In the Herald today, by Tom Gordon:
The ‘think-tank’ in question, presented as independent, is headed up by former Labour leader, Lord Jack MacConnell, regular media critic of the SNP and Scottish Government, journalist Chris Deerin and, as research director, by Alison Payne. There are no credible researchers at that level nor on the wider team.
We were here in February 2022 when I wrote:
Reform Scotland, like most right-wing, unionist, so-called think tanks is keen to project itself as somehow independent or non-partisan. Any social science student will tell you there’s no such thing but Reform Scotland is an easier target than that.
It’s director is Chris Deerin, a New Statesman writer, Blairite and regular critic of anything the SNP does. Just Google his name and SNP and you’ll see just how non-partisan he isn’t.
Its research director is Alison Payne. That name ring a bell? It should.
In recent years, popping up as just a ‘mum’, unattributed, on Reporting Scotland, GMS and Kay Adams to moan about SNP school policies, Payne began her career within the Scottish Conservative MSPs’ Research Unit, going on to spend four years as Head of Research. She later went on to become Political Adviser to Annabel Goldie MSP, Leader of the Scottish Conservative Group of MSPs. This role included acting as adviser to the Scottish Conservative Policy Advisory Group. She also spent 10 years as a Girl Guide leader, prior to the birth of her second child in 2010.
And, how did she become a Research Director with no evidence of research training – PhD, MRes, even an honours degree with a dissertation? Girl Guide connections?