Scotsman headline is untrue: hate offences against Jews in Scotland are extremely rare by contrast with the rest of the UK?



This was the Scotsman headline yesterday:

‘Hate offences against Jews in Scotland reach worst level on record’

Now read the article in full and you’ll see that ‘Hate offences against Jews in the UK reach worst level on record’ would be accurate but there is absolutely no evidence of such a spike in Scotland presented anywhere in the piece. The headline is either stupid or a lie. First-of-all, for the UK as-a-whole, see this:

‘Anti-Semitic crimes recorded by police forces around the UK increased by 14.9 per cent in 2016, according to data provided following Freedom of Information requests. The total of 1,078 offences registered last year compared to 938 in 2015 and 746 in 2014.’

Now, for Scotland:

Scotland recorded 26 anti-Semitic incidents [only 15 led to charges] in 2016, with new figures revealing that suspected hate offences targeting Jewish victims UK-wide surged for the third consecutive year to reach the worst level on record.’

So, the surge is UK-wide and no evidence that it is present in Scotland is offered. Indeed, with a little simple arithmetic we see the opposite may well be true.

Scotland’s population is 5.295 million. The UK population is 65.14 million. Scotland’s population is therefore 8.13% of the total. So, if the surge to 1 078 cases across the UK was present in Scotland too there would be more than 87 cases in Scotland yet there were only 26 recorded with only 15 charged. So, the Scotsman headline, if honest, should have read something like:

‘Hate offences against Jews in Scotland much less common in Scotland than in other parts of the UK’

Why didn’t it?

Footnote: Scotland is one of the few countries in Europe which has never had anti-Jewish pogroms. Indeed many fled to Scotland to escape Edward 1st’s anti-Jewish pogrom in the Middle Ages.


10 thoughts on “Scotsman headline is untrue: hate offences against Jews in Scotland are extremely rare by contrast with the rest of the UK?

  1. Bugger (the Panda) July 17, 2017 / 8:34 am

    I met some people who have a holiday home near where I live in France.

    They were a family, Granny, two daughters, one attendant male and a grand daughter. They started talked to me on the bar front terrace. Soon they were probing my politics and Granny let rip that she hated, hated, hated ?Alex Salmond and that woman Sturgeon. NHS failing, education collapsing ecpnomy in collapse, etc etc. I countered their assertions with last weeks real facts especially in comparison with England, where Granny was from. They said my figures were lies and SNP propaganda.

    These people will never change and their whole point of view on the SNP could be assembled from 40 Daily Mail headlines.

    They are the people who continually repeat the lies they are fed by Mail, Scotsman and BBC because it reinforces their core belief; that Scotland is uniquely unable to govern and manage itself.

    It was a salutary lesson for me on a % of voters who will never be won over even if everybody in Scotland were to receive £1 million on independence.

    They would take it, want more and keep their bitterness, They would still never vote SNP

    A bit like the fishermen and estate owners, who are currently being sold down the river in the Brexit talks

    Liked by 1 person

      • Bugger (the Panda) July 17, 2017 / 9:13 am

        No. I had heard of the set concrete unionists, and teased even more out of them about playing property market, initially in London and now Edinburgh. the appended man did property development.

        Thatcher’s children

        Liked by 2 people

  2. seanair July 17, 2017 / 2:54 pm

    Despite the fact that my father (printer) and one of my sons (journalist) worked for The Scotsman in their time, I made a promise some years back that I would not read the paper because of its increasingly anti-Scottish
    If Professor Robertson is correct (which I don’t doubt), this is an atrocious article, possibly one of the worst published by a Scottish newspaper against the SNP.
    Because of my promise to myself not to be in contact with the newspaper, and also that any letter from me would not be published anyway, I feel nevertheless that it should be challenged.
    Surely this is something which should attract replies from a) Nicola;b) Jewish readers, who are more likely to be heard.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ludo Thierry July 18, 2017 / 7:01 pm

    Spot on as ever Prof – I had a quick scan at the Scottish Govt. website and found a very recent report on Hate Crime statistics for 2016-2017 (dated 16/06/17 . Here is a pertinent paragraph re. racial hate crime statistics that I culled :

    Race crime (Tables 1a, 1b)
    In total 3,349 charges relating to race crime were reported in 2016-17, a decrease of
    10% compared to 2015-16. This is 26% lower than the peak in such charges in
    2011-12, and is the lowest annual figure since 2003-04 when 3,322 charges were
    The proportion of charges that specifically relate to racially aggravated harassment
    and behaviour has fallen over recent years, from 62% in 2010-11 to 44% in 2016-17.

    There has been a corresponding increase in the proportion of charges relating to other offences (for instance, threatening or abusive behaviour, or assault) with a racial aggravation. In order to prove a charge of racially aggravated harassment and behaviour two sources of evidence are required whereas evidence from a single source is sufficient to prove a racial aggravation which is attached to another substantive charge libelled.
    Court proceedings were commenced in respect of 83% of charges in 2016-17. In total, 91% of charges reported in 2016-17 led to court proceedings (including those not separately prosecuted (1), but which may have been incorporated into other charges for the same accused which were prosecuted).
    No action was taken in respect of 4% of charges.

    The info is clear. In Scotland (although even one race hate crime is one too many) we can observe a continuing downward trend – with the lowest annual figures for some 13 years.

    This is very good news all round for Community relations in Scotland. Passing strange, isn’t it, that the Scotsman newspaper (with all its proud journalistic traditions and vast resources) was unable to unearth this useful nugget of information to inform its headline and article?

    Come on Scottish mainstream media – please do try to up your game once in a while. There really are some fantastic ‘good news’ stories out there in real-world Scotland.

    Prof – thanks again for your ceaseless work showing what is really happening in our new and improving Scotland. Ludo.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Contrary July 19, 2017 / 9:11 am

    Makes you wonder, eh, why the newspapers think people should pay for such poor quality reporting, if you have to look up the information yourself – easily accessible – and make your own interpretation to get the actual news. People want it easy so read the papers, but how many people now realise the rubbish they being given and asked to pay for? Aye, basic research can reveal actual figures, so any newspaper that thinks people should be paying to read their version can only be indulging in propaganda. Is that too logical?


  5. Ron Murray July 19, 2017 / 4:17 pm

    O/T. I’ve just discovered this web site and think it is the bee’s knees and cat’s pyjamas. What a breath of fresh air to be informed of multitudes of positive news originating in Scotland. This web site is so badly needed to try and counter a constant stream of negative information from other sources whom I’m sure we all know and who rarely give us a buzz of being Scottish. More power to your elbow prof. and I’ll be sure to recommend you to my friends. Keep the good work going.


    • johnrobertson834 July 19, 2017 / 4:43 pm

      Very kind words Ron, much appreciated. Mind you when I was always slagging off the media i got more readers!


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