Herald incorrectly includes Scotland in surge of anti-Semitic incidents elsewhere in UK


The Herald, yesterday, in an anonymous piece, headlined:

‘Alarm as anti-Semitic incidents surge across the UK’

and wrote:

‘Anti-Semitic hate incidents have reached a new record high in the UK, new figures show. A report indicates that the Jewish community was targeted at a rate of nearly four times a day last year. The Community Security Trust (CST), a charity which monitors anti-Semitism, recorded 1,382 anti-Semitic incidents nationwide in 2017.’


Clearly with more time on my hands than the reporter, I had a look at the actual report, as opposed to their press release. On page 34, I found that there had been 1 382 incidents in the UK in 2017 up 3% from 1 346 in 2016. So, not much of a surge overall but there had been a 34% increase in physical assaults from 108 in 2016 to 145 in 2017.

On the same page of the report, I found a breakdown revealing that of the 1 382 incidents, only 16 had occurred in Scotland, up 1 from 15 in 2016. With 8% of the population, only 1.15% of all anti-Semitic incidents took place in Scotland.

‘Incidents’ included tweets and shouts from passing cars. In the report, no cases of physical assault in Scotland were reported. Only two examples were offered, one was a tweet and the other was an insult from a shopkeeper angered by Israeli attacks in Gaza. So, there almost certainly had been no physical assaults at all in Scotland


However, this is a second offence by the Scottish press. The previous example was worse. It was a blatant lie as opposed to just stupid. In July 2017, the Scotsman wrote:

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

Reading the article in full and you saw that ‘Hate offences against Jews in the UK reach worst level on record’ would’ve been accurate but there was absolutely no evidence of such a spike in Scotland presented anywhere in the piece. The headline was 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 was UK-wide and no evidence that it was present in Scotland was offered. Indeed, with a little simple arithmetic we saw that the opposite was true.

Scotland’s population was 5.295 million [in mid-2017]. The UK population was 65.14 million. Scotland’s population was therefore 8.13% of the total. So, if the surge to 1 078 cases across the UK was present in Scotland too there would’ve been more than 87 cases in Scotland yet there were only 26 recorded and only 15 charged. So, the Scotsman headline, if honest, should have read something like:

‘Hate offences against Jews in Scotland much less common 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.

14 thoughts on “Herald incorrectly includes Scotland in surge of anti-Semitic incidents elsewhere in UK

  1. Alasdair Macdonald February 2, 2018 / 11:35 am

    Of course the most likely reason for this is to imply guilt by association. Since they have deemed – unilaterally – that favourable comparisons with England are ‘not permitted’, then the logic of ‘Better Together’, in this case switches to ‘Together’ rather than ‘Better’. Although we Scots – misguidedly – voted 62 – 38 to remain within the UK, the figure for the UK as a whole was 52 – 48 to Leave, we were, we were told portentously, voting about the UK and not about Scotland, so, the figure for the UK applies to ALL of the UK, because we are ‘together’. By that logic then any figure for the UK applies to all parts of it equally. Therefore since the datum under discussion ‘surged’ in the UK as a whole, it, ergo, surged in every part.’

    If we take the datum regarding the rise in the number of anti-semitic hate incidents in Scotland in 2017 from 15 to 16, this represents a RISE of 6.7%. The comparable figure for the UK was 3%, therefore, we are MORE THAN TWICE AS BAD. In this case the logic demands that the ‘better’ aspect of ‘better together’ is emphasised.

    It appears you have not been paying attention to your unionist teachers, Mr Robertson, when you cannot follow that simple logic. Few people in the UK have no shoes, ergo, there is very little poverty in the UK. Please pay attention!


  2. johnrobertson834 February 2, 2018 / 1:02 pm

    Sir, yes, sir!

    ‘If we take the datum regarding the rise in the number of anti-semitic hate incidents in Scotland in 2017 from 15 to 16, this represents a RISE of 6.7%. The comparable figure for the UK was 3%, therefore, we are MORE THAN TWICE AS BAD.’


    Liked by 1 person

    • Alasdair Macdonald February 2, 2018 / 1:19 pm

      If it had been from 0 to 1, then the change would have been INFINITELY WORSE! Can you imagine the pooping corks in newsrooms? However, since they cannae dae hard sums dividing by zero would be inconceivable.

      Liked by 1 person

      • johnrobertson834 February 2, 2018 / 3:45 pm

        Inconceivable! Reminds me of the foreigner trying to find the words for his wife’s infertility. She is how you say ‘unbearable.’ No, she is ‘inconceivable.’ No, I have it. She is impregnable!


  3. Ludo Thierry February 2, 2018 / 2:17 pm

    Hi guys – Just checking a detail (as Citizen Journalism has to double check the double checking or is characterised as Trumpism or similar). The article mentions yesterday’s (misleading) piece in the Herald and identifies this as 2nd offence on same topic following previous (misleading) piece in July 2017. (However, the ‘link’ re. the July 2017 misleading piece seems to be for a Scotsman article. Just checking if there were 2 offending misleading articles in Herald – or if one was from Herald and the other from Scotsman? (Now , sadly, both Herald and Scotsman are almost indistinguishable in their ‘SNP Baaaadery’ and Project Fear nuttiness – so easy error to make if, indeed, it was an error). Again, apologies for appearing pedantic – and double apologies if I’ve misread things.


