Against the law and out of order

KENNY MacAskill really ought to know better. His party has had to issue a humiliating apology after putting the justice minister and two Central Scotland Police officers on one of their leaflets in the Glasgow East campaign. Electoral rules explicitly forbid the use of officers on party election literature if they can be identified.

Now, you would have thought that the SNP justice minister, who is also a lawyer, would have known that, wouldn’t you?

An SNP spokeswoman said the party had issued an apology to the officers involved through the Scottish Police Federation and said that the leaflets had now been withdrawn. Maybe the much-heralded 1000* SNP activists expected to take part in the campaign today can be put on shredding duties.

Of course, MacAskill has form on using the police for political ends.

* That’s the SNP calculation. So about a dozen in real money



Filed under Holyrood, Media, Politics, SNP

20 responses to “Against the law and out of order

  1. Jane Spencer

    I am sure there was no intentional wrongdoing.

  2. No, I’m sure it was a simple case of incompetence, thoughtlessness, dishonesty and cynicism. So that’s alright then.

  3. wrinkled weasel

    Oh, here we go again…

    “using the police for political ends”

    Ask Walter Wolfgang or the elderly man held in Brighton for wearing an anti-Blair t-shirt, or 11-year-old girl stopped and searched while participating in a peace march. Then, there was..

    “Maya Anne Evans was arrested for simply standing by the Cenotaph and reciting a list of names. She was prosecuted under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act and, eventually, allowed to leave court with a conditional discharge. Her crime had been to be within half a mile of Parliament when she read out her list of those who had died in the Iraq war.” (Telegraph, 2006)

    We are the most surveilled country in Europe, and thanks to Labour, local authorities can spy on tax payers on a whim by abusing RIPA.

    Labour has instituted the greatest erosion of our civil liberties since the war, see examples above, not to mention detention without trial, and you accuse the SNP of using the Police for political ends?

    Fabians, your cousins in crime, are compiling lists of words to ban.

    White men will be discriminated against with the blessing of the law.

    This country is walking blindfold into a totalitarian state, by a Government that pursued an illegal war.

    Pot, kettle, black.

  4. Stu

    I’m sure it was a simple case of incompetence, thoughtlessness, dishonesty and cynicism. So that’s alright then.

    Sounds like Gordon Brown…

    ooh… Did I write that out loud? Sorry…

  5. Jane Spencer

    Cynicism and dishonesty you say?

    Like telling the people of Glasgow East that the pensioners bus pass was going to be withdrawn?

  6. Oh, dear me, Jane. You nats don’t like it when you’re the ones being criticised for once, do you?

  7. Jane Spencer

    I note that you have failed to refute that the Labour campaign has been filled with lies.

  8. Of course, it hasn’t. It’s been filled with warnings of the true nature of the nats, as epitomised by your candidate in Glasgow East, whose only political priority (says he) is breaking up the UK – not fighting poverty or unemployment or even preserving bus passes for pensioners.

  9. Andrew F

    How can it be both thoughtless and cynical? Sounds to me like you’re just throwing random adjectives out.

  10. wrinkled weasel

    So the SNP are “not fighting poverty”.

    They are introducing free school dinners for every child and as you know have piloted the scheme in Glasgow.

    A bit about me Tom, as background. My parents “had to get married”. Way back in the fifties, a pregnant woman had to. I first lived in a council house. When my parents divorced in the sixties, my mother struggled to make ends meet. I was entitled to free school dinners, and I was the only kid in the class without a dad and who had to go to the front of the class to tell the teacher that I was “entitled” to a free school meal. I don’t have to tell you how that felt.
    And now, the SNP are doing something for people like me. They are doing a very Socialist thing. They are levelling the ground so that no kid, from whatever background, goes without good food. It does not penalise posh kids or hurt anybody else, but it will do wonders for any kid who doesn’t get fed properly at home. To me, that is fighting poverty at its best.

    I was the only person in my family to get a degree. My kids went to independent schools. I believe in choice. But I havn’t forgotten what it feels like to be singled out because of poverty. And that is one of the reasons I vote SNP.

