Independent Calls for Plain Speaking

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Ken O’Neill, Lothians’ newest independent candidate, has called for all politicians to speak honestly about the economy and financial matters.  Mr O’Neill is standing on the Lothian regional list in May’s elections.  He has called for a move away from jargon and a more honest analysis of financial results.

Mr O’Neill said:

I would like to introduce a ban on the use of inaccurate economic terms in the Scottish Parliament.  Phrases such as ‘structural deficit’ are meaningless.  The idea of a structural deficit serves a political function rather than an analytical one.  The phrase is a pseudo-scientific concept that serves to legitimise cuts in public spending.

If you look at yesterday’s Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation fall fleetingly, you would think it is good news.  However, the CPI does not include mortgage interest rates and payments, which are set to rise.  While I welcome the CPI fall, I realise that it does not signal plain sailing ahead. However, others will jump on the fall as a sign that their current policies or the ones they put in place over a year ago are working.  Inflation is still above the Bank of England’s targets but that information is conveniently swept under the carpet.  That’s before the economy starts to feel the effect of last month’s public sector redundancies.

Politicians should take a step towards using plain English, delivering clear and easily understood messages to the public. This means not using buzz words and phrases like the ‘third sector’ or ‘stakeholders’ – to me they are just the voluntary sector and interested parties.  Everybody knows exactly what those phrases mean – they do exactly what it says on the tin.  There’s no need to use other ones or try to re-invent the wheel.  They should also admit that one set of figures does not show the whole truth and start talking honestly with their employers – the voters.

You can read more about the inflation fall and how it does not tell the whole financial story in Ken’s latest post – Lies, Damned Lies & Statistics.


About LothiansKen

I'm a middle classed kiddie, but I know where I stand.
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2 Responses to Independent Calls for Plain Speaking

  1. Ken, Firstly good luck in the forthcoming election. The more independent’s we have can only be beneficial for the Scottish Parliament as the current two party politics is getting nobody anywhere fast.

    Regarding inflation and financial jargon, I totally agree. There have always been comments that politicians don’t connect with the general public and this is possibly one of the reasons why. They don’t interpret things that the man on the street relates to.

    However I think that the media is totally complicit in this. One outlet for example was hailing this reduction as the best thing that has happened in ages, but when you take it on the back of people either losing their jobs, or at best retaining their job, but with no annual payrise, this essentially equates to a 4% annual pay cut. And the inflation reduction is only a one period reduction, it in no way indicates a trend downwards.

    Anyway, good luck for the next 3 weeks!

  2. lothiansken says:

    Thank you very much Reluctant Hero, I appreciate the best wishes and the compliment.

    I agree that politicians don’t connect with the general public. The other day, Labour’s Justice spokesman Richard Baker questioned the doubling of costs in five years for chauffeuring Judges around Scotland. Mr Baker may not have noticed, but the price of petrol has doubled in that time. Do you think there is a connection between the two?

    Please make sure you highlight the campaign and tell everyone you know who’s eligible to vote in the Lothians that they do have another option. We independents don’t receive the same level of coverage as the big four and the Greens do.

    Cheers, Ken

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