Corporate journalist seeks to protect hospital-building Bermuda-based corporation from public scrutiny

There’s a long stain behind Scotland’s corporate and state journalists struggling to blame the ‘SNP Scottish Government’ or its associated services, especially in health and policing, for something, anything.

Only we a few days ago we had the Scotsman’s Connor Matchett using the comments of one religious fundamentalist councillor from Skye to attempt to transfer blame, from the corporate care home owners, for Covid deaths, onto the Scottish Government’s inspectors. Bizarrely, the inspectors who have carried out fewer inspections during the pandemic, for obvious reasons, are to blame for not catching out the neglect of the owners!

Last night we saw one Labour councillor given space to headline, on BBC Reporting Scotland, supposed concerns that Scotland is only just introducing a digital vaccine passport.

Today, the Herald’s Martin Williams takes the side of Bermuda-based corporation Multiplex/BPS, and attempts to smear the health board with a number of misrepresentations.

He starts with

SCOTLAND’s largest health board faces having a £73m damages claim kicked out over design flaws and defects that compromised safe healthcare at the £800m superhospital complex after being accused of a breach of contract. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, which was placed under special measures last year by the Scottish Government, has been accused of sidestepping a contractual obligation to carry out an independent dispute resolution over the dispute by pursuing the matter in court and moves have been made to have the claim dismissed.

First, however, the headline is designed to draw all of us ‘taxpayers’ in on his and the corporation’s side. This is a myth perpetuated to undermine public services and to promote the interests of the private sector. See this from Professor Richard Murphy’s blog in 2020:

Let us never forget this fundamental truth: the State is the only source of money in the economy. If you wish to earn, invest or spend some money, you can only do that by getting some money from the State (or from the banks which the State allows to create money by lending) and which the State has not yet recouped in tax. It is no good thinking there is any other source of money – it all comes from the State. There is no such thing as taxpayer’s money; there is only public money.

Tackling the idea that there is only taxpayers’ money – because that is completely untrue

Second, and more important given my over-riding purpose here, to expose media bias against our interests in the wider YES movement, Williams, from first words above, takes the corporation’s side and takes against the health board, immediately implying incompetence and waste. Note, also, the deceitful reference to ‘special measures?’

Do these have anything to do with the management of the contract to build the hospital? No, they were concerned with the management of infection control. This is dishonest.

Who is the contractor? We read on with much detail of deaths in the hospital NOT proven to have resulted from any failure by the health board and, only after more than 20 paragraphs:

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There is no mention, of course, by this corporate journalist, that this is a business based in Bermuda for the all the usual tax ‘efficiencies.’

Note that the contractor makes no attempt to justify the quality of the work done but rather falls back on legal technicalities set up in the first place to protect businesses from the citizen.

To finish, note how Williams phrases the judge’s options, to ‘boot the claim out?’

Hmm, kinda makes you wonder whose side this journalist is on?

Remember this from the Herald:

Trusted? By which side?

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10 thoughts on “Corporate journalist seeks to protect hospital-building Bermuda-based corporation from public scrutiny

  1. Aside from the routine attacks on the Scottish Government, the broadcasters and the press always frame public expenditure in a taxpayer context, of ‘who is going to pay for this?’ It is implied that public expenditure is a ‘waste’, largely due to incompetent ‘management (‘officialdom’) and a workforce which is either skiving or incompetent, or demoralised.

    It urges people to apply the ‘household budget’ paradigm to government expenditure, with its emphasis on the ‘prudent housewife’ and ‘hardworking families’, which, of course, implies the existence of a cadre of imprudent and lazy, who are sponging off the rest and who waste whatever they are given by the ‘generous mugs’ who, it is implied are the prudent and hardworking. So, we must reward the prudent and hardworking and that means not turning the spotlight on the rentier class who run the government and media.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. “.. health board accused of contract breach’ – of course it’s relevant to know by whom; contract breached in what way/s; with what motivation/reason. Thanks to TuS we know! This so-called news item is reported in a particular way – framed in this way – for one purpose, to undermine public confidence in Scotland’s key public institutions.

    As we see in the reproduced newspaper extract there is reliance on a prior legal case in Scotland. This is ‘issue’ concerned:

    against McLAUGHLIN & HARVEY LIMITED – 26 January 2021

    ‘The issue
    [1] The issue debated in this case is whether clause W2.4 of the NEC 3 Engineering and Construction Contract in the form agreed between the parties operates as a contractual bar to preclude resort to the Court (or to arbitration), if a dispute between the parties falling within the scope of Clause W2 has not first been referred to adjudication.’

    Rather than attempt to manufacture some kind of public service scandal, the ‘news’ here is that two parties are in dispute over an interpretation of a dispute resolution process. Both parties are acting in what each determines to be in their own interest. A key difference is that one party is much more likely to act in the public interest and the other in its own commercial interest. The party making an accusation of a breach of contract will have the opportunity to seek legal restraint or redress.

    So really nothing more or less to see here – unless the newspaper is (desperately) pursuing a political agenda!

    Liked by 7 people

    1. So, in other words, it is playing legal games. The Health Board are required by the standard contract to use arbitration first, but, presumably if they remain dissatisfied they can then go to Court. Their fault was to miss out the arbitration stage.
      It would be good to learn why they did this – the contract is a perfectly normal construction industry form, so they must be familiar with it.
      That said, much of what someone has held Williams’ hand while he wrote it down, is way over the top. Let’s take the worst case analysis that the Health Board lose their application at this stage of the dispute. If so, costs would be awarded against them. Quite how the Health Board would “profit” from this, is not entirely clear to me. If they revert to arbitration and win, the the contractor will have to pay up. If the Health Board is dissatisfied with the arbitral award and they go to Court and win, then the contactor has to pay up. The breach of contract is purely procedural, something the article does refer to, but hardly clearly.
      Basically, the contractor is trying to stretch the case out by using the procedure within the contract. Why the Health Board didnt go along with this is unclear.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I note in the article that there is , as yet , no mention of deaths of children at the hospital caused by mismanagement and incompetence by the Scottish Government , Scottish Health Secretary ,and the SNP .
    Early days – give it time !

    Liked by 4 people

    1. It would be really interesting to know who you mean James? Remember, your claim is that children died because of mismanagement ….. etc. You are not restricting your fire to problems with the water supply – but that children died.
      Please dont bother with poor Millie Main, whose memory and family have been systematically abused by a number of politicians. Millie Main – and its in her death certificate – died from a subarachnoid hemorrhage, which for your information is a hemorrhage in tissue between the brain and the skull. Something like 50% of people who suffer this (eg former footballer, Davie Cooper) die. A child who has just completed grueling chemotherapy is unlikely to survive. The reference to the water supply was the third stated reason, but the hemorrhage would have been more than enough.

      Liked by 5 people

    2. Your point is James? Seems your comment is making claims against the SNP if nothing else by default. Stay on topic, we don’t need comments that are just as SNP bad as the BritNats, doing the job for them.


  4. John I have to hand it to you to sit through anything on the BBC, let alone their utter lies and propaganda attacks on the FM, the SNP and the people of Scotland. I’d go mad.
    It needs saying every now and then, thank you so much for all you do for Scotland.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Any giving oxygen to a particular side of a dispute yet to be resolved is not being honest, this is not public information but propaganda, the language used is intended solely to convey failure to protect “taxpayer’s money”, a political game.

    Liked by 1 person

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