Why Alex Salmond should stick to his day job

JIM SHERIDAN MP comments on the furore surrounding Alex Salmond’s non-appearance on the BBC’s coverage of the Scotland vs. England rugby match.

 

Rugby fans will be aware that at the weekend Scotland and England faced each other at Murrayfield.  However, behind the scenes another showdown was taking place.  Alex Salmond, due to appear as pundit, was at the last minute pulled amid concerns his appearance would impinge the BBC’s rules intended to ensure political neutrality.

This move has incurred the wrath of Big Alex who no doubt hoped to use the event as a dry run in anticipation of his many hoped for TV appearances during the Commonwealth Games.  Affronted at the temerity of the BBC to be so anti-separatist by not allowing Big Alex his fifteen minutes of glory he immediately set the SNPs media machine on the offensive, lambasting the BBC and all but calling Ric Bailey, the BBC’s chief political advisor, a Nazi.

Putting aside the offensive and deeply inappropriate language, I believe that Alex Salmond should not be using sporting events and sports personalities to further himself and his party’s separatist agenda.  Perhaps I am wrong and maybe I am unaware that Alex Salmond is globally renowned for his knowledge of rugby and his feel of the game?  Unless this is the case I much prefer to leave the pre-match & half-time discussions as well as post-match analysis to people who have a broad knowledge of the game drawn from years of playing for or managing rugby clubs.

At a time when Scotland is facing a great many challenges, many as a result of Big Alex’s Party’s mis-management I believe it far more appropriate that Alex Salmond stick to the job the people of Scotland have elected him to do rather than moonlighting as a TV personality. As a member of the UK Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, I intend to write to the BBC expressing my support for the view that politics should be kept out of sport and that sporting events and sports personalities should not be used in such a crass way.

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Jim Sheridan is the Labour Member of Parliament for Paisley and Renfrewshire North.

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118 thoughts on “Why Alex Salmond should stick to his day job

  1. He is, perhaps justifiably, put-out by the fact that he has been guaranteed a platform by one BBC figure only to be told that the promised appearance will compromise the neutrality of the forthcoming council elections and indeed the referendum campaign, as no other alternative party member would be present. This is completely true and if any pundit or activist cares to claim the BBC is acting out of ‘anti-SNP’ bias they should trouble themselves to cast their mind back to the period preceding the May elections, when Alex Salmond appeared on Question Time.
    As a previous student of media and politics I would prefer to live in a country that is free from bias in our programming but I am well aware that this is a rather unattainable and utopian ideal; but to claim that preventing Alex Salmond from voicing his sentiments, however neutral they may be, during a Scotland Vs England match would somehow be censorship and bias is completely hypocritical. It is unfortunate that the BBC did not have the foresight to see that his mere presence in the build up to the match would further politicise the game; it is not what he says on camera that is the issue with which many take umbrage. It is the fact that in being there he perpetuates the SNP’s over-arching nationalist paradigm – being Scottish means being nationalistic, being Scottish means voting for independence and fighting the English, being Scottish means accepting that the one group have a monopoly over your sporting events, your victories and your cultural pride. So here’s the Calcutta cup, here’s Alex Salmond, the voice of our iconic quest for victory against the evil enemy of the south, do you feel Scottish enough now? He succeeds in becoming further imbedded in the shared psyche of the population as being somehow synonymous with who we are, what we are, who we are supposed to be. I am not scaremongering. I am not ‘anti-Scottish’. I believe in a devolved parliament as a means to greater social equality. I also believe in individuals having the capacity to take a step back from their own nationalist or unionist sentiments and take a critical, analytical view of what is actually happening to the politics of country and see the inherent problem that emerges when one party has a monopoly of power. I love rugby; the day I switch on a six nations game and see one of our political figureheads on the pundit’s sofa or elsewhere is the day I turn off. The only relevance Alex Salmond could have had in the context of that game was as a spokesman for nationalist ideology; however well it may be hidden behind his jovial façade of sportsmanship it is clear that the First Minister would have seen this as an opportunity to catch the citizens of Scotland at their most patriotic and rubber stamp his own identity indelibly on the combined pride of a nation. We are a nation of individuals. Wake up, take a step back, and look at what is happening if you truly care about the democracy of this country.

