When two and two makes seven*

COUNTING and numbers and stuff have never been a strong point for the SNP. Just look at their claims for 1000 extra police, the so-called fiscal surplus and the fairyland numbers behind their “local” income tax.

And when it comes to polling, they are past masters at thinking of a number and then doubling it. No doubt they will be at it again with polling numbers in the next few days of the by-election campaign.

But it’s not the first time in the campaign they’ve shown a less than rigorous approach to number crunching.

Last weekend they claimed they had 500 supporters at a rally in Glasgow East in support of hard-line nationalist John Mason (the man who takes the fun out of “fundamentalist” then bores it to death). But a careful study of pictures of the event reveals just 147, with perhaps three behind a poster, trying not to be seen (and who can blame them?).

There’s really no excuse for this level of innumeracy (I blame the “government”). The problem, of course, is that the media eat it up every time, so you can hardly expect the nats to be more honest with their figures when they know they’ll get away with it every time.

* According to a calculator nicked from SNP headquarters



Filed under Media, Politics, SNP

17 responses to “When two and two makes seven*

  1. Andrew

    The 500 hundred figure was the number of activists at the campaign over the weekend not at the rally.

  2. David Marshall's Expense Account

    Any comments on Margaret Curran parading a 67 year old Labour party activist as a 93-year old Second World War veteran in her campaign literature?


    Tsk, tsk!

  3. I know – the captions on two different pictures were accidentally switched temporarily – I’m amazed the government hasn’t collapsed…

  4. Martin Cullip

    Only a matter of time Tom 😉

  5. Auntie Flo'

    I know – the captions on two different pictures were accidentally switched temporarily (Tom)


  6. Flo – both stories were on the site at the same time. Both pictures were on the site at the same time. Both captions were on the site at the same time. Exactly how was Labour trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes? Are you even capable of making an objective judgment, or has your utterly visceral hatred of Labour blinded you to common sense?

  7. Johnny Norfolk

    Its just like Brown throwing out is 40% borrowing limit to take us even further into debt. thats when 2 +2 =7. I know which is serious.

  8. Russell

    Tom, you’re spot on. Labour are much better at the numbers game. Look at Wendy knowing to ask for £950 rather than a full grand so it doesn’t need declared. Sorry, I guess that was just a muddle not a fiddle…

  9. wrinkled weasel

    Have you got a grudge against the SNP then?

  10. Tizzy

    Tom, I don’t care (much) that you are a Labour bloke. You have style and I love your posts – you brighten up most of my days. Thanks.

    So what do you reckon you’ll get in the re-shuffle?

  11. Tom,

    In all fairness, didn’t the person putting the pictures up think “hold on, this 93 year old guy looks pretty young whilst this 67 year old looks ancient.”?

  12. ScottishToryBoy – I’m sure neither you nor I would have made the mistake. But given that Margaret had in fact had her picture taken with the 93-year-old veteran that day, it’s simply not sustainable to claim there was any dishonesty involved. Cock-up wins over conspiracy, I’m sure every sensible person will agree.

  13. I do agree, all I’m saying is that its a stupid mistake to make at any time but you’ve got to be even more careful in a by-election especially this one as it seems the whole world is watching.

  14. Chris

    Have the SNP been taking lessons from the LibDems and their bar charts, which strangely always show that “only the LibDems can beat [insert name of incumbent] here”?

    I was once at a count where I asked a LibDem activist about the source of a bar chart they’d put out in the campaign, showing the inevitable “two horse race”. His reply? “It was our ‘latest canvass returns’ [sniggers], well yeah, we made it up of course!”

    And then there was the classic during the London Mayoral election when they had one showing Brian Paddick poised to win on the basis of “votes cast in local by-elections in London since Brian Paddick launched his campaign”. No mention of how many by-elections that was, where they were, or what date they were taking as when he “launched his campaign”. Didn’t he end up with a rather miserable 9%?

    But then with the LibDems, statistics are ONLY lies and damned lies!

  15. My guess over at Hopi’s was 144. Are you quite sure that there were not three of them with two heads? Eating twins??

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