Ever since our first post about misleading statements in the Labour Party’s election material, we have been receiving requests for sight of the actual material.
It seems people can’t believe that a candidate presenting himself as a potential Scottish Finance Minister can make such misleading statements and get the facts so wrong in his own election material.
Also, as Labour’s policy on knife crime has come under scrutiny, it has simply unravelled, and must now be counted as no longer a credible part of their election platform.
The following article contains references to key misleading sections of Labour’s election material. The material contains other major inaccuracies and we would be happy to provide copies of these as well.
1 The ‘cast-iron’ guarantee on cancer
This is a small story in Labour’s newpaper, but a huge concern for many people. Labour’s election material plays up their candidate’s experience as Health Minister to give the pledge credibility. But, when he was Health Minister, not only were the target waiting times much longer than the waiting times now being delivered by the SNP, but, during his term of office, they were never achieved.
Using the term ‘cast-iron guarantee’ for something over which no politician has day to day control, but is so vitally important to the people affected, is unacceptable and must be corrected.
2 A guaranteed apprenticeship
Labour’s manifesto talks about delivering apprenticeships for “suitably qualified” young people.
In Labour’s campaign material in East Kilbride, the term “suitably qualified” simply gets dropped. For unemployed young people and their families, this raises false hopes and is grossly misleading.
The SNP has already ramped up delivery of apprenticeships, with 25,000 to be supported this year. Each one of these depends on an employer coming forward to take on a young worker. This is real delivery by the SNP Government against Labour’s false promises.
3 Knife crime
Finally, in a clear sign of Labour’s failure to properly develop their manifesto comes the issue of the cost of knife crime to the NHS. In East Kilbride, Labour informs the voters that the cost to the NHS is £3 billion for 3,500 hospital days. However, nationally, Labour is using a figure of £500 million, for all NHS services.
Whatever the reason for the discrepancy, that such nonsense can be put out by Labour’s Finance Spokesman is insulting to the voters of East Kilbride and must set off alarm bells at the prospect of a Labour administration after May 5th.
During television interviews, Labour’s knife crime policy has simply unravelled. It has clearly not been properly thought through or costed. It is also clear that Labour misled knife crime campaigners who genuinely believe in the policy of mandatory sentences. This is shameful.
While Labour’s election material says ‘Carry a knife, go to jail’, Iain Gray and Andy Kerr have admitted that police and prosecutors would retain discretion over who to charge and courts would retain disretion over sentencing.
It is clear that a mandatory minimum six month prison sentence for those in possession of a knife in a public place is no longer part of Labour’s manifesto. Labour need to admit that to the voters across Scotland and correct the grossly misleading statements they have circulated to voters in East Kilbride.
NB: The figure of £3 billion is in the ‘Facts about knife crime’ section in this extract.