Dear Jeremy, in the words of the great Aaron Neville: ‘Check out your own backyard [London] before you check out someone else [Scotland].’



STV News allowed Jeremy Corbyn to headline a piece yesterday with:

‘We shouldn’t have hungry children in Scotland’

before going on to make the astonishing suggestion that Holyrood desperately needs a Labour Government and then listing a number of accusations of failure by the SNP to remove poverty.

No opportunity was given to the SNP to respond. They would probably have been too polite for my taste anyway so here’s my answer to Jeremy following on from the obvious statement in my headline. See this from the most recent empirical study of child poverty in the UK from a House of Commons report in December 2015:

‘Once housing costs are taken into account, relative poverty ranges from one in five children in Scotland (21 per cent) to nearly twice this (37 per cent) in London’. (p113)

That twenty-one percent of Scotland’s children live in poverty is a monstrous blemish on the face of a democracy aspiring to much better. That it is higher everywhere else in the UK and nearly twice as high in our globalised golden capital does not excuse it, I know that. The current Scottish government makes nothing of such a comparison. It simply accepts that it is unacceptable and is now doing what it can to remedy the situation. See also from the same report:

‘The trends in one of the key drivers of child poverty – employment – are also encouraging:

  • The proportion of children in Scotland who live in workless households has decreased rapidly in recent years and is slightly lower than the UK average – only 10.9 per cent of children in Scotland live in workless households compared to 15.8 per cent in 2012 and 11.8 per cent in the UK as a whole;
  • More than six out of 10 (62.5 per cent) children in Scotland live in households where all adults are in work, making Scotland the region with the most ‘fully working’ households in the UK – for example, only 54.6 per cent of children in England live in households where all adults are in work;
  • Scotland has the second highest parental employment rate of any region of the UK: 83.2 per cent of people with dependent children are in work. This is driven by very high employment of mothers in couples; 79.6 per cent of whom are in work compared to 71.9 per cent in England.’ (p169)

State of the Nation’: Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, presented to House of Commons December 2015 at:

For more detail see:

Despite already having the lowest rate of child poverty in the UK, Scotland will become the first and only part with statutory targets to tackle it

Scotland has lower poverty rates than England: JRF Excerpt 1



5 thoughts on “Dear Jeremy, in the words of the great Aaron Neville: ‘Check out your own backyard [London] before you check out someone else [Scotland].’

  1. Holebender February 14, 2018 / 9:34 am

    I commented on Labour’s tweet about this, asking how many hungry children there were in Wales (Labour administration) and why. Needless to say, I got no reply.


      • Alan Gordon February 14, 2018 / 6:30 pm

        Had a look at the State of the Nation report, copied a couple of bits below. Mr Corbyn should really keep his mouth shut, until the Welsh Labour administration is doing significantly better than anybody else, or even Scotland.

        The challenges facing Wales in making progress towards a more socially mobile society with
        lower rates of child poverty are more severe than in the rest of the UK. In particular, Wales
        continues to face tough challenges in relation to child poverty:

        • Absolute child poverty after housing costs rose to 34 per cent in the three-year period
        ending 2013/14, from 29 per cent in the three-year period ending 2008/09 (approximately
        200,000 children).

        This compares to 31 per cent in England and 24 per cent in Scotland
        for the same period. The only part of the UK that has a higher rate of absolute child
        poverty than Wales is London (41 per cent);3

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ludo Thierry February 14, 2018 / 6:02 pm

    Col. Davidson is guilty of a similar game. In Sept 2013 when disgraced former MSP Bill Walker resigned (as he should have done earlier) from the Scottish Parlt. during his trial for domestic abuse Davidson rightly observed: “There is no place in the Scottish parliament for people who have committed the crimes that Bill Walker has.

    “It’s a disgrace he thought he could hang on and the idea that the media is to blame is a joke. He’s a violent misogynist bully and Holyrood is a better place for his leaving.”

    Curious then, that at the Tory’s recent Black and White ball fundraiser (at which The Col. was flogged off for £15,000 – down 25% from her previous £20,000 purchase price) – who should be an honoured guest at this grotesque shindig? – Why, none other than convicted wife-beater Gary Goldsmith (handed a Community Service Order for this crime last year). Tellingly the gallant Colonel made no pointed observations about this particular “..violent misogynist bully..” or how the Tory’s fundraising Ball would be “..a better place for his leaving.” – The Colonel’s buttoned lip (rather than her standard bellow) couldn’t have had anything to do with Tory funder Goldsmith being the uncle of the duchess of Cambridge could it? Surely not?

    Liked by 2 people

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