by Colin Campbell
RECENTLY I highlighted a vile attack on the Queen and Prince Philip in the independence-supporting National, by Stephen Paton, a “columnist”. He wrote the words, and National editor Callum Baird printed them.
Of the Queen, Paton said: “The extent of the Royals’ wealth remains unknown, in part due to the Queen successfully pressing the UK Parliament into conceal her family’s immense fortune.
“In 2011 the head of state also tried to divert money earmarked for low-income schools instead into covering the cost of heating Buckingham Palace.”
And Paton said of the Duke of Edinburgh: “Philip’s history is in my opinion a catalogue of sexist, racist and ignorant statements made to people without the power to tell him where to shove it – and this is the man we’ll soon be expected to bow our heads in sadness for.”
As I said at the time, he was no doubt referring to the fact that Prince Philip, aged 99, had been seriously ill and had only left hospital after a lengthy spell of recovery.
Yesterday, immediately after the death of Prince Philip, Paton made it all too clear what his response was. And it was not bowing his head in sadness.
He printed the word: “Condolences” over a photograph of Prince Philip taken many decades ago. The picture was captioned: “It’s a pleasant change to be in a country that isn’t ruled by its people.” Prince Philip speaking with genocidal dictator Alfredo Stroessner.
There can be no verification that Prince Philip ever uttered these words. He visited countless countries as a representative of the Queen and could not fairly be linked to internal strife, or what happened afterwards. If that standard were to be applied no US president or foreign head of state would ever set foot in China, among many other countries.
But this prominent nationalist and five-star moron thought it fitting, and no doubt clever, to feature them on social media on the day of his death.
He also printed a quote from another like-minded nationalist who stated: “I do not mourn racists/sexists or any royals. Monarchies everywhere should be abolished, esp one which colonized and pillaged so extensively.”
Some extremists may welcome this kind of invective against the Queen. I’ve no doubt many decent supporters of the SNP and independence would find it as grossly unacceptable as other normal, balanced people would.
Paton may be a minor irrelevance but it’s a grim reality that the nationalist movement attracts people who are eager to voice such repugnant views about the Monarch who has served this country so well for nearly 70 years, and for her husband who stood alongside her through it all. And it’s an even grimmer reflection on the nationalist movement that they are given a public platform where they are allowed to express them.
These extremists are utterly toxic to the nationalists, whether they realise it or not. If their views received a wider airing many people flirting with voting for the SNP or supporting independence would be sickened by them. And never more so than on the day of Prince Philip’s death. And, when it came to casting their votes, they could well be influenced accordingly.