Serious violent crime soars in broken Tory England but falls in SNP Scotland

Source:: John Robertson Serious violent crime soars in broken Tory England but falls in SNP Scotland In England and Wales, ‘high-harm’ violent offences involving weapons rose by 16%, in the year-ending March 2018. Homicides rose by 12% to 701 in the same period. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jul/19/knife-crime-up-16-per-cent-england-and-wales In the same period, in Scotland, ‘serious assaults’ fell by 1.4% and homicides fell by 12.7% to only 55. https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/sexual-and-violent-crime-on-the-rise-in-scotland-1-4746192 I appreciate that ‘high-harm’ and ‘serious’ violence may not be strictly comparable, but the contrasting trends remain of interest. This is, of course, part of a long-term trend of falling violence in… Read the […]

89% of Scottish firms increase or maintain investment

Source:: John Robertson 89% of Scottish firms increase or maintain investment A survey produced by the Scottish Chambers network and the Fraser of Allander Institute, suggests further evidence of confidence in the Scottish economy. The key points were: Only 15% of firms across the sample reported declining optimism, suggesting resilient business confidence. 48% of firms reporting increased overall revenue, with only 18% reporting a decrease. 89% of firms have increased or maintained levels of investment relative to the previous quarter. Recruitment difficulties rising across sectors, in addition to the proportion of… Read the full article:: John Robertson 89% […]

Edinburgh’s technology sector increases by more than three times UK average

Source:: John Robertson Edinburgh’s technology sector increases by more than three times UK average According to Insider today, based on Companies House and Office of national Statistics figures: ‘At the end of June, 50,143 companies were registered in the city according to research. The research, conducted by secretarial software specialists Inform Direct, shows that there were 22,931 in the city centre, 4,965 on Leith Walk and 4,323 in Leith. These positive figures back up recent reports highlighting the Scottish capital as one of Europe’s fastest growing communities of developers and data scientists, which is… Read the full article:: […]

Scotland’s ‘trends of high employment and low unemployment’ persist but our media prefer to headline only a wee bit of bad news

Source:: John Robertson Scotland’s ‘trends of high employment and low unemployment’ persist but our media prefer to headline only a wee bit of bad news While the ONS figures today contain good news on employment in Scotland, our media have uniformly preferred to headline a tiny increase in unemployment. For Q2 or March-May 2018, employment remains at a near record level of 75.5% but unemployment has increased to just over 4%. Needless to say, that wee increase was more than enough to excite our ‘churnos’ on a bonus, to trumpet bad news about their own folk whenever they can, […]

Survation poll confirms SNP is pulling ahead

Source:: John Robertson Survation poll confirms SNP is pulling ahead The Kantar sub-poll, two days ago, suggested a recovery by the SNP and decline by both Tories and Labour, but the numbers were too small (less than 100) to give confidence. However, today’s Survation poll of more than 1 000 adults, for the Daily Record, gives greater confidence in the expected recovery by the SNP as Westminster staggers from one crisis to another. The results on voting intentions for Westminster are: SNP                        42%     up 5 Conservatives      24%     down 5… Read the full article:: John Robertson Survation poll […]

Scotland’s big cities boom

Source:: John Robertson Scotland’s big cities boom Yes, from Insider again, today: ‘Edinburgh’s office market has enjoyed a strong second quarter after a slow start to the year, according to new figures. Office lettings between the first and second quarter rose 150 per cent to 351,916 sq ft, making just under half a million sq ft (491,885 sq ft) for the first six months of 2018.’ https://www.insider.co.uk/news/edinburgh-office-rentals-up-150-12893245 As always here, this news represents evidence of a longer and wider trend in a strengthening Scottish economy: Edinburgh: Edinburgh… Read the full article:: John Robertson Scotland’s big cities boom

Scottish small businesses still more confident than those in non-Scottish parts

Source:: John Robertson Scottish small businesses still more confident than those in non-Scottish parts From my familiar but BBC Scotland’s unfamiliar, the wholly independent, Insider, based on a survey by the Federation of Small Businesses, today: ‘A poll of more than 1,000 UK SMEs showed confidence north of the border improving from -8 to -5 in the second quarter of the year, compared to a worsening across the UK as a whole from -6 to -8.’ Those minuses are less negative than they seem. In the same report, we read: ‘Scotland’s SMEs are currently… Read the full article:: […]

SNP pull further ahead of Tories and Labour

Source:: John Robertson SNP pull further ahead of Tories and Labour The Kantar poll of 18+adults’ Westminster voting intentions, collected between 5th and 9th July 2018, gives the following percentages: SNP             39% Conservatives 20% Labour 19% Lib Dems             4% Other 5% Prefer not to say 14% This gives SNP support alone equal to the combined Conservative and Labour support. The raw data actually put the SNP 1 ahead, with 34 respondents as opposed to 33 (17 and 16) for Conservatives and Labour. Also, of interest, the SNP attracted 40%… Read the full article:: John Robertson SNP […]

Is BBC Scotland exploiting patients with mental health problems to construct an ill-founded attack on NHS Tayside?

