#AskFabiani – the difference between Labour and SNP campaigns

Question:

What is the difference between the campaign being run by the SNP and that of the Labour Party? Are you out on the streets more than them? Are there any other differences?

Answer:

I don’t know which party is out on the streets more; I know SNP workers are around East Kilbride a lot and have been for many months. Over the next few days, we will be cranking up the volume, with Jakil’s version of ‘Let’s Work Together‘ as our theme tune.

Through this website, Facebook, and Twitter, I am also trying to contact people in ways that are relevant to them.

It has to be said that a fundamental difference between the SNP and Labour campaigns in this election is one of honesty.

Labour’s campaigns, both locally and nationally, have been caught out in serious errors and misrepresentations. Some of these are covered in other posts on this site, that you might want to visit:

Don’t let Labour fail on cancer again – here

Labour’s misleading campaign unravels – extracts from campaign materials – here

You are in a hole Andy – stop digging! – here

Labour’s principal focus in this campaign has been on knife crime. Under challenge from the press it has simply crumbled – taking with it Labour’s credibility as an alternative government.

Andy Kerr’s election material says knife crime costs the NHS £3 billion a year. When challenged, Labour claimed it was a ‘typo’, and £3 billion is the cost to the Scottish economy. Niether of these statements is true.

Nationally, Labour leaders have said that knife crime costs the NHS £500 million. That is not true either.

Also at a national level, Labour identified respected organisations as the sources of their figures. These claims turned out not to be true either.

The publication they cite for the figure of £500 million can be found here and the figure they misquote can be found on p21.

The video – here – shows the desperate attempts of Labour’s Richard Baker, the architect of the policy, to explain where the £500 million figure came from. He even manages to bring the £3 billion figure into his argument – for an entirely different set of costs from either of those for which Andy Kerr used it.

Knife crime is too important an issue for such dishonesty, but it doesn’t stop there.

Labour’s election material says ‘Carry a knife – go to jail’ – but both Andy Kerr and Iain Gray have admitted that that isn’t true either. Judges will still have discretion not to send people to jail!!!

Labour’s policy has been attacked by police and prison officers and would certainly undo much of the good work done by Kenny MacAskill over the past four years:

  • Knife Crime is down almost 30%
  • People sent to jail for knife crime now spend longer in prison than when the SNP took power – an average of about 9 months.
  • Diverting money into the prison service, as Labour want to do, puts at risk the 1,000 extra police officers the SNP have put on our streets – delivering a 30-year low in crime.

In conclusion, Labour’s campaign has exposed the party as devoid of leadership and ideas for taking Scotland forward, whereas the SNP Campaign has demonstrated that we are offering experience, leadership, and a positive vision of what Scotland can be.

Linda Fabiani
April 2011

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