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Jigging in the rigging

Posted on April 04, 2012 by

The agenda behind the Unionist parties and media's concerted smear campaign against the Scottish Government's independence-referendum consultation has become a little clearer today, with the publication of the full data regarding the UK Government's own survey on the subject. Which, purely for the purposes of local colour, we'll passingly note was impartially called "The Referendum on Separation for Scotland" and opens with the following words:

"We believe passionately in the United Kingdom and recognise the benefits it has brought to all of its citizens. For over 300 years the United Kingdom has brought people together in the most successful multi-national state the world has ever known. We want to keep the United Kingdom together."

(The Scottish Government consultation, in contrast, begins with the somewhat less partisan line "The people who live in Scotland are the best people to make decisions about Scotland’s future.")

Conducted by a committee on which no SNP representatives serve, the UK consultation attracted a dismal response by comparison. The Holyrood version, which is still ongoing, had as of Monday this week atttracted 11,986 contributions from members of the public so far. The Westminster report drew a pitiful 2,857 by comparison, but the picture is in fact even bleaker than that.

Of that 2,857 a staggering 1500 responses (or 53%) are believed to have come directly from the Scottish Labour website. Of those, almost half – 740 – used the exact pre-scripted wording written by Labour. (These numbers do not appear in the consultation document, but the latter was freely admitted by the Secretary of State for Scotland to several news sources this morning.)

Under the rules demanded by Labour this week for the Scottish Government's consultation, 739 of those submissions would have to be disqualified on the grounds of duplication, reducing the total number of valid responses to 2,118.

A further 101 respondents were anonymous, and another 118 were duplicate responses which didn't come from the Labour website. Removing those leaves the UK Government's consultation on the independence referendum based on just 1,899 responses from members of the public (that's one for every 34,229 people in the UK).

But perhaps more pertinent than this abysmal level of public confidence in the UK Government's consultation compared to the Scottish Government's one is the staggering degree to which Labour, rather than the general public, swamped the process in submissions. Of those 1,899 eligible responses, it would appear that 761 – or a tiny fraction under 40% – came directly from the Scottish Labour website.

So over half of all submissions, 40% of valid submissions, and an astonishing 25% of the entire consultation response made up of ineligible duplicate spam entries, came from Labour itself. Yet a compliant media has collaborated all week in creating a media portrayal of SNP "abuse" of the Scottish Government's consultation, based around just 3.5% of anonymous responses (contributions whose actual preferences, it should be noted, were not recorded, and which therefore may well in fact have been partly or even entirely from pro-Union supporters rather than nationalists).

We've said it before and we'll say it again – it's not paranoia if there really is a conspiracy against you. We doubt the electorate is all that concerned with the entire point-scoring business, but we're confident that those who are will have no difficulty in seeing the reality of what's been going on.

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11 to “Jigging in the rigging”

  1. Peter A Bell says:

    We also had Michael Moore claiming that the UK consultation provides "a good reflection of what people across Scotland think". How can such a claim be justified on the basis of such a small, self-selecting sample of the UK population?

  2. When they shout loudly in one direction, it usually because they are trying to distract you from noticing that the very thing they are accusing you of is exactly what's going on in their own camp.

  3. Stevie Cosmic says:

    Mr Moore, as it is also reported by the STV website, also thinks that the UK governement's consultation needn't be subjected to any independent scrutiny or verification.  Funny that. He also lied though his teeth on that website too with regard to Bruce Crawford 'having a problem' with the validity of the SG's consultation process. Quite breathtaking arrogance and hypocrisy that stretches the definition of 'brass neck'  to giraffe like extremes.

    I have a feeling that there is a concerted effort to piss people off so much with  lies, bile and stupidity that eventually, we'll all just give up because we can't take these undignified levels of childlike discourse any longer.  It's tiring this, to say the least.

  4. David Robertson says:

    Think we're crediting them with too much sense. My thoughts after hearing results of the UK versions was that I imagine they would have rather not had so much attention being focused on either of the consultations.
    Labour in Scotland is so desperate to try and "get something" on the Scottish Government that they grasp at anything without knowing the facts or that they are the ones who are up their necks in it.

  5. tom says:

    Yes, we can be confident there will be those "who have no difficulty in seeing the reality of what's been going on", but can we be confident that they are sufficient in number?

  6. Peter A Bell says:

    I'm already seeing examples of people saying we should "move on". But I totally disagree. So long as the mainstream media is colluding in passing off the UK referendum as valid, while casting aspersions on the real consultation, we have a duty to persist in trying to get the truth across.

  7. Peter A Bell says:

    You got it! "Scottish Labour's entire focus is on lashing out mindlessly at the SNP and Alex Salmond. They have nothing else.

  8. I never expected Labour to do anything else and I have a brother in the Labour party and I feel ashamed that he is among such people.The main problem is getting the truth out there to everybody I know it is too much to ask for the media to be honest,they lost their integrity a long time ago.

  9. MajorBloodnok says:

    The thing is there are so many positive stories out there – e.g. renewables in Scotland:

    And the announcements about all those new railway stations in Scotland (double page spread in today's Scotsman, no less). To name but two.

  10. Dubbieside says:


    Many thanks for the link to the jonathonporritt blog. Very well written and a joy to read such a positive article about Scotland.

    Pity we are not able to get this promoted more in the main stream media.

    Is there any way this could be linked to Newsnet Scotland to try to find a bigger audience?

  11. RevStu says:

    As I said the other day, feel free to suggest to any other websites that they reproduce WingsLand features. We'll usually let them if they ask.

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