How I weary of the lies!

I have issued a challenge to Magnus Gardham. I have asked him to provide just one quote from an authoritative SNP source which justifies the claim that the SNP ever offered a ‘land of milk and honey’ vision of independence. Perhaps something from the “implausibly Utopian vision of the SNP’s 2014 blueprint” of Scotland’s Future. I, in turn, will undertake to match whatever he offers with a direct quote warning of the difficulties that a newly independent Scotland might face.

A professional journalist of any substance would have anticipated such a challenge and been prepared for it. But the arrogance of British nationalists is such that they genuinely think they have the right to peddle dishonest drivel with total impunity.

And this is only the opening gambit in an article which is a litany of dishonesty and distortion. A gross misrepresentation of an article by George Kerevan. Take the following as an example,

“It would also require “fiscal consolidation” – spending cuts or tax rises – to reassure foreign exchange markets, he said.”

disappointed_liar_pants_fireExcept he didn’t! Kerevan said nothing whatever about “spending cuts or tax rises”. This is Gardham’s own pejorative definition of “fiscal consolidation”. Kerevan, an acknowledged economic expert as well as being an SNP MP, makes a reasoned and thoughtful case that independent Scotland inside the EU would be an economic powerhouse. His concept of fiscal consolidation is not restricted to ideas intended to scare people. He knows that fiscal consolidation can better be effected by sustainable economic growth than by the economically destructive and socially corrosive austerity fetishism that has gripped the British political elite.

But the dishonesty isn’t restricted to misrepresenting George Kerevan. Gardham has chucked in a couple of stale gobbets of British nationalist propaganda to pad out the piece and prepare the gullible reader for the compulsory quote from some mouthpiece for the British parties in Scotland. On this occasion, the odious Jackie Baillie.

Inevitably, we are fed the standard fare about the oil price collapse having “severely weakened the country’s public finances”. No mention of the fact that the oil price is, as expected, recovering rather well. Nor of the fact that the fall in prices had only a negligible impact on Scotland’s economy. While Gardham feverishly tries to paint the gloomiest picture possible in order to serve the political agenda he would doubtless strenuously deny, the reality is that Scotland’s economy contracted by less than 1% during the period when the oil price was at its nadir.

Even if we reckon that Scotland’s economy would otherwise have grown during this period, current economic conditions mean that such growth would have been minimal. So, whatever way you look at it – other than through the distorting lens of British nationalist prejudice – the oil price collapse did not severely weaken the country’s finances.

Just as inevitably we get the well-worn unionist lie about Scotland’s mythical £15billion deficit. In a nice touch, Gardham tries to lend this nonsense some spurious credibility by giving it as the unnecessarily precise amount of £14.9billion. Does he think we’re all idiots?

The truth, of course, is that Scotland has no deficit at all. Or, at least, not the one Gardham cites; which is taken from GERS – a dubious set of figures which tell us absolutely nothing about the finances of independent Scotland, and don’t even pretend to do so. What GERS tells us, to the extent that it is in any way informative, is the cost to Scotland of the political union with England. That £15billion… Sorry! £14.9billion is Scotland’s notional share of the UK deficit. It is assigned to Scotland solely on the basis of Scotland being part of the UK. It will cease to exist the moment we extricate ourselves from the British state.

If you’ve any sense at all you’ll ignore this garbage from Gardham and go read the article by George Kerevan. At least you can be sure it is honest.

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12 thoughts on “How I weary of the lies!

  1. Mark Rowantree

    Plus ca change! It’s tiresome and eminently predictable, since Unionism has nothing new or indeed sensible to offer Scotland. To constantly recycle the same old nonsense internally will certainly not increase a No vote. Essentially, what Scottish UNionism will rely on is that a majority of people will respond in an atavistic manner and say yet again in the oft repeated words of Mr Paisley, No Never!

