Monday 29 October 2007

How fast can you exonerate a Government?

There's a chap called Alex Salmond - he's an SNP MSP and is currently First Minister of Scotland, leading the first SNP Government - who claimed yesterday at his Party conference (and I know 'cos I was there) that there were Government figures coming out which would show that Scotland would be better off independent.

He said:

"I am releasing figures compiled by the Scottish Government which demonstrate that with control of our own resources, with independence, Scotland would move from 10th to third in the European league of prosperity.
"Only Luxembourg and Ireland would be above Scotland in wealth per head. In the world, we would be sixth."
That's fine, point made, moving swiftly on you would think.

Except for those dafties in the Labour Party - again.

Enter stage left the villain of the piece, Jackie Baillie, Labour's Business Manager in Parliament.
She said:
"There are very clear rules which stop civil servants being used for party political purposes.
"In this case, there is a very real worry that the SNP may have misused civil service resources."
There was a full investigation and within an hour and a half (less time than it takes Scotland to beat France at fitba if you include half time), Scotland's heid bummer Civil Servant and general impartial type (John Elvidge, for it is he) was said by a Scottish Government spokesperson type to be

"completely satisfied that the information was not provided specifically for use at the SNP party conference".

"Therefore, there was no misuse of civil service resources for purely party political purposes, the figures are as quoted, and a full analysis will be published in due course."

An hour and a half!
I don't know how many times I've got to tell you - check the facts first and you won't look so daft. It's not difficult! Then you won't end up praying for the pain to stop:

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