  2. None of it really makes sense.

    If there was a concern that letting the First Minister of Scotland pundit the match at Murrayfield would go against BBC political neutrality, then Alex Salmond should never have been invited in the first place. (Which would seem reasonable enough to me, frankly.)

    Given he was invited, the sensible thing to do, rather than kick up a big fuss about it, would be to have arranged with him via his aides that his comments needed to be as brief and as statesmanlike as possible.

    I suspect that most people wouldn’t have known what “Gauleiter” meant if faux-outraged pundits and faux-offended politicians hadn’t made a point of explaining it to everyone.

  3. “Alex Salmond should not be using sporting events and sports personalities to further himself and his party’s separatist agenda.”

    Where was the suggestion he was?

    Should Boris (or Ken?) not be allowed to be on TV while the Olympics are on? Or no David Cameron?

    Will people really vote yes to independence in 2½ years because Alex was once on talking about rugby in a game where Scotland were an embarrassment to themselves?

    I think if Labour want to really win over the hearts and minds of the nation, they’ll have to up their game a little. We need Sean Lamonts, not Dan Parkses…

  4. Not knowing anything much about sport, I have no problem with this new policy of the beeb’s so long as it is applied consistently. We shall, of course, be watching very closely.
    I do occasionally chance upon radio football programmes with pundits who seem to have some definite views about politics, I feel a reciprocal rule should be in place. If politicians cannot talk about sport, sport’s pundits shouldn’t talk about politicians.

  5. “I intend to write to the BBC expressing my support for the view that politics should be kept out of sport ”

    LOL Nice one Jim…… You do irony so well.

  6. Here’s a tip for Jim Sheridan. Go onto the House of Commons website. Type the word “gauleiter” into the search engine and hit return. It will bring up 31 results from Hansard and minutes of committee meetings. I have no doubt that if anyone had the time or energy to do a more thorough search of Hansard you could find many more examples and I am sure there are even more on record in the House of Lords.

    If you truly believe that the word is offensive and inappropriate I do hope that you made your feelings clear to Labour Party members like Tony McNulty and David Blunkett, who are on record using the term? Plus all the others I can’t be bothered tracking down by working my way through all the references.

    Why the lack of outrage I wonder at London-based MPs and journalists liberally applying the term gauleiter to worthy individuals such as local government planning officers, traffic wardens and Brussels bureaucrats, the kind if people who are – unfairly I am sure – lampooned as being somewhat officious, inclined to over-assert their own power and who lost touch with our old mate Common Sense many moons ago? Hmm. It’s a puzzle.

    The hugely entertaining irony in this is that if Alex Salmond was an English politician nobody would have raised an eyebrow at him describing an officious BBC editor as a gauleiter because that’s just the kind of thing they say down there. That does make me laugh I must say.

    1. gauleiters

      Hansard, 31 Oct 1990 – Column 1004 : Mr. Bob Cryer (Bradford, South – Labour ) : [ To Chris Patten as Secretary of State for the Environment] Does the Secretary of State accept that his reputation as the Gauleiter of Marsham street is preserved intact by his statement

      Hansard, 20 February 1989 – Column 773 : Mr. Brian Wilson (Cunninghame, North – Labour ) : … An arrogance is abroad–led, I think, by the hon. Member for Stirling (Mr. Forsyth)–that makes Scottish Office Tories believe that they can do literally what they like. There is a real touch of the gauleiter about them .

  7. When you write your letter to the BBC Jim, be sure to lend your support to the continuing presence of that erstwhile, ex professional, Labour First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, who regularly appears on their programmes

  8. I think the matter was interesting for a number of reasons.
    It would seem as if Alex Salmond is regarded as enough of a personality for BBC Sport to invite him onto a panel. He has experience as a pundit for Channel 4 racing line. I cannot think of many other politicians that would likely get such an invite.
    The miscommunication between BBC Sport, BBC Scotland and BBC HQ in London, does not indicate that it is a smooth coherent organisation.
    The emails released by AS office would seem to confirm that it was a non political appearance, and purely one of punditry.

