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June 22nd – June 28th, 2024

June 22nd– June 28th 2024

Schools Violating Sex-based Rights; do Police have their Priorities Wrong?  but first …..

Angus Council Declares A Housing Emergency

            Six weeks after rejecting calls to declare a housing emergency, Angus Council has done just that.  Despite a housing budget cut of £9 million and the damage caused by Storm Babet, the ruling SNP group voted down the move in May, but has now reversed their decision, and is hoping to set up a dedicated housing committee to tackle housing issues.

            Many homes in the aptly-named River Street remain empty following the damage caused by Storm Babet in October, and it is hoped declaring an emergency will also enable the council to tackle the 300 empty council houses in the area.

Cromarty Freeport may be Under Threat

            from the Highland housing shortage, with the council estimating it will need up to 24,000 new homes, some to cover the ‘10,000 jobs’ it is alleged the freeport will bring.  Part of the problem is the rural location, which increases building costs, plus the reluctance of local contractors to get involved due in no small part to a lack of skilled worker and … a lack of accommodation to house them.

            The average cost per housing unit has risen from £157,000 to over £227,000, with a local tender rising to cost £400,000 per house recently.

            The council is even considering using compulsory purchase orders where it can be shown that landowners are not releasing land when market value is offered.

David Tennant just another Entitled Bloke?

            He has definitely blotted his copybook in the gender war.  Not content with sneering at women’s concerns about trans rights, he told Business and Equalities Secretary Kemi Badenoch to ‘shut up’ about trans issues, saying he wanted to wake up in a world where Kemi Badenoch doesn’t exist any more….’, hastily claiming he ‘did not wish ill on her’ (!) 

          Women had almost got used to being listened to and respected once more, but good old David let us know our place. Sit down, shut up, you don’t count as much as men who say they are women.  And don’t forget it..

          Staunch Labour supporter Tennant also eloquently called the Tories ‘f***wits’ but then can’t work out why women are afraid at the prospect of a Labour UK government which we are told would ‘work with the SNP on gender’.

Gaelic Soundtrack for new Horror Video Game

            The new game Still Wakes the Deep from Brighton-based games developer The Chinese Room is accompanied by a soundtrack sung by Maggie MacInnes, daughter of the late Flora MacNeil, the ‘Queen of Gaelic singers’.

            The game is set on a North Sea oil rig and also has voiceovers by Scots Alec Newman, Neve McIntosh and Karen Dunbar.  The atmospheric Gaelic song Fath Mo Mhulaid a Bhith Ann complements the storyline of men trapped on an oil rig with something evil coming for them, longing instead to be back home across the water.

            The Gaelic song can be heard in the launch trailer and the game’s Gaelic language option.

Chryston High School

            A row has erupted between parents and North Lanarkshire Council (NLC) over the council decision to stop offering bus transport to students from Millerston and Stepps to Chryston School after a risk assessment mysteriously changed its determination from ‘unsafe’ to ‘safe’ for pupils to walk along a busy dual carriageway, sometimes an hour each way.

            It now emerges that there have been six collisions involving pedestrians, five of whom were children under 16, in the past five years.  The council assessment said the collisions with vehicles were ‘acceptable’ (!!!) as there were pedestrian crossing facilities nearby.  The council wrote to parents in February 2024 assuring them their entitlement to bus transport would remain, while simultaneously carrying out a new assessment from December 2023, then wrote to parents in April 2024 saying the transport would be withdrawn.

            Adding insult to injury, the council refuses to use some of its £8 million surplus to maintain the transport link.

Scottish Schools Violate Sex-based Rights

            According to a report from For Women Scotland, only three Scottish high schools – Islay High and Tarbert High in Argyl and Bute, and Castlebay in the Western Isles, fully comply with the law requiring adequate single-sex toilets and informing pupils they cannot use opposite-sex toilets.  One in 20 schools surveyed provide only mixed-sex toilets, with 13 out of 243 secondary schools completing the survey being in compliance with non-harassment obligations under equality law.

            Schools must provide separate single-sex toilets for boys and girls, and adequate numbers of urinals for boys. Schools are underhandedly using refurbishment of toilets during school holidays as a means of introducing mixed-sex facilities instead of single-sex ones. 

            The Scottish government is going out of its way to allow trans pupils to use the toilet facilities they are comfortable with, irrespective of the effect on other pupils, and girls feel increasingly intimidated by the presence of boys to the point of not using the toilet all day, with attendant health impacts.

