“In each case we are satisfied that the …

Comment posted Porkwatch: Why is Connel to get ‘a big new school’ or is the election bacon in the pan? by Simon.

“In each case we are satisfied that the sources are authoritative.” – Yeah???

What happened to your authoritative source on the Dunoon Observer story?

Let me guess – you just adopted the ‘publish and be dammned’ approach. Only to retract when you eventually found the email from their lawyers…. ;)

Simon also commented

  • Intersting post Newsie – dedicated it seems to making points that no one raised and answering questions that no one asked. A bit like a record stuck in a groove. :)
  • I see from today’s Oban Times that Achaleven school is to re-open!! And not a word from ‘For Argyll’ about this!

    Finger on the pulse?? Ahem, recent events would suggest not….

    But just to save Newsie, “doc”, Crazy, Robert et al the bother I’ll tell you shall I who made the announcement that Achaleven was re-opening? (Just a year after it was mothballed and some six months since Newsie (above)poured scorn on the very idea of it re-opening) It was none other than the Prince of Darkness himself – the hater of all of all things rural – especially rural schools – it was none other than Cleland Sneddon….

    If you want to read more about it – then you best buy the Oban Times – ’cause you will find nary a mention of it on here… :) :) :) :) :) :)

  • Newsie – quite frankly I find your ‘explanation’ preposterous!
    Are you seriously asking readers on here to believe that “the bullying culture” you ascribe to the Council is so “very powerful” that not one indivudual member of Connel Community Council or the Community Council collectively and as a statutory body is prepared to put its head above the parapet and say that ‘Cllr McIntyre said this’?
    Rubbish.
    And as far as your belated and inadequate ‘explanations’ of your £200 million for Health Service article are comncerned – even you can copy press releases – but try reading the comments and you will see several posters ‘correcting’ more of your errors/lies/mistakes/muddled reporting…..
  • In the past couple of days the ‘Newsieums’ ie the monotonous “‘We have heard’ ‘We understand’ ‘have had reports’ etc etc” have been out in force both in this article and in the ‘Campobeltown Ring and Ride Service article. Unattributable sources (wink, wink). In addition, Newsie has made a real dog’s breakfast with blatant errors, lies and muddled reporting in the £200 million for Health Service in Scotland article.
    Hardly surprising that we now begin to see calls for more balance and accuracy in the FA articles.
    The poor excuse “We use the formula: ‘We understand…’ it means we have authoritative sources who do not wish to be quoted.” – sounds good but as Interested Bystander points out in the case of the Dunoon Observer your “we understand” article attracted loads of posts – and ultimately a lawyers letter. How good was your “authoritative source” then? As good as the sources for the Connel article? Better? Worse?
    Merely repeating innuendo, rumour and hearsay is never going to be good journalism no matter how often you try it.

Recent comments by Simon

  • Castle Toward community ownership bid issues pursued
    I don’t know about anyone else but if I was asking for a one million pound reduction on an independent valuation price I think I might be trying to get alongside the sellers and understand their problems and their real difficulties rather than trying to publicly embarrass them with allegations.

    As I’ve said elsewhere this ‘attack dog’ policy is misguided, badly advised and surely can only be counter-productive. A project with significant potential might just wither on the vine because the increasingly politicised and polarised handling of this matter. I’ve also said previously that this decision is not an easy ask (Dick Walsh refers obliquely to just some of the difficulties)and that this group would be far better trying to understand and help resolve those problems instead of naively trying to publicly pressurise and embarrass individual councillors.

    On a very human level I must confess that if I was a councillor on the receiving end of manufactured emails and personal attacks I would be disinclined to give the group responsible my support.

  • An unexpected pairing to email in Day 8′s Save Castle Toward Advent Calendar
    In the event the council did sell the property at £1 million below valuation what would happen if(despite all the cosy assurances and claims that ‘it makes sound economic sense’) the project fails? What happens then? What happens to the property? Does it revert to the Council? Or, is it sold at a knockdown price to pay off debts?
  • Castle Toward: Councillor Breslin asks straight questions of Council Leader Walsh
    Aral. Are these jobs guaranteed? What if the project fails – does the property come back to us the council taxpayer? Can the council even give away a property valued at £1.75 million for £750k? What other project anywhere in Argyll has received this level of subsidy?

