters may well become hard Yes supporters.

“SNP declares war on cybernats on tackling cybernats”

I read The Herald’s article “SNP declares war on cybernats on tackling cybernats” with, well some disbelief!

 

There is of course no place for vile and bellicose comments in the act of political discourse (seemingly except for the bear pit of Westminster’s’ commons chamber) and whilst Angus Robertson is quoted thus

 

“ … The immediate challenge for the wider Yes movement is to reach out to the open-minded and undecided voters … however if the environment online is poisoned by aggressive shouty insulting, often anonymous, keyboard warriors, this is unlikely to persuade anybody and more likely to turn people off entirely and that should be a real concern.”

 

Tactically I’d aver this is an error. Not so much as an error of action, but an error of priority.

 

The catalyst in many intemperate exchanges is the willful and somewhat plethora of factual misrepresentation on social media by the opposition parties, usually without citation, and unrebutted by the SNP.

 

My experience is the SNP seems to play Aunt Sally to opposition slurs on Social Media, whether bespoke, or merely retweets from the more salacious newspapers, who’re in the habit of creating dystopian subheadings of expert reports, gleefully retweeted by the opposition and of course unionist supporters.

 

It would come as a surprise to learn that contained within the recent Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QE) (including Institute of Neurosciences and Royal Hospital for Children) inspection report the following are noted

“What NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde did well

  • Good staff compliance with standard infection control precautions, including hand hygiene.
  • Good staff knowledge about how to manage a blood spill and also transmission-based precautions.”

“The Scottish Government requires NHS boards to report on a range of key infection prevention and control indicators… We reviewed the latest published quarterly data, and this demonstrates that the NHS board is performing within control limits for all indicators.”

 

“Some patients we spoke with or who responded to our survey said:

‘I could not fault standard of cleanliness, I had visitors in, one had been in another hospital, could not believe amount of times staff were in and out cleaning surfaces.’

‘The staff are always cleaning equipment, washing their hands and

making sure everyone’s bed is changed daily.’

There remain areas for greater improvement at the QE, however, I’d aver the SNP are not responding to the slings and arrows of outrageous opposition slurs by highlighting the positive findings of the report.

 

Much the same can be said on this issue of child poverty, of which the SNP are continuously assailed as perpetuating, however The SNP have got it right on the Right to Buy, there’s no such right in Scotland, and the Joseph Rowntree report (Poverty in Scotland 2017) concludes

 

“Overall poverty rates are now lower in Scotland than in the UK, and the difference is greatest for people in the social rented sector (37% in Scotland compared with 44% in the UK as a whole).”

 

I’d aver the SNP have achieved much for the folk of Scotland, however, it’s not enough for Nicola Sturgeon to deliver pelters to the opposition parties during First Minister’s Question Time, There’s a far wider audience on social media than for FMQs, as such there needs to be a permanent social media team, to unspin the damaging comments both the opposition and unionist supporters populate our social media with daily.

 

The SNP could learn much from the retail industry where the bigger brands have dedicated social media teams, who respond with impelling alacrity the moment there’s an assault on their brand

 

I take the view, if the SNP are more supportive in removing the catalyst of so many intemperate exchanges on social media by simply presenting the facts behind the spin, not only will the more bellicose supporters enter cordial debate, the so called soft no voters may well become hard Yes supporters.

A wee tale about how delaying changes to Fixed Odd Betting Terminals, helps not a single problem gambler, but instead preserves betting companies donations to the Tory party.

Flicking through Hansard (As you do when your cats decide they want feeding at 02:00 hours, leaving you wide awake post enforced nurturing), I spotted the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Jeremy Wright’s defence of the further delay the reduction of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBT) maximum stake from £100 to £2.

 

“It also has to be recognised that, right though this change is, money for public services coming from the use of FOBTs has to be replaced, or public services will have less funding.”

 

Quantum of the “Money for public services” is absent from the debate, as is the cost to public services from problem gamblers. I suspect omission of the first value, is prompted by the second value.

 

A recent study by the Institute for Public Policy and Research (IPPR) estimated that

 

“the current population of problem gamblers are associated with between £260 million and £1.2 billion a year of extra cost to government. These costs were spread across health (primary care, mental health services, secondary mental health services and hospital inpatient services), welfare and employment (Job seeker allowance claimants and lost labour tax receipts), housing (statutory homelessness applications), and criminal justice (incarcerations)”

 

This study formed part of the governments own impact study on the (then) proposed changes to FOBT’s. The impact study also estimated11.5% of players are problem gamblers and a further 32% are considered at risk of harm)

 

So why the delay?

 

Alison Thewliss (Glasgow Central) (SNP) “The Evening Times reports that there are more than 800 FOBTs and 200 betting shops in the city of Glasgow alone, and that £31 million a year is lost to these machines. What does the Minister say to my constituents, who are losing out every day to these machines?”

 

Jeremy Wright stated, inter alia, the betting industry needed time to adjust to a reduced revenue, job losses et al, but at a cost of £260m-£1.2 billion, does such a delay represent good value for money from the public purse? I’d aver it doesn’t.

 

There’s an uncomfortable link between the gambling industry and the Tory party, last year Bet Fred donated £166,000 via their firm Rainy City Investments.

 

Bet Fred are in line for a £1 billion windfall after winning a VAT appeal against HM Revenue and Customs earlier this year, which I assume won’t slave the pain of FOBT changes?

 

William Hill and Ladbrokes Coral have spent £18,018 entertaining 12 MPs since 2016, a figure increased from roughly £2000 per year in the previous 3 years. 40% of the increased hospitality coincided with the announcement of Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) review into book makers.

 

Of the £18,018 in hospitality the biggest beneficiaries are two Conservative MPs, Philip Davies and Laurence Robertson. Phillip Davies was a member of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee (27 Feb 2006 to 30 Mar 2015) and is currently co-chair of Betting and Gaming All-Party Parliamentary Group.

 

Such delays and associated costs are typical of the Tories spendthrift ways, whilst purporting to protecting the public purse. There’s a history of wasting public money of failed projects.

 

Within the Government’s £455bn project portfolio, projects worth a total of £159bn are rated amber/red or red – meaning their successful delivery appears ‘in doubt’ or ‘unachievable’. These projects include

 

HS2 (which of course won’t be coming to Scotland

Apprenticeship Reform

Helena Airport

Astute Boats

Land Environment Systems

 

Scaremongering? Well a quick peek in the past shows a plethora of failed Government projects, here’s just a couple;

 

The NHS National Program for IT failed at a cost of 10 billion (25% of our block grant value).

 

Libra System for Magistrates saw the government pay Fujitsu circa £319 million, even though the government had to dump Fujitsu before they finished the contract.

 

This is a government that wastes money hand over fist, whilst purporting to protect the public purse.

 

This is a government that seems to think little of the harm FOBT’s do to the individual and community, in favour of maintaining a tax revenue stream, it’s the same government that’s content to force families on to universal credit with a loss of around £286 per month (Child Poverty Action Group) or if folk are on disability benefits the loss is far greater, despite underpaying benefits by £14 billion per year.

 

Then again, this is a government determined to effect greater damage on our industries than Thatcher ever could via Brexit, so should we be surprised?