There’s a deep irony in this man calling for another’s head but let’s not go there.

Macwhirter is just the latest in a foul-smelling gang baying for Swinney to stand-down and to give the opposition parties a sad wee ‘victory’ in their daily struggle against deepening insignificance.

Yesterday’s attack by the Scotsman’s ageing trolls led, by Wilson and McLellan, was one of the most naked pieces of propaganda I’ve seen for some time. It saddened me again, as a former reader back in the 20th Century and as retired academic who used to tell undergraduates of my pride in her (the Scotsman) being one of the few newspapers standing against the violence of the British Empire when in 1956 it invaded Egypt to ‘take back control’ of a canal in another country.

Swinney, like Freeman and Robison before her, has been successful in one of two hugely challenging spheres – Education and Health – where things could always be better whatever you do.

On the basis of a tiny student protest, deliberately making little of the improved pass rates and the free appeal process which is the obvious way to deal with any injustice, the opposition parties and their media now howl for the Education Secretary’s head.

Objectively, of course, there is no basis for their campaign and the contrary evidence for success is clear. I’m not going to repeat it all in full here, with all the references, but they are at:

https://talkingupscotlandtwo.com/2020/08/06/as-scottish-education-improves-year-on-year-i-konw-whats-getting-ditched/

Enough for a Sunday morning with the sun beckoning, let me just repeat from Glasgow’s Director of Education, Maureen McKenna, in the less partisan and more credible Times Education Supplement in December 2019:

This is a response to all that guff about things in Scottish education being terrible. There are a lot of people painting a very negative picture. We are not saying everything is rosy but what we are saying is that there are a range of statistics out there that point to another side, that create a different narrative.

65% The reduction in exclusions nationally between 2006-07 and 2018-19.

22.3% The proportion of pupils achieving five or more awards at Higher or equivalent by the end of S5. This has almost doubled since 2009-10, when the figure was 11.3 per cent

44.4% Proportion of school leavers in the most deprived areas of Scotland achieving at least one Higher or equivalent in 2017-18. In 2012-13 that figure stood at 34.9 per cent

62.2% Proportion of school leavers gaining at least one Higher or equivalent in 2017-18, compared to 55.8 per cent in 2012-13.

https://www.tes.com/news/its-guff-scottish-education-terrible