Friday, 20 April 2012

Lies, Damn Lies and Doosan

When I was a boy in west-central Scotland and making my first Holy Communion, we were told by Father O'Connell that sin was not only omnipresent, it was also omni-featured. There were "sins of commission" and "sins of omission". There's a straightforward lie: "Jimmie done it" when you knew that he didn't do it. And a sleekit obfuscation: keeping schtum when you knew that Jimmie had done it but for some reason you (he'll give you a thump) weren't willing to point the finger.

So telling the whole truth includes not hiding a truth, however inconvenient it may be. And, conversely, lying can be hiding that inconvenient truth.

Yesterday at FMQs, Johann Lamont caught the FFM in the act of concealing an inconvenient truth: what Father O'Connell would have called "a lie of omission".

I have to say I find it astonishing that our First Minister and his cabinet would sit on this piece of information for so long.

They even allowed two Budget debates to pass with the Doosan investment as a Budget line.... and they let Parliament believe the project was still a live possibility.

What's all that about?

It's more than astonishing, it's bizarre: what could the Nationalists possibly think they could get out of this type of behaviour? Where/what/who benefits?

And even more surprising is the reaction of the press and the broadcasters. There has been no condemnation at all of this passive lying behaviour. It made no splash (beyond a few "questions were raised" bland reporting) on the TV news or the news pages and it will be dead and buried by tonight.

It's as if the press cannot see the problem or, more likely, they see it and don't think it is remarkable that a head of an elected Parliament can blithely keep economic news secret from that Parliament, its Finance and Development Committees, its members and its officials, the press and the public for month after month, only to release the news in an aside in an interview. 

And not expect any (and not to get very much) comeback!

Maybe the truth is that nobody expects the truth from our Scottish Government any more. If so, that's depressing. Almost as depressing as the lack of fuss with which this tale of lying by omission is so quickly passing from public scrutiny.


  1. Ah, but some individuals are keeping the story alive, by now trying to blame the BBC of all places.

    Someone else on another blog pointed out that the company had given out the information in some business release or whatever - who the hell reads those?

    Someone is coaching the First Minister on what information to release and when - and I have a few ideas just who that might be. Hiding bad news is never a good idea.

  2. A major concern for me would be that the Labour party didn't think it important enough to maintain a relationship with a major employer in Renfrewshire.

    The story of the Doosan plans being postponed was well known within the Renewable energy sector several months ago - as Barbarian of the North asks 'Who the hell reads those?' - Probably people interested in developments in Renewable energy I'd say - so one might hope that would include the people who might have an actual interest in the developments in a sector that brings significant investment and job opportunity to Scotland - 11000 and growing...

    BTW I'm not defending SNP behaviour (or condemning it) but I am asking how the hell Labour don't take any interest in something as substantial as this.

  3. So it's all Labour's fault that Alex Salmonmd and John Swinney "kept secrets"* from Parliament...

    You may not be "defending the SNP", but you are trying to create a diversion and switch the blame.

    So what if Labour should/should not have known....if you really want to address the post, why not address the blatant behaviour of the Nationalist Government?

    *lied to...

  4. No, I'm asking you - an avowed Labour supporter (rumour has it even a Labour Cooncillor!) - why Labour failed to keep abreast of developments, with publicly available information BTW, with a major employer in a developing industry that is being touted as the the 'future'.

    I've got an open mind about it, but I think it's a big fail for Labour in an area where one might have expected (more hoped I suppose) them to be at least partly competent... but if we can't expect Labour to keep their eye on the ball in terms of Large Industry... I'm really failing to see what the devil we could trust them with.