We’ll never tire of documenting the Daily Record’s increasingly panicked attempts to get David Cameron to enact the Record’s dodgy promise of last September and save it from having to answer for the pup it sold Scotland.
The Daily Record has a major editorial in today’s edition bleating piteously about the way David Mundell and the Conservative government have – to everyone’s complete and utter astonishment, except not so much – ignored the wishes of almost all the MPs elected by the Scottish people just two months ago and blocked every single amendment to the Scotland Bill.
The picture above, by alert reader Neil Hepburn, seems to sum the situation up.
As has already been noted, the majority of the committee – seven from 11 – are MPs for English seats (list below). But one name in particular caught our attention.
Two nights of political debate on the BBC:
Six unionists, two nationalists. What’s that all about, then?
In today’s Scotsman, Peter Jones makes the case for why an independent Scotland would have been plunged into the same crisis currently affecting Greece (and making the case along the way for why George Osborne’s austerity is inevitable and we should just shut up and accept it).
He insists strenuously throughout the article that he’s doing no such thing and is simply highlighting the flaws in the idea of a currency union between Scotland and the rUK, but to anybody who actually reads the article, it’s patently obvious that that’s exactly what he’s doing.
Here’s the Times (Scotland edition) last Wednesday:
A lot has happened since then, of course.
The “Clypegate” dossier didn’t bring Scottish Labour the scale of PR triumph they’d hoped for. Few papers bothered picking it up at all, with only a comically error-strewn Tom Peterkin piece in Scotland On Sunday (which amusingly specified the number of alleged offenders named as variously “50”, “almost 50″ and “46”, never quite managing to get to the actual number of 45) doing much more than report its existence.
But the compilation, and the distribution to the media, of the list raised a number of far more serious questions about the branch office’s cavalier attitude to data protection law, detailed on Wings yesterday by expert consultant (and Labour voter) Tim Turner.
Individuals have already been subjected to threats as a result of being singled out and vilified by Labour, without having committed any crime. And anyone who’s ever posted a tweet or Facebook message in support of the SNP or independence – whether they’re members of the party or not – could be at risk of similar treatment.
If that alarms you – and it should – here’s what you can do about it.
I was on my way to work in London the other morning when I heard someone talking on his mobile phone. He was a white English man in his thirties, wearing builder’s gear, presumably on his way to work too. We were heading in the same direction, so I listened to his end of the conversation as we walked along.
He was in mid-rant when I first clocked him, complaining about drug addicts and alcoholics living on benefits, while he had to get up and go to work. “I’m on my way to work too,” I thought, and the only thing that bothers me about the thought of drug addicts and alcoholics lying around at home or still asleep on the streets is the utter waste of human lives it involves.
But of course, I was on my way to a job I love, and even though I would happily write comedy whether or not I was paid for it, I’m guessing that my job probably pays a lot more than his does. And from the tone of his voice, I don’t think he was looking forward to his day’s work nearly as much as I was looking forward to mine.
You may even have had time to read a data protection expert (and Labour voter)’s assessment of all the ways in which the dossier breaks the law.
Now let’s get down to business.
The Englishman who wades into Scottish politics on either side, especially if he lives in England, is probably taking a huge risk of being disagreed with vehemently, no matter what he says. Nevertheless, the explosion of interest into the so-called ‘Clypegate‘ list has a Data Protection angle that I cannot resist.
To summarise, it seems that the Scottish Labour Party have assembled a list of supporters of the Scottish National Party who have said things on Twitter and Facebook that the Scottish Labour Party do not like. The list – inevitably tagged a dossier – has been passed to the tabloids to stir up some kind of frenzy about the so-called ‘Cybernats’.
Some of the statements are fairly strong, but I don’t doubt worse things are spoken in the average pub conversation about politicians. I’m certain every term applied to Gordon Brown and Donald Dewar has also been said of Alex Salmond by Labour supporters. As someone who voted Labour in the recent election, I can think of a few more constructive things that the smouldering remnants of Labour in Scotland could be doing with their time, but this is what they decided to do, so we are where we are.