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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 3:25 pm 
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longshanks wrote:

You need to withdraw and apologise for that nasty slur.


Tell you what,

I'll apologise for accusing you of running the country down when you admit that Scotland does have more than its fair share of world class universities.

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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 4:14 pm 
NickB wrote:
Tell you what,

I'll apologise for accusing you of running the country down when you admit that Scotland does have more than its fair share of world class universities.


What has that got to do with your personally insulting:

"Why so determined to run the country down, Longshanks?"

My posts on this thread have been about the mistruths/halftruths and distortions contained in the Yes Scotland leaflet. Not about running my country down. About stating the truth to expose them:

Quote:
A second example in the Guarantees For The Future section is the comforting prase:

"...and some of the world's best universities"

A simple google for "100 best universties world" reveals the definitive list showing we have only one in the top 100, Edinburgh in 46th place.

I now worry that this leaflet is not giving us facts but unsubstantiated spin.


I have never said anything about "fair share" or percapita figures. Why on earth have you brought that up in relation to my criticism of the YesScotland statement which is spinning ABSOLUTE numbers ?

Of course we have a good ratio of good universities per capita, whether we have more than our fair share is purely subjective. Some might say southern England has more than its fair share, others might say Tiawan has more than its fair share....and so on.

You threw a deeply insulting slur at me by implying I am determined to run down my country.

You need to withdraw it and apologise.


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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 4:32 pm 
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longshanks wrote:

You threw a deeply insulting slur at me by implying I am determined to run down my country.

You need to withdraw it and apologise.


But we DO have some of the world's best universities. It was entirely your choice to pick the 'top 100' figure and use it to accuse the YES campaign of spin. Seems to me you are more spinning than spun against.

YES Scotland do a generally good job of showing Scotland in a positive light. By determinedly and systematically rubbishing every one of their statements you ARE - in my opinion - running the country down, whether that is your intention or not.

I am as entitled as the next man to express my opinion on here and have no intention of apologising for it to you or anyone else. Perhaps I could remind you of a Rabbie Burns couplet:

O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!


You can spin this however you like but I do not apologise to anonymous posters on internet forums for an honestly expressed opinion. You are of course perfectly entitled to use the 'report post' facility (the wee exclamation mark symbol) to report my post to the moderator if you feel my post has contravened the terms and conditions of the forum and want a second opinion on the matter.

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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 4:56 pm 
Pass me the sick bucket... :?


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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 5:53 pm 
NickB wrote:
Why so determined to run the country down, Longshanks?


I am emphatically Not determined to run my country down.

What you have said is deeply insulting.

You clearly won't apologise.


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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 6:14 pm 
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longshanks wrote:
NickB wrote:
Why so determined to run the country down, Longshanks?


I am emphatically Not determined to run my country down.

What you have said is deeply insulting.

You clearly won't apologise in the place you posted this nasty slur.

So be it.


Reverse ad hominem. Slightly different tactic, Longshanks, I suppose, but diversionary nonetheless.

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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 7:31 pm 
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You 3 - Nick B, Tony the Toad, and Longshanks, seem to enjoy a personal vendetta, which may be very satisfying to the participants, but is frankly a bit of a bore to all the other people who log on to hear your pronouncements.
The thing that comes across in all these acrimonious exchanges, is a complete lack of humour in the participants.
And just as an aside - why does Nick B have an avitar that looks like a South American terrorist? (or freedom fighter - depending on which side you are on ) - is this supposed to inspire confidence in his pronouncements?


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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 8:04 pm 
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jimcee wrote:
The thing that comes across in all these acrimonious exchanges, is a complete lack of humour in the participants . . . as an aside - why does Nick B have an avitar that looks like a South American terrorist? (or freedom fighter - depending on which side you are on ) - is this supposed to inspire confidence in his pronouncements?

Well Jim, my avatar is intended to be humourous believe it or not, but if I have to explain the joke then it has patently failed. Oh well . . . I think I will just keep it anyway :roll:

I don't think anyone uses or chooses a forum avatar to 'inspire confidence in their pronouncements' , but I feel mine is more positive than a big wobbly question mark :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 9:59 am 
Best per capita? What a ridiculous way to measure a university. You can't quantify anything as being 'best' based on size or scale. Best is best. As Longshanks suggests someone is being selective with statistics to create pretty meaningless statements, which may be factual, but are used in a misleading manner.

