The following is a story which was published in Hebrides News Today on the 2nd of February 2012.

Highlands & Islands Labour MSP, David Stewart, has accused the SNP Government of playing fast and loose with the Air Discount Scheme by excluding business, public sector and charities from the scheme.

The scheme was introduced by the Labour-led Scottish Executive in 2006 to address the social and economic disadvantage suffered by communities across the Highlands and Islands as a result of the high cost of accessing lifeline air services.However in April 2011 the Scottish Government cut any and all work-related travel from the Air Discount Scheme on the pretext that it was following demands from the European Commission.

David Stewart MSP said “It is clear from letters I have received after my Freedom of Information request that it was the Scottish Government who initiated the approach to Europe to cut business, public and third sectors out of the ADS.

The SNP has not been honest with the people of the Highlands & Islands. They tried to blame the European Commission but their fingerprints are at the scene of the crime. This move has taken nearly £3m out of the north economy. Keith Brown, the Transport Minister, needs to come clean, stop blaming Europe and accept it was a simple cost-cutting exercise".

This story is a classic piece of spin from New Labour in Scotland.  On the surface it would appear to be a legitimate attack on the SNP government by an honest and diligent oppostion MSP.  However, it is anything but what it appers to be.

It does, though, offer a good opportunity for a master class on just how the Labour Party manufactures such stories.  Here is how it works:

In early 2011, civil servants working for the Scottish Government discovered a possible illegality in the way the ADS scheme had been implemented by the previous Labour/Liberal administration in 2006.  In simple terms, the ADS was launched a social discount scheme and should have been limited to use by individuals for private travel.

The civil servants alerted the Scottish Government of the possible illegality.  The SG then had a legal duty to ask the EC to clarify the situation, which they subsequently did.  The response was that the scheme was indeed illegal as it stood, so the Government announced that ADS should no longer be used for non-private travel.  A regrettable, but inevitable outcome of the civil servant's discovery.

Now back to the New Labour spin. List MSP David Stewart states that the SNP initiated the approach to Europe.  In a sense this is true, if you ignore the civil servents who brought it to their attention.  It certainly wasn't the EC who initiated it.

However, he then goes on to assert that this proves that it was done as a cost cutting excercise, even though the Government would have been acting illegally if they had ignored the advice of their civil servants and simply carried on with the scheme as it was.  And even though Mr. Stewart is well aware of this.

And there is the spin.  Mr. Stewart takes something which is technically true (well half true), then phrases it in such a way as to mislead the reader, missing out any inconvenient associated facts (like the role of the civil servants or the legal duty of the SG).  He then compounds the dishonesty by (knowingly) making a series of untrue assertions which he relates back to the original half-truth as evidence of their veracity.  Generally, this is then repeated continually in different forums, until many people begin to simply assume that it is true.

In this case, the only part of the story above which is actually true is that it was the Scottish Government which first contacted the EC about this matter, rather than the other way around. All of the rest is fabrication and obfuscation.

This sort of negative spin has been new Labour policy since the beginning of the Blair/Brown/Mandelson years.  They barely notice that they are doing it anymore, so much has it become part of their culture.  And, in many cases, even the initial statement is fabricated and there is no truth whatsoever behind the story.

In this case, the real story is that the scheme was set up incorrectly by the Labour/Liberal coalition but, rather than coming clean and apologising, they spin it in such a way as to make the SNP seem to be at fault.  Of course, had the SNP illegally continued with the scheme, that is what they would have spun their story around.

And that is how it is done...

 

Courtesy of http://hebtalk.blogspot.co.uk/

Comments  

 
# expat67 2012-03-17 01:09
And that is what makes the rest of us so cynical about politicians and politics!!! So far the SNP and SG of the moment seem to have been clear and above board in their words and actions. Long may it last!
 
 
# Clydebuilt 2012-03-17 21:47
If you live in the Hebrides:

1. Print this article off and pop it through some letterboxes

2. email it to contacts

If you don't live in the Hebrides but know people that do

1. Email the article to them.


Be Pro-active
 
 
# dundie 2012-03-17 22:34
Excellent idea, Clydebuilt. Positive action negates negativity every time.
 
 
# fynesider 2012-03-18 15:45
Just put it on your Facebook page if you don't have any Hebridean contacts!
 
 
# alicmurray 2012-03-17 01:38
Labour can only lie now. An organisation as corrupt as they have become has to be bereft of anything good.

Good article from Gerry H on debate in Westminster. He thinks SLab still haven't grasped the reality of their failure yet.

gerryhassan.com/.../...
 
 
# Exile 2012-03-17 20:20
Thanks alic. Afraid I found it too much, though. I gave up when Gerry stated that Sarwar (was it?) was accurate when he said the SNP had so far left 'Independence' undefined.

As Alex Salmond said in some old interview I watched yesterday on youtube, the concept of Independence is not difficult to anyone apart from the London political elite: there are around 30 examples of independent countries in the EU. That is what the SNP aspire to for Scotland.

