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The Scotsman: a user’s guide

Posted on February 03, 2012 by

The Scotsman is a big paper (in terms of content if not readership). Today’s issue is 104 pages long, a full five of which are devoted to its front-page lead story. But here at Wings Over Scotland we appreciate that you’re busy people and can’t always afford to devote hefty chunks of your day to reading everything in full, especially when there’s so much happening in the world of Scottish politics at the moment.

So to save you some time we’ve helpfully edited the article down, cutting it off at the point where you can safely stop reading without fear of missing anything. (It doesn’t just work today – any time you see these three words, you can confidently move on.)

“ONE of Scotland’s leading experts on public finance has cast doubt on the Scottish Government’s ability to produce fair and accurate economic reports, ahead of the debate on independence. Professor Arthur Midwinter -“

That’s a good 15 minutes of your life rescued there, in which you can get on and do something more productive and rewarding instead, such as seeing if you can make the sky turn purple just by thinking at it. No need to thank us, it’s all part of the service.

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9 to “The Scotsman: a user’s guide”

  1. TYRAN says:

    Expert warns SNP 'heading for crisis' over GBP £2bn shortfall (The Scotsman, August 17, 2007). ALEX Salmond's government is facing a financial crisis with a potential spending shortfall of up to GBP 2 billion in its budget, a leading public spending expert has warned. Arthur Midwinter…

  2. DougtheDug says:

    Arthur Midwinter is an associate professor in the Institute of Public Sector Accounting Research in the University of Edinburgh. He was budget adviser to the Scottish Parliament from 2002 to 2007, and to the Labour opposition from 2007 until March 2011

    From his profile on the Guardian.

  3. RevStu says:

    He also writes for Labour Hame, where he advocates Calman over devo-max and advises Labour on electoral strategy, eg “Labour should expose this false prospectus over Devolution Max”. Yeah, he sounds like an impartial independent expert to me all right.

  4. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Sings to himself
    In the deep and bleak Midwinter
    Another rentagob
    I wonder just how many of them are in the Labour Party, support it or are married on to it.
    I haven't the energy to do it but, maybe someone will collate a list, and cross refernce to the BBC Scotland News people and the MSM.
    What a diagramme that would make

  5. Shodan says:

    I would be interested in seeing the results of that investigation. Might shed some light on that "impartiality".

  6. Morag says:

    According to NNS, Midwinter was a Labour toon cooncillor for 30 years.  That's a lot closer than "rentaquote".  That's paid-up party member, activist, and vetted on-message on Labour party policy.
    If true, this is really quite abominable.

  7. Morag says:

    I just checked the NNS article, and it now says "several" years as opposed to thirty.  Which suggests someone has been fact-checking and found an error.  Which itself suggests the part about his having been a Labour councillor is correct.

  8. RevStu says:

    All I can find is this, from the Scotsman just before the SNP’s 2007 Holyrood victory:

    In it, the SNP refer to Midwinter as having been a Labour councillor 30 years ago, a misreading of which would seem likely to be where NNS's original wording would have come from.

    Later in the piece, Professor David Simpson says of the Midwinter figures the article relates to:

    “The language and tone of Mr Midwinter’s comments on the SNP’s financial plans are more appropriate to a press release of a political party rather than a balanced analysis.”

  9. Morag says:

    He seems to be keeping it very quiet now.  But no matter if it was 30 years ago, and only for one term, that clearly shows a very close identification with the Labour party.

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