Will blaming the SNP for drug deaths be even slightly damaging?

BBC Scotland will be dwelling on Scotland’s drug deaths for some time and the press such as the Herald below will be digging up multiple attack lines.

None will be exploring the roots of the spike in Thatcherite policies from the 80s but will that matter anyway?

I’ve mentioned before, that after a very difficult time coming off opioid painkillers myself, my empathy for drug addicts has been much intensified.

I genuinely want to see increased efforts to save lives even if it means tholing the hypocrisy of the Tories but how widely shared are my views?

Will the accusations of SNP failure to deal with this problem do them any damage at all?

SNP support in polls has not been measured since early May but it was solid around 50% on average and, notably the same as in July 2020 when the previous set of increased death rate figures came out.

In fact, for reasons I don’t now recall, average support in August and September 2020, the months immediately after they were accused of failing drug addicts, support went up as high as 58%.

Do most voters care much at all about the deaths of drug addicts compared to Covid deaths or the far more numerous cancer deaths?

In a 2015 survey by the Independent, there was little evidence of empathy for Ecstasy victims and comments like ‘They deserved to die’ were the norm.


A large scale content analysis of the UK press coverage of drug users in 2010 found:

Drug users were more likely to be condemned than empathised with in all newspapers, but were most likely to be condemned in the tabloid press, where around a fifth of users were condemned.

Click to access Evidence%20review%20-%20Representations%20of%20drug%20use%20and%20drug%20users%20in%20the%20British%20press.pdf

Watch out for the next opinion poll but do not expect any collapse in SNP support over this, any more than was the case with alleged hospital failures, sexual misbehaviour or internal civil wars. Most voters are paying little attention.

14 thoughts on “Will blaming the SNP for drug deaths be even slightly damaging?

  1. Re.digging up multiple attack lines

    The golden rule whilst done a hole is throw out the shovel
    Little do they realise that the hole they are deep in
    Is that of their own grave

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Putting £250million (5 years) funding into drug rehabilitation services shows they are doing something about it. Not the £3/4million wrongly reported by the BBC, Getting the facts wrong, as usual. Deliberately? (Laura Gordon?).

    Hopefully funding total abstinence, one chance, rehab. To get people well. Instead of unionist councils etc putting people on methadone for years. Not spending the allocated funding on essential services. A relegation of duty and care.

    The Tory Polling going down, down.

    Illegally spending public monies on political polling. The Tories on the take. HS2 £Billions wasted. Hickley Point £Billions wasted. More Tory unionist corruption reported daily. They should not be lecturing anyone. PPE contracts illegally awarded to Tory donors. Cameron etc corrupt lobbying. The list is endless. The waste of public monies and corruption.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Are you looking at this the wrong way down the telescope John. I think it’s clear that there is an expectation/ hope (whatever) that it will. You could have knocked me down with a feather when even the national BBC news began tonight with coverage of the drug death figs in Scotland. Clearly they see this as a vote loser for the SNP. But this isnt new – we had it last year, and last year and almost certainly the year before that, and it didnt really matter. For one thing the public perception of drug addicts is, shall we say neither positive nor entirely accurate. How much does the public care? How much would the public care if it could be shown in the media that the biggest number of drug addicts in Scotland got hooked during and just after Thatcher’s time in power.
    What I dont fully get is the SNP’s response to this, which seems to me to be very back foot. Yes, to argue that “it’s not our fault” would not play well. Yes there is a need – and indeed they should – to show empathy with people in this situation. But is it not about time that the reality of drug addiction spiking in the 80s and 90s became public property and that what we are seeing just now are the consequences of this? Indeed this points the finger at more than Thatcher, for how many of the deaths that we have seen in the last two or three years might have been avoided (or significantly delayed at least) by a more effective approach at the turn of the millenium? Yes there will be folk in the death figs who have overdosed and perhaps never were addicts, but many of them will have been addicted for years and what has been done to address their problem has failed for thirty or forty years.
    Also they might get alison Thewliss on every station moaning about the Home Office bombing out safe drug consumption rooms and the research that shows this can produce better outcomes.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. The drug problem is a heartbreak for so many families and communities and sadly it gives ample ammunition for the opposition parties and the media to go for the SNP.

    It certainly wont do the SNP any good that’s for sure, but again as others have said on this forum, who actually buys the Herald or Scotsman, let alone watches the BBC for their attack lines to have an serious impact? Those that still do, may not support the SNP in any case, certainly in the case of the papers.

    So yes some damage, but certainly from a UK perspective its now lost in the BBC glow of the Team GB BMX medals and lets not forget the bronze in the Equestrian Dressage.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. The truth?

    Since the election (SNP landslide, remember) there has been a FULL COURT PRESS on the SNP by the British nationalist media.

    I regard these “news” outlets, as “colonial” because their treatment of news in Scotland is different in tone and emphasis to treatment of news in England (or Wales), to the pint where their coverage is not just partisan, but explicitly aimed at destroying the SNP as a vehicle for independence. .

    Liked by 4 people

    1. gavinochiltree
      I concur
      But they feel to realise that in procreation terms
      That they are infertile and nothing but blanks to fire
      My advice to them is put the condom back on if only to protect themselves


  6. The Olympics are an embarrassment. An insult. People are losing their lives all over the world while this jamboree continues. It is supposed to be celebrated. £Billions spent on it. It should have been cancelled like the Japanese people wanted. Another disappointment.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The media attacks on the SNP for Drug Deaths ( Nicola’s fault , of course ! ) is just the very latest of the ‘Boy who cried Wolf’ campaign from this dastardly crew . They lie and lie and lie !

    How many issues have been laid at the door of the BADSNP and their leader ?
    I’ve lost count but they have been blamed for everything from the Black Death to the loss of the X Factor from our TV screens .

    But just as in the story about the ‘Boy Who Cried Wolf ‘ ultimately the effect is the same – the public are fed up with their constant lies and pay little or no attention .

    The parallel is clear – Johnson lies and lies and lies , with the collusion of the media , with no apparent effect on Tory ratings – people ( down south ) have become inured to his proclivity to avoid the truth .

    Shame on the media for their utterly hypocritical attitudes north and south of the border.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This – “But just as in the story about the ‘Boy Who Cried Wolf ‘ ultimately the effect is the same – the public are fed up with their constant lies and pay little or no attention”

      That annoying squeak you mentally block out.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Rather than meekly apologising for Scotland’s drug deaths perhaps Nicola Sturgeon should just suggest that we “take it on the chin” and let it run it’s course through the population. That would be OK wouldn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “meekly apologising” suggests you have a cunning plan Baldrick, which legal obligation are you suggesting is broken first ?
      Curious ?


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