So shortly after this:
We know that the media isn’t normally shy about identifying which side of the Scottish independence debate people are on, especially if they’ve been behaving badly.
So we were a little puzzled by the papers this morning.
Alert readers may recall an incident last year in which the Scottish media got itself very worked up about some independence supporters threatening to boycott holiday company Barrhead Travel after its owner sent a barking-mad letter to staff about how the company would go out of business if Scotland voted Yes.
The Telegraph, Express, Times, Daily Mail and Scotsman were among those covering the story at length – with the latter going so far as an extraordinary comparison to the Nazi atrocity of Kristallnacht – and someone called Jim Murphy opined that it was “a new low” and “the worst type of negative politics”, despite the SNP having discouraged and disassociated itself from any boycott.
So we’re sure that you won’t be able to move later today and tomorrow for newspaper articles about something similar, but significantly worse, that happened this weekend.
One year ago today.
Tony Blair quoted in the Independent today:
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.
An update for those interested, via an alert cartoonist:
To: Christopher Cairns
Subject: RE: Ian Smart
Date: 9 June 2015 14:25:33 BST
Thank you for your e-mail to Kezia with regards to her exchange with the First Minister in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 23rd April 2015.
Kezia can confirm that the person mentioned in the exchange has had their membership of the Labour Party put under administrative suspension and an investigation is currently being conducted by the General Secretary of the Scottish Labour Party.
If you have specific questions on the investigation you will need to direct them to the Scottish Labour Party, not Kezia’s Parliamentary office.
If there is anything other issues Kezia can help with as your MSP, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
I had no time for the way that Charles Kennedy conducted himself in the referendum campaign and it would be hypocritical to pretend that I did.
But before that he was one of the main reasons I voted Lib Dem for over 20 years – a compassionate, principled man who took some difficult stands and left his party in a far healthier place, both politically and morally, than it occupies now.
He deserves better than this.
Amazingly enough, the Scottish press today ISN’T wall-to-wall with stories about Baron McConnell of Glenscorrodale, UK peer and lawmaker, endorsing the “f***ing booting” of Conservative supporters at the weekend, in a striking contrast to when a young SNP candidate said similar but less offensive things some months ago.
(Lord McConnell’s friends were talking in the future tense about something they would do. Mhairi Black was talking in the past tense, about things which she HADN’T done.)
As far as we’ve seen, the small piece above in the Scottish Sun is the only coverage. (The Daily Record, as well as not reporting the McConnell comments at all, actually has another go at Mhairi Black instead.)
But we were having trouble recalling any “hate-filled violent mobs” (McConnell’s actual full quote) on the Yes/SNP side. And so was an alert reader who had a dig through the papers from the last couple of years.
Do you remember the Labour and media outrage a while back when SNP candidate Mhairi Black said she felt like “putting the nut” on some gloating Unionists at the indyref count, readers? Remember the pious scandal at such dreadful thuggery? (If you’d forgotten, don’t worry, because it’s in the Telegraph again today.)
Remember how the Daily Record and Scotsman have now been hammering away for a full week at another SNP candidate, Neil Hay, for tweeting a link to a satirical website and arguably being slightly rude about a small subset of pensioners, while glossing over a lengthy catalogue of abusive tweets calling the SNP “fascists” and “Nazis” (and more) from a prominent Labour activist and BBC pundit?
There’s your actual former First Minister and peer of the UK realm, Baron McConnell of Glenscorrodale, setting the example Labour would have everyone follow today by celebrating a threat to “f*****g boot” any Tories in Wishaw (we’re not told whether the young ladies in question were Labour activists he was with or just Labour voters).
But there’s more.
In the last 24 hours the Scottish and UK media has circled the wagons around the BBC’s James Cook, a good and balanced reporter who perhaps didn’t have his best day on Saturday. Predictable condemnation has poured in on “cybernats” alleged to have rained “vicious abuse” on the journalist in a co-ordinated fascist bullying attack etc etc, though as ever, actual quoted examples are in short supply.
(We’re aware of exactly two abusive tweets – one nutter identified by the Huffington Post calling the entire BBC “the scum of the Earth”), and one we ourselves saw and chided, which was then deleted by the normally-sensible user and which we honestly don’t remember the content of, beyond that it was unpleasant and excessive. It should go without saying that we deplore and condemn such abuse, while defending the right to civil, legitimate criticism of a public servant where justified.)
There’s nothing in the papers on this, though.