As Tory-run NHS England produces the worst A&E figures in history, the costliest building delays and the most dangerous places to be born, Euan McColm either knows nothing of NHS Scotland or has an agenda. Here’s why:
Tom Peck has watched Ian Blackford in action but seems not to have noticed the Tory benches braying at him with unconcealed contempt. He wrote:
‘In his two and a half years leading the SNP at Westminster, Blackford has arguably established a convention all of his own. When Ian Blackford speaks, MPs, journalists, members of the public, catering staff and, on occasion, large items of antique furniture all understand it as the appropriate moment to evacuate the chamber. Rumours still swirl that during an especially dreadful Ian Blackford contribution to Prime Minister’s Questions last year, a Liberal Democrat was tragically killed in the stampede. These are the ways that rituals become ritualised. It may very well be that, centuries from now, the Palace of Westminster formally employs a Blackford, as well as a Black Rod. Blackford’s sacred role will be to stand up in the House of Commons and, while wearing his traditional dress of three-piece suit, do no more than utter the words, “Mr Speaker, the people of Scotland have spoken!” and everyone will know it’s time to go home for the day.’
Were an MP to speak regularly on behalf of ethnic minorities, women, the disabled or gays, would Peck be so stupid as to think it’s fine to ridicule them? You might think not but Peck has compared Owen Jones to Adolf Hitler. On 29 October 2019, openly gay Jones had tweeted responding to the election of Jair Bolsonaro as Brazil’s president:
Peck thought Hitler had said the same thing as Jones and that it was comedy gold. Jones quickly sorted him out:
The Canary gave a fuller explanation:
‘President-elect Bolsonaro is openly homophobic, pro-torture, and racist; has advocated abolishing democracy; and may well destroy the Amazon rainforest. Meanwhile, parties offering the status quo of free-market economics are in abject decline. So Jones is saying we need to offer people actual solutions to their problems, or the far right will continue to take power.
Luxemburg was a polish Marxist, writer, and revolutionary who opposed authoritarian Leninism.’
The Independent likes to portray itself as liberal and tolerant but, when it comes to the self-determinism of the Scottish people, it too is subject to the same exceptionalism we see in English ‘comedians’ or in all-but-one of the candidates for leader of the Labour Party. Self-determination is good for the English and for the Palestinians, it was good for the Slovenians or the Kosovans and, these days, it is even recognised as having been good for the Irish, but the Scots? No, ridiculous narrow nationalists!
We should note the 15+ years of EGIP rail programme delivered for Transport Scotland
Faster train times on several routes – but notably 20% reduction for Edinburgh-Glasgow expresses which are now 8-coach electric vice 6-coach diesel (33% longer trains 35-40% more passenger capacity)
Whilst on 3 other routes the same new trains replace 2-coach diesels with 3/4-coach electric trains and a 5th route gets 6-coach trains all day vice 3-coach, and displaced diesels means 6-coach vice 4-coach trains on another route.
Compared to having just 1 slightly fragile 50 mile route London-Brighton we now have 5, 47 to 50+ mile routes between Edinburgh & Glasgow with 15 trains/hr each way, plus extra capacity Inverness-Aberdeen, reopened lines to Alloa, and Tweedbank, Electric trains to Paisley Canal, plans for reopened line to Leven, & new connection past Edinburgh Airport – plus new local trains for Dunbar. All with construction teams kept together, learning & improving, to deliver to time & budget on a portfolio of smaller manageable projects, being planned and prepared into the future – compare this to HS2?
Oh & when the delivery of the new trains was delayed Scotland’s railway & government secured 10 newly retired electric trains from England for a short-term lease, to plug that gap – the ‘Happy Trains’.
The Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) is a comprehensive package of improvements to Scotland’s railway infrastructure. A Scottish Government priority, the EGIP is being delivered by Network Rail and includes modernisation and upgrades to key junctions and infrastructure as well as widespread electrification of the Scottish rail network, including the main line between Edinburgh and Glasgow and to Stirling and Dunblane.
‘The leading thinker and most visible public advocate of modern monetary theory – the freshest and most important idea about economics in decades – delivers a radically different, bold, new understanding for how to build a just and prosperous society.