That seems like definition enough for me. If it's not enough for Gerry, I'd suggest he get his head out of his own fundament long enough to get some fresh air.
 
 
# Am Fògarrach 2012-03-19 18:23
Quoting Exile:
Thanks alic. Afraid I found it too much, though. I gave up when Gerry stated that Sarwar (was it?) was accurate when he said the SNP had so far left 'Independence' undefined.

As Alex Salmond said in some old interview I watched yesterday on youtube, the concept of Independence is not difficult to anyone apart from the London political elite: there are around 30 examples of independent countries in the EU. That is what the SNP aspire to for Scotland.

That seems like definition enough for me. If it's not enough for Gerry, I'd suggest he get his head out of his own fundament long enough to get some fresh air.


Unfortunately Mr Salmond was wrong. There are ZERO - repeat ZERO - examples of independent countries in the EU.

Independent Scotland should have nothing to do with the profundly undemocratic, imperialistic, bueaucratic, demonstrably corrupt and often dangerously incompetent EU - consider its Common Fisheries Policy, for example.
 
 
# Marian 2012-03-17 08:32
I couldn't agree more with the following quote from the above article:-

"This sort of negative spin has been new Labour policy since the beginning of the Blair/Brown/Mandelson years. They barely notice that they are doing it anymore, so much has it become part of their culture. And, in many cases, even the initial statement is fabricated and there is no truth whatsoever behind the story."

What Labour don't appear to understand is that this is extremely damaging for Labour as each time they are found out more and more voters turn away from them.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-03-17 09:14
For weeks now, Labour in Glasgow have been shouting long and hard in the evening times, that they prevented the SNP from closing train stations in Glasgow.

This whole nonsense was started by Labour, with not a shred of evidence, telling people in Glasgow, that the SNP were going to close 5 train stations. It wasn't true.

The Evening Times together with Labour, then started a campaign to prevent this alleged 'closure' of 5 stations.

When the Government consultation was completed into rail services, and it turned out that the SNP had been telling the truth all along, instead of Labour in Glasgow admitting it had been lying, they instead chose to shout long and hard about how they had stopped the closures.

They stopped closures that were NOT going to happen. What an achievement.

Labour party 'spin' is merely another way of saying Labour party lies.
 
 
# thomsor 2012-03-17 09:44
Lets hope that the local mp or msp pointed out the truth in a rebuttal to the Hebridean News today.Exposing labour lies is the only way forward.
 
 
# Barontorc 2012-03-17 09:46
I despair that so much energy is expended coping with these wrecking tactics. What passes now for political activity is plain dishonesty, aided and abetted by a colluding MSM and BBC.

We've seen so many times on this site and nowhere else, that a venal political system unchecked by a compliant media will run riot and to no good.

Tommy Sherriden's rant against Murdoch - for good reason - is not on focus, if we need as much support as possible to counter this poisonous culture.

If we get at least that one popular red-top prepared to tell the truth it will be a devastating attack on these political miscreants. And about time too!
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-03-17 10:05
This is exactly the kind of spin we get every day with BBC Scotland, the selective fact picking and massaging of the facts to turn it to your advantage.

One thing I have noticed recently is Flubber's FMQ's texts on the BBC. He will often pretty much repeat verbatim Lamon't questions, but when the first ministers responses are noted, they are often rather vague or Taylor will drift off and talk about how he first minister appears, is he angry, dismissive and so on and he rarely includes any figures the first minister may use in his response.
 
 
# hiorta 2012-03-17 10:30
Politics in Scotland are overdue a root and branch overhaul.
There are so many 'public servants' esconced in sleazy, self-perpetuating activities that decent folk are sick to the pit of their stomaches by the lack of political and personal integrity that only attracts yet more of the same calibre.

Political deceit is in the realms of criminal low life and should be regarded as such.
 
 
# Vincent McDee 2012-03-17 11:02
Apropos of spin:

Seen in the Britsman: scotsman.com/.../...

MP is ‘eyes and ears’ for Curran

Yep! She absolutely doesn't need help with that mouth of hers.

Also:

Masterclass backstabbing

Ed Balls: ‘No one is going to say Gordon Brown was a great prime minister’

Ed Balls interview | The Times (£) (notice the £ symbol if wondering about missing link)
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-03-17 16:04
Quoting Vincent McDee:
Apropos of spin:

Seen in the Britsman: scotsman.com/.../...

MP is ‘eyes and ears’ for Curran

bsolutely doesn't need help with that mouth of hers.

Also:

Masterclass backstabbing

Ed Balls: ‘No one is going to say Gordon Brown was a great prime minister’

Ed Balls interview | The Times (£) (notice the £ symbol if wondering about missing link)



"The unpaid appointment as parliamentary private secretary makes him Ms Curran’s “eyes and ears” in the House of Commons."(The Scotsman)

Whit? Is she goin to the Lords?
 
