Congenital Liar

Cole-Hamilton has a new video out. Leaving aside its massively hammy style, it’s just packed with more fibs than a typical Johnson speech.

Here’s just one:

In 14 years the SNP have not moved the needle on child poverty


See this from regular TuS contributor stewartb in March 2021:

“A beacon of progressive policy for the rest of the UK”

“The most progressive policy brought in since devolution 20 years ago”

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) is widely regarded as the authoritative, independent source of evidence on poverty in the UK. It provides a readily accessible set of graphs on poverty levels and trends in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland from 1994-95 to 2018-19 at the link below.


In the graphs reproduced here I have extracted comparative time series data for Wales and Scotland only. Why just these two? Well, both these countries have been dependent on Westminster’s exercise of all monetary and most fiscal powers. So both have been broadly similarly restricted in what their national (devolved) governments could do to address poverty and in the extent to which they could mitigate Westminster policy decisions. This fundamentally distinguishes them from the situation in England whose government, in Westminster, has access to all available powers. Of course in Wales and Scotland since 2007 different political parties have been in power, Labour and the SNP respectively.

In its introduction to the series of graphs, the JRF notes: “Despite the steady decrease over time of child poverty, pensioner poverty and poverty rates for disabled people in the four parts of the UK, the trend in most parts of the UK is that these poverty rates have started increasing, with the exception of Northern Ireland which has seen its poverty rate drop in recent years.” 

Poverty rates in Wales and Scotland

For context, it’s relevant to recall that when the SNP first came into government in 2007, the UK was just a year away from a major financial crash and two years from the beginning of the Cameron coalition government. Arguably, neither were favourable circumstances for a devolved government with limited powers to make big new investments in order to improve substantially levels of poverty.

Looking across the UK, the JRF also notes:

“Across the four parts of the UK, Wales has consistently had the highest povertyScotland has generally had the lowest poverty over the last 10 years but has seen a slightly different pattern to the rest of the UK. From 1994/97 to 2009/12, the proportion of the Scottish population living in poverty decreased from 23% to a low of 18% which is lower than for England and Wales over the entire time period. Over the past five years, there has been a slight increase, to 19% in 2016/19.”

Child poverty in Wales and Scotland

The JRF notes: “Wales has generally had the highest child poverty rate over time and Scotland has had the lowest, although the latest data shows that England now has the highest rate. Child poverty rates are now lower in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland compared to 1994/97 (2002/04 in Northern Ireland).

“The child poverty rate has however dropped much further in Scotland during the last 20 years compared to England. For instance, in 1994/97 Scotland had a similar child poverty rate to England but in 2016/19 the rate in Scotland was 24% while in England it was 31%. In Northern Ireland there has been a decline from 26% to 25% in the child poverty rate over the period for which data was available. Since 2010/13 child poverty has been increasing in England and Scotland but has fallen in Wales.”

Responsiveness of the SNP government

The time series in the above graphs extend only up to 2018-19. It is evident that the long term downward trend in child poverty in Scotland has stalled and begun slightly to reverse whilst still substantially below the level in Wales. In the face of this evidence the SNP Scottish Government acted.

As the JRF noted on 29 June, 2019: “The Scottish Government’s decisive and compassionate move to bring in the new Scottish Child Payment is the lifeline children and their families need, and is a beacon of progressive policy for the rest of the UK

The JRF adds: “On 26 June, the new Scottish Child Payment was announced by the Cabinet Secretary Aileen Campbell in the Scottish Parliament. This rightly has been lauded as a landmark moment and the most progressive policy brought in since devolution 20 years ago. We’ve now seen the Scottish Government decisively put words into action and we believe this will be a foundational step in turning the tide on child poverty in Scotland. Once fully rolled out, over 400,000 children will benefit, and 30,000 children could be freed from poverty.”

Crucially, the JRF also acknowledges why this action proved necessary: “Poverty in Scotland is rising and we know much of this is due to a reduction in the level of support many people are getting from the UK social security system.