  2. Jean

    I no longer read the press or watch tv. I was totally scunnered by all their lies, omissions and nasty propaganda during the first indyref. Even where there was a kernel of truth in a story, it was so distorted to put Scotland down at every turn, that I lost respect for so called journalists who failed to ask the hard questions of both sides thus showing their bias in unbalanced ‘news’ ‘reporting’.

  3. Jeanette McCrimmon

    The article was positive and uplifting.Not the sound-bite politics we get from Westminster. I was incensed when I saw the negative reporting by the msm.

    Nothing on indefinite delay of frigates by the BBC, Herald or National.

    They should be holding the mouthpieces of the union to account over the latest,vote no lie, has been exposed.

    Slab, Con, LibDem and the Unions all peddled their Unionist lies and deceit to gain a No vote from the people of Scotland. The msm gave them the Platform, and now you can hear a pin drop.

    How long can Scotland’s media hold its anti-independence stance?

    1. Macart


      It has no choice at this point. It is far too committed to a path and narrative it had more than a bit part in creating.

  4. Iain MacLaren

    May I ask you please to substantiate your assertion that “Scotland has no deficit at all”? Quite a lot seems to hang on that, to say the least, and you appear to have slightly skimmed over it, if I may say so.

    1. Nancy S

      During the indyref campaign, my response to those who raised Scotland’s £15bn deficit as a reason to stay in the UK was that if £15bn is our current share then we’re already suffering because of it, or dealing with it, depending on your viewpoint.

      Under independence we would be in no worse a situation and, in my opinion, better.

      1. Iain MacLaren

        Thanks for replying, Nancy. I follow what you are saying, and see the logic of it (while not necessarily agreeing). I have no idea what any deficit would be, post-independence (and nor does anyone else). Peter, however, is saying there is “no deficit at all” and I would like to understand how he arrives at that assertion.

        1. Bill McLaren

          It’s the premise that the debt is the UK’s and if we leave the UK and rUK claims successor status then it is also claiming all of the debt. We could be persuaded to accept a percentage of the total UK debt but only if we have that same percentage of all the UK assets.

          1. Iain MacLaren

            Thanks Bill. I think you’re talking about what the ‘opening position’ would be, so to speak, which, whatever it was, would no doubt be arrived at after some negotiation. My understanding of Peter’s assertion (given 1) the commonly understood meaning of the term, and 2) its context within the article) was that he meant that Scotland’s tax revenues are equal to, or exceed, its public spending. “Scotland has no deficit at all”. Is that what you meant, Peter?

  5. tartanfever

    I think it’s time the Herald were asked their views on Scottish independence since their editorial of 16/9/14 in which they state:

    ‘Such a huge, irrevocable, decision about Scotland’s future must be accompanied by a realistic assessment of the risks and problems associated with it, so as not inadvertently to condemn Scotland, and particularly the poorest members of our society, to a less prosperous and more unstable future. That, surely, is the responsibility of every one of us. Some will choose to opt for independence regardless, and we respect their decision, but it is our view that the case has not been proven beyond reasonable doubt.

    How do they feel about this in light of Brexit ?

    And what about the following in light of the Smith Commission ?

    ‘We do not endorse the status quo, which has fallen drastically out of step with Scotland’s needs and aspirations, but stand with the people of Scotland in demanding much-strengthened autonomy; something the main pro-UK parties have a profound responsibility to deliver.’

    which was signed off with the following statement:

    ‘Substantive autonomy for Scotland’s parliament and government could unify Scotland. Such autonomy is not merely an aspiration: it is a demand.’

    Why not read the whole article ? It’s available here:

    We should be putting pressure on The Herald to find out if they feel their demands to the Scottish people have been met and if such material changes like Brexit have changed their opinion.

    Re-reading this article just shows how out of date it is and certainly needs a new response,

  6. Pingback: What They Do When They’re Scared | A Wilderness of Peace

  7. Andrew

    The first aspect to Gardhams article, like that of any David Torrance one is that they are firmly in the pocket of the Tory Govt….

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