British failure

Another ludicrously over-hyped piece of puerile SNP-bashing tailored to those who read no further than the headline. And more woefully shallow politicking from the British parties. Anybody foolish enough to listen to Iain Gray would imagine hardly a child in Scotland could read, write or perform basic arithmetic.

Gray and his allies in the other British parties will, of course, claim that they are ‘holding the SNP administration to account’. But that is precisely what they are filing to do. Holding the government to account necessarily implies a reasoned assessment of performance. Who seriously imagines that this is what we are getting from the British parties at Holyrood? Who supposes that the media offers a factual and dispassionate analysis?

Those whose eyes have been opened to the reality of British nationalist propaganda will know to ask the awkward questions that simply wouldn’t occur to most unionists. They will ask whether the sensationalist rhetoric of the media and the British parties is actually justified by the facts. They will read the entire article and immediately recognise the jarring mismatch between the hard information content and the hysteria of the headline and the pre-packaged quotes from politicians who all too evidently haven’t the slightest interest in the facts or even the issues. Politicians whose sole purpose is to twist every statistic into a stick with which to beat the hated SNP.

Read what Iain Gray says. Is that the voice of someone who genuinely cares about education? Do his words give any reason to suppose that he has even looked at the figures he’s commenting on? Or does it sound more like a well-rehearsed sound-bite?

It may well be that there are warranted criticisms to be made of the Scottish Government’s education policy. But neither these ‘experimental’ statistics nor the recent PISA findings justify the demented reaction from the media and the British parties. The former are not fulfilling their responsibility to inform, analyse and illuminate. The latter are derelict in their duty to scrutinise policy and performance.

The British media and the British political parties are failing both Scotland and democracy itself.


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About Peter A Bell

Thinker. Listener. Talker. Reader. Writer. None of my attitudes are immutable. None of my conclusions are final. None of my opinions are humble.
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