The Ferret Factchecker has done some good work but they can’t be trusted when it comes to the SNP.
Just over a year ago they relied on the discredited GERS figures to contradict a claim by Mike Russell and in May 2020 they used unreliable research by Newcastle University to feed Anas Sarwar for an attack on the SNP Justice Minister (refs at foot).
Today they have assessed claims about PPE supplies never running out, by Nicola Sturgeon and Matt Hancock. They rate Hancock ‘mostly false.’ Too soft by far I’d say but whatever.
They rate Sturgeon’s claim: ‘That is why we never ran out of PPE and why we quickly resolved the early issues that we faced with regard to the distribution of PPE within the health service.’ as ‘half true’ after acknowledging:
While it appears Scotland never completely ran out of PPE, there were reported shortages in Scottish health boards, and NHS staff reported being asked to reuse equipment.
So, in their own conclusion they admit: ‘Scotland never completely ran out of PPE‘ and the only evidence for shortages or re-using are unsubstantiated anecdotal ‘reports‘.
Why is the verdict not ‘true?’
Longer Read: Earlier Ferret Stuff:
The Ferret original report
This Herald report funded by Ferret contributors then feeds the Herald
I’ve been making a small monthly payment to fact-checking agencies, The Ferret, in Scotland, and The Canary, in England. For some time now I’ve been worrying about the Ferret’s agenda or perhaps that of some of its team. I should point out that I welcome much of what they have done. While, I don’t always dispute the accuracy of what they uncover, the choices they make about what to investigate and how to headline the report has resulted in them forming part of the media undermining the independence movement of by attacking institutions such as NHSS and Police Scotland and, so by proxy, the SNP/Scottish Government.
The above piece’s headline today, by Billy Briggs, has all the features of a Daily Mail hatchet job. Here is another from Mr Briggs:
Regardless of whether the report goes on to contextualise the data, the damage has been done.
I almost wrote about the Ferret in February when I saw this:
I haven’t read it in full. I don’t need to. That this ‘tax’ if implemented by a Labour or Conservative or Lib Dem council, is an SNP tax in any way, is preposterous.
The following is simply a classic tabloid SNPbad headline:
This below is no doubt technically accurate but the decision to investigate and to report is ideological. How comparatively well-staffed is Police Scotland? is the story of relevance for the people of Scotland:
Similarly, this may well be true but the decision to investigate and to report on a very small number of offences distorts the overall picture of a very-low and comparatively, extremely low, level of race-related crime in Scotland.
Finally, this is deeply puzzling.
As I understand it, it would be the decision to ban landfill that would lead to waste being dumped at cost in England. How can failing to ban it and thus dumping the waste in Scotland have any effect on England? See this:
I’m not going to re-subscribe to see the full text so maybe there’s some clever twist not apparent in the apparently stupid headline because, once more the damage is done.
Finally, the Ferret team seem to have the tacit approval of BBC Scotland.
Readers of the blog were uneasy about the BBC endorsement. I’d have thought they would want to keep a distance from the state broadcaster, surely a likely target at some point. Mind you, founding member, Peter Geoghegan, is a regular with Gordon Brewer.
So, no more ferrets up my trousers. What’s that cute whistling sound?