    The most important thing in my mind is the explanation given by BBC HQ London as to why it said his invitation should be withdrawn. The BBCs chief political adviser Ric Bailey is quoted as saying “Given the nature of political debate around Scotland’s future and the proximity of local government elections, it was decided that it would be inappropriate to give undue prominence at the moment to any single political leader in the context of the Scotland-England game.”
    No one should complain of the BBC attempting to be impartial and even handed and now we have a clear statement from the BBC of how they intend to fulfil this important task, we should all welcome its clarity and ensure we hold the BBC to it. Surely this is something that all fair minded and reasonable people would welcome.
    ALthough if you stop and think about it, teh BBC will have gret difficulty living up to what appears to be a decision the consequences of which do not appear to have been well thought out.

  9. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but was he not invited on by BBC Scotland under agreement not to speak about anything political. Then London overruled BBC Scotland and banned him?

    I presume David Cameron will henceforth not be allowed to comment live on, e.g. the olympics given there is a GE in 2015?

    Also, I understand Mr Salmond compared Ric Bailey to a ‘Gauleiter’; he never sued the word ‘Nazi’ and I’m not sure why you feel the need to imply he did. I understand the Labour party are keen on Nazis/fascists, what with Tom Harris’s hilarous downfall vid:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Va6r5Ez-VF8

    And of course how could we forget good old Ian Davidsons outburst:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-13879737

    But for reference, please note the word ‘Gauleiter’ is defined as follows:

    Gauleiter
    — n
    1. a provincial governor in Germany under Hitler
    2. informal ( sometimes not capital ) a person in a position of petty or local authority who behaves in an overbearing authoritarian manner

    Number 2 is the informal modern usage. Clearly Ric Bailey could not be No. 1 as that would require him to be German (most likely), dead or very old for starters, which obviously he is not. From reading various reports, I understand Mr Salmond was using the latter definition. If you have questioned him and he has stated it was No. 1 he was meaning, I stand corrected.

    Anyhoo, what do you think Labour’s prospects are for the coming Council elections? Polls haven’t been particularly favourable recently. I think 23% was recorded as a new low for Labour?

  10. Jim Sheridan has a reputation for making false allegations and refusing to retract or apologise for such allegations, examples;

    1. Claiming that Scottish government ministers were involved in the nomination of a knighthood to Brian Soutar. – FALSE

    2. Claiming that the Scottish FA officials were biased and bigotted. – FALSE

    On both occasions despite efforts by both Scottish government and football officials Mr Sheridan refused to retract those patently false allegations.

    Perhaps if Mr Sheridan dealt with the rising levels of poverty in his constituency due to Coalition and Labour cuts instead of mixing politics and sport he would be seen by his constituents as doing the job he is being paid to do.

  11. David Cameron recently appeared on Countryfile, a non-political show. I presume Mr Sheridan wrote to the BBC on that occasion, perhaps he can give us the BBC reply. The BBC have apparently set up a group to control “balance ” on their output before the referendum. Lets hope they publish the ground-rules soon. The Olympics is coming shortly and its Jubilee year so London is going to be crawling with politico’s trying to get on TV. Will Mr Sheridan be as vigilant with Britnat politicians as with the SNP? We wont hold our breath!

  12. I must have missed something here, Alex Salmond is First Minster of Scotland and he was being asked NOT to make a political statement of any kind but instead to comment on the Scotland V England rugby match. But the chief politcal adviser of the BBC down in london decided not to allow it, even though it had nothing to do with politics ???
    And yet you are agreeing with this ? You believe that the First Minster for this country should not represent the Scottish Nation even for a rugby match. What next, I know “Andy Murray must pretent to be American not scottish, or Paul Lawrie is actually from Japan with a bit of tartan on his cap”.
    Instead of condeming the interference from BBC in London on what was never a political matter, you are supporting it, what utter shame.

  13. “As a member of the UK Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, I intend to write to the BBC expressing my support for the view that politics should be kept out of sport and that sporting events and sports personalities should not be used in such a crass way.”

    So NO politicians will be appearing or taking part in any discussions about the London Olympics ?

    If they do I can complain, citing you as my supporter ?

  14. we shouldnt be supporting or praising the undemocratic actions of the bbc just because they are nat bashing, it is unhealthy for scotland to have a politicaly biased media , and in the long term it will only become an achilles heal for the labour party

    also the strategy of using the word separatist instead of independence only weakens the point you are trying to make and is well past its sell by date

  15. I presume Ed Miliband and his new friends Cameron and Clegg won’t be appearing on TV during the Olympics then. What utter tripe. And don’t forget the (Labour) First Minister of wales took part in the coverage of the Ryder Cup and the Rugby World Cup last year.