  4. Hugh Wallace February 2, 2018 / 3:54 pm

    The thing that pisses me off about such reports, other than the obvious, is that I doubt the writers care one iota for Jews (or immigrants or POC or whomever they decide to focus on today) at all. They are simply using the plight of people who are subject to abuse to try and attack Scotland and the Scots who want political self-determination. It is the worst of dog whistle journalism.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ludo Thierry February 2, 2018 / 5:54 pm

    Hi Hugh – couldn’t agree more. These matters are serious and deserve to be treated seriously. Unfortunately that no longer happens in ‘Scottish’ msm (with occasional good exceptions).

    Noticed on holdthefrontpage that latest trading update from Johnston Press released this week. Further decline in revenues during 2017. The relative succes of the i newspaper circulation will, almost certainly, be masking further decline in Scotsman figures (not mentioned in the press release). Again Ashley Highfield CEO (who has ‘captured’ the company and is taking an ENORMOUS salary from a failing company) complains of “..an extremely challenging trading environment” (but refuses to try and encourage Scotsman not to actively exclude 50% of potential market by their active prejudice against any balanced, impartial coverage of Indy movement and Indy ideas. The massive company debt (£220M) still not being successfully addressed – but Ashley still gets his mighty chunk of flesh). See details below:

    Regional publisher Johnston Press saw a 5pc fall in overall revenues during 2017 according to an annual trading update.
    Figures for the period up to 30 December 2017 showed that while newspaper circulation revenues were up, this was offset by continued decline in advertising revenue.
    Total publishing revenues for the group, which include both advertising and circulation, were down 6pc during the year.
    However, bolstered by a strong performance from cut-price national daily the i, circulation revenues rose 2pc.
    Commenting, JP chief executive Ashley Highfield said: “We remained focused on delivering the priorities outlined to shareholders, amidst an extremely challenging trading environment.
    But the trading update also contained a warning that there was “no certainty” a formal proposal would be agreed in relation to the refinancing of £220m worth of debts due for repayment in 16 months’ time.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ian February 2, 2018 / 11:04 pm

    What is well documented is that before expelling the Jewish population Edward I expropriated the Jews in order to pay for his planned war on Scotland (he seems to have been the originator of expulsion of Jews, starting in the English lands in northern France, and all of this 200 years before the Spanish expulsion). However, as far as I know there is little historical documentation to support your statement “Indeed, many fled to Scotland to escape Edward 1st’s anti-Jewish pogrom in the Middle Ages.” It is quite likely that some did so, but we just don’t know for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • johnrobertson834 February 3, 2018 / 10:07 am

      Thanks Ian

      Can’t remember where I read that. Found these, though they’re not strong evidence, I know:

      ‘Many Jews emigrated, to Scotland, France and the Netherlands, and as far as Poland, which, at that time, protected them (see Statute of Kalisz).’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edict_of_Expulsion

      Evidence of Jews in medieval Scotland is scanty. In 1180, the Bishop of Glasgow forbade churchmen to “ledge their benefices for money borrowed from Jews”.[3] This was around the time of anti-Jewish riots in England so it is possible that Jews may have arrived in Scotland as refugees, or it may refer to Jews domiciled in England from whom Scots were borrowing money. While Jews in England during the Middle Ages faced state persecution, culminating in the Edict of Expulsion of 1290 (some Jews may have fled to Scotland at this time[4]) there was never a corresponding expulsion from Scotland, suggesting either greater religious tolerance or the simple fact that there was no Jewish presence. In his autobiographical Two Worlds: An Edinburgh Jewish Childhood the eminent Scottish-Jewish scholar David Daiches wrote that there are grounds for asserting that Scotland is the only European country with no history of the state persecution of Jews. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Scotland

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alasdair Macdonald February 3, 2018 / 5:39 pm

        I can remember, somewhat scantily, I regret, one of Billy Kay’s series, where he was exploring the relations of Scots in Poland, Russia and the Baltic lands around the 12th century and after. There was considerable movement of people and trade, with Scotland being a member of the Hanseatic League.

        In one of the programmes Mr Kay was reporting about relations and attitudes in the then fairly strong Polish Kingdom. The Poles of the time had a fairly rigorous hierarchy, much like apartheid South Africa in the 20th Century. Scots were pretty low in that hierarchy with some pretty fascistic (although the word did not exist at the time) attitudes to Scots as a ‘race’ (rather than as one group pf Jock Tamson’s bairns.). I think only the Jews were below the Scots in this hierarchy. There is a long history of pogroms against Jews in Poland, Russia and the Baltics, with events prior to and within World War 2 being only the most heinous example. So, it might well be the case that there was some affinity between these groups ‘at the bottom of the heap’.


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