(What, Denis Canavan’s maths pupils did much better than mine?)
In the Northern Echo and the Evening Times, yesterday:
‘Under us, crime is at its lowest level’: SNP hails ‘staggering’ drop in youth conviction rate in Scotland. The number of young people convicted of a crime has fallen by 70% in the past decade in Scotland, new figures show. Analysis of crime stats show convictions in the under 21 age group dropped from 27,832 in 2007 to 8,814 in 2017. Amongst males, the number of convictions has fallen from 24,526 to 7,596.’
Now, Jack McConnell quit in August 2007 and since then youth crime has been falling fast. Jack was a maths teacher, in Alloa, before politics. Maybe it doesn’t add up, but could he have driven enough young people to crime with his brutal unforgiving assessments? Mind you, the removal of lead from petrol, not just in Alloa, has been connected with falling crime, globally. I suppose if Jack and Labour had stayed on (brrr) they’d be claiming at least some credit for this so it’s only fair that the SNP claim it now.
Though missing the wider story, the Daily Record has been prepared to note related success in South Lanarkshire. In can find no mention in BBC, STV, Scotsman or Herald. See this:
‘Despite the recent spate of knife crime, weapons offences in South Lanarkshire have decreased by more than 70 per cent in the past decade. In 2007/08, there were 17 cases of handling offensive weapons per 10,000 of the population in South Lanarkshire – which has fallen sharply to just five by 2016/17, a drop of 71 per cent.’
Wait a minute, what ‘recent spate’? There hasn’t been a ‘spate’ of knife crime in Scotland for at least ten years. I think they mean ‘in London.’ See this, in the Guardian, from December 2017:
‘How Scotland reduced knife deaths among young people. Treating knife crime as a health issue has led to a dramatic drop in stabbings: of the 35 deaths of young people in Britain this year, none were in Scotland. In 2005, Strathclyde police set up a violence reduction unit (VRU) in an effort to address a problem that had made Glasgow, in particular, notorious.’
Footnote: I know there is more crime than that convicted but a fall of this scale is unlikely to be due entirely to changes in policy.
Footnote 2: Years ago, I did research into the political awareness of 10-14 year-olds and found that few of them knew of Jack McConnell. Indeed, one who thought he did, wrote ‘Jack McGoogle!’
I’m so glad you have brought back the footnotes John, I’ve been missing them!
My thoughts exactly when you quoted ‘despite the recent spate of knife crime…’ – eh? Where is that? I thought.
This next bit is off-topic, but you know how I was reading the book debunking Bill Browder, hedge fund manager turned self-proclaimed human rights activist, pathological liar, sole driver of the Magnisky Act in America (a law which places international sanctions on named individuals in another country). He has been one of the biggest driving forces behind the Russiaphobic sentiment in the west.
From what I can see, Russia does have human rights abuses problems, but not much more than those provided by Westminster (the UN has stated this, repeatedly), and certainly not on a par with those of Saudi Arabia (and other countries), but I have not seen any sanctions on the Saudis or their country being encircled by NATO (who include large financial institutions). So hypocrisy and double standards abound.
So why pick on Russia? Well, the theory is that the financial big wigs need a war or crisis of some sort for ‘economic growth’ because they cannot sustain themselves without out and out austerity, which can be accepted through by patriotic need (my simplification and quite likely off the mark), and Russia is a good target.
How does this affect Scotland? It shows that media bias is not just simply anti-independence, that part is just one small, but frustrating, part of the whole of western media – in cahoots with big finance – in cahoots with big political players – in cahoots with security services. I just want people to take moment to think – we know how much we are being lied to and misdirected by our own ‘Scottish’ media, thanks to John and his fellow bloggers of the debunking myths ilk – so when you find yourself influenced by media rhetoric on international matters, it is likely we are not hearing the whole story – otherwise why try to influence our thinking? Thought control indeed.
Back to Bill Browder: he seems to me to be the epitome of what is wrong with much of our power structures, that one man is propped up by the establishment to sell extremist misinformation. He is allowed to influence our thinking without alternative views being put forward (sounds familiar), and influences those in power, perhaps because it is the ‘accepted view’. A documentary maker, enthusiastic about exposing human rights abuses in Putin’s Russia, decided to tell Browders heart rending story, but found himself at odds as some (all maybe) of the story didn’t stack up. I got the link from one of Craig’s tin foil hatters, but they say it may not last long as it has been removed from other platforms, so I hope a few people will take the opportunity to watch this (docu-drama) even though it’s a good 2.5 hours long. The producer has had problems getting it shown, even in Germany, whose state broadcaster partially funded it but then refused to broadcast it.
(The background is: Browder was an American (now British, allegedly to avoid tax), was involved in the asset-stripping in 90s and 00s Russia, was caught dodging taxes etc in the millions of dollars, was investigated (those people are now named, individually in the magnisky act) and found guilty, magnisky was Browder’s ‘lawyer’ and died in a Russian jail).
Documentary about Bill Browder:
Too good to be left as mere comment. Posted separately.
Thank you! I just came back on to apologise for misspelling Magnintsky, and for overwhelming your comments section, so I was surprised to see you have not only forgiven me again, but have appreciated my contrary thinking processes 🙂 . You are far too tolerant of my idiosyncrancies and inconsistencies John!
I winced a bit at the ‘tin foil hatters’ part, I really am grateful to all Craig’s commenters who take an alternative view (which I would not normally read except for their recent soap-opera speculation on the Skripals, it has been very entertaining), I should be more careful in descriptions of groups.
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