The blame game

Following the recent spike in joblessness across Scotland, the SNP government is blaming London. 

In kindergarten kids are taught how to play ‘pass the parcel’. The object of the game is to keep passing until the music stops. One wonders if SNP HQ’s strategy for government is being inspired by it.

Jamie Hepburn, the Nat minister in charge of employment has recently defended rising unemployment by playing his very own game of pass the parcel.

“The Brexit vote caused significant economic uncertainty, threatening our economic recovery and the stability of our jobs market.”

Obvious problem with his explanation is two fold. Firstly, while Scottish unemployment has risen 11,000 last quarter to 5.1%; in rUK it is a smaller 4.8%. Further on this point, economic growth was a paltry 0.7% in Scotland compared to 2.2% in rUK. So if it is all London’s fault vis-a-vis ‘brexit’ – it raises legitimate questions about why it is disproportionately (only) affecting Scotland.

Naturally Mr Hepburn has not been forthcoming with explanations. Far more likely the weaker Scots economic growth and job creation is down to a myriad of reasons; most of which are entirely within the sphere and responsibility of his 10 years old government. Reasons like failing education policies, incompetent agricultural subsidy schemes and cuts to higher education coupled with crumbling rail infrastructure and services. These things adversely impact on an economy over a long period of time – say 10 years?

This brings me onto my second explanation, indyref2. There is growing evidence to suggest that far from Brexit being the primary source of uncertainty in Scotland, it is actually the Nat threat of a second separation referendum. According to a report by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the primary cause of falling confidence and investment into Scotland’s economy was due to the separation threat. RICS view isn’t an isolated one. Gavin Anderson, partner in the retail and leisure division of Glasgow-based Montagu Evans:

“The biggest problem in Scotland post-Brexit has been the SNP’s threat of another Scottish independence referendum, which is the last thing the country needs.”

We could add a final thought: the latest SNP budget. Not merely have the Nats increased the burden on job creators with their business rates increases; but they’ve additionally reduced disposable incomes by increasing tax burdens on households via council tax changes. As Murdo Fraser said on SNP excuses, “It is a pathetic excuse from a government which appears to have given up focusing on the day job.”

Yes indeed Mr Fraser, we all wonder when the SNP will get back to their day job of running our country on behalf of all Scots; not merely ‘the45’.


    • Ignoring the statistics, facts and links to associate me with a different blogger you happen to not like.

      Not one of your strongest rebuttals is it?


  1. Still no sign of you telling us what your favoured policies are. Quoting a bunch of other Tories saying that the problem is Indyref2 is just pathetic .

    I asked you after your last post to say whether your alternative policies are those of your English Tory masters, and if not what are they? No sign of that yet.

    It’s also very funny to see the man who was “not interested” in comparisons with England, um, making comparisons with England.

    Compare away – .look at comparative outcomes across the NHS, transport etc.

    I’m willing to admit that I don’t yet why Scottish employment and growth figures have worsened as they have, but then neither do you.
    I do, however, quite enjoy seeing the words “Murdo Fraser” and “pathetic excuse” in the same sentence.

    I’m off to read the RICS report again to see if I can get more hard evidence out of it than on first reading. I’ll come back to you on that.

    PS, I agree with you about the first commenter on this post and the last one – he/she/it could get very boring, I fear.


  2. @ian
    Your wondering why I suggest he is Effie.
    Simple. He does not do honest debate he justs spouts nonsense and when challenged refuses to consider that perhaps he may be indulging his tory self and choosing stats that misrepresenting the truth.

    The worst type of human. This is what tories like him support

    Disgust and contempt. That is all they are due.


  3. OK, No_Tory_US, that’s a more detailed explanation and I’m not particularly going to quibble with it, being a fan of Nye Bevan’s view that try as he might, he couldn’t help thinking of Tories as lower than vermin.

    However, if we are going to enter into dialogue at all with a blog like this it will make no impact without argument. It might make no difference to Dean (and I suspect it won’t) but there may be other readers.

    We owe them at least an argument. You never know what effect you may be having. I’ve read the piece you linked to above, and it turned my stomach.

    Have you read it Dean? What’s your response? Deny it? Call it propaganda? Blame somebody else rather than the Tories?

    I believe it. Can’t prove this particular instance, but I’ve seen similar with my own eyes, so it’s probably true. This is the most hateful government in my long lifetime, and you want more of it.


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