Banner

  By G.A.Ponsonby
 
So a Scottish Labour candidate for Westminster has been forced to resign just one day after being selected to stand for her party. 

Kathy Wiles, who would have been bidding to become Labour MP for Angus, posted an image of German youngsters gathered under a Nazi banner.

The tweet was one of many from Labour party activists who were reacting to a peaceful protest by Yes supporters that took place in Glasgow on Sunday.  In pictures and videos posted of the event there was one of five Scots youngsters standing beneath a banner depicting a well-known website.

It led to some quite unsavoury comments from the anti-independence online Labour activists.  Wiles, caught up in the online goading of a pro-independence website loathed by Unionists, posted the offending image.

The intention was clear, to suggest the youngsters at the pro-Yes event were being indoctrinated in a similar manner to that which led to the creation of the Hitler Youth movement in Nazi Germany.  The tweet was deleted by Wiles, but not before being captured and re-posted by Yes supporters, angry at yet another attempt by Unionists to demonise the Yes movement.

Within hours both Wings Over Scotland and then Newsnet Scotland were running the story on their respective sites - social media was abuzz.  Incredibly, there was nothing on any of the main stream media online sites.

The Herald online compounded its editorial cock-eyedness by headlining an article that same evening in which comedian Rory Bremner apparently complained about "sinister, unpleasant intimidation of pro-UK supporters."

The following morning the BBC, STV, Scotsman and Herald had nothing on the story which was all the more remarkable given that Labour had already announced Wiles was their candidate in Angus.

The episode was a perfect illustration of the rotten state of not just Scottish Labour but the equally rotten state of Scotland's media.  The media's refusal to report on the initial offensive tweet is not a one off, it is a pattern.  That they subsequently had to play catchup when Wiles resigned serves only to highlight their initial failure.

Scottish Labour is dysfunctional, it is out of control and dragging politics through the mud, but nobody wants to scold this spoilt and increasingly bitter child.

Wiles is a victim of a poisonous descent by Scottish Labour into a hate-filled void that has created a culture in which it is deemed acceptable for officials to label their opponents using the vilest terms imaginable.  It has led to a string of claims by leading politicians in which Yes supporters and/or the SNP are described as, or compared with, Nazism and dictatorships.

The thread of posts which saw Wiles post the Nazi image contained several well-known and high profile Scottish Labour activists.  One of these was John Ruddy, the chair of the Angus Labour Party that selected Wiles.  That Wiles felt comfortable posting the image of Hitler Youth in a clear attempt to smear a young family, despite the presence of a senior Scottish Labour official in the same thread, is telling.

Wiles resigned yesterday around mid-day, after publicly apologising. 

A party spokesman told the BBC: "We believe that Kathy Wiles has taken the right decision to withdraw in Angus and we will move swiftly to get another candidate in place.

"The debate about Scotland's future should be held in a respectful and positive way and we will take robust and immediate action if any of our members fall below these standards."

But why did she step down, she isn't after all the only Labour figure to compare the SNP or the Yes campaign with Nazism?

Wiles stepped down because the story had circumvented the traditional media wall-of-silence and was being reported by online sites and other social media.

Citizen journalism was doing the job the professionals had singularly refused to do – they were policing the political arena.  Indeed one of the ironies of the current coverage of Scottish politics is that at the same time the main stream media is turning a blind eye to the professional politicians of the Labour party, ordinary people are being targeted and demonised by them.

And it's this failure to police the Scottish Labour party that has left Johann Lamont's party the soulless and morality-free entity we see now.

Some people have already asked why, if Kathy Wiles was deemed by the party to have "fallen below acceptable standards", other more senior Labour party officials have not faced similar criticism and calls to step down?

It was only a matter of weeks ago that Labour MP, and Better Together leader, Alistair Darling signalled his agreement when asked if the SNP espoused the same ideology as the Nazi party.  "At heart" he replied when asked if Alex Salmond's party was based on "blood and soil nationalism", a phrase associated with Nazism.

Labour MP and deputy leader of Scottish Labour Anas Sarwar, once infamously claimed the SNP Government was "a dictatorship".

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont has herself claimed that Alex Salmond was running Scotland "like North Korea".

There are numerous similar examples of Labour party figures comparing the SNP and independence supporters with Nazism, Fascism and other extremist movements. 

