Archive | January, 2018

Scotland’s A&E departments impressive performance on the 4-hour target contrasts dramatically with the other UK areas as they worsen dangerously and are apparently out of control

31 Jan

Talking-up Scotland


The Nuffield Trust have released an update, on 28th January, on the percentage of patients waiting more than four hours in A&E. The graph above looks frankly frightening with regard to the situation in Tory England, Labour Wales and DUP Northern Ireland. It’s clear that NHS Scotland has managed to stay very near the demanding 5% maximum target requiring more than 4 hours other than in the winters of 2012/13 and 2014/15.

During the period 2012 to mid-2015, NHS England’s A&E departments performed slightly better than those in Scotland. That might be expected given the greater severity of Scottish winters. However, since then, NHS England’s A&E departments have performed less-well and this winter have begun to soar away from the Scottish performance by more than 10%. This is, of course, the period of unconstrained Tory government in the UK. These figures only go so far as end December…

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Britain’s Dirty Establishment

30 Jan


Random Public Journal

By Jason Michael

Let’s not be surprised that the little piggies of the British establishment feed on the vulnerability of young women trying to make ends meet. What we have seen in the President’s Club is a long tradition of British power.

Fair play to Madison Marriage; the Financial Times reporter who got inside the Dorchester and dished the dirt on the President’s Club dinner. She has done something few journalists have ever managed to do. She made the FT readable for the first time since the mid-1990s when rogue trader Nick Leeson – sometime CEO of Galway United – single-handedly brought down Barings Bank. Her story on the carry on of the super-wealthy establishment men at the fundraiser was many things – it was excellent journalism – but it wasn’t, however, anything new. She never told us anything we didn’t already know or at least suspect – the…

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Draping Scotland in the Butcher’s Apron

30 Jan

Random Public Journal

By Jason Michael

Pressure to fly the red, white, and blue of the union flag is a new development in the politics of Scotland. We are right to see this as a creeping Ulsterisation because this is precisely what it is. It is the prelude to the devastation of a country.

Flags are seldom, if ever, neutral devices. Coloured fabric they may be, but as symbols of national identity; together with all the historical memory that includes, flags are a visual icon – a window – into the deepest and most ingrained sense of belonging people have with regard to their connection to their people, their nation, and their state qua the modern nation state. Materially it makes no difference whether the red, white, and blue union flag or the blue and white saltire of St Andrew flies over Scotland’s parliament or any public building. But flags – or…

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The Race

30 Jan


Imagine if one day you woke up and they said you were going to be entered in an Olympic marathon today. No exceptions. You had to run!

As you looked at the line up of athletes representing the best there is in physical fitness and endurance you knew you had no chance of winning. None at all.

Even if you could barely walk… you still have to run.

Whilst facing such insurmountable odds, you begin. In my case it wouldn’t take more than several steps before I started falling, and a few more before I would be crawling, and would still have another 100 kilometers before it was over. I don’t imagine crawling 100 kilometers on your hands and knees would be easy, fun or enjoyable. Not by anyone’s standards.

In this scenario it is extremely unlikely that you could ever win, and possible you wouldn’t even finish.


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A change of tone

28 Jan

Scotto Voce

Sometimes, things have to get worse before they can get better. While some of us were warning of the British state’s malign intentions for the Scottish Parliament even before the calamitous No vote in September 2014, it was hardly politic for our elected representatives to do so. It’s one thing for political anoraks like myself to speculate on the devious designs of the British political elite, quite another for prominent politicians to do so absent credible evidence.

So it is highly significant that someone of Mhairi Black‘s standing now feels able to refer openly to the devolved administrations being “undermined” by the British government – even if she does not yet feel able to suggest that this is being done deliberately and as part of a plan, rather than happening as a consequence of the woeful incompetence of David Mundell and his masters.

Reading between the lines of the…

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Going on the offensive against the offensive

26 Jan

Wee Ginger Dug

The Daily Mail has today published an apology for its front page screech that Nicola Sturgeon was personally going about the country and ripping Union flegs out of the hands of poor wee sowels whose only crime is to oppose independence, because she hates the English. Or something like that. We’re still waiting for apologies from The Telegraph and The Express, which also indulged themselves in the attempt to strangle Thatessempee with the fleg. What we can sure of, is that when or if those apologies come, just like the apology in The Daily HateMail they’ll be buried somewhere inside the newspaper and won’t receive anything like the same prominence as the original lie itself. All those people who were outraged and angered by the false news plastered all over the front pages will remain outraged and angered.

I’m looking forward to seeing the BBC hunt down Murdo Fraser and…

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Getting Inside the Scotland Office

26 Jan

Butterfly Rebellion

Butterfly Rebellion

Suspicions have been raised in recent weeks and months that the Scotland Office – the centre of the British administration in Scotland – is gearing up for something big. It is no secret that since the Conservatives came back to power in May 2010 the budget and staffing numbers of the Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland have been on the rise. Since the 2014 referendum the influx of people and cash into David Mundell’s department has been accelerating, with staffing and budget now at a level capable of governing Scotland without Holyrood. They’re up to something.

We want to know what it is they’re up to. The entire imposition of a Brexit isolationism Scotland rejected, the nature of the repatriation of EU laws power grab, and the facts of what happened last year in Catalunya give us cause for concern. The campaign for Scottish…

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Getting Union fleg knickers in a twist

24 Jan

Wee Ginger Dug

I thought it was only spittle flecked nationalists who were supposed to care about things like flags? After all, that’s what our British nationalism-isn’t-nationalist-at-all friends are always telling us. Not caring about nationalist symbols like flags is one of the many things that they claim makes them morally superior to lesser breeds like Caledonian separatist types. Only nationalists invest pieces of cloth with a mystic style symbolic resonance. Supporters of the British state, not being nationalist at all, oh no, like to portray themselves as being as high above that sort of thing as a flag flying high on a flag pole. So it’s strange then that this week they’ve got themselves all worked up into a spittle flecked paroxysm over a flag. Some of them have been particularly keen to let us know that their opinion and outrage is especially valid because they’re one quarter Scottish. Then they tweet…

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How propaganda works

22 Jan

Wee Ginger Dug

Over the weekend, as much of Scotland was covered in ice and snow, those of us who are dog owners still had to struggle out and slide about on the ice-rink that pavements and side-streets had been turned into. Not that I’m really complaining, the Spanish born dug loves snow. It seems to hold all sorts of interesting smells for him. It takes about twice as long to do the usual walk as it normally does, and not because you have to carefully and slowly pick your way across the icescape. It’s because the dug is insistent that every patch of suspiciously coloured snow, and a lot of patches that aren’t, has to be sniffed, licked, and pushed about with his muzzle. It must be a dug thing.

The other day, the walk that was taking longer than usual took even longer than usual because I got waylaid by a…

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Anatomy of the British Nationalist Troll

22 Jan

Random Public Journal

By Jason Michael

British nationalist online trolls have become a ubiquitous feature of the Scottish political cyber landscape. They receive no coverage by a British media hell-bent on portraying the independence movement as the work of Russia.

2017 was marked by a concerted effort across the western mainstream media to convince the general public of nefarious Russian state involvement in a number of elections, including the United Kingdom’s European Union referendum, and the French and United States’ presidential elections. It is alleged by a number of governments and government agencies that, as part of a so-called cyber war against these governments, Russia unleashed a swarm of fake social media accounts designed to look and act like concerned citizens of these democracies in order to subvert the political campaigns and nudge public opinion.

There certainly is enough evidence to suggest Putin’s Russia has been playing such an underhand game, and…

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