"I Wish Salmond's Father Would Die!"
I met an old friend when out this morning, a die-hard Labour man I've known all my life, though a great friend despite that, and we always have a general catch up and a good natured political debate when we meet, though we always have a parting of the ways amicably agreeing to differ regarding our respective voting allegiances. He was shocked today though, when I informed him about this. He will never vote for the SNP, but he did say he would not be voting Labour this time, so Scottish Labour have again shot themselves in the foot, for I'm sure quite a few of their up-to-now, but diminishing, loyal supporters will either vote for another party, or not vote at all, when they read about these types of vitriolic attacks.
The quote above is only the latest in a long line of poisonous bile aimed generally at the SNP, but what makes this one so much more despicable is the fact that it is not an attack on a politician of a competing political party, even supposing that would confer it a smidgeon of justification, it is an attack on a 90 year pensioner who happens to be the father of Alex Salmond, the leader of the SNP and the democratically elected First Minister of the Scottish Government.
"The sick jibe was made by "Daniel Kelly", a member of the "Scottish Labour for Scotland" group on the social networking website, Facebook.
In a comment taken to refer to the death of the First Minister's elderly aunt, Kelly wrote: "Don't you wish his dear old dad did the same." (source)
Now, especially during the campaigning for a fast approaching election, as in the local elections this week, it is accepted that politicians and die-hards of each side will take the occasional verbal or written pot-shot at one another. Sometimes this is justified, usually not, but the voters will generally accept the prosaic bruising of an opponents position or moral standing (or not), as part of the process of heated debate, and if it gets a tad too hot at times, well, they are politicians, they should expect it and be used to it by now.
Ah, but, wait a minute here. This particular attack is being laid into a 90 year old, whom, apart from perhaps, voting for his laddie, has no political ambitions, so why are the attack dogs targeting him?
Yet another despicable lack of moral fibre and taste, came this time, directed towards female cancer patients, from Scottish Labour NLC candidate Alan Clinch, tweeting away a vile attempt at mixing breast cancer and crude sexual humour, and failing miserably in all but driving the Scottish Labour measure of bad taste even lower down the gutter than it ever was. Read more here.
Depending on the type of psychology degree you have, and if you wanted to waste a bit of time surmising this and that attitude, and analysing the finer points of someone or other's state of mind, you may come up with a range of answers, where there may lie a well-hidden reason, where perhaps such attacks and insults may be justifiable under certain shades of a blue moon in alternate leap years.
I am not a psychologist, and don't bother with that type of blethering to explain or justify the rantings of morons. There is no justification for it. Ever.
It is also not surprising at the sound of deafening silence of condemnation of such remarks coming from the Scottish Labour camp either at the moment. It was not so long ago that Margaret Curran MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, stated in Holyrood Magazine:
“I think if Alex Salmond went under a bus tomorrow – not that I would ask who drove that bus..." (source)
Ok, perhaps not as slimy with vitriol, or in the nastiest realms of bad taste, and, I suppose, as it is one politician attacking another, then it can be taken with a pinch of salt, though no doubt there is a high level of bitterness and acrimony behind it.
It is the new way Scottish Labour seems to be conducting itself, and for whatever reason why, and it can't be to attract voters, for the drip drip drip of slow poison has turned into a torrent of venom, and they cannot be under any illusion that a campaign such as this does nothing but turn willing voters elsewhere. Perhaps they have given up, for any pretence they have had recently of bringing out anything new, in the way of policy, has been severely lacking - we have repeats of the usual expected sound bites, rhymed out with the customary insincerity and rote, and nothing much else. It does seem that the infighting has spilled out into the streets and like a horde of rabid beasts they attack without thought or provocation, meaningless and vile, and petty, and even a 90 year old pensioner becomes prey for the pack.
Perhaps, as stated above, someone with a psychology degree, may be able to come up with a reason or two for this accelerating type of obnoxious and abhorrent behaviour. I myself cannot think of anything that may justify it. It seems Scottish Labour are finished - they know it, and instead of going down fighting, they are going down trying to besmirch anyone that isn't one of their own, no matter who they are, how old they are, or how weak they are.
My friend and long time Scottish Labour supporter has decided to forego his party of choice of his vote in this election. I hope many other morally minded Scottish Labour voters do so as well. If they cannot find the will to vote for another party, then I hope they will at least not vote for the Scottish Labour party. Perhaps, if the party finds itself in an even more serious state of decline, after these coming local elections, it may finally realise that being the dirtiest players in town is no way to win.