An alert reader brought our attention today to a Daily Record article that we’d missed on Friday, reporting how a Glasgow student had launched a petition bitterly attacking the Scottish Government over cuts to college places.
Despite having attracted only 500 signatures (and only 400 more in the following five days despite the Record helpfully linking to it), the petition was deemed newsworthy enough for a hefty polemic in which petition author Eunis Jassemi pulled no punches, repeatedly lashing the SNP in highly political terms. No counterquote was offered.
Mr Jassemi was described by the Record in the piece as a “business student” and a “former Hutcheson’s Grammar School pupil”, but we can only assume that they must have run out of room before they got to a rather more pertinent item on his CV.
For some reason the Record didn’t think its readers might perhaps be inclined to view the complaints in a slightly different light if they knew that the same Eunis Jassemi was Communications Officer for Scottish Young Labour and the Youth/Student Officer for his local Constituency Labour Party.
Scottish Labour has something of a track record of incomplete information when it comes to the college place cuts that have been forced on the Scottish Government by budget cuts imposed from Westminster in recent years. It’s been trying to flog the line for the best part of two years, with a striking lack of success.
We suppose we can see why, with the party itself now so hopelessy discredited that nobody will listen to it, it would instead try to flog the dead horse more stealthily. But it’s still a little bit sad to see a once-respectable newspaper going along with such a transparent, crude and desperate charade.