by Colin Campbell
SNP Westminster leader and Ross MP Ian Blackford enthusiastically endorses a sign at the border which has been doctored to tell English people to f*** off, and his viscerally insulting actions are either ignored or are met with wry amusement within the SNP.
While a local councillor is accused – falsely – of displaying “racist” posters and the full weight of the SNP hierarchy comes crashing down on him.
Spot the difference in treatment and response.
From the Press and Journal:
A Highland councillor is demanding a retraction and apology from senior SNP colleagues after receiving a “written warning” alleging complaints of racism had been made against him. Niall McLean, who represents the Fort William and Ardnamurchan ward, vehemently denies the claims and is threatening legal action after the email was sent by his SNP group co-leaders.
The email claimed Mr McLean had criticised the SNP Group leadership and had been “interfering” with Scottish Government and Highland Council attempts to deal with PPE during the coronavirus crisis. But it also claimed there were “complaints that you were responsible for displaying ‘racist’ posters telling tourists to go home in and around Fort William”.
Through his lawyer, Mr McLean asked to see the photos upon which the complaints were based. Eventually he was sent three photographs, which had been drawn to the attention of the SNP group’s leadership. One was on the A82 at Ballachulish and was of a sign stating: “This is our community, not a campsite.” Another was a “No camping” sign in Glencoe and the third was a picture of a car and trailer bearing the message “Covid – Go Home” taken in Wales.
Mr McLean said he had nothing to do with any of them. The Press and Journal understands the SNP group has withdrawn the complaint of “racist” posters.
But when approached by the Press and Journal, Mr McLean said he was still waiting for proper acknowledgement from the SNP group leaders that there was no substance to the allegations. “They have never sent me a retraction,” Mr McLean said. “I have never had the apology I have requested and I have never had the retraction I have requested. I requested it through a lawyer. And we are still waiting on that retraction to come.
“I want a retraction saying this is not true. I am examining legal action and I will keep going with that until I get an apology and a retraction, because it is the only route I have got now.”
What can anyone make of this?
Ian Blackford in May enthusiastically retweeted a doctored photograph of that border sign telling English – and Welsh – people to **** off, which was not only a disgracefully irresponsible thing for a man in his position to do, but also something liable to be directly damaging to our already crippled tourism industry.
There was no recrimination or reproach for him, far less anything close to a written warning. The SNP brushed it aside as being of no consequence.
And yet this unfortunate SNP councillor down near Fort William is nailed for something he didn’t even do. And even if Niall McLean had done it, signs saying: “This is our community, not a campsite” and “No camping” seem a heck of a lot less offensive or “racist” than one saying: “We’re Shut **** off”.
Even the feuding ferrets in a sack party might be expected to agree about that.
The SNP’s relationship with racism is difficult to work out.
When it comes to Black Lives Matter protesters they’re down on bended knee in front of them as fast as their legs can buckle.
But when it comes to England and “the English” pretty much any kind of abuse seems acceptable. Which is no doubt why Blackford’s disgraceful involvement in spreading it was greeted by many with nothing more than a chortle.
Exactly why Niall McLean has been singled out is unclear. One explanation might be, as was reported: “Mr McLean had criticised the SNP Group leadership and had been ‘interfering’ with Scottish Government and Highland Council attempts to deal with PPE during the coronavirus crisis.”
So he’d gone up against the SNP Scottish Government in some way or another. He’d broken out of the marching ranks striding in lockstep with unswerving loyalty, subservience and devotion to The Party.
That’s a cardinal sin in the SNP.
He’s not alone in paying the price for criticism.
Inverness SNP councillor Ron MacWilliam, who’s been critical of the Scottish Government response to the coronavirus has also been suspended.
North, West and Central Sutherland SNP member Kirsteen Currie, also suspended.
Sturgeon, Blackford and the rest of them command huge salaries and expenses and enjoy the high life, while stringing the membership along with fictional hopes of another referendum leading to independence. Blackford raked in £240,000 in annual expenses at the last count.
He may pander to elements of the “base” by extolling signs which are insulting to English people, but when it comes to England and the world of Westminster privilege, does anyone think he’s in any great hurry to leave it?