That’s another fine mess…

jimtoggleJim O’Neill takes aim at failures in health and education in Scotland, and profligacy in Westminster. But he has learned that nothing is ever the SNP’s fault.


There are some people who read and comment on my articles who seemingly can’t believe that the SNP can do anything wrong. They accuse me of being one of the “SNP bad” brigade. Can I just say to them that if you want a hagiography of Nicola and her cohorts, don’t read my stuff. Try another site like “Wings over Scotland” or some other scurrilous blog.

Even when I use a well-regarded independent organisation like Audit Scotland, they look for other reasons for the failure, such as when I noted the Auditor General’s comments on the funding of local authorities and the crisis in education. Well, I’m going to try once more.

The SNP have been responsible for the National Health Service in Scotland for ten years, with a succession of Health Ministers including our current First Minister. So, when the Auditor General brings out a report, as she did last week, suggesting that some Boards will not be able to balance their books and that the government were only achieving one out of eight of their own health targets, it is hard to see who else to blame but the successive SNP governments. Indeed, Audit Scotland pointed out that, in three areas, performance had actually deteriorated since the SNP took over. She noted also that some individual agency doctors were being paid over £400,000 for work totalling less than a year, and that there was a serious recruitment crisis in nursing.

It took the Royal College of Nursing to point out that the Health Minister who cut nurse training was…..wait for it….Nicola Sturgeon. So the problems of the NHS in Scotland are traceable right back to the First Minister’s own front door. So, who, all across Scotland, was out campaigning last weekend for greater support for our Health Service? Labour. And where were the SNP? Out delivering their independence questionnaire. Says it all, doesn’t it?

Another report last week, into support for poorer students, pointed out that grants to students had been cut by 35% while loans had increased by 161%. This from a government that promised to wipe out student debt, although you will remember that last year they abolished a £10m fund which was to help the poorest of students. Shirley Anne Somerville, the Further and Higher Education Minister, has admitted that this approach is not helping poorer students, but what has she come up with to resolve this problem? Nothing. Another example of a failure of SNP promises and an inability to govern well for all the people of Scotland.

For those who are not aware of the arcane workings of Westminster, an Early Day Motion is intended to draw attention to important mainly local issues without taking up Parliament’s valuable time with a debate. They are printed on the order paper every day and typically cost £271 per motion to process (figures from the House of Commons library). So, what vital local issues have the SNP members (12% of MPs) used their 869 motions (some 43% of the total) to draw attention to?

Vital constituency issues include the 50th anniversary of the first Star Trek episode, the new Christmas tree to be sited on Maryhill Road, Glasgow, the success of the Bagel Basket café in Largs and the St Andrew’s parkrun for organising a run in Craigtoun Country Park. The acknowledged king of the EDMs is one Paul Monaghan, MP for Caithness, who, among his 77 EDMs, congratulated Bower Primary for building a Bug Hotel and Invergordon Academy for receiving money to buy tents.

While all this could be laughed off as a bit of a vanity project for SNP MPs with little else to do in Parliament, it all costs money. Together, the Commons Library have confirmed, the 869 EDMs have cost some £235,499. So, come on Angus. Get you act together and stop your colleagues wasting our taxpayers’ money.

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33 thoughts on “That’s another fine mess…

  1. Seems to be a bittie disingenuous of labour to accuse anyone one of wasting money, when they have just helped with the rest of their tory friends to bolloxs up a possible 10 billion worth of investment in Scotland with the Chinese.

    Well fucking done.

    1. well done to the nats the chinneese government said it was a Scottish government shambles and talking about tory friends why have the Scottish government as have the tory uk government turned down an investigation into the police handling of the miners strike and I notice you have failed to comment on anything in the blog then again snp members if you are one are not allowed to criticise the party on the other hand I am in the labour party where all our members do have a say as you may have noticed in the press

      1. I was a miner ( Killoch/Barony) and was out for the year. I wasn’t arrested, but knew/know people who were. The problem in Scotland is a lack of ANY evidence and the long term disinterest of the media that operates in Scotland.
        While some English police have come forward, and the witness statements make collusion obvious, there is nothing in Scotland.
        If YOU have any evidence to support an investigation, please tell us.

        Perhaps you could also tell us why Labour gave zero support to miners and our families DURING the strike, did nothing for mining areas AFTER the strike when in power, and why there was NO INVESTIGATION from any Labour Government?