On the subject of avatar there are very few people who are open and honest enough to back up their words by showing their face.


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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 10:58 am 
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Scotland has more highly ranked universities per head of population than (eg) the US. In what way is this a useless or meaningless statistic? Having a higher percentage of quality university places available to the population is a very valid quality indicator if you ask me, and to say it isn't is patently absurd.

Many statistics are used on a per-capita basis to make comparisons between nations of different sizes, GDP being one that immediately springs to mind.

Sorry PP, but to me it appears that it is your statement that is ridiculous.

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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 11:57 am 
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Having a higher percentage of quality university places available to the population is a very valid quality indicator
. Yes, may be, if it was just the Scot's population that used them.

But not all those places are taken up by the 'Scots' population. Foreign (including English) students make up a significant proportion because of Scotland's policy of giving 'free' places to foreign students. So if your 'facts' are based on student places it can't be much of a measure of quality.

But that (as far as I understand it) is not the issue Longshanks is making. He is not running down Scotland. It sounds like he is a man of integrity and intelligence, who has made it clear he supports Independence for Scotland on numerous occasions, but if the reason for creating an independent Scotland is to create a fairer, more equal, open and honest society, be disapproves of those who make those qualities central to their arguments yet at the same time use spin (which is never the whole truth) to try to persuade supporters to their cause.

Using the devil you know, better than the devil you don't know, distrust is probably the Yes Campaign's worst enemy.


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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 1:31 pm 
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Scotland has a unique and fantastic tradition of higher education and continues so to do. Most Scots would not argue with that. Longshanks, however, did choose to argue with that and you, PP, introduce distortions in his support. Despite the EU legislation requiring each member state to allow free and open access to university education (i.e. it was not, as you state, a Scottish government policy), the Scottish university system this year managed nonetheless to educate more Scots students than ever before. I think Nick is quite justified in countering you both with some supporting statistics and I agree with him that your constant doubting of all things positive about the yes campaign, in contrast to your lack of questioning of the basket case that is currently the UK, is irrational, irritating and depressing. The Yes campaign is at least an uplifting and positive one, of can-do rather than canny-do aspiration.

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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 2:27 pm 
No one is arguing that Scotland doesn't have some excellent universities. But is that to say that Scotland's Universities are uniquely good?

We know what the UK Government does, but is that to say an independent Scotland's government will make a better job of things? It is only right, and democratic, that the Yes Campaign is questioned on their claims. And to accept all the positive spin is to risk some real disappointment and a sense of treachery as I found when I voted for Labour under Tony Blair. It's easy to be uplifted when someone promises you the world but I am doubly distrustful now of spin no matter where it comes from. And many of the 'facts' supplied by all sides are simply not totally true. It's not always easy to recognise when someone is 'spinning', but the promoter of those statements always does it in the knowledge it is deceiptful. And that is what Longshanks is drawing attention to. Because he sounds like he really does want a fairer, more equal, more honest society, and is concerned that based on this evidence, the Yes Campaigners are no better than the rest.

So, do Scottish Universities currently charge students from the English part of the EU, and not from the mainland part of the EU? See http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home ... 1369916561 (I was a Scottish student, living in Scotland at a Scottish University so I wouldn't know)


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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 2:54 pm 
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So now you're being disingenuous, PP! Originally you rubbished the value of Nick's statistics on the grounds that there are so many foreign students in Scottish universities. Since the reality is that there have never been so many Scots students in Scottish universities, you're now moving on to making an issue of the fact that English students have to pay the same (or smaller) fee in Scotland as they would in England! - the very Scots parliamentary policy that was designed to ensure that Scots students do indeed have ready access to higher education in their own country, while ensuring an additional income to our universities so that such home access remains free. But somehow, once more, you have "spun" that positive and fair policy into a negative. In my humble opinion, you and Longshanks are indeed masters of spin, invariably of that negative variety. :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 3:27 pm 
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Since the reality is that there have never been so many Scots students in Scottish universities

There have never been so many English Universities before and as a result there have never been so many English students at university before. That's not a measure of the country's university quality (In fact I would suggest I might suggest there are far too many young people at university and they might have done better to go and get jobs instead).

