Labour launches Obama-style ‘truth team’

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Scottish Labour has sought inspiration from US president Barack Obama as it launches a new “truth team” to combat “dishonesty, assertions and myths” from the SNP in the independence referendum campaign.

Last year, the Obama presidential campaign used a truth team for instant responses to Mitt Romney’s campaign team during the election.

As well as being used in the referendum campaign, the team will also focus on Scottish Government policies.

The tactic is part of an image makeover for the party in Scotland with a new website expected to be launched this weekend at the Scottish party conference in Inverness.

The new website is intended to be clearer and easier to use, giving the party a more professional image.

But it is also aimed at giving Scottish Labour a distinctly different image to the UK party.

The truth team web page tells visitors: “Next year the people of Scotland have a massive decision to make. It’s a big decision, one that will last forever. It’s one that will affect you, your family, your community and your country for generations to come. That is why you must also have all the facts to hand to allow you to take an informed decision. You deserve nothing less.”

It goes on: “From their dishonesty over EU legal advice, to their assertions over the pound, from who sets mortgage rates to the reduction in the number of defence jobs, the rhetoric of the SNP just isn’t matching up to the reality of independence. While independence used to be the answer to every question, now the question is independence they don’t have any answers.

“That is why Scottish Labour recognises its responsibility to be honest in everything we say and do over the coming months and right up to the referendum.

“And you can play your part. You can do your bit to ensure this historic decision, whatever the result, is one you can have faith in, one Scotland can be proud of.”

The Nationalists last night hit back saying that it was Labour and the pro-UK parties which need to start telling the truth.

An SNP spokesman said: “Labour’s rebuttal team would be better employed focusing on the silly smears and fears coming out of the Tory/Labour No campaign – starting with the ridiculous leaflet which based its case against independence on the UK’s now non-existent triple-A credit status.”