Monthly Archives: January 2018

The Green Ink Gang: Fake Views on Fake News

Edinburgh Evening News, 25/01/18

I’d like to respond to the regular tag-team contributors Keith Linton and Councillor Scott Arthur who jointly attacked the SNP’s recent party political broadcast which apparently lampooned a political columnist. I say apparently as many of the complaints which have been voiced can’t actually decide who the supposed butt of the joke is. Being a boring, tweedy, beardy politically obsessed bore, the character “Davey” could be almost anyone. In fact I’m surprised there aren’t more people lining up to claim that they are “Davey”.

Mr Arthur’s claims that this is Trump like behaviour, before going on to try to link it to Russia Today and online abuse. His letter was a British Nationalist bingo full house, rounding off with a defence of the discredited BBC. On the basis of the last few years of news coverage the criticism of the BBC as a sometime purveyor of fake news is more than warranted, and instances of its manipulation of news are well documented, the film “London Calling” by Alan Knight and GA Ponsonby being an excellent summary of why a little scepticism of the media is warranted.
Perhaps Mr Arthur could confine his criticisms of the SNP to documentable and verifiable topics in future. More facts, less fictions please

Blame Humza

Published in The Herald, 20/01/18

Is Scotland the only country in the world where the Transport Minister is required to resign if there is snow? As far as I can see from an internet search the answer is yes. It really shows how desperate British Nationalist politicians are, calling for Humza Yousaf to be sacked when they are reliant on the plight reckless drivers who ignored warnings not to travel in severe weather as an excuse. In December 2017 many drivers were stranded on the M25 in London and I can recall no calls for for Chris Grayling to be sacked. Mr Yousaf also regularly takes criticism for the cost and performance of the Scotrail franchise, which figures released by the RMT show is the third cheapest per passenger mile in the entire UK and is consistently one of the better performers in terms of punctuality. So why is there no clamour for the failing Westminster Transport Minister to be sacked? The hypocrisy is staggering.

The Brexit Deficit

Published in The Herald, 18/01/18

Dear Sir,

The economic impact of Brexit is now estimated to mean a cut in income for each and every Scot of £2,300 a year. That’s the real cost of Brexit, previously obscured by a slogan on a bus, and now exposed for all to see. How many Scots would now wind back the clock to September 2014 and think again about their decision to stick with the UK? The same UK that told them that they’d be £500 a year worse off outside of the UK and also that they would be thrown out of the EU. Unfortunately for us there is no going back, but If given the chance to vote again on Scotland’s future, Scots have to be braver than last time and rather than cower under London’s threat and fear campaign must rise to the occasion and show the world that we have learned from our mistake and are ready, willing and able to take our place amongs the nations of the world as equals.

Yours Sincerely,

James Cassidy

Rail Fare Rises

Letter published in The National, 07/01/18

Last Wednesday I was handed a leaflet by a Labour Party activist at Edinburgh Waverly Station entitled “the Great SNP Train Robbery: An SNP Party Production starring Humza Yousaf- Nicola Sturgeon”. The leaflet stated that:

  1. Rail fares rise again in 2018
  2. Since 2012 rail fares up by 12%
  3. Fares rising faster than wages
  4. The SNP are failing to stand up for millions of passengers

While number 1 is undoubtedly true, there’s no facts to back up point 2 or 3. Furthermore it’s my understanding that although rail franchising is devolved in Scotland, ticket pricing is not, and rises in fares are set by the UK government, not Holyrood.

The leaflet being handed out by the Labour Party was clearly printed in advance to tie in with the implementation of the annual fare changes and tied in with similar sentiment printed in columns by Labour members such as Tom Harris. Richard Leonard has been in the past accused of confusing the responsibilities of the two parliaments, and this is another example of the grey man of Scottish politics operating in the grey areas between London and Edinburgh.

Their propaganda fails to stand up to scrutiny, indeed when I pressed the Labour Party activist who gave me the leaflet on the accuracy of the leaflet he tried to back it by reaching for proof, and produced from his bag a crushed copy of the free Metro newspaper!

Isn’t it time that the Scottish Government raised awareness of who exactly is responsible for what on our rail network? Perhaps if they did Labou could finally be shunted off into a sidings somewhere.