            The Scottish government said it is updating school premises regulations and will consult the public, but said toilet provision is a matter for the local authority.  No, it is a legal obligation on government.     

No More Head Girl, but Two Head Boys

            In the name of inclusion, Williamwood High School in Clarkston decided to do away with the ultra-passe Head Boy and Head Girl titles in favour of two Head Pupils.  Guess what happened?  Both Head Pupils are now boys.  The school is looking for LGBT Youth Scotland charter status, and eradicating gendered terms like ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ will apparently help in their quest. 

           Did this happen because girls go out of their way to ‘be kind’ and vote for either boys or girls fairly, but boys tend to stick with boys?  No, surely not.…..

Police now want to ‘manage Public Expectations’

          Ex-Federation rep Calum Steele didn’t mince his words this week in his appraisal of Police Scotland Chief Constable Jo Farrell. 

          By police focusing on strategic plans, he says public expectation ‘is to be tolerated rather than respected’.  In the case of police response to public calls, it has become clear that public expectations are to be ‘managed’, a euphemism for ‘we aren’t going to bother too much with this type of call’.  People are ‘managed’ into appointments with officers at a future date, which sadly often get missed.  But never mind, this saves police time for its real priority of gender politics.

         He is scathing about the recent apology from Farrell for the police having ‘criminalised love’, saying the police uphold the law, they don’t devise it.  That’s up to politicians and society.

Police To Use Facial Recognition

            Police Scotland are planning to introduce live facial recognition, with officers in police vans monitoring live footage which they will then check against software.  It has been criticised as a step towards a high-tech police state.  The Scottish Police Authority admit that the police duty to keep people safe had to be balanced against human rights, and Scotland’s Biometrics Commissioner Brian Plastow said live facial recognition had never yet been deployed in mass public space surveillance in Scotland, but would not rule it out for the future.

CalMac Report Card Omits Missed Sailings

            CalMac’s own report on its ferry reliability is being called a whitewash as it does not include as official cancellations if they were cancelled wholesale in advance from the timetable, leading to figures of a technical reliability of 99.51% and punctuality of 99.57%.  Justified late running events are not included, nor are losses of ferries for scheduled maintenance, or ferry redeployment, bad weather, awaiting the arrival of connections or other events outwith their control. 

            CalMac have incurred £16 million of performance penalties, but the Scottish government is nonetheless considering awarding them shortly a ‘forever’ contract.

            The Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership (HITRANS) says the ferry assessment should be changed to match rail service assessment to capture true performance on punctuality and reliability.

Fight against planned Cults Battery Storage

            Robert Gordon College are arguing that toxic fumes could be released in the event of a battery fire, putting pupils in danger at their Countesswells Playing Fields.  Aberdeen City Council have received 108 objections to the proposal by Flexion Energy UK Storage for a site at Newton of Pitfodels.  There are also concerns about an underground connection along Countesswells Road.

            Local resident Dr Wendy Ratcliffe is very concerned about the difficulties encountered to date in extinguishing battery fires and the release of lithium-related toxic gases, and the proximity of woodland, fearing an environmental catastrophe.  Resident Ellen Robinson says the prevailing wind direction from the west would mean the fields and the area of Airyhall would immediately be impacted, and Dr Kejian Wun of Aberdeen University says water runoff could affect the Pitfodels Conservation Area, and bats and swallows would be affected by the noise.

            The Braeside and Mannofield Community Council object to the considerable noise pollution it would cause during construction and running, with others citing constant flood concerns at Countesswells and the roads being not up to standard for the heavy vehicles involved.

            The developers claim a safety management plan submitted with the application shows the evidence of similar ‘fire events’ is low!

Finally,

Cumberland Close

            in Kirriemuir will keep its name despite being named to honour the ‘Butcher’ of the 1745 Jacobite rising, Prince Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, sent to crush the Jacobites.  A petition to change the name was followed by a council survey where 75% of local responses opted to keep the name, and the council have decided to honour that, with some councillors claiming that the attempt to change the name has led to a ‘toxic’ divide in the town.

            Isn’t that the argument used against independence supporters in general, that even talking about different constitutional views leads to a ‘toxic’ environment?

            I mean, it couldn’t be a cynical attempt to shut down anyone who opposes the status quo or anything?

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