No mirrors in the Glackin house?

Sunday Times Scotland columnist Michael Glackin was shortlisted for financial/business journalist of the year

In the Sunday Times today, the less than appealing, to me anyway, Michael Glackin opens with:

There’s something about Kate Forbes that reminds me of the scary young girl in the cult film The Ring. Certainly, the economy secretary’s shouty response on television when questioned about the latest Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (Gers) figures the other night was fearsome. ITV Borders political editor Peter MacMahon looked decidedly grateful for the protection afforded by social distancing. But more frightening is Forbes’s inability to master facts. The increase in Scotland’s notional deficit to 8.6%, from 7.4%, is deeply worrying. Our deficit is almost double that of Zimbabwe’s, which is currently running at 4.5%. The UK deficit was 2.5%, against 1.1% a year earlier. Last week’s figures, compiled by the Scottish government, are bad news for the SNP and Scotland, and no amount of shouting will change that.

Bear in mind that’s the best pic they could manufacture of Glackin, years ago, after hours of fussing with lighting and tantrums from him. His old guy criticises intelligent and attractive young woman prepared to stand-up for herself and us, is positively Trumpian-creepy.

As for the ‘shouty response‘, it seemed just ‘strong‘ to me and far more acceptable than the water buffalo-bullish bellowing of Ruth Davidson. I’m guessing she’s more his type.

And, ‘mastering facts?’ He gives himself away there. GERS is all estimates and no facts. Real economists, as opposed to some business correspondents have long since dumped GERS. Even BBC Scotland’s Brain Taylor gets it now:

17 thoughts on “No mirrors in the Glackin house?”

  1. Alas, the Brit Nit commentariat is almost entirely misogynistic, creepy old White Males (or younger men pretending to be old and creepy).
    Oh, and Ugly? You betcha!

    I suspect they do have mirrors but they are of the circus distorting types—to match the distortion of “facts”, which is their basic tools of trade.
    Trouble for them is—no one buys their snake oil nostrums any more.
    Their street cred gone–they are turning on their front line banzai troopers—
    Wee Wullie——-ON NOTICE.
    Big Ruthie-UNDER-erMINED

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Muckle Gleckit deploys the belittling tactic used constantly against Nicola Sturgeon . We’ve had “wee nippy ” and ” Krankie” , now Kate Forbes is drawing this less than withering fire from someone who appears to think that Scotland is running a deficit economy . GERS ,like the football team , is a busted flush .but still the faithful persist in clinging to a bad hand .

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I could agree with Glackin but then we’d both be wrong. Facts can turn into their opposite as they pass through the distorting prism of the media.


  4. The “Once in a generation” mantra of the unionists in Scotland is defined as the length of time it takes for people to forget the lies they were told last time around.
    That time has not yet passed but the deception of GERS is still being deployed by the hard of thinking for those who haven’t yet seen through it.
    However,for most,GERS is seen as the political tool it always was and has little to do with how an independent Scottish state will look.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That photo of Kate Forbes they chose is supposed to look bad.
      Someone you would want on your side.
      Sexism shining through once the cloud of Ruth Davidson moves aside.
      ‘Quiet girls, real men are talking’.
      We all see you.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Don’t shoot the messenger.

    “This does not mean that Scotland has to wait on UK departments providing “regional data” before it can publish the data relevant to Scotland. Indeed, Northern Ireland, a much smaller devolved country, carries out its own survey of exports, imports, and business statistics such as numbers employed, all in the one survey, and then provides the data to the UK Office of National Statistics. Any business sampled for the survey has to fill in the form with a true statement of its business; failure to do so results in a fine. The system has resulted in a very good sample response.

    But what do we have here? Words.

    Three times a year, a report on the State of the Scottish Economy is produced by the Office of the Chief Economic Adviser to the Scottish government and signed by him. The latest was produced in February 2019. The importance of trade to the Scottish economy is noted but at no point in the report is the word “imports” mentioned.

    This is not surprising. Although there is a survey of exports by businesses in Scotland, there is no survey carried out by the Scottish civil service supporting the Scottish government. No analysis of the state of trade can therefore be given as trade is not made up of exports alone. A country with a large trade deficit as a result of importing more than it is exporting can be heading for economic disaster.