    You need to get over your obsessive hatred of the SNP and start thinking about how to make Labour relevant to the people of Scotland again, before your support disappears completely. We miss you. Honest we do.

    1. Totally agree with Bob! In order to follow Mr Sheridan’s logic shall we just go ahead and ban all politicians from any non-politics related shows? Even if they do not speak about politics?
      In my own opinion we should be trying to engage the general public in politics and make sure the people of Scotland care more about the constitutional matters of this country. And why not do this by having the democratically elected leader of our Nation, who by the way Jim has a majority of the seats in our government, engage the general public in some pre-match sports banter? Or are you worried he’ll come across too human and ruin all the current combined efforts of the Tories/Labour/LibDems across the UK to demonise him?

  16. Lol, i used to vote labour once, back when Red Ron Brown was a socialist, i now believe that labour have done more damage to Scotland than the tories ever did, and reading this confirms it! Name one policy that labour achieved in your 13 years of power that benefited my life? I cannot think of one, perhaps i am mistaken, but please name one……

  17. Supporting Trident? denying the poor money which could be spent in a better way? 10p tax perhaps? Illegal wars perhaps? Removing treasury benefits to my pension perhaps? Graduate fees perhaps? The feeble 50 mp’s perhaps, allowing the tories to rule us again perhaps? ( And preferring the tories to an Independent Left of Centre Scotland perhaps? ) I could go on , but i must allow you to respond first….

  18. Remember that the FM had agreed to stick to Rugby and not mention politics. It is a terrible shame that the once proud People’s Party is now supporting censorship – as long as it is only the SNP that is being censored. Jim Sheridan, hang your head in shame.

  19. Dear All

    Jim Sheridan has put forward an argument about politicians having ‘second jobs’ and the use of sporting personalities in politics.

    His piece is because of the furore over Alex Salmond getting bounced out of a rugby match which he was asked to do and probably looking forward too.

    On the issue of second jobs, the Labour Party has a poor track record as seen by Diane Abbott on This Week and people like Stephen Byers and Patricia Hewitt selling themselves!

    Alex Salmond’s appearance wasn’t a second job, it was a day out, something to look forward and I am sure the free buffet etc would be excellent knowing the BBC.

    As to sporting personalities in politics again the Labour Party used Alex Fergusson and a whole host of others to pin themselves too, so again, less of the nonsense because we all know Labour will continue to do this, it is part of politics.

    “This move has incurred the wrath of Big Alex who no doubt hoped to use the event as a dry run in anticipation of his many hoped for TV appearances during the Commonwealth Games”.

    Is it worth while asking for proof, probably not because Jim Sheridan doesn’t have any!

    “Affronted at the temerity of the BBC to be so anti-separatist by not allowing Big Alex his fifteen minutes of glory he immediately set the SNPs media machine on the offensive, lambasting the BBC and all but calling Ric Bailey, the BBC’s chief political advisor, a Nazi”.

    Angry words were said, but to be fair to Alex Salmond, the ban was unjust, he isn’t standing for election.

    Should all politicians be kicked off anything other than news and politics shows?

    No, where is the fairness in that?

    “At a time when Scotland is facing a great many challenges, many as a result of Big Alex’s Party’s mis-management I believe it far more appropriate that Alex Salmond stick to the job the people of Scotland have elected him to do rather than moonlighting as a TV personality”.

    If mis-management has occurred; how does Jim Sheridan explain the SNP landslide in a parliament sent up by Labour to have a minority or coalition government?

    “As a member of the UK Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, I intend to write to the BBC expressing my support for the view that politics should be kept out of sport and that sporting events and sports personalities should not be used in such a crass way”.
    Save the stamp, because no one has proven or suggested that Alex Salmond’s appearance was anything other than above board.

    It was a wrong decision by the BBC and Alex Salmond was wrong to have ago back at them, if crass behaviour is to be kept in check then fairness dictates everyone should be treated equally, Alex Salmond wasn’t treated fairly and he should have been.

