Having read the BBC article I conclude that Mr Adamson has malign intentions: this is a reasonable conclusion to draw when on such a complex, intractable subject a professional answers a journalist’s loaded question – ‘Are you saying she’s failed?’ – with the answer ‘Absolutely!’. As Mr Adamson is leaving his post what is his motivation for such ‘absolute’ negativity – to seek to mitigate his own failings in post, to do a final favour for his preferred political party, or some other reason?
His statement has clearly been gleefully received by BBC Scotland which in turn provided a platform for opposition politicians from parties currently in government elsewhere in the UK. Of course BBC Scotland aggregates and amplifies their negatives regarding Scotland and its government without any UK context or perspective. This is a hatchet job: this is gaslighting.
I contributed a lengthy article to TuS late in 2022: ‘On poverty across the UK – helping fill the ‘perspective void’!’
It included this: ‘I’ll end by recalling these statements from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the charity devoted to ‘creating a prosperous UK without poverty’:
‘First from 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.’ (my emphasis)
‘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.’
‘The JRF offers this important context: ‘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.’
‘These statements from the JRF were written before the Scottish Government announced its intention to double the Scottish Child Payment! Later, Chris Birt, deputy director for Scotland at the JRF was reported in an STV online news article (14 July, 2021) stating:
‘If this cut to Universal Credit goes ahead in October, ALL THE PROMISED DOUBLING OF THE SCOTTISH CHILD PAYMENT WILL ACHIEVE IS TO REVERSE THE EFFECTS OF THIS DAMAGING CUT.’
‘The cut went ahead! However much discontent with progress in Scotland to end child poverty there may be, the perspective provided by the evidence laid out above should severely restrict the negative impact of those that gaslight Scotland on social policy matters.’
On the latter point, I have been proved wrong. So it will be even more important as the next electoral test/s arise that the hypocrisy of the Labour Party in particular – the Party that tells voters it would end poverty in Scotland but can’t achieve this whilst in government in Wales – is exposed relentlessly and robustly.
5 thoughts on “‘As Mr Adamson is leaving his post what is his motivation for such ‘absolute’ negativity – to seek to mitigate his own failings in post, to do a final favour for his preferred political party, or some other reason?’”
This guy is miffed he didn’t get another 5 years tenure as is allowed in the rules.
A more balanced interview would at least have touched on the effects of Westminster decisions on the Scottish budget and policy decisions. I have downloaded the poverty report linked in Bob Lamont’s post to read later but I am sure any of us could go through this and pick out all positive or negative statements to suit our purpose – BBC Scotland only ever reports the negatives or qualifies positives with a great big but statement.
It might be that Bruce Adamson belongs to the indy friendly critics like Lesley Riddoch and feels a need to point out failings of policy and vision. But when the interviewer fails to challenge statements or present alternative views the interview becomes of little value to either informing or educating the electorate. Yes, we would all like to see the SNP go faster/higher and tackle poverty, land reform etc but if innocuous decisions like introducing baby boxes face a barrage of criticism from all sides and now the possibility of a Westminster veto it is harsh to expect truly radical change
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As you know, I am not a big fan of Nicola Sturgeon but I have to agree with everything you say on this Stewart. This was a disgraceful attack on the record of the SNP and the efforts they have made to mitigate Westminster’s penny-pinching. I have to ask ‘what has Mr. Adamson been doing for the last six years if things are as bad as he makes out?’
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Q. Nicola Sturgeon , are you saying he’s failed ?
A. ”Absolutely ! ”
If a future employer is looking for a character reference for Mr. Adamson I am more than happy to give them one.
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