CHRISTINA MCKELVIE SNP MSP nailed her colours to the mast of “oddball-in-chief”, Stuart Campbell of Wings Over Scotland, last night, prompting AhDinnaeKen to ask, is this the calibre of MSP we’re going to have to tolerate from the Nationalist Holyrood parliament for evermore?
By Longshanker aka @ergasiophobe
IT’S A well known maxim of propaganda that propagandists frequently exploit truths useful to their cause and airbrush over or omit those truths which, inconveniently, are not so helpful.
It’s why the best propaganda is mostly true but, due to its nature and purpose, can never quite be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
In that spirit of propagandising, it’s easy to conclude that the best you’ll ever get with the Wings Over Scotland blog is: not quite the truth.
Take the subject of a recent Twitter exchange between SNP MSP Christina McKelvie and Labour MSP Neil Findlay. It concerned a comment made by Jim Murphy MP during the BBC’s leader debates first screened on 8th April.
Murphy claimed that the SNP had voted with the Tories in order to stymy some Labour amendments to the Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill. The amendments proposed that, where appropriate, Councils should provide eligible claimants with “cash” payments instead of “vouchers” in order to avoid stigma.
In reference to the SNP/Tory vote Murphy said:
“Labour said let’s give them cash payments. The SNP sided with the Tories to give them vouchers.”
Cue much wailing and gnashing of teeth from FM Nicola Sturgeon and an attempt to divert away from the specific claim made by Murphy.
She categorically failed to rebut Murphy’s allegation and managed to make his sanctimonious politicking seem all the more poignant – much to the pleasure of the clapping audience.
In the Twitter echo chamber meanwhile, @WingsScotland tweeted a reference to a Wings propaganda blog entitled “This is how you tell a lie”.
It allegedly “debunks” the Murphy claim that the SNP voted with the Tories. Like Sturgeon’s attempt at the rebuttal of Jim’s point, it also categorically failed.
The essential allegation driving Campbell’s self righteous finger wagging is that Labour’s proposed amendments sought to “remove councils’ flexibility to decide in what form to give the help, by having the Scottish Government impose rules forcing councils to give such help in cash only.”
Like most of Campbell’s propaganda, it’s less than half true. And in anyone’s language, a half-truth is a whole lie.
Campbell’s lie cyncially exploits his readers credulousness and propensity to swallow his narrative wholesale and without question. (So no change there then.)
If Labour’s proposed amendments had been added, the relevant sections in the Welfare Funds Bill would have read as follows:
2 Use of welfare funds: assistance for short term need and community care
(1) A local authority may use its welfare fund only in order to provide occasional financial assistance to or in such circumstances as may be prescribed in regulations under subsection (3A), other assistance—
(a) meeting, or helping to meet, an immediate short term need—
(i) arising out of an exceptional event or exceptional circumstances, and
(ii) that requires to be met to avoid a risk to the wellbeing of an individual, or
Subsection 3A referred to above would have completely replaced the original subsection 3 and have read thus:
(3A) The Scottish Ministers may, by regulations, make provision about the circumstances in which a local authority may —
(a) provide goods or services to or in respect of an individual, or
(b) make a payment to a third party with a view to the third party providing, or
arranging the provision of, goods or services to or in respect of an individual.
Scrutiny reveals that Campbell’s false accusation of the amendments allowing the Scottish Government to ‘force councils’ to provide assistance in “cash only” is a plain and simple untruth.
Ken McIntosh, the Labour proposer of the amendments, put it in a simpler manner that even Campbell should have understood.
“…local authorities are not restricted in any way in how they decide to support the applicant; they can do so through an award of goods, vouchers or whatever type of in-kind payment they choose, rather than in cash. The effect of the three amendments in the group would not be to change or restrict that range of options, but would simply be to give ministers the authority to produce regulations about the circumstances in which councils can make non-cash awards.”
A plain and simple explanation in anyone’s world, except perhaps Campbell’s, his “alert readers” and his increasing cohort of SNP MPs and MSP backers.
Which brings us back to Christina McKelvie MSP and Neil Findlay MSP.
It’s a bit rich that Christina should be calling anyone a liar given that she campaigned and appeared on the same platform as convicted serial liar and perjurer Tommy Sheridan during the indyref.
McKelvie not only called Murphy and Neil Findlay liars she then compounded her lie by referring to Stuart Campbell’s rant against Labour as the “truth.”
In Chris Deerin’s recent leftfield polemic about Scotland losin’ the heid, he said the following of the cybernats:
“If anyone on social media – especially, God forbid, a non-Scot – dares to challenge these ludicrous myths they are descended on by the ‘cybernats’, a swarm of angry oddballs who refuse to read the ‘mainstream media’ and who take their lead from the oddball-in-chief, Stuart Campbell, a self-styled Reverend who lives in Bath and runs a ranting website called Wings Over Scotland.”
It’s a sad day when an elected representative of the Scottish people like Christina McKelvie MSP, takes the lead of a fallacious “ranting” liar like Campbell and acts like a ranting cybernat herself. Especially when, like Campbell, she got it so spectacularly wrong. It’s almost as if she has no awareness or worse, cares less, about how her error stricken endorsement of a Nationalist Front extremist like Campbell appears to the world.
The SNP did vote with the Tories to defeat the more humanitarian appearing Labour amendments.
Campbell either deliberately ignored the purpose of the amendments or failed to understand them. Otherwise, how could he possibly interpret them as an attempt by Ken McIntosh to have the Scottish Government impose “cash only” rules on councils?
Christina McKelvie needs to clarify what’s “true” about that claim by Cambpell. If she doesn’t then there’s only one conclusion that can be reached – she’s a liar herself.