  11. DMEA

    Good God, Tom, why on earth do you keep linking to stories from the awful Daily Record. The Daily Record is one of the biggest reasons for many of the problems faced by people living in Glasgow East. It encourages a narrow-minded, sectarian, inward-looking view of the world and plays up to a manufactured sense of bitterness, greivance and entitlement amongst too many Scots (yes, I am one myself). It brainwashes the great Glasgow public into believing that every problem, every dissatisfaction with their own life is the fault of somebody else. Everything is always “the toffs'” fault, or the Tories’ fault (when was the last time the Tories were in charge of anything in Scotland anyway?). I know it’s a Labour supporting paper but you seem like a sensible man. I’m sure you secretly see my point, even if you feel you have to reply with a smart-alec quip.

    You will never solve “poverty” in Glasgow East by taxing people more and more and then giving back in benefits to the least productive members of society. All you do is discourage effort and drain away people’s motivation to stand on their own two feet. The poverty in Glasgow East is not poverty of opportunities or poverty of income but poverty of aspiration. We live in a globalised world, an internet age where communications and technology make things possible that could only be dreamed out off. China and India are managing to educate and train their people out of poverty at a rate of tens of millions a year. Why can’t we do it here? We certainly won’t create a motivated, outward looking globally successful city in Glasgow by encouraging the chippy bitterness and sour attitude that the Daily Record espouses.

  12. DMEA

    Tom, following on from my last post I’ve just foudn the following “story” in the Saturday edition of the Daily Record:

    “Former SNP activist pledges support to Labour party – Jul 19 2008

    FORMER SNP activist Annie Hall yesterday pledged to support Labour’s Margaret Curran.

    Annie, 74, welcomed Curran into her Shettleston flat yesterday. The pensioner said: “I have been an SNP supporter in the past but will be supporting Margaret this time because Labour is the right choice. I am fed-up of seeing the east end talked down – that’s why I’m backing Margaret.”

    Curran said: “If elected I will stand up for her and everyone in the east end.””

    Is this anything other than a recycled Labour press release, reproduced word-for-word. Basically some random old lady said she used to support the SNP but will now support Labour, and Margaret Curran made a vapid comment about “standing up for everyone in the east end”. This isn’t even an attempt at pretending to be “news”. Does “Annie” even exist? Given that the latest opinion polls show a 14% swing to the SNP in Glasgow East, surely there should have been a story about former Labour activists who were now defecting to the SNP. Or do you and the Daily Record deny these people exist?

    No wonder so many people refer to the Labour Party as ZANU-Labour!!!

  13. To be fair, virtually nobody refers to Labour as “ZANU-Labour”. No really, they don’t.

  14. DMEA

    Tom Harris
    July 19, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    To be fair, virtually nobody refers to Labour as “ZANU-Labour”. No really, they don’t.


    Try searching for the term on Google.

    You’ll find that several hundreds of people seem to use it quite freely. Just ’cause it ain’t in the Daily Record doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist! 🙂

  15. Yeah, but let’s face it – it’s probably used by the same people who think it’s funny to use the term NuLabour…

  16. wrinkled weasel

    To be fair, virtually nobody refers to Labour as “ZANU-Labour”. No really, they don’t….(Tom)

    Strange, since Labour or New Labour or Neu Arbeit or The Peoples Front of Judea or whatever they want to be called these days spend our pounds as if they were Zimbabwean Dollars.

  17. Perhaps Labour should get a bit more rough with the treasonous.

    1746 dealt with rebellion rather differently than today…..the last battle on BRITISH soil.

  18. Martin Cullip

    I prefer the term NuZanuLabourControlFreaksWhoLikeToRuinEveryonesLivesByBanningThingsThatSomePeopleLikeWithoutPublicMandateToDoSoAndLedBySomeoneWhoNo-oneVotedFor

    I don’t think they’ll go for it though as I’m sure the rules wouldn’t allow that on the ballot paper 😉

  19. It’s not funny to use the terms “NuLabour” or “Zanu-Labour”. This is an insult to those people who genuinely thought it was OK to support the Labour Party when it had some principled ideas and policies that would improve their life chances.

    Actually, it’s very sad that so many peoples’ lives have been blighted by the Labour Party’s creation of a client state. Or, in your case, Mr Tom Harris MP, the clown state. Except nobody is laughing.

  20. You’re right. It’s not funny to use the term “Zanu Labour” or other variations. Not because it’s insulting to Labour Party members (very few of us have noticed the very few people who do this anyway) but because it’s insulting to the people in Zimbabwe who have been killed and terrorised by Mugabe’s thugs. According to Martin and Diablo, Zimbabweans have it no worse than Britons!

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