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Wings Over Scotland

Anas Sarwar is (still) a liar

Posted on October 24, 2012 by

It’s not like we didn’t already know that, of course. But while Labour desperately distort and edit Alex Salmond’s words to try to justify an allegation of untruth, ably assisted by the Scottish media doing the same to Nicola Sturgeon by cutting her microphone when she attempted to answer questions on the subject, their Scottish leader – sorry, “deputy” leader – quietly gets on with doing what he does best: telling outright, unambiguous, empirical lies.

We’ll let the veteran Scottish journalist George Kerevan (a former Scotsman editor, Labour councillor and SNP candidate), who did all the hard work of digging out the stats, tell you all about it. But here’s a quote from the piece just for flavour.

“Following the publication of the latest official employment figures on 17 October, Anas Sarwar announced to the BBC: “In the last three months, 7,000 people in Scotland have lost their jobs while employment in the rest of the UK is going up – this SNP government has to start taking responsibility for that”.

Mr Sarwar is factually wrong.

The figures published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) do not say that 7,000 people “have lost their jobs” in the period June through August (i.e. the summer).

It is true that the figure for the total jobless rose by 7,000 to 222,000. But most of that 7,000 figure has nothing to do with people losing their jobs, as Mr Sarwar claims. Rather, it is due to young people joining the labour market from school of university, which is normal in the summer. And from people previously not looking for work returning to the labour market – usually a positive sign of returning economic confidence.

The ONS figures actually show that the fall in the number of jobs in the Scottish economy of the summer was only 1,000. Certainly that is going in the wrong direction. But it does not help policy analysis to misquote the true figures, or exaggerate actual job losses by a factor of seven.”

We look forward keenly to the media reporting Mr Sarwar’s lie, and grilling him on Newsnight Scotland about it while muting his replies.

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18 to “Anas Sarwar is (still) a liar”

  1. McHaggis says:

    There are occasionally days when I genuinely feel the ‘establishment’ is just too big. A juggernaut that cannot be diverted or a tide impossible to swim against without drowning.

    I wouldn’t suggest to being naive to the point we’d have a perfectly balanced and truthful press or a bunch of politicians who wouldn’t try to make hay with opposition faux pas, but honestly, it is just so one-sided a ‘debate’ that Labour and Tory lies, misinformation, exaggeration etc are either never reported, or conveniently slip from headlines after a day. On the other hand, if a member of the SNP allegedly steps on a crack in the pavement, our media trumpet the story across headlines and for weeks on end.

    Its hard to keep the faith against the titanic capability of the establishment, and yet for all that, the simple question that has been repeated time and again with NEVER an answer is – “If Scotland is such a drain on UK resources and such an economic basket-case, just WHY are they fighting so hard to keep us in the union”? 


  2. John Lyons says:

    And from people previously not looking for work returning to the labour market – usually a positive sign of returning economic confidence.
    How can it be positive when a large chunk of these peple probably had their disability benefits cut by those lovely peope at Atos?


  3. james morton says:


    Once upon a time the Liberal party in Scotland were top dog, I’m sure they felt untouchable and used every trick in the book to beat the progressives and the fledgling labour party. The Scottish unionists once held 70% of the vote in Scotland by 1935 (curious they keep going on about the time they held 50% by 1951 though) Then labour became top dog and the Scottish Tories (what the unionist party morphed into by 1965) were on the back foot and the pro-tory red top of the day “The Daily Record” switched sides. It will happen to labour too – even now the process has started. Slab are moving to the right of centre to attract Scottish Tory and Lib-dem voters, the problem with this is that they also adopt policies to keep these voters sweet. This has worked for them in England, but right of centre parties do not do well in Scotland. Slab will alienate its core vote and see it’s vote share shrink further.

    Your last point neatly sums up the dilemma for the Unionist camp. That’s why you get adverts about wee dugs and rolls & sausage.


  4. velofello says:

    Sarwar’s duplicity is so very apparent as is the easy treatment towards him by the BBC.  George Kerevan, who on occasion appears on the BBC, could usefully send his article to the BBC to enable them to interview Sarwar on the truth of his statements. To serve the public interest the BBC would take up such an important issue as employment up wouldn’t they?
    I listened in on Call Kaye this morning, tedious was how one caller described the BBC’s bias against the SNP. A neat one word summary. Kaye was speechless, well almost.
    The indignation of the duped – is my view of Labour’s  attempted sophistry on the first Minister’s interview with Andra Neil. Martin should be called to apologise for his language. Note how Baillie was called in to keep the issue going since Martin doesn’t have the necessary cunning. Probably some smarty backroom  soldier worked over and edited down the Neil interview and then Martin was chosen as an expendable stool pigeon to spout the attack in parliament.Baillie then takes over for the BBC bias interviews.



  5. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “How can it be positive when a large chunk of these peple probably had their disability benefits cut by those lovely peope at Atos?”

    Aye, indeed. But it’s still not people “losing their jobs”.


  6. MajorBloodnok says:

    I thought parliamentarians weren’t supposed to call each other liars?  So obviously, when Paul Martin said in parliament that AS was a liar he was actually supposed to use the phrase ‘guilty of a terminological inexactitude’ but couldn’t spell it (or say it).