And now

That was in 2019. Now the £10-per-week child payment that is available for eligible families for each child under the age of six is due to be rolled out to include children aged 16 and under by the end of next year.

And the SNP has just announced that if returned to government in May it will double the Scottish Child Payment!

That beacon of progressive policy for the rest of the UK looks set to shine even more brightly!

21 thoughts on “Congenital Liar

  1. Good Moaning Scotland, will already have him booked for the show, slotted in between “Wishing” Wells and “Jackanory” Baillie—Scotland’s new double act (Aw naw, theres two o’ thaim!) the Tory/Lab “Synchronised Huckster Team”.

    The new format could be named–“Whose lie is it, anyway”!

    Liked by 5 people

  2. The £10 a week child payment will eradicate poverty.

    Student fees are lower in Scotland.

    Libdem lies caused Brexit. Condem helped the Tories in power. To cut NHS funding £20Billion. Cut Education £6Billion a year. Cut Welfare funding £16Billion. Increasing child poverty.

    The Scottish Gov has had to mitigate all the cuts. £100million a year on welfare. Supported education etc. Kept unemployment down.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The ScotGov child payment is NOT designed to eradicate child poverty! It is to help families who are struggling, the SNP know it will take a lot more to eradicate poverty, but without full fiscal powers, their hands are thoroughly tied.
      Student ‘fees’ are NOT ‘lower’ in Scotland, Scottish students do not pay tuition fees because the SNP overturned the Labour party policy of plunging students into massive debt.

      Yes you are correct, the SNP continue to mitigate English government cuts to the poorest and most vulnerable, families with children etc. The English government attacks on the poor are nothing short of criminal. The fact the jobworths BritNats at Holyrood use this terrible deliberate and destructive poverty, created by their own parties, against the SNP is utterly despicable, and it’s unforgivable.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. ArtyHetty,
        Worth pointing out to that as well as getting their tuition fees paid student nurses and student midwives in Scotland get an annual bursary which is now £10,000 per year. The leave University without debt, if the are careful, therefore the 4% pay rise will not be eaten up paying off their student loans whereas in England many nurses will not see any benefit from the 3% rise because it will tip them over the earnings level where they have to start repaying their student debt.

        Liked by 4 people

  3. But, lacking veracity or not the media and BBC Scotland will give it air time and not challenge his ‘assertions’. The LibDems are no longer an official group at Holyrood, so, why are they getting coverage. Fir many years, despite being a group, the Greens were ignored for much of the time by our rigorously partial (sic) media.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Probably just AC-H positioning himself to replace Wee Willie 1p as FibDem Scottish Branch Manager, amplified by the BritNat State Broadcaster.

      Without the BBC the FibDems would rightly fade from public consciousness and be reflected as the irrelevance to Scottish political discourse they rightly are today.

      Liked by 6 people

    2. As predicted, on the BBC Scotland politics page Mr Cole-Hamilton is the leading piece – big heading, big photograph.

      I wonder, since Wuggie gave up and will not be wanting to run, if either of the other two MSPs will stand, so that there will be an actual election? Will BBC Scotland have a hustings programme? Does anyone give a monkey’s?


      1. True, but oddly interesting (not Cole-Scuttle I hasten to add) that their bogus “Covid in Scotland: Thousands turn off tracking app” remains in the exact same position before the blatant liberaliar was featured…
        I’d spun down through the “demoted” propaganda, but couldn’t recall whether it was the “Covid in Scotland: Deaths at four-month high despite fall in cases” they dumped to keep their bogus story alive or “Why are Scotland’s emergency departments so busy?” or something else.
        Isn’t it sad really, an organisation once trusted so absolutely for impartial reporting, reduced to a propaganda outfit where public service means shafting them..
        And who better than Alexander Cole-Scuttle (the famed Zoom mime artist) to assist with the Vaseline…


  4. Cole-Hamilton is typical of the LibDems- he talks about his liberal values but scrape the surface and you find a self-serving , hard-faced , heartless Tory !
    Like so many of the most voluble opponents of the Scottish Government he was elected with the overwhelming support of Tory votes .