    To declare my interest, I am an SNP member, but that aside, when Mike Watson had his troubles, I also stood up for him too.

    Yours sincerely

    George Laird
    The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

  20. I trust when contacting the BBC you will remind them that we are their paymasters not politicians.

    The case for English independence

    For example, if the Scottish Parliament takes responsibility for the country’s public institutions, then the country will have its own broadcaster – a Scottish Broadcasting Company. And the Scots probably won’t to create a scale model of the British original. After all, the BBC has a pretty poor record on investigative reporting. While it is proud of its investigation into alleged corruption at FIFA, it dropped the ball on Iraq, the financial crisis, the MPs’ expenses scandal and the criminal conspiracies at News International. The BBC is great at costume drama and nature documentaries. As a check on power it leaves something to be desired.

  21. Dear Jim
    It is evident from your post that Labour does not want to discuss substantive issues and prefers to muddy the waters with a bit of point scoring, on a subject by the way that has been worked to death over the past days, when every use of the word “gauleiter” was exposed. and every comparison of leaders to dictators googled and blogged.
    We would really appreciate it if a Labour MP could come on these pages and give us an explanation why a cycle of Tory and Labour adminstrations in London is better for Scotland than a government of our own choosing. Why is it better that all of our revenues are better filtered through the Westminster treasury? Why should we have no say on WMD on the Clyde…etc? You know the questions.

  22. OMG ! Are you the MP Jim Sheridan who defended how the former Speaker of the House of Commons handled the expenses scandal, and used your allowances to reclaim the cost of a 42-inch plasma TV, leather bed and hundreds of pounds worth of furniture. No wonder Scotland’s facing challenges particularly the Scottish taxpayer.
    Do you think you have the clout to keep politics out of sport ? Did you not agree with the boycotting of South African rugby during apartheid ? Do you think politicos should refuse all those comp tickets to big sporting fixtures ? Can you assure us that we won’t have to look on David Cameron’s face or hear his voice during the Olympics coverage – don’t think so- and why did Blairs Govt lobby so hard to get the Olympics in the first place. Get real Jim and stop your synthetic arguments or go and have a wee lie doon on that leather bed until you’re feeling a bit better

  23. “Putting aside the offensive and deeply inappropriate language, I believe that Alex Salmond should not be using sporting events and sports personalities to further himself and his party’s separatist agenda.”

    Yes. And obviously David Cameron should not use the Olympics to further himself and his parties objectives…

  24. Oh! Dear! Another uneducated Labourite shows his ignorance. Not only that but the standard of logical thinking leaves rather a lot to be desired. Mr. Sheridan begins his piece with a bit of rather loose logic. “The wrath Big Alex, *** who no doubt hoped to use the event as a dry run … … …”. Total mince there Mr. Sheridan and an assumption on your part. Truth is the FM gave an assurance to the BBC that he would not make any political references, (but then you knew that because it is in the public domain). Then we have the laughable term, “Seperatist”, that means, (Oxford Dictionary definition), -separate adj., n., & v. adj. / (often foll. by from) forming a unit that is or may be regarded as apart or by itself; physically disconnected, distinct, or individual (living in separate rooms; the two questions are essentially separate).

    The term you seek Mr. Sheridan is – independent –
    1 a (often foll. by of) not depending on authority or control. b self-governing.
    2 a not depending on another person for one’s opinion or livelihood. b (of income or resources) making it unnecessary to earn one’s living.
    3 unwilling to be under an obligation to others.
    4 Polit. not belonging to or supported by a party.
    5 not depending on something else for its validity, efficiency, value, etc. (independent proof).
    6 (of broadcasting, a school, etc.) not supported by public funds.
    7 (Independent) hist. Congregational.

    Did you really mean that someone was intending to cut England Wales and Ireland away from the British Isles and tow it out into the Atlantic?

    I cannot really be bothered, even attempting, to engage in such silly debate. I much prefer to debate with those who argue real politics in a reasoned and more adult manner. If you wish to debate in a childlike manner perhaps you would be best advised to debate with children and leave the adults to the real political and economic matters. I note Mr. Ken MacIntosh also playing the same game in our Holyrood Parliament chamber today. He made the silly childish claim that The SNP wished to be independent from The United Kingdom but that they wanted to keep the English pound and use the Bank of England as their bank. Has no one bothered to tell him that the Pound Sterling is not only *NOT* English but that it is an international trading currency? Has no one told him that the Bank of England is not English?

