A touch younger than Pennington, Paterson is a statistician with a background in agricultural and medical research using statistical methods. Despite that, he’ll turn up on request to say something bad about any Scottish Government decision that involves numbers.

Former Head of News at BBC Scotland, John Boothman above, and current hack, Gary Robertson below, have him in today:

Boothman writes:

Paterson said the disruption was “a betrayal of all the best in the history of Scottish social statistics

Paterson and the Scottish media love a bit of Old Testament betrayal. In 2018, he wrote:

Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence: the betrayal of a whole generation?


and in the Daily Mail that same year:

Curriculum for Excellence ‘will betray children.’

And in the Mail again in 2019 just

Shameful betrayal!

Readers may remember  Glasgow director of education, Maureen McKenna describing that as ‘guff.https://www.tes.com/news/its-guff-scottish-education-terrible

Back to the census.

There’s a reasoned academic account of the recommendation by the National Records of Scotland, based on the need to ensure quality, and with not a hint of criticism of the Scottish Government, in Research Live, at:


Paterson may be a prof but he prefers the world of hackism to that. Here he is in 2016 ‘destroying the SNP’s education record:

Lindsay likes to use the widely discredited Pisa scores, reducing education to a handful of numbers. He likes numbers.

And in 2017: