Forth Road Bridge saga leaves Swinney damaged goods in brazening out ‘tough choices’ in Wednesday budget

Scotland’s Finance Secretary, John Swinney, is to present his budget plans this Wednesday, 16th December. It is no coincidence  – but is illuminating – that a national meeting of Scotland’s council leaders has been called for the same day.

Mr Swinney has warned in advance that he faces ‘tough choices’  in dramatically reducing budgets in some key areas.

The Finance Secretary’s approach to reducing budgets has been laid bare in recent days.

As For Argyll has published, documented facts, dates and chronologies, now in the public domain, show that he alone bears the original and continuing responsibility for the gambles he took with abandoning, all but completely, the funding of key structural maintenance on the Forth Road Bridge.

The severe economic hit on Scottish businesses from the closure of the bridge at this crucial time of the year is Mr Swinney’s sole responsibility. He was very much at the helm – as Finance Secretary with exclusive responsibility also for infrastructure and investment from 2007 until late 2011. This was the period when every one of the damaging mistakes was made.

  • The Forth Road Bridge tolls were formally abolished in February 2008 – depriving the Forth Estuary Transport Authority [FETA] of what had then been £16 million annual revenue from these tolls – revenue FETA used to pay for essential structural repairs and maintenance to an ageing bridge. The Finance Secretary never replaced that revenue from government funds. It was a mighty net loss.
  • The already delayed £10.2 million contract which would have seen repaired ‘all‘ the crucial truss-end links was eventually put out to tender in 2010 – and cancelled in that same year. Nothing was then done until 2015, with three quarters of the known repairs necessary long before 2010 remaining unaddressed today.
  • In 2011, Mr Swinney cut the three year budget of FETA to 2015 by a mammoth 65% – a matter noted in the Audit Scotland report on FETA at that time. This left FETA without adequate means to carry out essential structural repairs, noting formally that this would increase the risk of structural insecurity in the bridge.
  • At the same time, Mr Swinney put FETA on three year notice of dissolution [with no indication of funding for the last three months of its life]. Its responsibilities were to be handed over to a then unknown contractor, with Amey later appointed and assuming control on 1st June this year, 2015.

Ruth Davidson was the only opposition politician to nail the heart of the matter, saying at First Minister’s Questions at Holyrood last Thursday, that Mr Swinney had simply gambled that the current Forth Road Bridge would hold out without repairs until the new Queensferry crossing was ready in 2017.

Did he put the millions saved from cutting the FETA budget to the cost of the new bridge – from whose budget he is now taking the money for the emergency repairs that see the Forth Road Bridge closed into 2016? He certainly did not put those freed up millions into health and education, both of which have actually experienced substantial underspending for several years.

Each of these three actions were the key critical failures of judgment that led directly to the necessary sudden closure of the vital Forth Road Bridge for essential repairs ensuring the safety of its users.

Every one of these key misjudgments was made by Mr Swinney himself.

To his eternal discredit, the Finance Secretary has sung dumb, saying not one word, putting his hand up to absolutely nothing, keeping schtum, staying mum, leaving to swing in the media storm the hapless Transport Secretary who got caught holding the toxic parcel when the music stopped.

This adds moral cowardice to the most irresponsible of ministerial misjudgments.

We hold the major media responsible for not having the guts to nail this responsibility to its real source- the Finance Secretary; and for being guilty of harrassing the Transport Minister – an obvious peripheral figure in the matter – to whip up a convenient decoy for the fully culpable Deputy First Minister in the hope of scoring brownie points from an administration that operates through the liberal dispensation of fear and favour.

The ‘home free’ Finance Secretary is, as usual, trying to pin the blame on Westminster for the pain he is about to dispense in his budget cuts on Wednesday. He has now to find the extra cost of putting the Forth Road Bridge right. That too will somehow turn out to be down to Westminster. Prepare to snigger.

The reality is that what is ‘tough’ is the action Mr Swinney ought to be taking in raising money to lessen key service cuts from the powers he already has – an action apparently too tough to face. It is easier to let the people suffer in service cuts neatly deflected to local government through cuts to their budgets – and to blame Westminster. The Finance Secretary needs to man up.

Mr Swinney is saying piously that he will ‘continue’ to protect the NHS, education and policing – having the brass to ignore the fact that his serial underspending – to what covert end, one must inquire – has regularly cut the available budgets for heath and education.

How will we know what proportion of those tough cuts to come are made necessary to claw back the unexpected cost of the emergency repairs to which Mr Swinney left the Forth Road Bridge vulnerable?

Whatever he does on Wednesday and whatever he does from now on, the Finance Secretary is now damaged goods.

He has been shown to be catastrophically astray in his strategic financial judgements; as much of a gambler as was Alex; and as courageous in owning up as the archetypal yellow belly claiming that it was ‘a big boy who did it and ran away’.

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Related Articles & Comments

  • So what has Swinney been doing with his stash of cash? Ah – now let me think; he’s not been putting it towards the development of services for young people, he’s not been giving it towards maintenance of the Forth Cridge, he’s not been giving it to the Scottish NHS in general including dentistry, the local authorities are struggling…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 20 Thumb down 22

    Lowry December 14, 2015 5:26 pm Reply
  • Noticed Osborne found cash to fight wars and to ensure he is next Tory leader of the Tory rebels said he had to do something about tax credits.

    Ask your pals back home if they think the NHS in England are doing well. In fact don’t bother they are doing worse.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 20 Thumb down 26

    No Cheese Here December 14, 2015 6:00 pm Reply
    • Nice smokescreen, NCH.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 24 Thumb down 20

      Robert Wakeham December 14, 2015 6:08 pm Reply
    • That’s a nice smokescreen, NCH – you’re getting quite good at them.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 20

      Robert Wakeham December 14, 2015 6:10 pm Reply
    • NCH,are you incapable to pass comment on Scotland and the governments performance without referring to what is happening in England, the only thing happening in England that effects us is additional money being given by the Chancellor to the NHS, Flood victims etc and Scotland benefits through the Barnet Formula, the question is does the additional money Swinney gets go to those areas in Scotland?

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 27 Thumb down 21

      Richard December 14, 2015 6:25 pm Reply
      • £12million went on a new bridge in Mali lol

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 20

        Karl Hughes December 14, 2015 7:06 pm Reply
        • I see you’re still on the Funky stuff,Carol. LOL,!!

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 12

          Hugh Jazz December 14, 2015 8:23 pm Reply
          • Jazz, have you paid your £20 for Carmichael, remember you said you would on here.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 18

            Richard December 14, 2015 9:58 pm
  • What’s happening with these two big aircraft carriers at Rosyth. Seeing as we can’t make planes to fly off them can we no build a couple of big ramps at both sides of the river and winch them back and fore, you know like a couple of giant Erskine ferries. They would be giving something back at least. Serco could operate them, they have a lot of experience across military and ferry vessels, could bring it all better together.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 12

    Murdoch MacKenzie December 14, 2015 6:31 pm Reply
    • Murdoch, what does it matter what happens to them, maybe scrap them, the money was spent in Scotland building them.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 16

      Richard December 14, 2015 6:34 pm Reply
      • Murdoch has vision and must be an optimist.You are backward looking and a pessimist!
        I know who I would rather have a beer with,Dick.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 13

        Hugh Jazz December 14, 2015 7:05 pm Reply
      • The money was not spent, it was wasted by a North British Labour Prime Minister trying to save his job. Like the ships that did not work either.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 10

        Murdoch MacKenzie December 14, 2015 7:36 pm Reply
    • You’re off topic, Murdoch, try again.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 20

      Lowry December 14, 2015 6:35 pm Reply
      • I’m talking river crossings, what did you think the topic was. Ah! I get it now, SNP bashing.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 13

        Murdoch MacKenzie December 14, 2015 7:25 pm Reply
  • What is the cost of current Forth bridge unavailability measured against the savings Swinney was hoping to get from the irresponsible risk of failing to pay for essential maintenance?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 18

    Spock December 14, 2015 6:53 pm Reply
    • HOW MUCH DID EVERY TAXPAYER IN THE LAND LOOSE WHEN THE STUPID YOONIONIST GOVERNMENT SCAPPED NIMROD AT £5,500,000,000,000.00.
      you do know they plan now to build again?
      Who wins? The ARMS INDUSTRY!!

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 10

      Hugh Jazz December 14, 2015 8:19 pm Reply
      • £5,500 Bn? Surely some mistake HJ.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 14

        Spock December 15, 2015 1:00 am Reply
      • Do grow up, HJ. Little children shout (i.e. post in capitals) when no-one is paying them any attention. And, in your case, with good reason, as the sum you have quoted for Nimrod is ludicrously wrong, or perhaps, given your political views, a deliberate lie, while your spelling is worse than a 10-year-old’s.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

        Alex McKay December 15, 2015 3:52 pm Reply
        • I MADE A MISTAKE. I BORROWED JACKIE BAILLIE,S CALCULATOR.
          IT SHOULD HAVE READ FIVE EYEWATERING BILLION WASTED BY SCRAPPING ALREADY BUILT NIMROD.
          WASTEMONSTER WORKING FOR YOU!!

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 7

          Hugh Jazz December 15, 2015 6:35 pm Reply
          • Well, I’ve long suspected it, but HJ has now confirmed that he is immature in both thought and deed.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 8

            Alex McKay December 15, 2015 9:26 pm
          • Think you mean John Swinney’s calculator! The standard of maths in Scotland’s schools under the SNP have gone down and we can all see why!

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

            Jessie J December 15, 2015 10:53 pm
  • Swinney damaged goods ?
    Libdums- Carmichael,liar.
    Liebour- caught out telling lies about the bridge!
    Hameron- caught with his Dumbarton Rock in a pigs mouth!!
    Swinney’s damaged goods!!!
    My boiler is on the blink tonight but I’ve managed to laugh some heat into my weary bones.Thanks,Mini-hack!!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 12

    Hugh Jazz December 14, 2015 7:01 pm Reply
    • Ach! It’s a trial right enough. Lang may yur lum reek.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 7

      Murdoch MacKenzie December 14, 2015 7:30 pm Reply
  • oh well another pile of piffle.
    .
    Warning
    .
    you know the rest.
    .
    ITS PANTOMIME TIME.
    .
    OH NO IT’S NOT.
    .
    OH YES IT IS
    .
    IT’S AN ANTI SNP BLOG,
    .
    OH YES IT IS.
    .
    happy christmas.
    .
    . hope Jackie Baillie lays of the pea soup
    .
    oh no, open the windaes

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 13

    Keitho December 14, 2015 11:34 pm Reply
  • Tyromacy is no substitute for metallurgy in civil engineering projects.
    That being said, if there was a shortfall in essential maintenance funding Feta should have raised a stink about it at the time.
    Maybe it could have been crowdie funded.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 9

    jake December 15, 2015 12:23 am Reply
  • Meanwhile, largely unoticed, one of the nuclear reactors at Torness goes down on emergency shutdown.

    No problem of course reports the BBC. It only happened as a result of a test, its all quite safe, and the loss of power equates the consumption of about 2,000,000.

    When will it restart, why did emergency systems shut it down.

    I hope EDF haven’t been skimping on the maintence to help Mr Cameron pay for his taxpayer funded new nuclear station down south.

    Avoiding Fukushima in these power strapped times I’m surprised Jackie Baillie isn’t on the case demanding answers.

    What is the safety issue here. We have a right to know.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 9

    willie December 15, 2015 7:54 am Reply
    • Torness experienced an electrical issue and was temporarily taken off line. The only reason we know about it (and it was quite obviously reported on BBC for those that are interested – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-35094032) is that transparency is key in the nuclear industry – everything, no matter how small, is reported. What some people like to do is then take that and try equate it to nuclear power being unsafe – au contraire and more fool them for looking like idiots.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 12

      JB December 15, 2015 8:26 am Reply
    • You clearly know nothing about nuclear power and even less about AGR; AGR is passively safe and there is no chance of an event like fukushima. In the UK nuclear power has been generating reliable and safe electricity for 59 years, long may it continue.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

      db December 15, 2015 8:22 pm Reply
  • I suspect that the folk who helped to crowd fund the Carmichael attack are wishing they had invested their money is something with a better return.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 15

    Lowry December 15, 2015 7:56 am Reply
    • Jackie Baillie to demand a public enquiry into the Carmichael case crowdfunders.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 8

      Keitho December 15, 2015 9:48 am Reply
  • Why is it whenever the SNP led Scottish Government are called into account and asked very relevant and very pertinent questions about some of their very dodgy and catastrophic decisions, (which on this occasion has been downright irresponsible) do SNP supporters divert, deflect and shy away from the truth? Why on earth are they not asking the same questions about their beloved leaders? It doesn’t matter who is governing – the fact remains the Forth Road Bridge is broken because of some very irresponsible decisions made by a whole range of people, the majority of whom are members of the current Government! Had the government in power at Holyrood been Liberal, Labour or Conservative, the same questions would rightly be being asked and truthful, honest and transparent answers would rightly be expected. The SNP Government are not exempt from being held accountable and accepting responsibility for their devastatingly ineptitude in this matter. And all SNP supporters should be leading the way in holding their elected representatives accountable.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 12

    Jessie J December 15, 2015 11:37 am Reply
    • A wee bitty early for the Sherry,Jessie!!

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 17

      Hugh Jazz December 15, 2015 11:46 am Reply
      • Jazz, have you paid your £20 today?
        I get the impression you lied.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 12

        Richard December 15, 2015 12:23 pm Reply
        • Not that it is any of your business but I have donated today!
          I would have donated more but I have a new boiler to buy tomorrow.
          I believe in democracy so therefore I support the Orkney 4.
          You,on the other hand,have no morals or scruples and support liars.
          Why do you have the audacity to call me a liar when you know fine well,I am no Yoonionist.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 7

          Hugh Jazz December 15, 2015 12:47 pm Reply
          • jazz, you will feel better in yourself if you go without in aid of the cause.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 10

            Richard December 15, 2015 1:16 pm
      • Hugh Jazz – you have just proved my point – thank you. Mine is a G&T by the way, can’t stand Sherry.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8

        Jessie J December 15, 2015 5:57 pm Reply
    • To be fair Jessie, it could be worse. Rather than deflecting form it they could be holding it up as an example of good practice that others could learn from!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

      Integrity? December 15, 2015 12:44 pm Reply
      • INTEGRITY!!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

        Hugh Jazz December 15, 2015 12:49 pm Reply
      • Integrity – you are so right (LOL), it will the same brand of ‘good practice’ we could all learn from, reported yesterday about the ‘exemplar of good practice’ for the NHS Scotland crisis hit computer crisis! I feel so much better and more optimistic now that Scotland is in good hands and being governed so diligently!

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-35092088

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

        Jessie J December 15, 2015 5:54 pm Reply
        • Buckfast?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

          Hugh Jazz December 15, 2015 6:30 pm Reply
      • Do I detect a hint of sarcasm from your good self Integrity?!Very unlike you!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

        JB December 16, 2015 9:35 am Reply
  • An unforeseen defect that was found during a routine inspection has closed the bridge to prevent further damage and who gets the blame in this article. The very man, John Swinney, who made the building of a new bridge one of his first priorities as Finance Secretary in the new Scottish Government.
    Funding was refused by the Labour Treasury but John won through and his bridge is now a work in progress.
    I would recommend those who have not done so to read the Wings article on the bridge, so that they may get the real picture of why we have come to this sorry state.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 12

    Murdoch MacKenzie December 15, 2015 7:26 pm Reply
  • Yoonionists are not very good at Bridge building,just partitioning!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 8

    Hugh Jazz December 15, 2015 8:29 pm Reply
    • You’ve heard it all now – those who support being in a union want to partition it….LOL!!! Bravo for the most ridiculous contribution to date I think!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

      JB December 15, 2015 10:51 pm Reply
  • Murdoch Mackenzie – read the Wings’ article? Do you mean ‘Rev’ Stuart Campbell based in England Wings? You must be joking – Rev Campbell doesn’t exist in the real world as his false title suggests, so there is nothing that he can write, say or do that would ever persuade or convince me that what he has to say is the real picture! Get a grip man and start reading the official material out there that is already in the public domain. It doesn’t take a civil engineer to work out the timeline that is involved in this debacle and the consequences of the actions and decisions that have been taken over the last 5 years, all whilst on the watch of the SNP Government.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8

    Jessie J December 15, 2015 11:04 pm Reply
    • Oh my there are lots of silly posts in today isn’t that right Jessie J.
      Jessie J said
      Read the Wings’ article? Do you mean ‘Rev’ Stuart Campbell based in England Wings? You must be joking – Rev Campbell doesn’t exist in the real world as his false title suggests, so there is nothing that he can write, say or do that would ever persuade or convince me that what he has to say is the real picture!
      Are we to understand that you are the real Jessie J the pop star and we should believe everything you post? Or is it just a pet name your kids gave you? I think it is just a lovely pet name.
      On the other hand if you are allowed a pet name why is the rev Stuart Campbell not allowed one?
      Why do you mention based in England? Have something against people from England?
      You also said
      Get a grip man and start reading the official material out there that is already in the public domain. It doesn’t take a civil engineer to work out the timeline that is involved.
      Now that is quite clever, trying to introduce “civil engineer” into your post as they should know things that non-civil engineers don’t know.
      It really is irrelevant though as civil engineers is not what your questioning. It’s the governance of the country and budgets and things like that you challenge.
      Start reading the official material out there is a more interesting statement from you.
      Is that the official statements from the Daily Record or the Daily Mail you are talking about? Which “official statement” can I get a grip of man.
      The rev Stuart Campbell and wings probably exist because people like yourself take The Daily Record or The Daily Mail as official statement makers. He has done a great job of coldly dissecting their input over the Forth Bridge problems to the extent that the public can make up the own minds when they have the opportunity to read both sides of the argument.
      Derek Mackay SNP transport minister has been forensically questioned by every form of media over and over again, the questions appear not to be too much interested in how and when the bridge is going to reopen but have an agenda of lets make the SNP look bad.
      I am very sorry that the Greens have said very little. I am losing a little patience with them.
      I don’t want to appear too harsh Jessie J, I usually like your posts. I thought were a little unfair this time.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

      SAra Swann December 16, 2015 12:17 pm Reply
  • I thought Jesse James got shot or was it Big Jessie?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

    No Cheese Here December 16, 2015 1:17 am Reply
    • Your point being No Cheese Here?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

      Jessie J December 16, 2015 10:31 am Reply
  • Education baad, police baad, NHS baad, bridge baad, train services baad, economy baad.

    And all because of SNP baad!

    And despite it all, yes despite all this baad, the SNP are more popular than ever.

    And boy o boy, just wait till you see the Labour faces when the electorate hump em next May. All that baadness coming back to haunt them in another landslide.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

    willie December 16, 2015 5:03 am Reply
    • Willie, you are definitely a sheep, baa!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

      Richard December 16, 2015 7:37 am Reply
  • I very much get the impression that the SNP faithful think that performance in government is based on popularity rather than performance. I can understand their logic to an extent, but as I choose to judge parties on their performance, I don’t have any rose tinted spectacles on and know just how much of a mess our counrty is in – on all the areas that follower willie mentioned. He think’s it’s okay tho.

    I think they difference is that I want Scotland to do well – people like willie want the SNP to do well…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 6

    JB December 16, 2015 7:32 am Reply
    • JB, today we find out what Swinney has got in store for us, of course Ms Sturgeon’s visit to the PM this week is convenient, they can claim that the terms of the Scotland Bill are not settled. It’s Swinney and the SNP who are deliberately holding it up, Westminster delivered on time, just for once the SNP have to thank the Lords.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

      Richard December 16, 2015 7:42 am Reply
    • More silly posting from JB.
      She says that, that performance in government is based on popularity rather than performance.
      If people did not think that the performance was good I cannot see the SNP being popular. The polls look good for the SNP and poor for everyone else. How can that be?
      To explain to JB in simple terms.
      If performance is seen to be bad then popularity would be very low.
      If your main point of contact with politics is from the posters on for argyll
      your political understanding is in a little trouble.
      Now is that clearer JB?
      I am sorry the Greens are not putting on a better show.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

      SAra Swann December 16, 2015 11:23 am Reply
  • Austerity – that’s what the SNP delivered. SNP baad.

    And what about the busted banks. That was the SNPs fault too. We had the strongest economy in the developed world. Well that’s what Gordon Brown told us before the SNP wrecked it with their light touch regulation of the city.

    And look at Brown now with his pals Blair and Darling. All wotking in hyper lucrative city position raking in millions. But like multi millionaire Blair and house flipping Daing, he gives all his money to charity.

    Ah the SNP are baad. Truly baad, and the dumclucks must be told – its baad its baad as the old Michael Jackson ditty went.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

    willie December 16, 2015 11:26 am Reply
  • That the FRB was seriously overloaded was known for years, but successive governments procrastinated on doing much about it, either by expediting an alternative crossing or by attempting to limit traffic.
    Eventually the engineers went public and said that the bridge might have to be closed to HGVs from 2014. A decision to provide a second crossing then was made, and from that point the priority was to keep the FRB going until the new bridge is opened, whereupon the FRB loadings would be substantially reduced and there would be an opportunity for permanent repair. There would have been an outcry had the FRB been closed for complete overhaul at any earlier stage. ” Completely unnecessary ! ” would have been the accusation. The decision to try to keep going was normal risk management, which is not about the abolition of risk but about its minimising. In the event a crack appeared and the bridge has been temporarily closed to allow repairs on that joint and the other seven similar ones.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    Arthur Blue December 16, 2015 7:13 pm Reply
  • Well said Arthur, good post.
    I wonder what the usual suspect on here think of it?
    I reckon they have gone into hiding.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

    KEITHO December 16, 2015 10:37 pm Reply
  • Yes Arthur, closing the FRB for repair would have been a vanity project.

    Just like the new crossing which detractors described as a vanity project too.

    Well thank goodness we have an SNP government who in 2009 made the decision to construct a new crossing to take the load of the aging FRB.

    A gold dust decision it’s no wonder the opposition are so stung.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

    willie December 17, 2015 4:08 am Reply
  • Ho Ho Ho

    SNP shrugs off opposition attacks to increase Holyrood poll

    http://www.tnsglobal.co.uk/press-release/snp-shrugs-opposition-attacks-increase-holyrood-poll-lead

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    Longshanks December 21, 2015 1:31 pm Reply
    • Longshanks, 1035 people over 16, is that a sample you’d trust to have a bet.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

      Richard December 21, 2015 5:35 pm Reply
  • It’s an opinion poll Dicky boy – google it and find out how they work, as you obviously don’t have a scooby.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    Longshanks December 21, 2015 6:11 pm Reply
    • 😀 maybe you should try taking some of your own advice Longshanks. Have you looked at the detail of the poll you linked? Have you compared it to previous polls? I don’t think you have tbh.
      By your attempt at being condescending towards another poster about their knowledge of polls, I assume you have a sound understanding of poll reports. Can you tell me what the following percentages for a particular party’s support would indicate when previous opinion poll reports (carried out by the same firm) are taken in to consideration .

      Working forward from May 2015,

      37%
      35%
      35%
      35%
      36%
      36%
      33%
      34%

      Not sure about you but I would say that would indicate a 3% point drop in support, would you agree?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

      John M December 21, 2015 7:02 pm Reply
  • With under six months to go before elections to the Scottish Parliament, support for the SNP in the constituency section of the Holyrood election was steady at 58% among those who expressed a party preference. Labour slipped by three percentage points to 21%, while Conservative and Liberal Democrat support held steady at 12% and 4% respectively with others up two points at 4%.

