SNP's 'shameless spin' and Liz Truss's questionable economics leave nation crying out for politicians who 'tell it like it is' – Scotsman comment

In the yellow corner, sits the SNP accused of “shameless spin” over nearly £3 billion of supposed cost-of-living help this year, some of which turned out to have been allocated under policies introduced so long ago that the Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition was in power.

During a court case, Alan Clark admitted he had been 'economical with the actualité' when answering a parliamentary question about arms exports to Iraq (Picture: PA)
During a court case, Alan Clark admitted he had been 'economical with the actualité' when answering a parliamentary question about arms exports to Iraq (Picture: PA)

And in the blue corner, sits Conservative leadership favourite Liz Truss who is promising tax cuts based on £30 billion of ‘headroom’ in the government kitty despite the fact that, as economist John McLaren pointed out in Thursday’s Scotsman, soaring inflation and likely increases in both defence and NHS funding will all eat into those funds. “Who might suffer in order to square the circle? Probably the usual suspects, with local government at the front of the queue,” he wrote.

Political pugilism can be a rough game and there often isn’t a referee to intervene to keep the contests clean, which provides an incentive for one side to be at least as devious as the other. To be, as the late Conservative politician Alan Clark put it, “economical with the actualité” when the occasion seems to demand it.

Fortunately for voters in Scotland, the impartial Scottish Parliament Information Centre (Spice) was on hand to challenge the Scottish Government’s claim to have allocated almost £3 billion in this financial year to help people deal with the cost-of-living crisis.

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SNP ministers accused of 'shameless spin' over cost of living help

Spice accepted that “all of the policies listed do help reduce costs for families and households in some way”, but added that “a list of measures announced specifically in response to the current increase in inflation would be quite a bit shorter”. Using the Scottish Government’s method, “you might include the entire social security system, the NHS and a lot more,” it added.

This prompted Scottish Conservative social justice spokesman Miles Briggs to criticise SNP ministers for “shameless spin”, which seems a fair criticism.

But members of all parties should perhaps look first to set their own houses in order, before casting aspersions at others. Expressing constant outrage at the bad behaviour of opponents, while overlooking their own, will only damage democracy.

With the demise of a mendacious Prime Minister, it is time for politicians who eschew low blows, cheap shots and other skulduggery and are prepared to give the public what they want: straightforward, plain and simple, “tell it like it is” honesty.

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