    I’m not being anti the local group but there are some serious questions here that need answered. And indulging in childish stunts or making personal attacks does NOTHING to advance their cause – neither does suggesting that I’m employed by ABC – I’m not.

    I do however have genuine concerns about this project and as a council tax-payer being asked to subsidise this group to the tune of £1 million I would ask – would everyone who backs them agree to underwrite the losses in the event the project fails?

    Would you Aral?

    I’ve already said I’m not involved with the council – are you involved directly/indirectly with the project Aral?

    I’m a neutral observer in this – are you?

  • Castle Toward: Councillor Breslin asks straight questions of Council Leader Walsh
    I posted this on another article and feel it is still relevant.

    ‘If ownership rather than lease is so important for their business plan then should they (the local group) not be concentrating their efforts on raising the money to pay the valuation determined by the District Valuer? Or appealing the valuation?

    That’s would seem to be a more constructive route than pushing this cheap gimmick of an ‘advent calendar’. A gimmick that does absolutely nothing to promote their case and quite obviously is nothing more than a blunt attempt to pressurise councillors.

    I don’t know who advised them to take this approach but it seems to be spectacularly inept and this orchestrated gimmick might yet prove to be counter-productive. Of course, the fact that it is being promoted by Newsie of this blog will of course do absolutely nothing to help their case

    If this group are serious about their project then surely they require to treat councillors equally seriously? They need to understand their position. They need to understand that a) even if the group had a cast-iron case this request of theirs is not easy to agree to and b) regardless of what it takes, they would be far better using their time to develop a more effective working relationship with the council and councillors rather than promoting such a childish stunt.

    Granting a group a discount of a £1 million is not a trivial matter and they are being silly beyond belief if they think otherwise’.

    I would only add that I’m also a Council tax payer, that is one of those who are paying the £20,000 per month to keep Toward Castle (valued at £1.75 million)secure. I am appalled at the attempts of some to reduce, what is a very difficult decision, to a personal attack on individual councillors within the Council.

    It seems that this issue has been engineered to become a political ‘hot potato’.

    Who benefits from that?? The local group????

  • Argyll Labour politicians warn of the anorexic ‘thin blue line’ of Police Scotland
    You are talking nonsense Jamie.

    I quoted “According to the Institute of Fiscal studies the impact of Osbourne’s Autumn statement is that we’ve had £35 billion of cuts with a further £55 billion of cuts yet to come”.

    You’re suggesting it’s all the SNP’s fault with their ‘vanity projects’.

    Really???

    £55 billion pounds of SNP vanity projects??

    Really?

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19 Responses to “In each case we are satisfied that the …

  1. Newsroom – as you obviously didn’t turn up to the community council meeting, why didn’t you ring Duncan MacIntyre and ask him? Then he could have told you what he said and saved you the bother running yet another flier.
    From now on, I’m not going to bother reading anything that starts ‘We have heard’ ‘We understand’ ‘have had reports’ etc etc – it simply means you haven’t checked it out.
    Facts, not rumour, are the basis of good reporting.
    Dare one mention the Dunoon Observer?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Interested bystander makes a good point: why not give Cllr McIntyre a ring and ask him for clarification. If it is true then this is a good story but if it is just hearsay then it isn’t worth commenting on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. For Interested Bystander and Dr Douglas Mackenzie:
    This is not hearsay. we have confirmed that this is what Councillor Macintyre said at the meeting.

    When we use the formula: ‘We understand…’ it means we have authoritative sources who do not wish to be quoted.

    This relates centrally to the culture of retribution this council administration has bred. It is profoundly unhealthy and it is very powerful.

    It is pointless to enquire of Councillor Macintyre since, as was shown during the school closures saga, he has a pragmatic relationship with the facts.

