Archive for the ‘disturbing’
As part of their tireless campaign against abuse and threats on the internet, the Mail’s ever-alert reporters will doubtless be wanting to run a major piece on the deputy leader of UKIP calling today on a widely-read website for Nicola Sturgeon to be killed.
No need to thank us for the tip-off, guys. All part of the service.
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.
On Wednesday we highlighted a curious outbreak of mass hysteria in the Scottish press, when a whole clutch of its newspapers suddenly and inexplicably jumped on a six-month-old story that had been comprehensively debunked at the time and hadn’t become any more true.
The story was swiftly proven to be complete rubbish all over again, and some of the papers printed grudging and much less prominent pieces admitting it was nonsense (all gallantly blaming their source, some Buckingham Palace flunky gone rogue, rather than their own failure to check the facts).
And then things got weird.
There’s a tactical voting tool on the Telegraph website, which despite a somewhat loaded headline purports to even-handedly advise confused voters on the best course of action to take in their own constituency depending on whether they want to keep Ed Miliband or David Cameron OUT of 10 Downing Street.
We were a bit suspicious when we typed our Bath postcode in and asked to keep Cameron out, because it advised us to vote Labour even though it’s one of the safest Lib Dem seats in the country (with the Tories in 2nd) and Labour got just 3,251 votes in 2010, which is to say they’ve got absolutely no hope here.
And then we tried some Scottish seats, and things got a bit creepy.
A few days ago, a constituency poll by Tory peer Lord Ashcroft found that the SNP were leading narrowly in Edinburgh South – a seat in which they secured a paltry 7.7% of the vote in the 2010 general election. Keep that fact in mind, readers.
Today the Edinburgh Evening News (EEN) published an article by David Maddox, a senior political journalist on the Scotsman, alleging that the SNP candidate for the seat, Neil Hay, had “liken[ed] anti-independence campaigners to Nazi collaborators” in a tweet over two and a half years ago (from a pseudonymous account under the name “Paco McSheepie”), and had also tweeted a series of attacks on pensioners.
Scottish Labour immediately leapt on the article and demanded Mr Hay be sacked as the candidate, less than two weeks before the election. It’s not possible to replace a candidate at such a late stage – some voters may already have voted by post – and such a move would thereby effectively have handed the seat to the Labour candidate and previous MP Ian Murray by default.
The story turned out to be an absurd, massive exaggeration and misrepresentation of the reality. But it also exposed a level of naked, shameless dishonesty and hypocrisy in Scottish Labour, and in particular its deputy leader Kezia Dugdale, that even this site hadn’t previously dared to imagine.
NOTE: This article was published earlier today on the CommonSpace website. Since that time, according to its webhosts, the site has come “under attack” and can no longer be accessed. We reproduce the article here at CommonSpace’s request.
A Yes campaigner reported as “defecting” to the Labour party by the Daily Record in a much-hyped front page splash has said he in fact remains a member of the SNP, a supporter of independence and favourable to a Labour-SNP deal at Westminster.
On Tuesday, the Daily Record ran a front-page story (click here to read) claiming that Nicola Sturgeon had suffered a “major setback” after activist Muhammad Shoaib was said to have joined the Labour party.
Hyping the story up, the tabloid title branded Shoaib an “SNP boss”, although it is unclear why. Shoaib is a former Labour councillor and organiser of Scots Asians for Independence. He joined the SNP in 2007.
However, Shoaib has told CommonSpace that while he does want to see a Labour government ahead of the Tories – he would like to see Labour and the SNP work together in a “loose” arrangement following May’s vote. “Basically, I’ve not joined Labour and I’m still officially a member of the SNP,” said Shoaib.
When we tweeted a link to this Morning Star story about Scottish Labour chief of staff John McTernan speaking for the right-wing think-tank Policy Exchange at a fringe meeting of the Conservative Party conference last September, several readers found it quite difficult to believe.
After all, this was a senior Scottish Labour figure telling delegates that “It’s a good thing [Margaret Thatcher] did what she did” to the UK economy, and that “There’s a far wider range of assets that are currently owned by the government which I would privatise”, among other not-terribly-socialist views. It seemed implausible.
Fortunately, we can now bring you the proof. It’s very much worth a watch.
We’re sure Scottish Labour’s few remaining voters have no cause for alarm, though. We’re almost positive that there’s no significance in the fact that McTernan was pretty much the first person Jim Murphy rushed to hire when he became leader, just a few weeks after McTernan had given the Tories advice on winning elections.
After all, just because you’re in charge of all of a party’s staff doesn’t mean that you get to exert any kind of influence over its policy [SUB PLEASE CHECK].
We’ve known and documented for some time now that Scottish Labour’s attitude towards “foreigners” is, well, let’s be super-generous and say “ambiguous”. But this photo from nine days ago made even us take a sharp breath.
The woman on the left is the Labour MP for Aberdeen South, Dame Anne Begg. She received her DBE in 2011 “for services to disabled people and to equal opportunities”. But who’s her No-campaigning pal?
An interesting piece in the Herald today:
Right there, in just two sentences, the spirit of the Union: English people think they should have been allowed to force the Scots to remain in the UK against their will.
If 70% of English people voted against independence (or even in fact, if just 70% of the 56% who think they should have had a vote did), it would have vastly outweighed even 100% of Scots voting Yes. That, readers, is the respect the people of England have for Scottish self-determination and democracy. Every single Scot could have voted for independence, and England’s view is that they should have been able to, and would, force Scotland to stay in the UK.
We’re just going to leave it at that.