        1. That is just not true. I was a Labour and Co-op Councillor in Kilmarnock and Loudoun and we did lots for the Miners and their families. I also remember many comrades involved in the battle of Hunterston. I also know that such support was mirrored across Scotland

          1. As the Labour party?—no you did not.
            Some individuals supported the miners, but the Party refuted us.
            Mining villages rallied round, and there were loans from Strathclyde ( to be repaid). George Foulkes walked through Cumnock arm in arm with Scargill, then became the Invisible Man.
            The long slow death of Scottish Labour started, for me, with the loss of understanding and support we received from the Labour Party, when desperate times were at hand.

      2. David – the labour party and the rest of the tories had a go at the Scottish government about the 10 billion possible investment with China on First Minsters question time.

        So why would the Scottish Government risk loosing a possible 10 billion for Scotland ???

        1. Chinese companies have been proved to be corrupt. Why did the Scottish Government keep it secret and what involvement did Souter have.

      3. No they didnt they called it a “Scottish shambles” And were very clear about why they pulled out. They didnt like the bad publicity and the accusations comming from the UK media circus the opposition parties.
        A clear example of the UK state deliberately sabotaging Scottish Government efforts to gain inward investment directly into Scotland and all ably assisted by Labour and their Conservative Tories comrades in Scotland.
        Disgusting and despicable.

        1. if I remember correctly the first anyone including the Scottish parliament knew the fm was even in china was when it appeared in the press we were told no deals done if the snp had been in opposition they would quite rightly have been all over it it was that secrecy that in my opinion made it imperative to ask questions the public were making jokes about Nicola in china and alec salmond did deals with his tory friend Annabel goldie then he sold his book deal to the sun and Kenny mackaskill sold his to the sunday times so they have friends in the press when it suits them

          1. ” the FM was even in China”
            “Nicola in China”

            When was Nicola/FM in china?
            Could you give dates?
            You fit right into Labour’s usual—–make up a story and spin it.

          2. ” no deals done”—–you do understand the difference of a “deal” and a discussion paper, don’t you?
            No. Apparently you don’t!

          3. In what universe is the SNP able to do anything in secret under the hostile every vigilant UK media circus who would happily accuse them of wrong doing without justification anyway.
            HTF did the FM manage to get into China without anybody knowing about it?

        1. thanks for the tip I did not know about that website in some ways it makes it worse I agree with fm we need to learn lessons and this might surprize you I hope Scotland win shame about the pink shirts

  2. Some years ago, the BBC Trust criticised the BBC for its Anglocentric news coverage. Nothing has changed since then, but it also is apparent that lack of context also affects “journalism” in and from Scotland from all media platforms.
    So we can have reports on Scotland’s NHS which appear to show a failing service, yet it is the best performing NHS in any of the UK Nations. This is not how it is reported and it is the same with many other subjects. Without CONTEXT the news stops being news and becomes propaganda.
    In organisations like the BBC and our colonial press, this is deliberate, and leaves the public poorly served and informed.
    Jim mentions Westminster —-yet BBC Scotland appears to have a blackout in regard to Scotland’s MP’s. The Daily Politics Show is English wall to wall Tory and Labour politico’s with a dash of UKIP thrown in.
    Or how about Local Government funding? England’s councils saw a cut in per capita funding of 23.4% between 2009/10 and 2014/15, with more since then.
    Scotland has had nothing like these cuts, yet the media amplify Scottish Labour’s whining on this issue—and give us zero CONTEXT.
    Just tell the truth, Jim. That’s all we ask.

  3. We must hope Jim has no role in finance at any level as his arithmetic is a tad dodgy.
    The SNP has 8.3% of MPs. 54 out of 650.
    The SNP, however, only has 3.8% of ALL legislators at Westminster, a reflection of the LACK of influence in the UK. 54 out of 1400.
    We were told we were EQUALS in a Union of EQUALS, a sad joke on us.

    1. Are you genuinely complaining about the lack of SNP representation in the House of Lords?

      1. No, of course not—I’m not a British Nationalist who believes in this medieval nonsense.
        I believe in representative democracy, but the H o L exists, has legislative power and reflects badly in that, the largest and most popular political Party in one of formative countries in the UK has no members as it is not elected.
        Now you may “genuinely” claim that Labour also does not believe in the H o L, but the evidence does not support that proposition.
        Keir Hardie wanted it abolished, but that was more than a century ago—a century in which Labour has held power repeatedly, and far from abolishing it, has packed its benches with rich cronies, creeps and crawlers.

