School violence: A classic example of seeking to stoke moral panic

stewartb I’ve only read the front page of The Herald – magnifying the picture above to read the article. I have no wish to give The Herald the benefit of my custom even tho’ a decade ago it was my newspaper of choice. It’s an appalling piece of journalism: it is rightly being called out in the blog post as a classic example of seeking to stoke moral panic. Yet another example: a pattern emerging in Scotland? (Arguably, what is being reflected in The Herald is a socially conservative push-back against fairly long standing practices and widespread support for the … Continue reading School violence: A classic example of seeking to stoke moral panic

Violence in schools: Irresponsible scare-mongering and no hard evidence whatsoever

The Herald likes to think of itself as ‘serious’ and informative. Here it is in the gutter, with its eyes still fixed in that gutter, not reporting reality for the benefit of its readers but constructing a dark alternative reality within which the vulnerable may be damaged. What evidence do they have? ONE whistleblower, unnamed, but in Glasgow’s east end. With the smallest respect, is that a representative sample? I think not. There are around 50 000 teachers in 5 000 schools in Scotland and they have one whistleblower? This is a classic moral panic where reports of actual deviance … Continue reading Violence in schools: Irresponsible scare-mongering and no hard evidence whatsoever

94% of homeless are in housing accommodation and not rough-sleeping

I won’t be using an exploitative image of a sad child here, as BBC Scotland have. Yesterday, they were keen to tell us: The number of people classed as homeless in Scotland hit an all-time high last year, according to the latest figures. There were 28,944 open homelessness cases in September 2022 – the highest since Scottish government records began in 2002. The figures were an 11% rise on the previous year. Housing Secretary Shona Robison said the statistics were unacceptable and concerning. She said the Scottish government had commissioned an action plan to tackle the problem. The Scottish Conservatives called … Continue reading 94% of homeless are in housing accommodation and not rough-sleeping

Less ‘troubled?’ Glasgow’s ‘super hospital’ A&E sees 82% improvement

Scotland’s largest A&E department at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, often fondly described by Scotland’s media as ‘troubled’ by, for example, pigeon fungus, has recovered to levels not seen since January 2022. In week-ending 22 January 2023, 67.2% of attendances were seen and resulted in a subsequent admission, transfer or discharge within 4 hours. This was an impressive 81.6% improvement from 37.% at the beginning of the month. There were also improvements of around 50% to 60% in the number waiting more than 12 and 8 hours. https://www.publichealthscotland.scot/publications/nhs-performs-weekly-update-of-emergency-department-activity-and-waiting-time-statistics/nhs-performs-weekly-update-of-emergency-department-activity-and-waiting-time-statistics-week-ending-22-january-2023/ Continue reading Less ‘troubled?’ Glasgow’s ‘super hospital’ A&E sees 82% improvement

Grenfell: What you won’t hear from Michael Gove

Leah Gunn Barrett This letter refused by Sunday Times. Michael Gove’s admission of Tory culpability six years after the 2017 Grenfell Tower disaster won’t bring back the 72 people who died. The deadly blaze was caused by the lack of English fire safety building regulations, which Tory ministers would no doubt deem to be ‘useless red tape.’ After all, the Tories’ property development chums are more important than some poor residents in a tower block who would never vote Conservative. What you won’t hear from Gove is that the Grenfell disaster couldn’t have happened in Scotland. Since 2000, our building … Continue reading Grenfell: What you won’t hear from Michael Gove

Schools in 30 out of 32 councils NOT closed today

From Reporting Scotland this morning, as all of England’s schools close, we hear: Most schools in Clackmannanshire and Aberdeen are closed… There is of course no public information reminder that in 30 out of 32 council areas, schools are not on strike today. Muuum, my school is closed, Jennifer told me. We’re not in Aberdeen or Clackthingy! I was listening to that lassie on the news there. Don’t try it Cassandra! Continue reading Schools in 30 out of 32 councils NOT closed today

Worry not! Scotland’s trains are running today

From BBC Reporting Scotland this morning as they work hard to make sure you don’t feel excluded from the even more disruptive events elsewhere in the UK Thousands of workers from a range of sectors are preparing top joining picket lines across the country… After a string of warnings of industrial action, of the kind a public service broadcaster should be providing, we hear in some detail of the rail strikes in England, not in Scotland, but affecting services between Scotland and England, and this quietly and quickly added at the end: Scotrail services will be unaffected though. Did you … Continue reading Worry not! Scotland’s trains are running today

The black art of BBC news management before our eyes

stewartb Yesterday the BBC News website had this headline: ‘NHS plan: £1bn for hospital beds and ambulance fleet’. Beneath we learned what the Westminster government is now promising: ‘It has set goals that by March 2024: 76% of A&E patients will be dealt with in four hours. Currently fewer than 70% are. The official target is 95%.’ Now given that the same article indicates that the most recent statistic for this performance metric has been c. 65% or better when the ACTUAL figure for the major (Type 1) emergency departments was JUST 49% in December 2022 (‘England’s great hidden statistic’!), … Continue reading The black art of BBC news management before our eyes

Child sexual abuse: Some moral panics are more justified than others?

After many years of teaching about moral panics, like the most recent one in Scotland, Trans Killers, I’m among the last to believe in any, but these peer-reviewed reports, popping up in my investigations today, all in European Psychiatry, Cambridge University Press, have me thinking. From: Bridgend “Bebo Internet Suicide Cult” and ritual violence in Wales Results Colin Batley, a self-styled Satanist high priest, was sentenced for child sexual abuse alongside 4 others. His son Damien had died through aspiration when filming himself in a “sexual stimulation game”. Ian Watkins, disgraced singer of “The Lost Prophets”, was sentenced for abusing … Continue reading Child sexual abuse: Some moral panics are more justified than others?

The only constituency in the whole UK still nervous of European invaders 1 300 years ago

Thanks to reader Ian Macanullai for alerting me to this survey. Only the Boston and Skegness constituency reports a majority (41% to 37%) strongly disagreeing with the statement ‘Britain was wrong to leave the EU.’ In 2015, UKIP came 2nd to the Cons there. In 2017, their Paul Nuttall came 3rd. In 2019, Tory Matt Warman took 76.7% of the vote! Local hostility to foreigners may be due to the area’s troubling past, when the first Viking/Danish invasions as recently as around 1 300 years ago took place there: Skegness and Brancaster were northern outposts, guarding the Wash, the last … Continue reading The only constituency in the whole UK still nervous of European invaders 1 300 years ago