BBC Scotland’s Glenn Campbell is well-named. Campbell means ‘crooked mouth‘ so having him as BBC chief political correspondent is a bit like having a Mr Christian as your local Church of Scotland minister. It fits, too well sadly.
Last night, he wrote and no doubt repeated:
The Greens (who have an affinity with the SNP over independence) demanded a high price for their support – a dramatic and complete U-turn on exam results from the Scottish government. Mr Swinney acceded to all their demands by cancelling 125,000 downgrades, allowing upgraded students to keep their awards, ordering an independent review into the debacle and promising a wider look at the best way to assess pupil performance.
It’s not true. The Greens’ Ross Greer did tweet to claim that they had forced the U-turn all by themselves but this claim was quickly withdrawn and followed with a clarification that the Greens had offered proposals comparable to those requested by other groups including the protesting students, trade unions and parent groups.
There is no suggestion that a deal was offered to save Swinney.
What seems much more plausible is that the First Minister realised that what the SQA had done may have been scientifically credible but that it was insensitive to the wider popular sensibilities of the time.