If you only read the papers, you’d think government involved little more than responding to opposition attacks on schools and hospitals. That’s because the purpose of newspapers is no longer to keep you informed but to draw attention to what the journalists and their editors decide on your behalf is newsworthy – that is what will sell the product. Newspapers used to be the main source of information about public affairs but the realm of civil governance has expanded so much while the resources of the media have shrunk (individually speaking rather than across the industry as a whole). The result is that a scan of the daily media would have to think that government has it easy, batting away criticism and swanning around getting their pictures taken. (They do this too).
Like other journalists I’m hooked up to the government’s publicity machine and receive all the announcements released on their behalf…that’s government as opposed to SNP party.
On any given day I am reminded how much work is constantly going on across the whole range of responsibilities as a stream of emails headed SG Communications fire into my In Box. As a guide, I’ll list what I have seen so far today which I would say was typical.
There are – at 2.30 pm – 15 releases from
£2m of criminals’ money going to sporting facilities,
£2m to Strathclyde University to provide clean water in Malawi,
the latest A and E figures,
the state of farm incomes (halved!),
a further statement on how that is out of step with a booming food industry,
£10m for urgent out-of-hours health care,
93 per cent of school leavers going to further education, training or work,
a £315m City Deal for Inverness,
a programme to help vulnerable children find permanent homes,
improved nutrition in hospitals,
a report on sustainable land use,
a £20m scheme to help keep vulnerable groups and long term unemployed into sustainable jobs,
a report on children in care
and the freezing of income tax.
I make no judgment on the content of all this. But there you have Tuesday’s published load of work on your behalf. Just thought you’d like to know
*Added later…The Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm Bill tackles the way modern technology can be used to perpetrate abuse, creating a new offence of sharing private intimate images without consent, or so-called revenge p*rn.
Legislation to modernise the governance and scrutiny of burial and cremation has been passed by the Scottish Parliamentby