    And even on the subject of exports, where the Scottish government produces Exports Statistics Scotland, there is much wrong with the data. The latest report on exports published in January 2019 is based mainly on a survey questionnaire which was sent out to 6,000 businesses in Scotland. Only 1,322 responded, giving an overall response rate of 22%. For some industries, the response rate was much lower.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This attempted assassination piece is only missing Gove’s cutlery, but amply demonstrates the establishment’s terror at what is unfolding from SNP’s formidable lineup, and the women are even more terrifying.
    I do wish Kate Forbes response to that odiously political Borders editor Peter MacMahon had been “keech”, but doubtless subtitles would have been required plus several diagrams to enable frontal lobes to be spurred into action from ST readers of southern residence…
    That “keech” day is coming, and soon I reckon..

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Always copy your comment as you write especially if it is long. I wrote a med length comment here, pc went mental as I was posting it, said couldn’t ‘find that site’ shut down my pc, and I tried to copy comment but it did not save. Strange, don’t think pc is corruputed but…

    Anyhoo, I think Kate Forbes was excellent, a force to be reckoned with, very intelligent, very capable, very rational, taking no nonsense from jobsworths and given the BBC etc usually should over the SNP ministers she has every reason to ensure she is not silenced and is able to answer questions, if that means being animated while do so, carry on Kate! Take no prisoners when it comes to the BritNat media!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. About GERS. It is surely within the compass of the Scottish government to take on itself the task of providing better data even if it means defying Westminster in order to follow the example of NI. Better statistics can be had by making information returns on imports and exports from companies mandatory with fines for failing to do so.

    There is good evidence that there are considerable savings to be made by reducing health inequalities. More paid in income tax and less in benefits. Reduced spending on health as the health (and well-being) of the population improves. Redistribution is difficult without control of economic and welfare policies but an imaginative land tax and a changed Council tax might work.


  9. This is a comment to one of Richard Murphy’s blog posts.

    “Thanks for this; a good isummary of how rentier faux-capitalism works for London, and rips-off everywhere else. The stand-out points seemed to me:

    1) It is in London that the, “political and economic spheres mutually reinforce each other: finance has access to the charmed circle of policy formation because of the great wealth and prestige bestowed upon them by a credit-fuelled, asset based growth regime.”

    I would add that the banks prefer to lend against assets that are protected from the effects of market forces through supply invariability; banks prefer to lend against their gold standard invariable asset: land. They will even destroy the whole financial system pursuing it. The banks do not like business and industry – it is all difficult and complicated, full of risky markets. That isn’t what neoliberalism expects, unless of course you are a monopolist. Neoliberalism is political economy in its purest form; it is not really interested in market economics (something of a politcally motivated smoke-screen I suspect); neoliberalism is just rentier politics masquerading as economics.

    2) “London does attract capital, but it does so because it is a kind of conversion machine, taking national and international assets, converting them into revenue streams from which well-placed individuals skim high pay. In other words: London attracts capital because it is also extractive.”

    Actually London is more like a medieval guild, providing an official stamp of authenticity on an international flow of money it does not own but processes within a global system of financial transfers. Large fees are skimmed off for this over-promoted postal service (allegedly special because it fits neatly on the clock between Shanghai and New York stock markets), but actually because London works very hard to look very responsible on the surface, but it is actually so open, wild-west and unregulated that it is the beloved international centre of preference for Russian oligarchs and similar to live, work and protect their money. That really ought to make everyone think; but this is London. It doesn’t count.

    3) “These two developments tell us something about modern day capitalism in the UK. Contrary to the fantasies of free-market proponents, the success of London has much to do with an active UK state and its willingness to take on or underwrite private sector liabilities. The banking sector, for example, is a net recipient of state funds which the whole country must pay for, even though the private gains are largely realised in London.”

    Privatisation does not mean the privatisation of state assets. I suspect all we have left unprivatised is the prisons. The NHS hangs by a thread. Privatisation is a system developed by neoliberalism to ensure the big financial institutions, and London are served first; all the profits in the UK are sucked into London (save for our huge estate of tax havens). London’s role is to privatise the profits for big players, and nationalise all the losses, especially whenever there is any problem. ‘Too big to fail’ is not really about the banks, it is about the preservation of London’s power to extract all the value and life out of the rest of Britain and serve the rentier life of London.”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. With due respect Sam and most informative one must come to a conclusion SO

      Why write a book if a chapter suffice
      Then why a chapter if a page suffice
      Then why a page if a verse is suffice
      Then why a verse if a line is suffice
      Then why a line if just one word suffice
      So on that basis London is a


  10. Kate Forbes is in good company, when an internationally acclaimed big hitter like Mark Blythe “comes out”;

    Liked by 1 person

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