So, you are looking to be elected as the prospective parliamentary candidate for a seat where your chances of winning would normally be described as between slim to non existent. Your parties equivalent to the men in grey suits asks you about any skeletons in the cupboard and you reply by saying that you once thought about head butting some councillors that were goading you and that you had tweeted some stuff about not liking Scotland’s biggest football teams and there may be morning after the night before stuff. I’d have thought that, given this information, the men in grey suits will have been not exactly over the moon but fairly happy with what they had. After all they would have seen and heard of worse.
The comments that have garnered the most flack from wannabe Cybertwats has been the comments (made in a speech at one of Jim Sillars Hope over Fear events at George Square) have been the ones where she said that when she was goaded by pro-Union Renfrewshire councillors at the referendum count at the Lagoon in Paisley, she confessed that “It took everything, every fibre in my being, not to put the nut in one of them.”
Of course, we should condemn violence… when it happens. It did not here. There was no violence, just that the thought had crossed her mind. These comments are not exactly inflammatory either. Other people have made similar comments without so much as a whimper from “Scottish” Labour.
Most recently the former Tory MP Jerry Hayes said that the former Lib Dem peer Matthew Oakshott had a “face that is invitingly smackable”? Did Lamont invade the airwaves beseeching Iain Dale to sack Hayes from his blogging platform? Did Renfrewshire councillors burden Scottish based tabloids with their disgust at this attack on such an impeachable figure? Well, no. And the silence was deafening too when John O’Farrell’s “Things Can Only Get Better” book came out. In among the pathos of Labour’s 18 years of opposition was a tale from when O’Farrell, as assistant to the newly ousted Battersea MP Alf Dubbs, said in his book “On the steps of our building was a small group of young Conservatives cheering and waving their blue flags… It was so provocative and I hated them so much for what they had done that I wanted to go and punch them in the face”
Again no condemnation and again the “threat” came to nothing. As O’Farrell admits, there were three of the podgy rugger buggers and they were bigger. So why are the Daily Record intent on making this molehill into a mountain?
The tweets about Celtic look more problematic from a certain point of view. Then again any non old firm fan will have points where they hate Celtic and their fans. It’s not personal, but when your team is losing badly and the Celtic fans strike up one of their… ah… family favourites… Celtic and their fans will be going down as badly as the proverbial bucket of cold sick. And if we must go down the sectarian route, which councillor Jackie Henry is just gagging to take this down, would it be remiss to point out that Black is supposedly a Partick Thistle fan and that they don’t hold a torch for any of Scottish Football’s bigot brothers. Most St Mirren fans don’t hold any love in their hearts for any of Scottish Footballs ugly sisters either.
The reason why the Record are indulging in this smear campaign can be traced to last weeks Ashcroft polls. Mhari Black is the SNP’s candidate for Paisley & Renfrewshire South, and Ashcrofts poll has shown that she could unseat the shadow Foreign Secretary Douglass Alexander. Alexander would not be the only big name to fall, but his is the biggest in Labour circles. The usual caveats apply that this is just a snapshot etc etc… and in any case I’ve already said that I think that there will be movement back to Labour before election day. It’s just getting more and more difficult to see that movement happening. Desperate stuff like this really doesn’t help “Scottish” Labour’s cause, especially given the lack of traction the burning of the Smith Commission garnered.
We should be judging Ms Black on her policy positions, on how she sees how she’d work at Westminster and whether she’s fond of quoting the closeted UKIPer Wings, not on tweets from a normal 20 year old. The Record is not helping the democratic process and is, in itself, treating Scottish voters with sneering contempt. Worse than that though, in what is already a nasty spiteful campaign it has fatally undermined any (legitimate) complaint Labour might have with smears from papers owned by the Dirty Digger, Britain’s pornographer in Chief (Desmond), Rothermere and the Barclay’s. Any complaint from Labour about smearing and us Scots can point at the Record’s po faced and disgusting behaviour. As a foot shooting exercise, the Daily Record claim gold for Labour.