      2. How about the lack of Scottish representation Duncan? How many times has the house been expanded to include hundreds more new members while Scottish representation remains static at 16?
        In what universe is Scotland being kept proportionally representative at Westminster?
        Another Union benefit?

  4. “There are some people who read and comment on my articles who seemingly can’t believe that the SNP can do anything wrong.”

    Nobody says the SNP cant do wrong its just a fact that you’re unable to distinguish between right and wrong when it comes to the SNP.
    As far as punters like you are concerned everything the SNP says and does is wrong which is why nobody can take anything you say about them seriously or give it any credibility. You’ve discredited yourself and you have the gall to whine about it.

    “Even when I use a well-regarded independent organisation like Audit Scotland, they look for other reasons for the failure, such as when I noted the Auditor General’s comments on the funding of local authorities and the crisis in education. Well, I’m going to try once more.”

    Like the FACT that local funding is reliant on how much the Scottish Government is funded from Westminster?
    Is that the kind of “Blame somebody else” you’re on about?
    You have Labour in Westminster doing its damndest to support Government cuts to the Scottish budget at Westminster so Labour in Scotland can whine about the cuts being passed down at local level.
    And you think thats a winning strategy with the voters? You think that gives you something to complain about?

    Im not even going to bother to read the rest its already up to your usual pathetic pish standards.
    Have you not sent your membership application to UKIP yet?

  5. “have just helped with the rest of their tory friends to bolloxs up a possible 10 billion worth of investment” – whiny bullshit from the usual source

  6. If you really want to make your point, why not write an article listing any mistakes the Labour administration made both in London between 1997-2010 and in Scotland in 1999-2007?

    Then at the very least you can’t be accused of double standards.

  7. regarding the china deal the fm has said she is still keen to negotiate deals with the Chinese although the scot gov did not realize the memorandum they signed had collapsed two companies sino fortone and cr3 sent an email on august 15 the Scottish government did not think it was a cancelation so did not make it public the Chinese were not happy at the acusations of secrecy and complaints about the reputations of the companies involved it was in my opinion the secrecy involved including the fact we have a duty to ask questions and hold our gov to account that counted its what a good opposition does I am sure the fm would have done if she had been in opposition there were Nicola in china jokes everywhere I hope lessons are learned the nats have put back a decision on fracking by a t least a year it seems a lot of the deposits are in the central belt where we live the chief exec of nhs Scotland has apologized for waiting times will his boss the health secretary finally both Scottish news channels have been running quotes our leaders have said in the past about Donald trump hope he was not watching

    1. Problem is the opposition weren’t demanding answers or explanations they were throwing around accusations and smear and it was these accusations and smears which put off the Chinese.
      Most of the world is tripping over themselves to do business with China because its the most lucrative place for business in the world and that includes the UK Government.
      But when it comes to an SNP Scottish Government making an effort to bring inward investment from China the opposition would rather sabotage that investment and growth potential rather than allow the SNP Scottish Government to gain credit for doing a good job.
      Despotic and criminally corrupt to the fucking core. Labour and the Conservatives would make themselves sick to their stomachs if they had an ounce of decency or self awareness in them at all.

  8. It’s time for labour to weaponise the NHS in Scotland!

    But let’s not stop with the NHS we must weaponise everything the Scottish Parliament has control over to hurt the SNP and bring them down.

    I would like to see us working withe tories, a unionist alliance, to put the ruin the SNP flagship policy of education and other policies such as social security, renewables or prison reform.

    Time for labour to take the gloves off and defeat anything and everything the SNP do or say, Kezia is the right person in the right role at the right time to carry this job out!

    1. So your idea of a labour policy is to ruin the institutions of Scotland, in the hope that will benefit both the labour and tory parties and labours leader Kezia Dugdale.

      You and the labour party certainly deserve each other, and the quicker both you and the labour party vanish from Scotland the better.

  9. Labour had 8 years in power in Holyrood where they could have raised the Scottish Variable Rate by up to 3p in the pound. Why didn’t they raise this extra revenue to put into the NHS and education system then?

    Labour had 8 years in power at Holyrood to bring in a publically owned model for the Scotrail franchise. Why didn’t they do it then?

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