At the weekend, hundreds of people (estimates of the actual number, as is traditional, varied wildly according to who was counting) protested against BBC bias at the state broadcaster’s Pacific Quay headquarters in Glasgow. There was a very great amount of sneering on social media among No campaigners and journalists at the peaceful, good-natured gathering, for such is the character of No campaigners and journalists.
A small group of readers of this site were among those who attended the protest. They were carrying a Wings Over Scotland banner, and some people had photographs taken with it, which naturally led to more sneering, such as this:
So far so unremarkable. That’s a jibe aimed at me rather than the wee kids in the pic, and I’m fair game. But then a gang of usual-suspects No types piled in on Labour and “Better Together” activist Hothersall’s tweet, and things got a little ugly.
Pretty unpleasant, but depressingly run-of-the-mill, stuff. Alert readers, however, may be wondering why there’s a black bar in the middle of that image. That’s because there was a tweet there that’s now been deleted, but not before it was captured for posterity.
Kathy Wiles was today selected as Labour’s 2015 Parliamentary candidate for the Westminster seat of Angus, currently held by the SNP. (Extra-vigilant readers will have also spotted a tweet above from John Ruddy, the chair of the Angus Labour Party that selected her.) She apparently thinks it’s fine to liken small children to the Hitler Youth because they’ve had their photograph taken under a Wings Over Scotland banner.
This evening we got an email from one of the children’s mothers, Lorna Young.
I’m the parent of the 7-year-old that Duncan Hothersall mistakenly identified as you last night.
Kathy Wiles who tweeted the attached appears to have since deleted the tweet, but it must be cached in my iPhone as I was able to screen shot it.
I note that within the last couple of hours her selection as a prospective Westminster MP has been announced by Labour, and I note also her 13 year experience working in the education sector.
Bit embarrassing therefore to have been caught on the same day publically comparing enthusiastic pro indy children (aged 7 & 9) with Hitler Youth. No wonder she deleted the tweet.
Some background info on my child and his cousins, and their presence yesterday.
Alexander became interested in indyref after watching BBC Scotland’s ‘Scotland’s Smoking Gun’ documentary earlier in the year after he couldn’t sleep one night, it just happened to be on the tv at the time. He connected with the programme very sincerely and asked lots and lots of questions and decided all by himself that he wanted Scotland to be an independent country.
His birthday is a week after the referendum. The day after he watched the documentary he announced, with no coercion whatsoever, that the only birthday present he wants this year is an independent Scotland.
Since then he has continued to have a very active interest in the campaign, he thoroughly appreciated your ‘look… squirrels!’ article, he’s met Nicola Sturgeon, has watched with interest Alex Salmond’s 5 million questions interview, wanted his selfie taken with the Sunday Herald Yes cover and every Sunday morning now gets excited at the prospect of a new Sunday Herald front cover.
His two cousins (who were the y and the e in Aye) are also extremely interested in the referendum, they have been brought up to question things and to reach their own conclusions, and their parents took them on holiday to see the Anne Frank Museum last summer, so Kathy’s accusation is particularly ridiculous when applied to these children – there will be few children in Scotland as informed about the referendum, as able to recognise propaganda and as aware of the horrors of fascism as these three children.
In terms of what happened yesterday, when they saw the Wings banner they recognised it and decided themselves that they wanted to pose under it, because, frankly, they fitted in under it perfectly!
No coercion, no adults ‘posing’ them – these three children have their own views about what they want for the future of their country and they wanted their voices to be heard. Myself and their granny then encouraged the folk with the banner at the bottom to move across to make a fantastic photo that really seemed to sum up what the day was all about. Then the pandas joined in, which made it even better!
And the reality of yesterday’s photo was that children having fun at a peaceful, family friendly, anti-propaganda gathering have themselves been subject to vile twisting of the facts by a prospective Labour Westminster MP with a background in education. I’m sure Ed would be awfully proud of her if he knew.”
We’re sure that he would.