    In the regional list section of the vote, SNP support was two points higher than the previous month at 54%, with Labour down five points at 20% the Conservatives on 12% (+1), the Liberal Democrats on 4% (-1) and the Greens on 9% (+4)”

    You may be able to see a drop in SNP support there, but I’m afraid I can’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    Longshanks December 21, 2015 8:10 pm Reply
    • Your copy and paste skills are spot on Longshanks, what about your ability to interpret poll results. You thought you were being clever by attempting to insult another poster but you just made yourself look like an arse.

      Core support for the SNP, according to your link, has dropped by 3% points since May.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

      John M December 21, 2015 8:55 pm Reply
      • Insulting people is a sign of a loser.You have no credible argument.
        3% down- wait till we start campaigning.
        20% up you!!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

        Hugh Jazz December 21, 2015 10:32 pm Reply
        • Are you talking about how Longshanks made himself look like an arse? He did.
          The fact you yourself recognises core SNP support has dropped by 3% since May simply supports my comment.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

          John M December 21, 2015 10:47 pm Reply
          • Aye…I concur…he is of a low IQ… have a good Christmas JM

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

            Karl Hughes December 22, 2015 6:05 am
          • Safe travels Karl, all the best to you and the family.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

            John M December 22, 2015 8:09 am
    • Jeeze you are dumb Longshanks….check what you have posted LOL, made my day… thanks

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

      Karl Hughes December 21, 2015 9:10 pm Reply
  • http://www.statgeek.co.uk/2015/12/tns-holyrood-poll-december-2015/

    SNP win.

    Brit nats Iraqi tax avoiders nae where!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

    No Cheese Here December 21, 2015 9:28 pm Reply
    • NHC….and the rest of your smoke eating troll buddies…
      Time for me to go home for Christmas 🙂 … and a nice month off enjoying family time and a couple of weeks in the Alps … its nice to know that I am on a good salary and my wee visits to FA to see how you are all doing in the asylum costs me SFA, infact I get paid for it LOL… I will leave you now in your slime …quiet happy in the knowledge that I have again left the good people of Iraq in a better position than they were a month or so ago…paid my Taxes to both Iraq and the UK (dare say my monthly tax bill is more than your entire yearly income :)and slipped the guy who looks after my room a nice few quid for Crimbo….

      NHC, you vacous cretin..a thought for you: People rarely remember what you have said, people rarely remember what you have done…people always remember how you made them feel…

      On that note feel free to contact me through the usual channels…I am always up for a face to face meeting, 1:1 or bring some buddies to hold youre spineless carcass vertical… bit of a shame your buddy Keitho didn’t turn up for his meeting with me in Tobe ( I actually know he was hidding around the corner, but don’t tell anyone…met quiet a few people who know and avoid the waster, its more than obvious than you are simply the same sort of loneley, sad no hoper too….anyhow the business lounge and my first glass of sparkley stuff is calling…

      toodle pip.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

      Karl Hughes December 22, 2015 5:18 am Reply
  • An interesting piece about the bridge by the Reverend Stu over at Wings,
    http://wingsoverscotland.com/an-end-to-the-matter/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

    Murdoch MacKenzie December 22, 2015 2:26 am Reply
    • MM,anyone can cut and paste a tiny section of an article, WOS is a leach living off the backs of all those cyber warriors, Bath is a very nice city and expensive, what’s wrong with living in Scotland?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

      Richard December 22, 2015 6:57 am Reply
  • http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14160884.Forth_Road_Bridge_to_reopen_tomorrow/

    Boooooo snp baaaaaad…….. congratulations to the engineering teams and the Scots Government. Look forward to see the new bridge next year which Alistair Darling and labour tried to stop.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    No Cheese Here December 22, 2015 11:08 am Reply
    • Not just tried to stop it, they did stop it until the voters chased them out of office.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

      Murdoch MacKenzie December 22, 2015 12:20 pm Reply

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