    In that case, in attempting to persuade his colleague, Councillor Devon, to vote FOR the closure proposals, he offered her ‘information;’ he knew to be false, namely that the schools in her area had asked to go to consultation. This could not have been further from the truth.Fortunately he was overheard by the representative of one of the schools in question, who immediately put Councillor Devon straight.

    Councillor Macintyre’s conduct in the ‘consideration of the Oban Bay Transit Marina proposal bears equally little scrutiny.

    However, as with anyone, Councillor Macintyre, if he wishes to claim he did not give this information to the Connel meeting, is welcome to do so here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. In the past couple of days the ‘Newsieums’ ie the monotonous “‘We have heard’ ‘We understand’ ‘have had reports’ etc etc” have been out in force both in this article and in the ‘Campobeltown Ring and Ride Service article. Unattributable sources (wink, wink). In addition, Newsie has made a real dog’s breakfast with blatant errors, lies and muddled reporting in the £200 million for Health Service in Scotland article.
    Hardly surprising that we now begin to see calls for more balance and accuracy in the FA articles.
    The poor excuse “We use the formula: ‘We understand…’ it means we have authoritative sources who do not wish to be quoted.” – sounds good but as Interested Bystander points out in the case of the Dunoon Observer your “we understand” article attracted loads of posts – and ultimately a lawyers letter. How good was your “authoritative source” then? As good as the sources for the Connel article? Better? Worse?
    Merely repeating innuendo, rumour and hearsay is never going to be good journalism no matter how often you try it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Newsroom is correct to say that Cllr McIntyre has shown himself to be a stranger to the truth and duplicitous in character. Given that I would agree that asking him for confirmation is largely pointless as his response would suit the audience rather than the reality.

    However maybe it would be worth e-mailing this article to him directly and asking if we would like to offer comment on it as if is aware of it and remains silent then it would suggest the article is not far off the mark.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. The article is hearsay:

    hear·say (hîrs)
    n.
    1. Unverified information heard or received from another; rumor.
    2. Law Evidence based on the reports of others rather than the personal knowledge of a witness and therefore generally not admissible as testimony.

    The article may truly represent what people at the meeting thought that Cllr MacIntyre said (and I have no reason to doubt that) and what they thought he said may in fact be what he said (though I think we are all well aware of cases where this is not the case). To make it more than hearsay requires either a direct quote from someone at the meeting or confirmation from the man himself.

    Without that we are left with just the probability that Mr MacIntyre said something about a new school at Connel but with no insight as to why he said it. If you ask Mr MacIntyre to confirm what he said and why then this at least takes us forward regardless of how much credence we give to his words.

    I’m intrigued by the story but need a bit more substantiation and insight before I am going to pay much attention to it.

    On a wider note, most of us here like For Argyll (and we forgive the typos). We like the commentary, we also like gossip and insight but most of all we like accuracy. FA’s credibility depends on getting the facts right. After all, you don’t want to end up with the same degree of credibility that the Council’s school closure proposals managed!

    Sometimes it is worth digging just a bit deeper so as to get a great story rather than just an interesting one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. I realise FA is a blog, not a news website, and that comment is your stock in trade, but if you are going to pass something off as a news story and not merely tittle-tattle, you must surely do the basics – and that means checking facts and getting all sides of a story before you publish. Merely saying someone can comment if they wish after a story has gone live is just not good enough.

    You seem to have a pragmatic approach to the principles of journalism.

    I, and perhaps others who enjoy the debate, would feel better about joining in if best journalistic practice was adhered to.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. For Simon: The facts in the report on the £200 million for health projects across Scotland came direct from the government information service.

    This does not necessarily say they are correct – but it is reasonable to assume, for the time being anyway, that they are reliable.

    When we use the ‘We understand…’ formula, we know exactly who are sources are. They have disclosed themselves to us or they are people whom we have approached directly.

    In each of these cases,for reasons we understand, they wish not to be attributed. In each case we are satisfied that the sources are authoritative.