Indeed it’s now so commonplace for such language to be used that it no longer shocks, Wiles was doing what senior party figures had already done.  It isn't just accepted, it is expected.

The media are not just allowing this narrative of demonising Yes supporters to grow, they are themselves promoting it by pushing the lie that all online abuse comes from Yes supporters.  Some go further by actively claiming racism is at the heart of the independence movement and wider elements of Scottish culture.

This weekend a Herald journalist, speaking on BBC Radio Scotland, claimed anyone celebrating Bannockburn was only doing so because thousands of English men died in a ditch.

BBC reporter Douglas Fraser also once compared the SNP to a North Korean dictatorship and Jeremy Paxman infamously compared Alex Salmond to Robert Mugabe.

The media has helped to create this monster and people like Wiles see nothing wrong in portraying their political opponents as intollerant out of control racists, bent on brainwashing youngsters.

But where does this end?  Do we really need to wait for the day a Unionist assaults the 'racist Nazi' who was wearing the Yes badge before someone realises Labour has gone too far?

Someone really needs to confront Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont and perhaps even the heads of the Better Together campaign and demand an end to the ritual demonisation of anyone who dares suggest the Union isn't the best thing ever invented.

It's time to drop the cybernat nonsense and address a very real problem.

Comments  

 
# cjmasta 2014-07-02 16:23
Very well said, it`s what many of us have been thinking and maybe worrying about for a while now. The unionist parties and media are playing a very dangerous game, do they not think for one second what could happen if some extremist unionist goes way too far and either severely hurts, maims or even kills someone fueled on the hatred of their messages?
A bitterly divided Scotland is a price worth paying so long as they get their result and keep their cosy lifestyles at the public expense.
I don`t accept that post a Yes vote Scotland will be anywhere near as divided as post a No vote because a YES vote will have been won against all odds really. The underdog wins, you can`t not accept that.
A NO vote will pose all sorts of questions not least how can we say we have a democracy here when the media can lean on the process so hard as to get the result Westminster/BBC UKIP wants.
 
 
# Muscleguy 2014-07-02 17:42
Depends where you live. I've seen nothing more than some stickers on street furniture that are soon scratched off. None of my neighbours have Yes posters in their windows or on their cars either. I run and go past lots of places. This may be an SNP constituency but this ward sends two Tories to Dundee council.
 
 
# ramstam 2014-07-02 16:28
The latest spin being put on the anti-BBC bias demo is that it was just a pro-Indy Demo, thus declining to give publicity to it's intended purpose - to point out widespread media bias in favour of the NO campaign. You have to wonder too at the opinion polls. With a NO campaign almost entirely media-led and a vibrant active YES campaign, are we seeing the same phenomena as the last Holyrood election where pollsters failed to pick up on movement towards SNP?
Not the same thing I know, but I see YES car stickers everywhere and window posters too but nothing from NO.
 
 
# wowwatts 2014-07-02 16:42
My husband and I attended the demo at the BBC on Sunday. We are both pensioners and neither of us had attended a demonstration in our lives. We felt that we had to be there and we are so glad we went. There was no aggression,it was a serious event but with a good atmosphere,even the police who attended were smiling. When I read Jim Murphy's comments and description of the people I was so angry. How do we stop these insults? Labour in Scotland is a lost cause, I think they know this and are lashing out. Is there no one in the Labour movement with the guts to recognize what is going on and defend our rights as citizens to peacefully protest against bias. In years gone by who were the demonstrators against every perceived wrong but Labour activists. Come on Labour voters in Scotland, stand up to these deranged politicians- tell them our future is in an Independent Scotland. If these politicians don't see the light soon they are sunk and so is the present Labour Party in Scotland.
 
 
# pstew 2014-07-02 17:08
I can sense a change in the air, i've recently started a new job, and i reckon at least 75% of folk i have spoke about the referendum to have said they are voting yes, "what have i got to lose", was the theme emerging, and rightly so, i have nothing, i have just had to apply for working tax credits for the first time in my life, i am 47.
 
 
# RTP 2014-07-02 17:17
Don't forget the Tories.

Cameron: Scottish Government uses threats to stop businesses speak out on indy

I heard this on PMQs and was angry that this person can say these things and not be challenged to name these company's and has not the guts to a face to face debate with AS.
 