    Here are the true facts – There were only two equal sovereign countries that signed the Treaty of Union. That treaty made them the United Kingdom. The Treaty made the Pound Sterling the Currency of, “The United Kingdom”, as such it is as much Scottish as it is English.

    Now for the mis-named Bank of England. This was not only begun by a Scot but was nationalised in 1946 as the UNITED KINGDOM’S state bank. The UK is not England. Then, in 1998, Gordon Brown granted it the status of an independent, state owned, company. That state is the UK.
    This one is just a wee throw-away. There is only one actual independently owned bank in the UK – The Airdrie Savings Bank. Every other bank in the UK is a Public Limited Company. That is it has floated on the Stock Exchange its shares. They all are owned by shareholders and are registered to pay tax to the UK treasury. Thus there are no RBS or HBOS *SCOTTISH*, banks. Furthermore, the taxpayer’s money was not used to bail the banks out. The government only stood guarantor for most and bought shares in the other. The cash is still there and could even show a profit if the Government waited.

    So please, do not insult your prospective voters with childish lies and distortions – they are better than that- they deserve better from you.

  25. Strange that the BBC can invite the BNP on to Question Time but decides to withdraw an invitation to Scotland’s First Minister to provide comment on a rugby match featuring Scotland!

    Just shows how scared the establishment is that Alex Salmond is by far the most popular politician in the country.

  26. Actually Jim, I believe he was invited and as you are well aware,it was the decision by someone in London ,who made the decision ‘due to heightened tensions’ to remove Alex Salmond from the programme.
    Three small points.
    1. I object as a license payer to ‘someone’censoring who or what I cannot watch.If the BBC really wants to go down this road,well a review of the guidelines may be in order by The UK culture,media and sports select commitee.
    2. The phrase ‘heightened tensions ‘ is slightly over the top is it not. In the current climate I would suggest Argentina or Iraq but Scotland? I would suggest someone needs to review their mindset regarding what is happening in the UK.
    3.Was the invitation withdrawn to Alex Salmond because he is The First Minister or because of the S N Party ? Again from a balanced point of view ,a very dangerous precedent.
    When the Olympics roll into town,will Boris,David and the rest be absent due to ‘heightened tensions’. When you do write to the BBC offering your support to keep politicians out of sport can I suggest you CC Lord Seb Coe .

  27. I hope this is not to far of topic, but it appears that the “Electoral Reform Society” ERS spokesperson has announced :
    “We are recommending the Scottish Paraliment be provided with a no-strings-attached legal mandate to call a referendum at a time and with a Question or Questions of their choosing”.

    The ERS is an group independant from any political parties, so have fun trying to discredit them.

  28. I agree – keep politics out of sport. No flags, no anthems, no continual jingoism from certain quarters and while we are at it didn’t Mr Sheridan vote to give £185 million intended for good causes in Scotland to the LOndon Olympics? This was lottery cash that would have helped the disadvantaged particularly in GLasgow.
    Well done to you, your Labour and Liberal-Democrat colleagues Mr Sheridan.Alex Salmond didn’t come anywhere near calling Bailey a Nazi. He called him a “gauleiter” – a term used frequently in the British press to denote an overbearing pompous twit. That was how Mr Bailey behaved. But of course if you see the BBC as a Nazi type propaganda organ so be it!! Is Labour ever going to grow up – on this evidence. No!

  29. Sporting events would be best served by not having any pundits at all. Leave it to the commentators.

    But you also have to question why the BBC invited Alex in the first place. They’ve not come out any better than the SNP either.

    Dozens of people are being killed in Syria, but this news seems to be more important to some.