    In the bullying culture many work and live in, the release of important information in strict confidence is the only way the public are ever going to learn a lot of what they need to know. And there are no circumstances in which we would betray a source.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Newsie – quite frankly I find your ‘explanation’ preposterous!
    Are you seriously asking readers on here to believe that “the bullying culture” you ascribe to the Council is so “very powerful” that not one indivudual member of Connel Community Council or the Community Council collectively and as a statutory body is prepared to put its head above the parapet and say that ‘Cllr McIntyre said this’?
    Rubbish.
    And as far as your belated and inadequate ‘explanations’ of your £200 million for Health Service article are comncerned – even you can copy press releases – but try reading the comments and you will see several posters ‘correcting’ more of your errors/lies/mistakes/muddled reporting…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. “In each case we are satisfied that the sources are authoritative.” – Yeah???

    What happened to your authoritative source on the Dunoon Observer story?

    Let me guess – you just adopted the ‘publish and be dammned’ approach. Only to retract when you eventually found the email from their lawyers…. ;)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. I see from today’s Oban Times that Achaleven school is to re-open!! And not a word from ‘For Argyll’ about this!

    Finger on the pulse?? Ahem, recent events would suggest not….

    But just to save Newsie, “doc”, Crazy, Robert et al the bother I’ll tell you shall I who made the announcement that Achaleven was re-opening? (Just a year after it was mothballed and some six months since Newsie (above)poured scorn on the very idea of it re-opening) It was none other than the Prince of Darkness himself – the hater of all of all things rural – especially rural schools – it was none other than Cleland Sneddon….

    If you want to read more about it – then you best buy the Oban Times – ’cause you will find nary a mention of it on here… :) :) :) :) :) :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Going back a bit now “Simon”!

      I’m not sure where you discern Newsroom scorning Achaleven ever re-opening. Are you confusing this with her scepticism about a “big new school”?

      Since we are on revisionism, events have shown that Newsrooms rendition of the meeting detailed above turned out to be entirely accurate despite your scepticism on the issue.

      Mr Sneddon did indeed announce Achaleven would re-open for business and if you read the story carefully you will see why: the parents in Connel have a statutory right to send their children to Achaleven as the school was never closed. Neery a thing Mr Sneddon could do except grin and bear it.

      My congratulations to the parents and community in Connel for getting their act together to save Achaleven. I look forward very much to seeing the school’s roll and reputation built once more. And who knows: maybe we will see a new school in Connel some day so as to accommodate the increasing pupil population in the area that will follow the new housing planned for the Dunbeg corridor.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Achaleven School has not reopened by the agency of the present council administration and its officers.

      Cleland Sneddon did not even claim this to be the case.

      He made it clear that the school has reopened only because the parents of Connell asked for this – a request which procedurally must be granted provided they could deliver a viable minimum starter pack of pupils – which they have done and with more in the pipeline.

      Achaleven was only closed because of the utter failure of the council even to attempt to address a serious failure in relations between its head teacher and the local community. The result of this was that all of the parents chose to send their substantial total number of children elsewhere.

      This administration was very happy to let Achaleven School die, a school which needs relatively little to bring it back up to decent operational standards.

      This article is headed ‘Porkwatch’. The relevance of that heading remains the central issue. It can be no coincidence that this decision has been processed at this stage, within days of the election – which will be the reason why Cleland Sneddon was so uncharacteristically careful to claim no credit for himself and his bosses.

      Councillor Macintyre attempted to deceive the local community on the issue of their school, as this article records.

      He is now fighting for fourth preference votes in this very constituency, in an attempt to survive the election on 3rd May.

      ‘Porkwatch’ is the name of the game, keeping an eye open for ‘pork barrel politics’ – the game of favours, promises and treats that traditionally keeps poor council administrations in power.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. Intersting post Newsie – dedicated it seems to making points that no one raised and answering questions that no one asked. A bit like a record stuck in a groove. :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • We’d have thought it obvious that a part of any decent news service’s primary job is to make points no one else raises and to ask and answer questions no one else asked.

      And there are some tracks that have to be replayed so that no one forgets the rap.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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