Today on BBC Scotland News, six times before 9am:
‘Scottish retailers recorded their best month’s performance in more than four years, last month. Figures from the Scottish Retail Consortium showed total sales increased by 2.4% compared with May 2017. Food sales were up 4.2% while non-food sales rose 1.4%. The SRC says garden furniture, barbecues and summer clothes and footwear all performed well.’
This will, no doubt make the three Reporting Scotland shows today, too. So, who says BBC Scotland doesn’t give us good news on the Scottish economy? Well, in the last few days, they missed:
- Scottish growth ‘outpacing UK as a whole’
- Scottish growth three times UK level
- ‘Foreign Direct Investment in Scotland at ‘unprecedented’ levels
- 8% of the population, nearly 9% of the exports but only 5.25% of the imports
from these reliable and easily accessed sources:
Before I offer an explanation as to why some good news on Scotland’s economy gets reported but other examples do not, one wee detail. Notice ‘best month’s performance in more than four years’ but ‘2.4% compared with May 2017’, only one year back? Would the percentage increase on the level more than four years ago have looked too good?
Anyhow, here’s my thesis:
- The sales figures are allowed because they are the result of retailers ‘performance’, weather or horror of horrors, borrowing, and not, apparently anything to do with the SNP though you could say that sales reflect wages and jobs and that the government of the day gets some credit. Of course, Westminster policies can also be given credit for this.
- Sales figures are not evidence of core economic strength of the kind suggested by growth, investment and exports. It seems certain that these owe something to inherent strengths plus SNP economic policies and should not be mentioned.
- The growth, investment and export/import figures allow favourable comparison with the rUK and this, too, does not fit the Unionist agenda.