  7. muttley79 says:

    It is not just that Scotland has extensive resources.  It is also to do with power.  These people are still caught up on the idea of the British empire.  Remember, historically speaking it is only a short time ago that Britain controlled a quarter of the world.  Scottish independence would mean the final ending of this era.  The  establishment has lost so much power and is in terminal decline.  Likewise, the ‘Scottish’ media is in a awful state.  Newspapers here are seeing their sales decline significantly and social media is becoming more influential.  The BBC are seeing their credibility and judgement called into question.  The Saville scandal involves the BBC not broadcasting a programme that would not have been in their interests, but would certainly have been for the victims.  Another station was then forced to screen an investigation into child abuse.  BBC people, like that pompous oaf John Simpson, have been telling everyone for decades that the BBC is so perfect, so reliable, so balanced, so impartial.  What a load of bullshit!
    In regards to Sarwar, the guy never talks about policies, is always smearing and badmouthing somebody, has no vision, and joins similarly minded ‘comrades’, such as Baillie, Lamont, Murphy, Curran, Alexander, Martin etc in a spunk-fest of negatively and incompetency…..


  8. Training Day says:

    The naked partisanship of Pacific Quay is actually already quite breathtaking – and there’s still two years to go!  You might think that an organisation which has allegedly been harbouring at least one sexual offender for 40 years might show some humility, but no.  However, Kaye Adams’ tetchy defence of her ‘impartiality’ and ‘professionalism’ live on air yesterday was interesting.. and heartening in terms of its spluttering defensiveness..


  9. MajorBloodnok says:

    Slight O/T.  Here’s an interesting story about the integrity of a Labour politician In Glasgow.

    Seems he was using a blue disability badge to get free parking (amongst other misdemeanours).  Surely ATOS would have been down on him like a ton of bricks whilst ‘working’ as a Councillor.

    I fully expect Pacific Quay to headline with this for a week.


  10. Alex Grant says:

    All good stuff about no one being above reproach! However…
    Whilst there is no doubt that the full text of Alex’s conversation with Brillo Pad can be presented as an accurate representation of what he said about legal advice is is still dissembling? The Unionists know that no one in the EC or NATO will make a definitive statement about Scotland prior to the referendum or at least prior to the referendum agreement being signed. To be honest I would put my house on the former. That being the case the SG can never definitively answer the challenge? So, they decided to use the defence of “we cannae tell ye” ministerial privilege or whatever. Seems like good defence if you can stick to it – so why did they ‘own up’ yesterday? The only reason surely is that they believed they were about to lose the legal defence v the ombudsman??? Otherwise they could have kept quiet and got on with getting the advice Nicola referred to yesterday??
    Yes Anas Sarwar amongst others lies or dissembles but don’t ever expect the MSM to deal fairly. I still think a campaign against the BBC in their current weak position is worthy of pursuit


  11. Bill C says:

    @Alex Grant – I still think a campaign against the BBC in their current weak position is worthy of pursuit.

    I am with you on this one Alex. This is about a lot more than just disagreeing with how the BBC report on the SNP and the constitutional deabte.  I do not think there are many in the nationalist camp who feel that the BBC is even handed in its’ reporting. However, I think this whole matter is becoming something much more important than nationalists taking the hump with the BBC.  We are very close to being in a situation not  dissimilar to  the Soviet Union and its’ satellite states.  State control of the media was the norm in dictatorships in the last century.  Journalists were told to report the party line and people were told only what the state wanted them to hear (or not hear in the case of Nicola and Brewer on Newsnight last night!). There is little doubt that almost the entire media is supporting the union, with the BBC being the leading proponent.  I think we are now in a situation that we cannot ignore, our very democracy is under threat. Hence I think a campaign of say witholding the licence fee is now a legitimate tactic.
    I would be interested in other folks views on this matter.  I must add I do not make a habit of encouraging civil disobedience/breaking the law, however, I think the situation is becoming so serious that good people must stand up for not only independence but for our very democracy.


  12. Juteman says:

    I stopped paying mine about 6 months ago Bill.


  13. AndrewFraeGovan says:

    Me too


  14. velofello says:

    Me too. I have hooked on to FreeSat so I can receive many programs without subscription, The BBC also transmits on FreeSat. As a supplier the BBC is within their rights to block their transmission to me via FreeSat since I do not pay the BBC subscription and I will accept that withdrawal of service without question.
    Now, are the UK authorities going to tell me that I cannot listen or watch any programs from many countries broadcast via FreeSat  because I do not pay the BBC subscription?
    The anti SNP bias of the BBC is there for all to see. The Saville disgrace is conceivably going to bring down the BBC. Why pay?


  15. Craig P says:

    Major B. As far as I am aware, it is only an offence to call someone a liar in the Commons. 
    I would say that the stirring over SNP lies compared to the omerta over Labour lies is a compliment to the SNP. The media are desperate to get anything on Salmond yet so far little sticks. By contrast, what is the point of highlighting Labour’s duplicity and lack of ideas? They are nowhere near power and aren’t relevant. 


  16. Craig P says:

    As for BBC licence. I have not paid for years. I highly recommend it. 
    A little historical perspective. Nowadays Scotland is a communitarian country, most of us happy to pay taxes for public services. This was not always the case. Scotland raised few central taxes pre Union. Post union a number of unpopular taxes were imposed to put Scotland in line with England. These taxes on the likes of malt were vigorously opposed. Smuggling became a national pastime. For Jacobites, depriving the house of Hanover of their revenues had the status of a patriotic duty. Even the Glasgow tobacco lords, who benefited directly from the union with the access to American colonies, avoided paying large amounts of tax. About 1/3 of taxes eligible from the tobacco trade I recall (though don’t quote me on that).
    Although we aren’t smugglers or slavers, there is historic precedent for avoiding unwanted taxes imposed by London. (And I haven’t even mentioned the poll tax.) So no, don’t pay the BBC fee. It is your duty as Scots not to. 


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