Clocks Striking 14 in ScotSoc

Why Holyrood has become Orwellian and Big Sister always survives

It was an unusually bright, warm summer’s day and the clocks were striking fourteen (to commemorate both Bannockburn and the independence referendum). At the Ministry of Truth/Ministrealachd na Fìrinn, ScotSoc’s top spinmeisters were wracking their brains to bury some inconvenient truths in really forbidding bureaucratic language. “Remember we must definitely not translate this one into plain, simple Newspeak,” the director told his team. “Big Sister has decreed it must be especially impenetrable for the press and the proles.” What they eventually came up with was a masterpiece even by their own proud standards:

Review of the Scottish Government’s corporate processes for the storage, retrieval and deployment of corporate information to ensure they are fit-for-purpose.

It worked a treat. Even the high-brow hacks couldn’t get their heads around it. But there was this one weird woman called Winnie Smith who not only had real boobs and a vagina but was still a journalist not a churnalist. She hated the party and repeatedly scribbled ‘Down with Big Sister’ on her notebook.

Big Sister? A screenshot from the SNP’s Holyrood election broadcast

After joining the anti-Party Sisterhood (secretly linked to an underground grouplet with a Gaelic name) she slipped into an illegal relationship with someone still self-identifying as their original gender. After committing that sex crime, she knew it was only a matter of time before she was dragged away by Police ScotSoc. But she was determined to carry out one last subversive act against Big Sister. Recognising that language is a form of political control, she decided to translate segments of the aforementioned impenetrable document into plain English.

Government records are defined as recorded information in any form, created or received in the day to day work of government. They are characterised by their essential purpose and value which is to provide reliable evidence of actions, decisions and events – the ‘who, what, when, and why’ something happened…The review found a prevalence of localised non-corporate behaviours around information management which can increase risk and potentially undermine the true value of the information the organisation creates, receives and manages.

Information is power and there can only be proper democratic accountability if the demos (people) and their elected representatives can find out who screwed up or who shafted whom. Big Sister has devised numerous methods by which she can do whatever she decrees and never be held accountable for her dark deeds. Her clandestine plots and orchestrated cover-ups are never recorded in any official, retrievable format so, for all intents and purposes, they never happened. Or there is, at least, a plausible explanation for a poor recollection of events.

Responding to public inquiries, external and parliamentary scrutiny is now a constant and permanently embedded feature of SG’s ‘business as usual’ environment. Inquiries relating to the SG’s Covid 19 response are inevitable.

Big Sister and her ruling cabal screw up on so many fronts and engage in so many plots and cover-ups, the governance of ScotSoc is in complete chaos. There are soon going to be some awkward questions being asked about why so many people in ScotSoc care homes perished during the first phase of the global pandemic. Also why, despite being subjected to medical martial law by the Covid Queen, ScotScot ended up with the highest rates of infection in Europe and had its announced Freedom Day cancelled. But the Party will remain in power because see next section below.

The current approach to responding to these inquiries is generally reactive and tactical in nature.

Whenever things get so bad that Big Sister is called to account in any way, she always reacts by doing whatever will ensure her own personal, political survival. The tactic for dealing with her biggest political rival was to try to turn him into an unperson.

These data stores can create significant information risks to the organisation including:

1. Reduced levels of legal compliance –

 Public Records (S) Act 2011 – the content is not subject to records management including retention or disposal schedules.

 FOI – the content is not readily searchable and hinders efforts to meet freedom of information requests.

 GDPR – the content can include sensitive personal data which is difficult to review and risk assess.

The situation has become (largely by intention) such a bureaucratic omnishambles, the ScotScot Government is breaking – round the 14-numbered clock – all the major statutes it has passed, or adopted, regarding public rights of access to officially-held information and data protection.

Instruction on information and records management is available to staff on what to do, how to do it and to some extent why to do it. However there is very little explicit direction to staff on what not to do and why not to do it. 

Best no to ask, pal. Jist shunt it intae the shredder and keep shtum if ye want tae keep yer job.

As she typed those last words, Winnie knew it was only a matter of time before the Doc Martens would be stamping on her face – especially having done it in the authentic language of the proles. So she took all the official ‘2014 Victory’ brand products off her kitchen shelves and tossed them in the bin. She then sat down to savour one last mug of real Scottish Blend and a Tunnock’s Tea Cake, the latter banned by Big Sister since it started to be marketed as a great Oceania snack.

13 thoughts on “Clocks Striking 14 in ScotSoc

  1. At first I thought all the quotes were made up or at least paraphrased but a quick question to Mr. Google revealed otherwise. If you hurry you can download the PDF with “Official Sensitive” in big red letters on the header and footer of each page.

    At least now we know why everyone in government is moving to Signal and its encrypted message autodeletion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aye Stuart, no one should delay in downloading it. As we saw during the Alex Salmond inquiry, such documentation tends to get whipped down from the World Wide Web by the Ministry of Truth/Ministrealachd na Fìrinn.

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  2. Very obscure document, a masterpiece in obfuscation! My understanding of the UK civil service protocols was/is that:
    1. All meetings involving politicians as Government Ministers should be minuted by a civil servant; ditto phone calls (I am referring to pre IT era);
    2. Ditto third party organisations in consultations ‘re new legislation proposals;
    3. Nothing should be discarded.

    Based on what we have heard in various proceedings, including Salmond court case, Covid FM/adviser meetings, etc it would appear that the Scottish civil servants did not always follow the above practices.

    It amused me that during the Salmond trial, there was dispute ‘re who attended what function on what date at Bute House etc. So they don’t have a signing in and out book, for security, fire, health and safety purposes at the FM’s official residence?!
    A government which does not keep proper records is not a government; a permanent secretary who oversees this casual approach is not doing their job properly.
    Utterly depressing that basic processes not observed for the most sensitive aspects of government let alone the more complex management of all data via IT systems?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Her acting ability must be second to none since she managed to fool Alex Salmond and a Scottish majority for so many years.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Over the weeks since the May 2021 Scottish Election my thoughts have been dwelling ever more heavily on the example of the Folketing Elections in (occupied) Denmark on March 23rd 1943. The elections took place but the electorate could exercise no ‘actual’ authority to effect even minimal change.

    Sadly, even in these circumstances, the occupied Danes neglected the opportunity to send the merest signal of serious democratic intent. The turn-out was a staggering 89.5%. The electorate, however, chose to cling to the hopelessly nostalgic pre-occupation parties’ ‘nurse’ – presumably – ‘for fear of finding something worse’. The anti-cooperation (anti – collaboration) party Dansk Samling (which was permitted to stand) received the votes of a (very brave) 2.2% of the Danish people.

    Although Dansk Samling were so poorly backed in the election their ideas started to gain increasing currency and some extraordinarily brave Danes started to organise and ‘act’ to bring the occupation into sharp relief and, in time, to cause the occupiers and collaborationists real problems once the D-Day Front opened.

    Thanks for bearing with me on my historical musings – Ludo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Always inspiring to hear of a small nation striking back at subjugation by a large and aggressive neighbouring power, Ludo. Just a pity the Danes couldn’t mount more of a resistance at Wembley last night!

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    1. «Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.»
      C. S. Lewis
      The Pax Britannica to a T.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I see from this particular posting that the SNP as a Party, as well as a Government, are rapidly catching up with another Westminster political party – albeit one not in Government (and on the present trajectory unlikely ever to be so no matter how dire the Bloody Stupid Johnson administration becomes) – in respect of the specific matters the post identifies.

      Who said the Scots could not hope to ever match or emulate their English/British counterparts in such Machiavellian endeavours?

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