Our “competitor” isn’t a site we look at a lot – the comments make the Daily Mail readership seem like enlightened and thoughtful moderates – but last week someone asked us about a smear piece they’d run on SNP MP Corri Wilson, and we only just remembered today to check it out. Our initial findings weren’t well received.
It seems that Mr Fawkes and his minions aren’t too keen on scrutiny themselves.
Since the astonishing election of 56 SNP MPs to the UK Parliament last May, the Unionist media – suddenly deprived of a whole contacts book full of friendly Scottish Labour bench-warmers ready to feed it cosy stories over a boozy expenses lunch in Whitehall – has raked through every bin and gutter in the land looking for anything (however pathetic) that it can try to puff up, distort, and rope into service as “dirt” on each of the Nat members, in an attempt to discredit them and the party.
So let’s just have a little look in here and – YIKES!
The Scottish Daily Mail’s front page lead today is so galactically despicable that it’s easy to overlook another story that it bundles in with the same “SNP BAD” attack.
While excoriating Dr Philippa Whitford for having the sheer shameless gall to help save women’s lives in her holidays, the alleged newspaper also devotes a page-high article to an attack on another Nat MP, George Kerevan, for employing his wife.
As it happens, one of the things that we’ve been occupying ourselves with during the current news drought is pulling together a post called “The SNPBAD Files”, collecting all the desperate smear and innuendo of the Unionist press as it systematically tries to discredit every one of the 56 SNP MPs elected last May.
Until last night we hadn’t been sure which had been the most pathetically dismal. Was it the MP who still did a few haircuts in his barber shop on Saturday afternoons? The one who bought a derelict London house many years before he was an MP, renovated it with his own hands and now sometimes stays there when working at Westminster, rather than charging expenses to the public for accommodation? Or perhaps the one who tweeted that he was opposed to the concept of monarchy, the foul monster?
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.
Last night we ran a piece about a story in last week’s Daily Record in which a Scottish Labour official was given free rein to make an extended political attack on the SNP in the guise of a “business student” from the University of the West of Scotland, without his Labour identity being revealed, on the flimsy basis of a petition about college cuts with a few hundred signatures.
As it happens, another UWS student also has a petition doing the rounds at the moment. But it got treated rather differently by the Scottish press.
We’ve noted on more than one occasion that the spectacular SNP surge since the referendum appears to have completely unhinged much of the Scottish and UK press. Having pumped out a vast avalanche of hysterical coverage which utterly failed to stop the Scottish electorate returning 56 SNPs out of 59, the papers have responded to the rebuff by simply turning the volume up.
But even by those standards, today has been special.
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.
At today’s First Minister’s Questions, the Scottish Labour deputy leader Kezia Dugdale launched into an ill-advised attack over an SNP candidate who’d made some foolish (but not especially outrageous) comments on Twitter in 2012. Rather than simply issuing the standard generic condemnation of abusive remarks, Nicola Sturgeon did so but also drew Dugdale’s attention to the beam in her own eye.
Labour activist, blogger, lawyer and regular BBC pundit Ian Smart (he hasn’t been seen on STV since accusing them repeatedly, without any evidence, of letting the SNP pre-approve all interview questions some time ago) is well known to readers of this blog. Bizarrely, however, Dugdale feigned ignorance of his activity.
To help her, we’ve compiled some of Mr Smart’s greatest hits.