 
# Alibi8 2014-07-02 17:32
One of the legacies of the independence referendum campaign, whatever the eventual result, will be that the media have blown their cover - the bias, the lies, the half-truths, and in particular the news items that are NOT reported, all are becoming obvious to all. If NO wins, it will be a win based on lies and thus on sand. It will be the hollow victory of the sort resulting from by an Arjen Robben dive to win a penalty. It will be a win gained by cheating.
 
 
# chicmac 2014-07-02 18:05
Let us not also forget this despicable example.


wingsoverscotland.com/.../...
 
 
# Teri 2014-07-02 18:18
The media don't even need to troll through individual accounts to find this abuse. Much of it is catalogued here

tinyurl.com/ny8acmm

At the moment the abuse is being hurled at Andy Murray but further down you will see that it is Alex Salmond and Nationalists who come in for all the vile bile that they tweet. Click any individual tweeter for more of the same.

It's time the other side were exposed but I cant see any of the media taking it fully on board.

Scottish Labour are in their final death throes.
 
 
# RTP 2014-07-02 19:20
I've had a look at these tweets,disgusti ng maybe someone should sendthis to John McTernan as he says it is only the "Nats" who do this sort of thing on the net.Vile sick these people.
 
 
# Teri 2014-07-03 14:55
I think if you have the patience to continue through the tweets, you will find some of McTernan's listed there, too. He's another vile creature.
 
 
# bringiton 2014-07-02 18:24
British Labour in Scotland act as the Westminster elite establishment's proxy and along with the London based media are doing all they can to deflect Scottish voters attention from the real issue.
The real issue is that we do not have democracy in Scotland and that we almost always end up with England's government.
Of course,if you are British Labour,you justify this by denying that Scotland is a country and that how we vote doesn't matter (as long as we elect our quota of Labour MPs).
This is what the referendum is about.
The right to elect a government of OUR choice whose priorities are those of the Scottish people and not the London elite.
 
 
# Rosa Alba Macdonald 2014-07-02 18:39
The pick-n-mix partisanism of the mainstream media defies belief. Posts today on BBC Online in the form of a quiz on Celebrity support pro or gin Independence, and that poor blessed beast of a cow in yesterday's BBC Scotland feed.
The real concern is despite Yes propaganda radiating llke wildfire across the net, we only tend to meet those of like-minds. The internet democratises but as it networks, it isolates by means not just of bum-sitting silent scrolling addiction, but algorithms identifying like with like.
I fear there is much preaching to the converted and a larger group of the population in Scotland untouched by social media sharing, or the Yes hustings events breaking out in our townhalls and on our streets.
Those who rely on the mainstream media and narrow circles.
We do need to be out chapping on doors to makes sure we all, each and everyone of us, forllow Margo's urging an bring a Plus One to the Yes Party
 
 
# Bigbricks 2014-07-02 23:25
I think that Labour required no help to create the monster that they've become. They created if by forgetting where their roots are, what social democracy is, and what a fair society entails. I voted for Labour, at all elections - local, Westminster, Holyrood, European - for four decades. In 2007 I voted SNP, having become completely disillusioned by what the Labour party had done. I can conceive of no circumstances under which I will vote for them again. I've had it suggested to me that I should do it as a tactical vote to keep the Tories out. However, since the policies of both parties are to all intents and purposes indistinguishab le, that isn't an attractive option. If there's a No vote in September, I still couldn't bring myself to vote for Labour in the 2016 general election. We must secure a Yes vote if we want a fairer, more open and more tolerant society.
 
 
# Abulhaq 2014-07-03 12:19
Among the unionist commentariat we are the ones always whinging about "victimization". The British State apparatus intimidated? what a joke.
 
 
# Dundonian West 2014-07-03 13:09
'New Labour's Control Of BBC Scotland Must Be Curbed.'
Craig Murray,former British ambassador writing last year.
Excerpt:-"That BBC bias is displayed in the selection of which news stories to present related to independence, in the selection of guests on programmes, in the selection of which facts to highlight within the selected stories, in the comment provided by BBC journalists, and in the treatment afforded to guests, the way guests are presented, the respect they are or are not given and the opportunity they have to present their arguments."
craigmurray.org.uk/.../...
 

You must be logged-in in order to post a comment.

Banner

Donate to Newsnet Scotland

Latest Comments