Source:: John Robertson Is BBC Scotland exploiting patients with mental health problems to construct an ill-founded attack on NHS Tayside? After a quiet spell, BBC Scotland has returned to its proxy war strategy against the SNP using exaggerated and distorted tales of problems within NHS Scotland. They tend to be insensitive stories but the latest is particularly so, using anecdotal evidence from only 24 patients who approached them directly out of the ‘hundreds’ treated annually in Tayside’s Carseview unit. Here’s the essence of the scare story, developed into a ‘documentary’ and repeated regularly: ‘An MSP has called for a […]

Scotland getting 54% more than London in infrastructure output per person

Source:: John Robertson Scotland getting 54% more than London in infrastructure output per person A report published today by Scape Group, a public-sector procurement specialist, found that: ‘Scotland saw 54 per cent more infrastructure output per person than London, last year.​ It also revealed that Scotland came out top in cumulative infrastructure output per person between 1997 and 2017.​’ The graph above shows that this has increased notably in the latter years of the SNP administration.   What exactly is infrastructure output and why does it matter? Well, see this from the US government… Read the full article:: […]

Scotland second after only London in attracting foreign investment

Source:: John Robertson Scotland second after only London in attracting foreign investment (c) fDi magazine (February 2018) From the Press & Journal today: ‘Scotland has been named the second most attractive location in the UK for foreign direct investment (FDI) after London, for the fifth consecutive year. This second-place ranking is shared, for the first time since 2013, with the north-west of England with both locations securing seven of the UK’s 78 FDI projects in 2017 while first-placed London attracted 47. The results have been taken from new data from EY’s 2018… Read the full article:: John Robertson […]

Business activity soars to four-year high across manufacturing and service

Source:: John Robertson Business activity soars to four-year high across manufacturing and service (c) Business for Scotland From Insider today: ‘Private sector business activity in Scotland in the second quarter rose at its quickest rate since August 2014, according to the Royal Bank of Scotland’s PMI Index. The inflows of new work rising at the fastest pace in almost four years prompted firms to hike employment markedly. The figures also show that growth across both the manufacturing and service sectors continued.’ https://www.insider.co.uk/news/private-sector-business-activity-q2-12881805 And, this is not unusual news. See these recent examples of… Read the full article:: John […]

At 78% level of satisfaction with NHS Scotland is impressive 36% higher than for the NHS across UK

Source:: John Robertson At 78% level of satisfaction with NHS Scotland is impressive 36% higher than for the NHS across UK (c) nhsresearchscotland From STV today: ‘Nearly four in five Scots are satisfied with the country’s health service, according to an exclusive survey for STV News. The ScotPulse study, which spoke to 1123 respondents, also found that 61% of people would be happy to pay higher taxes for their treatment on the NHS. Satisfaction levels with the Scottish health service sit at 78%, with 31% saying there are “very satisfied”, nearly half of Scots (47%) “quite satisfied” and 13% […]

Scottish retail sales ‘soar’ as they fall for fifth month in the non-Scottish parts of the UK after ‘bleak and crippling’ start to year ‘there’

Source:: John Robertson Scottish retail sales ‘soar’ as they fall for fifth month in the non-Scottish parts of the UK after ‘bleak and crippling’ start to year ‘there’ In the Guardian today: ‘UK high street sales fall for fifth month running. Survey says ‘bleak and crippling start to the year shows no sign of abating’. UK high street sales fell 1.7% year-on-year in June, the fifth consecutive month of falling sales, according to data released by advisory firm BDO, which bases its finding on a survey of mostly medium-sized retail businesses. It is the first time in at least […]

‘The number of finance jobs in Scotland grew by nearly 7% in the past year. That’s a faster pace than any other part of the UK’ says BBC Scotland (!)

Source:: John Robertson ‘The number of finance jobs in Scotland grew by nearly 7% in the past year. That’s a faster pace than any other part of the UK’ says BBC Scotland (!) On BBC Scotland News this morning: ‘The number of finance jobs in Scotland grew by nearly 7% in the past year according to the trade body City UK. That’s a faster pace than any other part of the UK.’ The BBC website had this: Scottish finance jobs growth ‘outstrips London’ Who says they never report good news on the Scottish economy? Not me. I say they […]