Creative Writer at Large, Neil Mackay attacks the SNP on…i forget…oh anything he can make up really.

In a supposed ‘premium’ report from the Herald’s Writer at Large, Neil Mackay:

IT should come as no surprise in this age of hypocrisy, that those among us who shout the most about how special and empathetic Scotland is as a nation, should turn out, when the crunch comes, to be the least kind, the most lacking in consideration, the last to offer sympathy.

Right now, teachers in Scotland are terrified for their health and wellbeing. With vast swathes of the country back in lockdown, teachers, like nurses and police officers, have to man the frontline, unlike most of us. They’re at risk in their own packed classes. Would any of the rest of us happily spend every day in a closed room with up to 33 other human beings, with no chance of effective social distancing? Quite simply teachers believe their lives are at risk. The Scottish Government has shown it just doesn’t care – but what makes this issue all the more distressing for teachers is that most of the public don’t seem to give a damn either.

His evidence? A tiny handful of tweets by people he decides are SNP supporters whom he has lost track of. How do you lose track of single figures?

This notion that there is much shouting about how special and empathetic Scotland is as a nation is another urban myth or ‘straw man’, like the hospital discharge/care home deaths story, which is set-up to provide an easy target for knocking down on the way to claiming your salary at large.

So, recognising that many of you have seen this before just links to real evidence that some teacher’s union leaders are over-reacting and, below that, real evidence of differences in Scotland and England’s dominant social values:

12 thoughts on “Creative Writer at Large, Neil Mackay attacks the SNP on…i forget…oh anything he can make up really.

  1. Ach, he’s always attacking indy supporters and trying to cause division. He typically follows these hit pieces up with a “Yessers responded by abusing me” piece. It’s quite amusing how unionists tend to stick to the same MO, like Leasky with his reds-under-the-bed McCarythism stuff.

    Just ignore them.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Scotland’s certainly being attacked by the media, their ‘premium’ SNP bad knows no bounds.
    The gas lighting of the people of Scotland is certainly at a ‘premium’, the media are fiddling with the dial it’s set to med-high demonise the SNP, soon to go into the red zone. (((((~~~~ It’s a war of words, one sided of course.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your reference to ‘gas lighting’ seems very apt – politically-motivated gas lighting of groups in Scotland. It is now widely accepted that gas lighting is a social and political construct, and a deliberate and insidious political tactic.

      The more it is directed at undermining confidence, self-esteem etc. of folk in Scotland, the more important those that focus on ‘talking up Scotland’ become!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. The average class size in primary schools is 23.5. In secondary schools class sizes in practical subjects are limited to 20. Here is a summary of the statistics for Scottish state schools
    Summary statistics for schools in Scotland 2018/19


    697,989 Pupils ↑ 4,738 from 2018
    398,794 Primary ↓ 1,482 from 2018
    292,063 Secondary ↑ 5,911 from 2018
    7,132 Special ↑ 309 from 2018
    The average primary class size has remained at 23.5 since 2016. No change since 2016


    52,247 Teachers ↑ 288 from 2018
    25,027 Primary ↑ 128 from 2018
    23,522 Secondary ↑ 205 from 2018
    1,927 Special ↑ 44 from 2018
    972 Centrally employed ↓ 67 from 2018
    798 ELC ↓ 23 from 2018
    The Pupil Teacher Ratio in 2019 has remained the same as in 2017 and 2018 at 13.6. No change since 2017


    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think data for S5 and S6 are more difficult to find in part because it does not seem to be collected and also because there is such wide variation. For example, in the late 1980s early 1990s Dunblane High had 90 pupils in S6 which was amongst the highest of any school at the time. Other schools would have been lucky to scrape together a handful.

        Now thanks to the SG’s efforts to close the attainment gap many schools that previously had no S6 to speak of have a reasonable number coming thru from S5.


    1. That’s a huge improvement then. When my kids were at school in the 90’s and early/mid 2000’s class sizes were 30+. We were always told they tried to keep it at 30 or below, I think legally a requirement, but it was often more. It’s a known fact that bigger class sizes means some kids do not thrive, to say the least. I think way back was the number not bigger than 30 in a class? Up to 50 even. I must read up on it. I have a book on the history of school education and one by someone called Eric Midwinter, a great name! I am sure there was a BritNat Labour government at the helm at Holyrood and at the council when my kids were at school…hmmm, might explain why we were fobbed off with the 30 kids in class is good, one size fits all, no money for learning support be grateful, it’s your fault if your kids can’t handle that, naughty bad parents!
      The Labour cooncil in 2006, oh look we just saved £30k+ ( over 5-7 years) isn’t it great the kid’s home educated now eh, not our problem. I wish I’d kept it they were so incompetent they had son down as attending a school and we were sent a school report for him, I think he wasn’t doing so well in maths and his attendance wasn’t great!


      1. I attended primary school in the 1950s. Looking at my school photos from that time class sizes were never less than 45 and often higher and there were 3 classes in each year so around 130 to 140 or so children in total.

        When the SNP started in Gov in 2007 their ambition was to get primary class sizes down to 18. Difficult to achieve without a big school building programme – need a whole lot of additional classrooms. If I remember correctly, however, they did apply it to P1-3 but not certain.


  4. The “..what makes this issue all the more distressing for teachers is that most of the public don’t seem to give a damn either” is based on what research ? A call to a Sarwar relative ?
    No possibility then that the public have become so inured to the Herod’s stream of SG “scandals” that the “mair shite” nerve tingled ? Coming straight after the Care-Home “scandal that never was” is it possible a jaundiced view is taken?
    A jaundiced must certainly be taken on Mackay’s upgrade of “worried teachers” to “terrified for their health and wellbeing”, the “Scum” has got competition for exaggeration as well as declining readership…

    Everybody is “worried” over Covid, teachers doubtless more than most as they are coming into contact with pupils and staff from multiple areas and families in their job, but the stats show it is unfounded.
    Thus far school outbreaks have been limited and masterfully contained, and SG are trying to increase that safety margin, the last thing the media appear to want is for that to succeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Many teachers would rather be teaching at school than home schooling. The parents appreciate not to have to home school. Staff in schools are regularly tested. Teachers are professionals. Social distancing and hand washing rules are in place. Most schools are happy well run places. The majority of teachers are really good at their jobs. There is no evidence of teachers or children dying. They are tested and isolate where it is needed or if positive.

    Click hate. For advertising purposes. It does not work. Losing readers.


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