    He is the archetypal wolf in wolf’s clothing !

    Liked by 6 people

    1. But, what is happening in the minds of so many people in the north of England that they are substantially supportive of the Prime Minister. I can understand why they have moved away from Labour, but, how can people who once voted Labour from a trade unionist social democratic perspective support Someone like Johnson, specifically, and vote for Tories in significant numbers?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. It’s hard to fathom. I do know that my friends in Northumberland at the coast, just next to Tyne and wear, say that there are new very large housing estates, it’s affordable housing for the well off from down south. Nice countryside, cleaner air, etc. For eg Blyth, a hugely industrial area until recently, which was always Labour, voted Tory last election. Again large fancy housing estates, for the well off southerners. There are working class who vote Tory, but that doesn’t explain why very poor areas would suddenly turn blue.

        I will link to an article I read last night about dark money in elections and referendums in the UK.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. The story this century of why the NE of England is where it is politically is an eventful one. It’s still notable that the NE rejected an (albeit modest and so arguably flawed) devolution proposal from a Labour government back in 2004: the vote against the plan was 696,519 (78%), while 197,310 (only 22%) voted in favour, an emphatic rejection.

          Then back in 2016, four out of seven councils in the region voted against the latest (Tory) ‘devolution’ proposal which included electing a mayor for the NE region. Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside all voted for the plans, but Sunderland, Durham, South Tyneside and Gateshead voted against.

          As far back as 2004, the article at the link below, referring to the NE’s devolution referendum, had this: ‘BBC political editor Andrew Marr said many in the No Camp were Eurosceptic campaigners ….’

          ( )

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Although I was aware of Cummings’ NE connections, this association with the NE referendum in 2004 I didn’t know. A quick online search just now found this, written, surprisingly, as recently as 21 July this year:

              ‘In 2004 Cummings moved to North East Says No – NESNO– that campaigned for the “No” vote in the referendum for an elected North East Regional Assembly.

              ‘Cummings followed the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) with two easy, false arguments: the money spent on more politicians could be spent on doctors; and the Assembly would raise Council Tax. In hindsight it could be Brexit: The Prequel. NESNO also benefited from a donation-in-kind of consultancy services from UKIP.

              ‘The visual gimmicks of an inflatable white elephant and burning fake £50 notes worked. “No” won 78% of the vote.

              ‘The landslide result killed off devolution hopes across the North: the later referendums for the North West and Yorkshire Regional Assemblies were cancelled.’

              And the article concludes: “The mechanics of winning the EU Referendum and last December’s General Election he learned in the North East Regional Assembly Referendum.”


              One can only speculate of course, but if regional devolution had been able to establish a toehold in the NE in 2004, England might be a very different country now!

              Liked by 1 person

      2. I recall an article proclaiming the “Red Wall” a myth – the constituencies involved had gone through a series of electoral changes since the 70s, hence were never rock solid Labour in reality, but we bought into the story they were.
        If you consider previous Tory campaigns have succeeded principally on suppressing the Labour (in this case) vote, this would undoubtedly have been a factor after putting Corbyn through the media meat grinder with ladels of added suspicion…


    2. Scarily, I saw something other day about children taken from their families in England, and stuck into ‘care’ miles and miles away, which means they lose contact with family. Seems from what I could make of it, more like abduction by the state, very very concerning indeed. Little if any help for families, just remove the children, which if not managed well, can be worse for the child. The English government are seriously making things much worse for people who are struggling, including families with children, it’s despicable.


  5. Student loans are £3000/4000 in Scotland and no longer means tested. More people in Scotland can go to university. The highest in the world.

    Student loans in the south are £9000 to pay for higher fees. The ConDems cut Education funding £6Billion a year.

    The Scottish Gov is eradicating child poverty by funding £10 child payments to lower income families.


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