Any ambitious proposal – ranging from fixing crumbling infrastructure to Medicare for all or preventing the coming climate apocalypse – inevitably sparks questions: how can we afford it? How can we pay for it? Stephanie Kelton points out how misguided those questions really are by using the bold ideas of modern monetary theory (MMT), a fundamentally different approach to using our resources to maximize our potential as a society.
We’ve been thinking about government spending in the wrong ways, Kelton argues, on both sides of the political aisle. Everything that both liberal/progressives and conservatives believe about deficits and the role of money and government spending in the economy is wrong, especially the fear that deficits will endanger long-term prosperity.
Through illuminating insights about government debt, deficits, inflation, taxes, the financial system, and financial constraints on the federal budget, Kelton dramatically changes our understanding of how to best deal with important issues ranging from poverty and inequality to creating jobs and building infrastructure. Rather than asking the self-defeating question of how to pay for the crucial improvements our society needs, Kelton guides us to ask: which deficits actually matter? What is the best way to balance the risk of inflation against the benefits of a society that is more broadly prosperous, safer, cleaner, and secure?
With its important new ways of understanding money, taxes, and the critical role of deficit spending, MMT busts myths that prevent us from taking action because we can’t get beyond the question of how to pay for it.’
A leading mental health charity for military veterans says it will not be able to take any new cases in England and Wales, because of a funding crisis. Combat Stress said its income has fallen from £16m to £10m in the current financial year partly due to cuts in NHS funding support.
And much, much further down:
The charity still receives more than £1m from NHS Scotland and it will continue to take on new cases there and in Northern Ireland.
On Thursday 23rd January 2020, in Holyrood, James Kelly (Glasgow) (Scottish Labour) asked the Scottish Government what its response is to recently reported alcohol-related brain damage statistics, which suggest that the number of people with this condition is at a 10-year high.
Last year, 2018-19 shows a drop in the number of patients with ARBD, a decline of 3% from the previous year
Kelly has previous on arithmetical confusion. In 2016:
“Of the cases that come to court, over half of them fail. So even if you accepted the basic premise of the Act, as a law it’s not working.”
This is a lie. Of OBFA cases brought to court, 69% (242 out of 352) have resulted in convictions and just 31% have failed. Last time we checked, 31% was less than half by a quite significant distance. There hasn’t been a single year in which “over half” of OBFA cases brought to court have failed
‘MAKING the right decisions on medical treatments depends on sound, unbiased scientific evidence on whether drugs work.It is interesting then, that in the past week two separate papers – in respected journals, the Lancet and BMJ – have highlighted shortfalls blighting the reliability of clinical trials and studies.’
She’s correct that, no news though, we can’t trust big pharma. It’s just a bit ironic, comical even, that she should be the one to criticise bias and conflict of interest given the agenda transparent in her writing and the regular misuse of evidence to produce reports critical of the SNP government. I’ve probably corrected more of her fibs than anyone other than Reporting Scotland Down’s Lisa Summers. Here are the most recent:
It is there down at the bottom with a less-than dramatic headline but containing this: ‘At least seven preventable baby deaths may have occurred at the trust since 2016, a BBC investigation found.’ Here’s how the Independent saw it:
Though the Independent report has more disturbing facts, neither think to mention the Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock. There is certainly no picture of him. 130 brain-damaged new-borns on the watch of Tory ministers and BBC UK, even the at times mildly leftist Independent see no need to politicise the story, confining themselves to those who actually manage the hospitals. The contrast with the approach taken by BBC Scotland is perhaps the strongest and clearest evidence of bias in their reporting on the SNP Government:
So, in England, 7 deaths and 130 brain-damaged new-borns due to neglect and no mention of the Tory Minister, but in Scotland, one child death where a hospital infection may have been a contributory factor and a Tory MSP’s call for a resignation is headlined.
BBC UK, England, N Ireland and Wales never politicise health issues while BBC Scotland nearly always does. It’s an easy way for me to find objective evidence of their bias so why don’t they put an official complaint in against the others?
Health is the major concern of those middle-aged and older voters who turn out. It’s the only area where BBC Scotland can score, mostly offside and after a blatant foul, against the SNP Government so they will keep coming for it like a pack of hyenas.