 
# Siôn Jones 2012-03-17 12:13
Moore just doesn't understand independence, does he? It will be up to the people of Scotland which government they elect, and what taxation policy they espouse, not up to Alex Salmond. Alex is only pointing to Scandinavia as an example of what can be done in and enlightened society where the countries are independent. Who knows, Scotland could choose, post independence, a neo-liberal Tory/Lib junta like the one the English elected. Someone should ask what would their tax policies be?
 
 
# xyz 2012-03-17 20:44
Comments don't seem to work at hebridestoday.com .. This tactic is right out of the BBC school of propaganda.

It's as if we are occupied by a hostile force and all traditional media is in their hands.
 
 
# bodun 2012-03-18 14:55
Quoting xyz:
Comments don't seem to work at hebridestoday.com .. This tactic is right out of the BBC school of propaganda.


The have never worked, despite my pointing this out to them several times.

I wrote the article above because I was unable to counter the quoted "news article" on the site.

I was very glad that it was picked up by NNS as the subject matter is of importance far beyond the Hebrides.

As an SNP candidate for the Western Isles Council, I and my colleagues are at pains to denounce this Labour dishonesty at every opportunity. It behoves us all to do the same.
 
 
# Clydebuilt 2012-03-17 21:46
If you live in the Hebrides:

1. Print this article off and pop it through some letterboxes

2. email it to contacts

If you don't live in the Hebrides but know people that do

1. Email the article to them.


Be Pro-active
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-18 12:21
O/T but still on the Labour front.

Q. When is an NHS rally not an NHS rally?

A. When it is a Rolls Royce chauffeured trip to watch Hull City F.C.

dailymail.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# Marga B 2012-03-18 12:52
I'm sorry, but these complaints about Labour, their arrogance and their failure to help ordinary people are getting to me.

When will TU members (including some writers here) stop feeding the beast? The national impact of one simple action "TUs stop funding Labour" would be massive.

While you support them, they will never face reality. If you stop supporting them they will have to - they will have no money.

Why is it so difficult?
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-18 12:58
How do I stop my union supporting Labour? The national impact of an action would be massive if someone could organise an effective national action and find a massive number of people to support it. If that's easy, feel free to step up to the plate.
 
 
# Holebender 2012-03-18 13:06
At the very least you can opt out of your union's political levy, which is used to fund Labour. Even if your union supports Labour there's no reason why you should.
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-18 13:39
I already do. That one simple action doesn't have a massive impact, unfortunately, not when there are thousands who don't take that action and leaders who criticise but never withdraw funding.
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-03-18 13:39
Quoting Jiggsbro:
How do I stop my union supporting Labour? The national impact of an action would be massive if someone could organise an effective national action and find a massive number of people to support it. If that's easy, feel free to step up to the plate.


EASY--Get hold of your union rep,or phone STUC 0141 337 8100,OR
e-mail .uk .

Worked for me.
Just say you want to opt out of the Political Levy as soon as poss.
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-18 13:41
It didn't stop my union supporting Labour, though.
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-03-18 15:33
Quoting Jiggsbro:
It didn't stop my union supporting Labour, though.


No it won't.That can only be achieved from within.
Catch22. Sorry.
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-18 16:04
It could be achieved from within, if lots of people were prepared to withhold the political levy. They're not, though, because in England (where most of the TU members are and where there would have to be the critical mass to make it work) there is no viable alternative to Labour and so weakening Labour only strengthens the Tories.
 
 
# Marga B 2012-03-18 17:13
Jiggsbro, independentist TU members could always leave their union and tell them why, ideally in groups of more than one.

My ex-union has had to lay off staff recently because a lot of people have done this. Other country, other issues. But there are limits to loyalty.

Maybe not everyone can afford to leave their union. Those who can should. There are certain things that noone should do in your name and with your money.

Although the political levy goes to Labour, all the anti-independist actions are paid for by ordinary members.
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-18 17:26
I could leave my union, certainly, but why would I? It provides me with a great many benefits. And, as with withholding the political levy, leaving needs a critical mass to achieve anything other than cutting off my nose to spite my face.

There are things I should do in my own name and with my own money. However, unions exist so that people who have little money and whose name has little weight can also do those things. That's a valuable function in a capitalist democracy, and I support unions. You seem to be opposed to them and not above using independence as a stalking horse to attack them.
 
 
# rhymer 2012-03-18 16:04
I agree about the Labour "spin" but unless somebody goes on the BBC news and states IN THESE EXACT WORDS that "he is a liar and here is the truth" the general public will not get the message.

Is is accepted that if lies are called spin then nobody will say they are lies ?

Call a spade a spade. Get AS or any senior SNP msp on Any Major national TV programme to state "this person is a liar" And state the reason why and maybe we will get some truth for a change.
 
 
# Astonished 2012-03-18 17:13
Exactly !!!

I couldn't agree more.
 
 
# Sheltie 2012-03-18 18:42
Been offline for a while so just caught this.

Oor own Tavish regularly spouts this nonsense locally and everyone just rolls over and accepts it as no dissenting voices are allowed to be heard.

Thanks for the article and if you will allow I will use this to publicly question him through our local paper.
 

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