Let’s imagine for a second, just for a bit of fun, that this was a prominent SNP or Yes Scotland activist, rather than a Labour one who’s the main contributor to LabourHame and regularly employed by the BBC for some cosy chat on the Sunday Politics.
Charles Green wasn’t using the P-word in a hateful or prejudiced way either, but he got slammed all over the media, chased out of his job and fined £2500. We’re guessing it’s a non-story here, though. Shall we all have a look at the papers tomorrow and find out?
But incredibly, the P-word isn’t even the most offensive thing.
It’s not just the use of a particular word that’s so outrageous here. The unequivocal implication is that the entire Scottish nation is inherently racist, and would “turn on” ethnic minorities if the economy suffered from independence. (Not that there’s a scrap of evidence to suggest that it would, and all the data suggests the opposite.)
We’re not sure how that stacks up, given that the economy’s on its knees right now and we’re not aware of any increase in racist violence in Scotland, but when you’re a Labour diehard looking for anything that you could possibly use to somehow smear the independence movement, who cares?
We’re sure poor mad Ian Smart doesn’t hate Poles or people from Pakistan. What the comment (and numerous others which followed it) indicates is that he despises Scots, largely for not voting Labour any more.
But what of the press? A second-rate comedian allegedly taking a few brickbats from some anonymous commenters, with no evidence to prove it even happened at all, got blanket media coverage last week (with the Herald claiming it was proof of, and we quote, “SNP intolerance”, despite nobody knowing who any of the alleged abusers were, let alone whether they had any connection to the SNP).
We’re going to go ahead and predict total silence, though, over a BBC pundit using one of the worst words in the racist lexicon to dub the whole of his own nation vicious bigots (and being defended by the last Labour First Minister for it). And then we’ll all truly know where we stand, once and for all.