NICOLA STURGEON’S SPIN AND HOSPITAL PASSES

SNP engaged in disinformation campaign to spin education results

Sturgeon – hospital passes for Labour’s Jeane Freeman and Susan Deacon.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today called on First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to withdraw a series of misleading comments about yesterday’s PISA stats.

On the STV leader’s debate Nicola Sturgeon incorrectly said “there are now only five countries ahead of Scotland in that [reading] performance”. She went on to say “We’re seeing in Higher performance, and in other exam results, performance and attainment rising.” In fact, Higher passes have fallen to their lowest level in a decade.

The presentation of the results by the Scottish Government was described by educational expert Keir Bloomer as a “barefaced attempt to deceive“

Mr Rennie said: “These educational results would be embarrassing for any government but what makes it worse is that the SNP’s answer has been to engage in an epic campaign of disinformation designed to muddy the waters.

“Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney should be ashamed of themselves. They should ditch the spin and look afresh at how we can get Scottish education back on track.

“It’s time for a new deal for teachers that addresses the huge workloads they are faced with and ensures they have the time they need to prepare lessons and support pupils away from the frontline of the classroom.”

Yet another sign that the SNP government in Scotland is falling apart came with the resignation today of Susan Deacon as Chair of the Scottish Police Authority.

Responding to the news that Susan Deacon has quit,  Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP told the Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf that “the governance and accountability arrangements for policing in Scotland are fundamentally flawed in culture, structure and practice.”

He added: “Susan Deacon did the best she could with a broken system. Liberal Democrats have been telling the SNP Government since day one that it hardwired flaws into the national force. It botched the centralisation [of the police under a single Chief Constable], causing chaos.

School pupils, Willie Rennie and John Swinney on stats and lies.

“The national force hasn’t had stable leadership at any point in its six year existence. How many more chief constables and chairs does it need to quit to drive this fact home?

“Overstretched officers and staff deserve so much better, particularly since we found out that the job is making many of them unwell and only 3% believe the force really cared about them.

“Powers over policing should be shared, rather than hoarded on the desk of the Justice Secretary. An independent expert review of how policing structures are operating is essential.”

Susan Deacon,, who is quitting after just two years in the post, says there are ‘fundamental flaws’ in the system.

Yousaf Hamza.jpg 2

Hamza Yousaf, the Justice Secretary who Deacon told “accountability arrangements for policing in Scotland are fundamentally flawed”.

In a resignation letter sent to Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf, she said she believed “accountability arrangements for policing in Scotland are fundamentally flawed”.

Vice Chair David Crichton, who will take over the Authority’s Board until a new Chair is appointed, said Susan Deacon took up the role at a period of considerable instability in the police service.

“That Police Scotland now has a strong, resilient leadership team in place is testimony to her contribution to the improvement of policing in that period.“We believe that the system of governance and accountability for policing in Scotland that was envisaged by the founding legislation is a sound one and can work effectively.

“Members of the Authority are fully committed to taking forward the range of work required within the SPA and with other partners to do so.”

On education matters, Willie Rennie called on Nicola Sturgeon to withdraw a series of misleading comments about the PISA education stats.

On the the STV leader’s debate,  Sturgeon gave the wrongs stats, which just happened to be in the SNP’s favour.

She did that too on personal care for the elderly last week which she claimed the SNP had introduced it in Scotland when it was Labour First Minister Henry McLeish who did that.

Ms Sturgeon told the TV audience that “there are now only five countries ahead of Scotland in that [reading] performance”.

She added: “We’re seeing in Higher performance, and in other exam results, performance and attainment rising.”

The truth is that Higher passes have fallen to their lowest level in a decade.

The presentation of the results by the Scottish Government was described by former EIS official and educational expert Keir Bloomer as a “barefaced attempt to deceive“

Willie Rennie said: “These educational results would be embarrassing for any government, but what makes it worse is that the SNP’s answer has been to engage in an epic campaign of disinformation designed to muddy the waters.

“Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney should be ashamed of themselves. They should ditch the spin and look afresh at how we can get Scottish education back on track.

“It’s time for a new deal for teachers that addresses the huge workloads they are faced with and ensures they have the time they need to prepare lessons and support pupils away from the frontline of the classroom.”

The fact that the SNP has never had the calibre of people required to run a country became clear when old hand John Swinney was promoted to the post of Education Secretary.

Dull as ditch water Swinney has been struggling to present a favourable picture of education performance of the SNP over the past 12 years in government but he has failed miserably. See our investigative report elsewhere from The Ferret about achievement of pupils in schools in poor areas.

Even after their 12 years in power, few of the SNP Cabinet have become familiar public figures. They’re virtually unknown. Things are so bad that someone asked me who Kevin Stewart, the local government minister was the other day.

Things were so bad that Sturgeon had to recruit Jeane Freeman, an ex Labour special adviser, to look after Health,  which has been an unmitigated disaster, including the dirty water scandal at the QE2 Hospital in Glasgow and the children’s hospitals in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The SNP also recruited Susan Deacon, a high profile Labour Party figure, to run Police Scotland which has not covered itself in glory and has had more than its share of chief constables and bad publicity.

Both these appointments have turned out to be hospital passes from the Nippy One.

Cherry Joanna 2.jpg 3By the way, has anyone heard of Joanna Cherry QC, pictured left, since she covered herself in glory on behalf of the SNP at the Court of Session and was being mentioned quietly as Nicola’s successor.

Has Nicola SNP done to her what the Tories did with William Rees Mogg? Just asking.

Meanwhile, Willie Rennie has declared that voters in key seats across Scotland can help to stop another independence referendum.

Mr Rennie said: “On December 12th, voters will have a choice between local champions and divisive nationalists who will use your vote to push for another independence referendum.

“Scottish voters can choose to stop another independence referendum in its tracks by voting for Liberal Democrat MPs.

“It would be a huge blow to the SNP if they were to lose their Westminster leader [Ian Blackford] for the second election in a row and it is votes for the Liberal Democrats that can make the difference.

“Only by taking independence off the table can we begin to build a brighter future for Scotland.”


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