THE date for the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by election has been set for October 5 and BBC Scotland is gearing up for an SNP badfest in gleeful anticipation of a Labour Optional Identity Mark win.

This week's tale of shoehorning blame on the Scottish Government concerns the Raac issue which has seen schools across England close down amidst allegations that during his time as Chancellor Rishi Sunak slashed the budget for school repairs despite being warned by officials that buildings were at risk of becoming structurally unsound.

As an aside, at the same time that Sunak decided to slash government funding for school repairs, he also cut the tax on champagne. You could not ask for a better illustration of Conservative priorities.

Ask yourself a simple question: would Michael Gove have scrapped the school rebuilding program and would Sunak have slashed the budget to repair them if their own kids attended these schools? The Tories absent themselves from public services, using their wealth to insulate themselves from the consequences of their own decisions.

Meanwhile, back in Scotland, nowhere in BBC Scotland's platforming of opposition politicians queueing up to criticise the Scottish government's handling of the crumbling concrete issue will you find any mention of two salient facts.

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Firstly, almost all of these buildings were constructed under previous administrations, often prior to devolution, and their structural shortcomings are not due to a lack of oversight on the part of the Scottish Government, far less the SNP.

Secondly, although education is a devolved issue, when Rishi Sunak decided to slash the funding that the British Treasury was to make available for the remediation of school buildings in England, due to the workings of the Barnett formula this had a direct effect on the funding that was to be made available to Scotland.

So, if Scotland wanted to go above and beyond the remedial work being carried out in England the Scottish Government could only fund the work by cutting other parts of the Scottish budget in order to find the money. BBC Scotland would then platform Jackie Baillie or Alex Cole-Hamilton bleating about 'SNP cuts'.

In a very real sense, the way that funding for the Scottish Government is structured by Westminster means that the devolution settlement acts as a mechanism for transferring the blame for government austerity from Westminster Tories to the SNP at Holyrood.

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In any event, these structures are under the jurisdiction of local government structural engineers, either in-house or consultancy based, who determine whether the buildings are fit for purpose or not.

However, if your sole source of information was BBC Scotland you could be forgiven for thinking that Nicola Sturgeon and Peter Murrell were mixing this concrete by themselves in a murder tent in their garden, cackling evilly as they did so.

We can expect a lot more of this sort of thing between now and the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by election.

We can also expect more BBC Scotland collusion in the fantasy - which is a polite word for lie - that the Labour party in Scotland has different policies from Westminster Labour, even though this is a Westminster election. Never mind that if the Labour candidate is successful he will take the Labour whip in Westminster and will vote the way that Keir Starmer tells him.

The Labour party does not have a separate set of Scottish policies when it comes to Westminster elections. All it has is an Optional Identity Mark registered with the Electoral Commission and a Scottish accounting unit with a registered address in Newcastle, which last anyone checked was not in Scotland.

Westminster throws Scottish football fans under the bus

In the latest example of the Westminster Government muscling in on Scotland, the UK Government has issued guidelines for "taking passengers to sporting events in Scotland."

The guidelines will affect only football fans, not those travelling to any other kind of sporting event.

The guidelines are aimed at bringing Scotland into line with England and Wales, even though there has not been an issue with football coaches previously, and existing rules in Scotland do not appear to have caused problems which could be solved by introducing English regulations here.

As such these guidelines, published by UK senior traffic commissioner Richard Turfitt, smack of Westminster seeking to impose itself on Scotland for the sole reason of asserting its authority.

The National: Stephen Flynn said the UK's proposals for transporting football fans in Scotland were 'unworkable'Stephen Flynn said the UK's proposals for transporting football fans in Scotland were 'unworkable'

The proposed regulations have been described as "draconian" and an attack on civil liberties. The new rules include ensuring that bus companies must inform a dedicated football officer 48 hours before the game of the number of supporters expected to travel, the number of vehicles booked, and the name and contact number for the person who made the booking.

The bus must not stop at premises where alcohol is sold unless it is accompanied by a "substantial meal." Prior agreement for a stop at premises where alcohol is sold must be obtained from the dedicated football officer.

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Buses must arrive at the venue no earlier than two hours before and not later than one hour before the scheduled start of the game, unless otherwise directed by police. Passengers must not be picked up or put down "at any unauthorised locations without prior permission of the police."

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn has denounced the proposals.

He said: "Unworkable, unmanageable, unenforceable. Get it in the bin.

"The clubs these fans support can be a huge force for good and more folk attend matches in Scotland than anywhere else in Europe."

A consultation on the rules is open until November 24 and there are various ways to respond including by email or by post.