Who else thinks that some of our best-known politicians are just a tiny bit foolish?
Whether they deleted all these WhatsApp messages they sent and received during the pandemic or not, what the dickens were they doing using a free app to conduct government business?
Just because the makers say it’s secure doesn’t mean messages can’t fall into unfriendly hands.
Hasn’t there been enough data breaches for them to understand they must only use government-approved systems?
WhatsApp is really useful for unimportant stuff, as you can send messages, photos, documents, and so on to individuals and to entire groups you are part of.
I am in a family group, a local community group, and other groups dedicated to various interests.
Here’s the thing. I don’t think I have ever deleted a WhatsApp message. Why would you?
The message history helps you recall what you were doing, what photos you got or sent, and who wrote what.
These messages are not gone forever
Silly politicians use it knowing that it’s not a proper government network-even, reportedly, Nicola Sturgeon. Some then delete the messages, as if they are gone forever. Nope, silly.
Owner Meta has confirmed just a simple wee request, or maybe a wee court order will get it pressing undelete and sending reams of your long-lost opinions to whoever is asking. How can it do that?
All users agree when they sign up. Meta’s online documentation shows the UK government made nearly 10,000 requests for WhatsApp messages in six months last year.
The Scottish Government made zero requests. Maybe one of these two doesn’t have a clue what it’s doing.
Like the ferry operator that doesn’t even bother to check whether its latest ferry will fit the pier it plans to work from.
MV Alfred still not in use after being chartered for £1m a month
News that the MV Alfred cannot use Stornoway linkspan was a shocker. It is being chartered for £1 million a month and, months later, is still not in regular use.
It was supposed to be on Stornoway run now. Whether that dosy operator is CalMac, CMAL, or TS – that’s Transport Scotland, by the way – is not the point.
We could have lent a tape measure to any of them before they sent it up here.
Also coming up here could be yon incorrigible adventurer Ben Fogle.
He’s now hoping to do a follow-up series to Castaway 2000 where he and 35 others spent a year living together on Taransay, off Harris.
It produced amazing telly and made Ben a star. Castaway 2025, maybe?
He’s been in the African jungle, crossed the Atlantic in an open boat, climbed Everest, and even done a programme about religious sites on the Scottish islands.
He’s been everywhere, man. Ben is determined. Once that guy gets an idea into his head, he gets it done.
That’s like something else you cannot get out of your head – an earworm.
Tunes you find yourself playing in your bonce – and you can’t stop.
An anonymous fan – their words, not mine – who may be from Morayshire, wrote in to say he or she still suffers from an earworm contracted on the ferry Loch Seaforth going from Kyle of Lochalsh to Stornoway.
Oh blimey, that Loch Seaforth. CalMac’s first Loch Seaforth, actually sank in 1973, so that wasn’t yesterday.
My fan had heard the tune Little Arrows by Leapy Lee and it’s been in their head ever since.
They also said they’d heard that if you have an earworm, all you need to do to get rid of it is to tell someone else about it.
And they’ve just told me about it. Ah, it’s me now. How does it go again?
Little arrows in your clothing, little arrows in your hair.
When you’re in love you’ll find those little arrows everywhere.
Little arrows that will hit you once, and hit you once again
Little arrows that hit everybody, every now and then.
It’s a simple wee melody but you listen to it a few times and I bet you a pound to a penny it will stick right in there.
Politicians also need to stick right in there and learn how to properly operate work messaging apps. It is not just them who get themselves in a pickle with them.
Like this father and daughter in Harris who use WhatsApp.
This yarn is a wee bit scary so move on to the crossword now if you are of a nervous disposition.
For the rest of us, hey, it’s Halloween. The daughter sent him a message saying: “Dad, there’s a moth on the outside of the bathroom door. Can you get rid of it?”
There was no immediate response so she tried again.
“Please hurry, because I’m going to cry.”
No response. “Dad…” “Dad.”
Then a message: “Dad is dead. You’re next. Love, Moth.”
Iain Maciver is a former broadcaster and news reporter from the Outer Hebrides