Blundering press officers from the SNP have sent out a press release praising SNP policy — based on tweets from a spoof Twitter account. Spinners failed to spot the painfully obvious disclosure ‘SPOOF ACCOUNT’ branded across the Twitter bio of @SirIanBlair in capitals letters.
In their haste to advertise apparent praise from London’s former policing supremo, they rushed out a press notice which began:
“The SNP’s approach to policing … has been praised by former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police during an exchange on twitter [sic]”
Blustering on, they lift quotes directly from what they believed to be Sir Ian’s tweets:
But the supposed praise was actually lifted from the hoax account:
After realising the schoolboy error, the release was swiftly pulled from the SNP website. But not content with embarrassing themselves enough, they included a quote from the SNP MSP Sandra White on the tweets.
Doubtless Sandra’s colleagues on the Justice Committee will be looking forward mirthfully to their next meeting.
- Salmond government refused to comment on allegations
- Murdoch accused of pressuring Scottish prosecutors
- Cover-up over NOTW meetings with Edinburgh police
Scottish government telephones were targeted for phone hacking, it has been claimed. The news comes despite the refusal of Alex Salmond’s administration — backed by Rupert Murdoch — to comment on allegations said to have had a “serious impact” on the country’s security.
Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie wrote to the country’s top civil servant to ask whether official phones were hacked — but Sir Peter Housden refused to comment. Rennie told the Scotsman:
“It seems clear to me that Scottish Government phones have been hacked. Sir Peter could easily have told me that the Scottish Government had not become a victim. Telling me nothing had happened would not have jeopardised any police investigation – but he didn’t.”
In contrast with London, where the Leveson Inquiry and media select committee have placed evidence in the public domain, Scottish authorities have refused to release vital information on the basis that Strathclyde Police’s Operation Rubicon investigation is ongoing.
As Scrapbook confirmed last week, however, the Glasgow-based force have made precisely zero arrests for hacking — despite a long list of victims and Alex Salmond’s claims at Leveson of a “well-resourced investigation”.
The Edinburgh-based police force which originally prosecuted Tommy Sheridan for perjury have refused to reveal details of meetings with Scottish News Of The World journalists, while prosecutors have also refused to reveal NOTW contact — despite a top QC accusing them of being nobbled by Murdoch.
It’s not the scandal that gets you … it’s the cover-up.
With a giant list of Scots who have had their phones hacked but precisely, erm, zero arrests, it is perhaps unsurprising that first minister Alex Salmond was tetchy about the matter when quizzed at Leveson yesterday:
“I’ve asked the Lord Advocate for assurances that the matters which are coming to the attention under Operation Rubicon will be properly, thoroughly investigated by a well-resourced investigation, that they’ll go where the evidence leads without fear or favour”
But Mr Jay never mentioned that it was the Lord Advocate — Scotland’s chief law officer — on whom a top QC claimed undue influence was brought to bear by News International to prosecute Tommy Sheridan:
“No doubt the Lord Advocate was leant on by Rupert Murdoch’s employees.”
And in contrast with London, the police and legal establishment in Scotland have refused to reveal the details of meetings with Murdoch representatives. Scrapbook has seen freedom of information requests — rejected by the authorities — which ask for details including:
- Meetings between News International and prosecutors
- Meetings between News International and police
The only person to have been arrested so far by the supposedly “well-resourced” Operation Rubicon is English — and that was for perjury, not hacking.
Alex Salmond’s Scottish independence campaign have been forced into a U-turn after attempts to portray anyone who followed their Twitter account as a supporter. The YesScotland.net site harvested personal details from accounts — including pictures — without permission before displaying them alongside the wording:
“Powered by people o’ independent mind, like you…”
This has now been changed after fierce criticism from independents and unionists who were cast as supporting independence — including journalists, political opponents and the, erm, Rangers Supporters Trust.
They’ll be buying Facebook followers next.
Tales from last week’s elections continue to filter back to the Scrapbook office – with the most amusing being associated with grim defeat.
In the Scottish Highlands the SNP’s David Stewart, who last year won the Scottish Councillor of the Year award for his campaign to save RAF Lossiemouth jet base from closure, was thanked for his tireless efforts by being unceremoniously dumped by the voters of Heldon and Laich ward.
Regional newspaper The Northern Scot reported:
“Mr Stewart was too emotional to speak afterwards.”
But he didn’t seem to have any trouble articulating his views to his party colleague and Moray MP Angus Robertson – at whom he threw his rosette while yelling:
“This is all your fault!”
We trust Mr Robertson managed to escape the pointy end of the safety pin.
After Scrapbook parodied Alex Salmond’s leading referendum question on Wednesday, Left Foot Forward’s Alex Hern has put the academic smackdown on the SNP’s dodgy wording:
“Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?”
Technical literature on survey design is clear that questions phrased in this way result in a “small but significant increase in the amount of people voting yes.”
And it has now emerged that even students as young as 14 are taught that these types of questions are wrong. Having explained why the sample is likely to be biased, this ExExcel GCSE statistics paper asks young students why a “Do you agree …” question will skew results:
2003 EdExcel Statistics GCSE Paper 1H
Back to school for Scotland’s most famous agricultural eonomist?
Following the announcement of Alex Salmond’s leading “Do you agree …” referendum question, please enjoy Scrapbook’s suggestion for the wording and design of the ballot paper.
The SNP’s unveiling of this cornerstone of the poll coincided with Burns Night … by pure coincidence, naturally.
Times journalist Mike Wade’s overtly hyperbolic account of the influence of the SNP’s social media strategy has raised a few eyebrows, not least because of his poorly judged comparisons with the Arab Spring in Egypt.
Other highlights include Wade referring to embedding a Facebook “like” button underneath an Alex Salmond speech as an: “ingenious system devised by [Kirk] Torrance”, the party’s new-media strategist. All he actually did was click on this link.
This exaggerated account was challenged on Twitter, more specifically why he attributed the SNP’s election victory to social media, as no such link has been explored. He replied thusly:
“a) sought to capture mood b) insufficient data & c) only 2hrs to write”
Who needs facts when you’ve got a perfectly good narrative?