Scotsman acts as Tory propaganda outlet in fake news about knife crime as statistics reveal dramatic fall in possession and use across Scotland


Michelle Ballantyne, Scottish Conservative early years spokeswoman

(c) The Southern Reporter

Yesterday, the Scotsman headlined with:

‘Scots teachers pressured to cover up knife incidents’

and followed up with:

‘A Johnston Press knife crime investigation revealed ten pupils across Scotland are found with knives on school premises every month.’

First, the headline is a straightforward lie, exposed in the article itself as, toward the end of the piece, we read:

‘A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Knife possession is a crime therefore all teachers should report any incidents [my underlining] where pupils are found with a knife at school.’

So, there is no government pressure on schools to cover-up knife crime.

Second, the above Johnston Press investigation was a UK-wide survey and reported with only one mention of a serious knife crime in a Scottish school, in 2015! There is no mention of the ‘ten pupils across Scotland’ in the published report:

Notably, the ‘investigation’ only seems to have been reported in England. See:

‘JP titles which splashed on stories related to the investigation include the Lancashire Post, Shields Gazette, Wigan Post and Yorkshire Evening Post.’

There is of course, no indication of the scale or scope of the investigation. Indeed, absolutely no mention of the methods used is given at all.

The idea that teachers are being pressurised comes from an anecdotal comment by Seamus Searson, general secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association who, curiously, tells us that ‘some’ headteachers are pressurising staff to keep quiet and that:

“We are dealing with over half a dozen cases a year of teachers coming to us and saying ‘we should have been told’”

It’s not clear how his ‘over half a dozen [7?] cases a year’ and the Johnston Press investigation’s ‘ten pupils every month’ relate until we remember that the latter is probably based on English schools’ data.

Much of the rest of the report is given over to the one serious case at Cults Academy in 2015 and to Michelle Ballantyne, Scottish Conservative early years spokeswoman. Here’s an extract from her comments:

‘The SNP claims it’s tackling knife crime and violence in schools, but then we find out advice is being issued to keep incidents of knives in school secret. Parents will be horrified reputation is considered more important than pupil and teacher safety. This is not the way to address a serious problem and will just undermine confidence that effective steps are being taken to provide a safe environment for our children.’

Right at the end and sort of making all that preceded pointless, Police Scotland report, based on actual policy and evidence:

‘Our decision to specifically record offences of possession of weapons in schools supports efforts to make Scotland’s schools safer. We continue to work with schools and local authorities on anti-violence campaigns and curriculum programmes on a range of initiatives. There has been a 64 per cent reduction in crimes of handling offensive weapons in the last decade and we are determined to continue making progress.’

For a more accurate and contextualised account of the situation in Scotland, with diminishing possession and use of knives, see:

Of 35 children and teenagers killed with knives in Britain in 2017, not one was in Scotland, yet in 2005, the UN called Scotland the most violent country in the developed world.

As knife crime soars in England and Wales and police numbers fall, Police Scotland is staffed at 50% higher level

Sky News suggests Scotland Yard can learn from Scotland on reducing knife crime. Scottish media miss the story

They might as well re-title the Scotsman as the ‘Unionist Scotsman’ or the ‘Fake Scotsman’.



18 thoughts on “Scotsman acts as Tory propaganda outlet in fake news about knife crime as statistics reveal dramatic fall in possession and use across Scotland

  1. William Henderson February 4, 2018 / 1:15 pm

    This goes way beyond propaganda. It is pure, unadulterated, vicious malice!

    Liked by 1 person

      • William Henderson February 4, 2018 / 4:49 pm

        Might as well go for the heart attack.

        A pox on Bernays and his disciples!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Dan Huil February 4, 2018 / 4:50 pm

    British nationalist lying is in direct relation to its desperation. Britnat lies will get even more egregious as we approach indyref2.


    • johnrobertson834 February 5, 2018 / 9:22 am

      I’m sure you’re correct. On the plus side, they’ll give us more to expose as they do.


  3. Alasdair Macdonald February 4, 2018 / 5:30 pm

    Again, a nice piece of debunking.

    Being in possession of a knife on a school campus, other than in supervised home economics, science, art or technical lessons, or by school catering staff, has been a crime since around 2000. I recall an incident when a student who had been fishing and camping with his dad over a weekend and was dropped off at the school gate, realised, as his dad was driving off, that he still had his angler’s knife. He immediately reported this to me and gave me possession of the knife. I told him that I would have to inform the police, who THANKED the boy, advised me to notify the boy’s father to call in at school on his way home from work and take the knife home. All was dealt with sensibly, except by a member of the SSTA, who had overheard the exchange when the boy handed over the knife, and complained that since the boy had not been excluded from school he and his colleagues were in jeopardy. The SSTA has lengthy form in this regard and anecdotal reports by members are generalised and released as press statements using inflammatory language. So, I suspect that SSTA might well have been the source of the piece of fiction.

    The other reason is the recent report of 20 young men having died of stabbing in London in 2017. There have been no such fatalities in Scotland for two years. So, a unionist lie sheet like the Scotsman has to run a story ‘proving’ the feral nature of Scots, especially those who attend STATE SCHOOLS!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Robert Graham February 4, 2018 / 5:43 pm

    Just after the 2014 referendum it was just bending current stories or news to give a particular viewpoint . Since Fluffy increased the staff and budget at the Scotland Office , the pretence has been discarded any attempt at being close to the truth has gone , because they know the compliant media is on side .
    Nothing reported in the MSM can be viewed as objective now I wouldn’t believe the BBC in Scotlands weather report its that bad now .

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Brian February 4, 2018 / 5:44 pm

    Their “investigation” seemed to consist mainly of FOI requests… the RepScot style of fearless investigation. Charlatans all.
    I wonder if the SG will call this one out? It is a delicate subject, but the huge reduction in knife crime is a success story for Scotland (inc Police Scotland), and, in my book, demands a rebuttal.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Legerwood February 4, 2018 / 6:14 pm

    During the week the i newspaper did a multi page spread on knife crime. The only mention of Scotland was a small article about knife carrying in Scottish Schools and how it was still a significant problem. No mention of the Violence Reduction Unit and the reduction in knife carrying, which as mentioned above, has reduced by 64% in the last 10 years.

    Channel 4 news has also been discussing knife crimes and the increasing number of deaths particularly in London where knives are involved. No mention of Scotland and it’s approach where it was treated as a health issue via the VRU which started in Strathclyde and then rolled out across Scotland. However, in one of the studio discussions they had a Labour MP who said they were going to approach it as a public health issue. Hmm.

    In December the Guardian had a good article about Scotland’s approach to knife crime and the results that came from it

    Liked by 1 person

    • Judith Jay February 5, 2018 / 4:29 pm

      I too read this in the “i” and was stunned, blazing angry as I knew that knife crime had been significantly reduced in Scotland, across all demographics. I believe the “i” was bought by Johnston Press from Lebedev a few years back. It used to have a reasonably fair reportage on Scotland but not since it was sold.


  7. Bugger (the Panda) February 5, 2018 / 12:46 pm

    The Fake Northbriton News


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