Monday, February 6, 2012

Opposition parties call for Alex Salmond to say sorry for 'Nazi' slight to BBC and its employee Ric Bailey, both BBC and Alex Salmond overreacted!

Dear All

One of the disappointing aspects of the Scottish National Party is how people in the party smear innocent people and then the party fails to act on complaints.

I have been sent information that I was targeted in a SNP smear campaign, the allegations are disgusting and it is not ‘part of politics’ as some people try to wish it away.

What happened when I complained to senior SNP figures such as Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon, Peter Murrell, Derek MacKay and Ian McCann?

Nothing so far, and lets be clear, they aren’t ‘too busy fighting for Scotland’ to deal with this toxic scandal!

My complaint hasn’t been acknowledged despite being sent and the disgusting email of the hate campaign was forwarded and sent to Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon, Peter Murrell, Derek Mackay and Ian McCann.

I am therefore disappointed to see that First Minister Alex Salmond now faces accusations of being involved in an "ugly" smear campaign when it is alleged he compared a BBC executive to a Nazi official.

I have met Alex Salmond, a few times, and he always made a point of saying hi to me in passing, truth be told, he recognises my face but doesn’t have a clue who I am.

One of the other things that Alex Salmond is alleged to have said is that BBC is a "tinpot dictatorship".

The row flared up into its present form after the BBC dropped Mr Salmond from its coverage of a rugby match between Scotland and England on Saturday.

It is not unusual for politicians to attend sporting events in an official capacity because of their position and office they hold, it is fairly common. The BBC say that they had concerns featuring the SNP leader could leave it open to accusations of political bias.

I think this is slightly disingenuous because there is a considerable amount of programming that has politicians of all political shades on it from holiday programmes, travel, history, news, light entertainment, sport and of course politics.

And I am sure that there must be a system to regulate that balance, there must be a policy because of the important role that politics plays in the life of our country.

Was the BBC right to drop Alex Salmond from the rugby coverage?

I would say no, not because I am an SNP member but because his appearance doesn’t affect the local government elections, it could be argued that if it was a Westminster or Holyrood election, the BBC would have a case.

But they don’t here.

Now on to Alex Salmond remarks accusing the BBC's chief political adviser, Ric Bailey, of behaving like a "gauleiter" that was wrong.

Calling the BBC a “tinpot dictatorship” that was also wrong.

Less Alex Salmond forget, it was the BBC in the form of Gordon Brewer that dealt such a devastating blow to Jack McConnell in 2007. Bernard Ponsenby equally destroyed Jack McConnell which saw the support for Labour drain away ushering in the first SNP Government.

In a keen sense of fanning the flames, Labour MSP Patricia Ferguson said that the First Minister was guilty of "hysteria" and described his reaction to being dropped from the sports programme as "embarrassing".

Then that is politics capitalising and exploiting the failings or weakness of others to boost your own credibility.

Patricia Ferguson in my opinion was one of Labour’s weakest candidates in Glasgow in the 2011 Holyrood election; she is a ‘dead sheep’ politician who can’t savage anyone.

Next up pops, Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader to accused Mr Salmond of "bully boy" tactics.

Being peeved and venting isn’t bullying, there is a world of difference, trust me I can tell the difference.

Davidson then went on to state the SNP had described those who disagreed with nationalism as being anti-Scottish, actually that was Joan McAlpine, and she was wrong too.

Willie Rennie, the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, then chipped in his ten cents worth because he is desperate to be established as a political leader. He isn’t in my opinion but that is another story. His take is Alex Salmond was trying to put political pressure on an independent broadcaster.

He said:

"The First Minister is more like a tinpot dictator than the BBC will ever be. It is essential that we protect the independence of the BBC, free from control by our political leaders."

Lets be clear, Alex Salmond ‘spat the dummy’ because he was dropped, probably due to the fact he was looking forward to the game and someone came along and for no good reason cancelled his appearance. It’s a rugby game; any discussion would have been about rugby and tat. Nothing that would change mankind would have been floated and Alex Salmond is wise enough to recognise that any discussion would have to be conducted at ‘pub’ level.

Alex Salmond is the First Minister of Scotland and it shows that even at his level, people can let their emotions get the better of them sometimes. I am sure he didn’t mean it and sure that he has the utmost respect for the BBC who has been incredibly fair to the Scottish National Party.

The BBC is a world wide respect institution and it remains so in my opinion.

Alex, pull that horse up a moment, it’s just a game of rugby; no one has died.

But if you are still peeved off then surely we could ‘invade’ the BBC post independence, but I want to go via, Berlin, Cologne, Brugge, Brussels, Paris, Madrid and Rome first because I need a holiday badly.

And it must be a summer campaign.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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