No, I'm positive for the status quo :yes . Scotland is part of my country, the United Kingdom and I positively want to keep it that way for all the best reasons. It's a minority of Scots that puts down the rest of the UK. The Yes Campaigners think they are positive but in fact they are negative to the UK and the benefits of being one nation! Scotland are the potential wreckers of a peaceful relationship that has prevented us warring amongst ourselves for the last 300 years. It's the SNP that is turning peaceful citizen against peaceful citizen and risks creating a North/South divide unlike any experienced in recent history. Just look how animated Nick is getting!


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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 4:10 pm 
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I agree that there are far too many universities. My only aims here were to correct your erroneous statement about Scottish universities ("Foreign (including English) students make up a significant proportion because of Scotland's policy of giving 'free' places to foreign students. So if your 'facts' are based on student places it can't be much of a measure of quality" and to support the fact that Scottish universities have always been and still are generally recognised internationally for their excellence. Nick was correct to defend them and you and Longshanks unfairly talked them down.
As for your ridiculous words about turning peaceful citizen against peaceful citizen, wrecking peaceful relationships and warring, maybe you should apply for a job as a junior spin scribe for the Daily Mail! :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 5:39 pm 
MonaLott wrote:
Nick was correct to defend them and you and Longshanks unfairly talked them down.


This is getting a tad repetitive.

I did NOT talk down Scottish Universities. In a thread about the YesScotland booklet I expressed my disdain at the spin and one example I gave was their statement (in the "Guarantees For The Future") that Scotland has some of the best universities in the world.

I pointed out that as an example of spin in that, in reality, we have only one in the top 100 universities in the world (Edinburgh in 46th place).

For the YesScotland statement to be rationally true an intelligent person would expect us to have more than one in the top ten, or top twenty at most. After all they were writing about THE BEST. The YesScotland statement was spin.

If you and NickB object to any criticism of spin by the Yes campaign (if spin by the No campaign is also posted here I'll express my disdain at that too) then, okay, fair enough; but do not resort to the sort of insult thrown at me.

NickB refuses to apologise. Okay. I forgive him. He genuinely may not know that to accuse a trueborn Scot of being determined to run down his country is very insulting.


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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 5:45 pm 
Thankyou PentlandPirate. You get it.

Pentlandpirate wrote:
But that (as far as I understand it) is not the issue Longshanks is making. He is not running down Scotland. It sounds like he is a man of integrity and intelligence, who has made it clear he supports Independence for Scotland on numerous occasions, but if the reason for creating an independent Scotland is to create a fairer, more equal, open and honest society, be disapproves of those who make those qualities central to their arguments yet at the same time use spin (which is never the whole truth) to try to persuade supporters to their cause.

Pentlandpirate wrote:
And many of the 'facts' supplied by all sides are simply not totally true. It's not always easy to recognise when someone is 'spinning', but the promoter of those statements always does it in the knowledge it is deceiptful. And that is what Longshanks is drawing attention to. Because he sounds like he really does want a fairer, more equal, more honest society, and is concerned that based on this evidence, the Yes Campaigners are no better than the rest.


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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 5:47 pm 
No, check the words. No one has talked Scottish Universities down in the slightest respect. Of course they are institutions of high repute but based on the wording in the leaflet most reasonable people after reading it would be surprised to discover there is only one Scottish University in the Top 100. Scotland apparently has 15 universities out of a total of 164 such institutions in the UK. Scotland's largest, Glasgow University, is 24th largest by population so I'm beginning to think this business of more university places per head of capita may also be a close run thing. Those figures Nick put forward are dated 2008. Alot changes in that time and in the run up to the referendum it is important that people are quoted truths, and not half truths.......and The Scottish Parliament refusing to disclose what EU legal experts said about an independent Scotland being able to join the EU, because they say it is 'Confidential', is all part of the dishonesty of the Yes Campaign that Longshanks, a potential Yes voter, seems to find both distasteful and indeed, an insult, to himself.


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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 6:15 pm 
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Longshanks, you should know that there are many different systems of rating universities internationally according to research, teaching, number of citations, graduate career achievement etc etc and thus rankings vary considerably. Nevertheless, Scottish universities do consistently excel given the country's size and more importantly given the mushrooming in the number of top universities in the developing countries. No intelligent person would, as you state, expect Scotland to have at least one university in the top ten in the world. The Yes campaign is quite justified in its positive comments about Scotland's universities.

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