Saturday, 7 February 2015

Lyin' eyes

Yesterday saw an opinion piece by Dougie Alexander in the Daily Record about how Labour values are worth fighting for.  Aside from outlining his canvassing schedule for the next week, it contained very little that was new.  The final few lines are a case in point:

It is a simple fact that the single biggest party after the election get to form the government.
And it’s simple arithmetic that every one less Labour MP in Scotland makes it more likely the Tories become the largest party after the election.
That would be a terrible outcome for Scotland – but it’s what might happen if Scotland votes SNP.
The first line is a flat-out lie, as has been proved already, but which is being parroted by Labour candidates in Scotland ad nauseam. The second line is predicated on the first and at first glance makes sense.  But if you give it a minute's thought, you'll realise that Scotland voted Labour in the last General Election and we got a Tory government, which rather undermines the argument.  The third line is based on a maybe.  We might get a Tory government, we might not.  We might get a minority Labour government, who need to do deals with other parties to form a government.  And if my brother had had breasts he'd have been my sister.  The fact is that we generally get whichever government the English electorate votes for.  Very rarely has Scotland made a difference to the government the UK gets.

The thing to notice about the previous paragraph is that there are a lot of links to information.  The internet forgets nothing, and Google can quickly get us the information we need.  This is something the Labour in Scotland need to get to grips with if they are not to look even more foolish than they already do.

Take, for example, Margaret Curran, who claimed she had voted against fracking.  And yet, in the recent vote on the moratorium on fracking, Ms Curran's name doesn't appear on the lists of ayes or noes - in other words, she abstained.  It took me less thank five minutes on Google to find that out.  And there's is a lot of information out there on Ms Curran's record - take a look a TheyWorkForYou  or PublicWhip.  Even Hansard, the official record of business in the House of Commons, is available online, as are details of MPs expenses.

In the past, before the internet, politicians could claim whatever they liked, on the basis that no-one would check as getting access to the information to prove or refute their claims would have been difficult and time-consuming.  Now, however, anyone can find what they want to know in a short time.  It might take a bit of effort, but nowhere near as much as it used to.  So if Labour are going to make claims on their past record, they better make damned sure that their past record backs up their claim, or they will be left with egg on their face.  And we know how much their leader likes that happening.

No comments:

Post a Comment