  30. Oh dearie me. Alex Salmond was invited to appear on the programme. He undertook not to make political comment, which makes an interesting comparison with Alistair Campbell, who appeared this week on Radio 2, ostensibly to promote his book and to talk about bagpipes.
    Mr Campbell’s appointment wasn’t cancelled by the BBC at the last minute, unlike Scotland’s first minister, however he did manage to talk about Labour and how he just thinks that Alex Salmond is plain wrong.
    As for a Nazi slur, you do seem to have rather a thin skin, and I am sure my knowledge of the German language is more informed than yours. ‘Gauleiter’ has been used for decades to indicate a petty, overbearing bureaucrat. Indeed, Alan Cochrane used it of Labour MSP Duncan McNeil in 2006. For your information here is a list of undesirable historical epithets directed at the FM:
    1. Slobodan Milosevic (Denis MacShane, Labour MP)
    2. Benito Mussolini (Lord Foulkes, Labour peer)
    3. Adolf Hitler (Tom Harris, Labour MP)
    4. Adolf Hitler (Ann Moffat, Labour MP)
    5. Joseph Stalin (Alan Cochrane, the Telegraph)
    6. Robert Mugabe (Lord Cormack, Conservative peer)
    7. Robert Mugabe (Jeremy Paxman, BBC)
    8. Kim Jong-Il (Lord Forsyth, Conservative peer)
    9. Caligula (John Macleod, the Times)
    10. Nicolae Ceausescu (Neil Collins, the Financial Times)
    11. Genghis Khan (Kevin McKenna, the Observer)
    12. Nero (Annabel Goldie, Conservative MSP)
    Not much interest in slinging insults, I would have thought.
    This is basically a stooshie with disturbing implications for the BBC.
    For you as an MP and legislator, it is surely your duty to question the motives of the BBC, the State Broadcaster in the interfering by the BBC’s senior political advisor, in order to prevent Alex Salmond from taking up an offer to act in a non political capacity for their sports coverage. Whether you think he knows much about rugby has nothing to do with it.
    I am indebted to the super Wingsoverscotland for many of the facts I have cited.
    Regards

  31. When mostly all the Labour Party has to offer is distortions of what prominent members of the SNP have actually said them we know for certain their teas well and truly oot.

  32. So no Labour (or SNP) party spokespersons will be speaking on any matters related to the Olympics, European football, forthcoming Commonwealth games etc? I’m glad, there will be more than enough rubbish spouted anyway without politicos joining in, and it will be good to know that my peace isn’t going to be disturbed by any ‘anti-separatist’ Labour- supporting sports personalities. Are you sure that you’ve thought this through?

    From Wikipedia ‘In November 2008, Sheridan tabled a Commons early day motion backing a Great Britain football team at the 2012 Olympics, saying football “should not be any different from other competing sports and our young talent should be allowed to show their skills on the world stage”. The football governing bodies of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are all opposed to a Great Britain team, fearing it would stop them competing as individual nations in future tournaments.’ This looks a little like you dragging politics into sport.

  33. As a member of the UK Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, I intend to write to the BBC expressing my support for the view that politics should be kept out of sport and that sporting events and sports personalities should not be used in such a crass way.

    This is an important statement in this otherwise useless article.

    the facts are that a London BBC political editor made a decision about a BBC Scotland sporting event without informing the people at BBC Scotland.
    Alex Salmond had given the editors at BBC Sport Scotland his assurance that he would not use the time on the programme to speak about politics and he does have a very extensive knowledge of Scottish rugby, so would have been a very good commentator for the game and would be someone who any most people in the UK (like him or not) would have found his take on the match interesting.
    Jim will support the London BBC to override the decisions made by BBC Scotland, without them even having the decency to inform the editor at BBC Scotland, so if anyone had doubt that labour party has an internal cringe that allows them to be treated with complete contempt by London and yet continue to ‘suck it up’ only have to read this article to find out the truth.

    Pathetic really, but this kind of person will soon be swept out of Scottish politics and we will look back at these articles one day and marvel that Quislings and traitors had so much power in our nation and done so little the people who elected them (have you been to Paisley)

  34. I completely agree that Nazi comparisons whenever some politician or other doesn’t get their own way are offensive and inappropriate and sincerely hope they would think about what they’re really saying before they open their mouths in that regard. Perhaps Salmond felt justified in using such a vulgar comparison given that he himself has been compared with no fewer than 12 dictators in recent times (http://wingsland.podgamer.com/alex-salmond-dictator-comparison-bingo/). Two (or any other number of) wrongs don’t make a right though and I think he ought to retract that statement.

    I also agree that sporting and cultural events generally shouldn’t be used as a political platform. If Mr Salmond thinks he’s been singled out then he might take solace in knowing a similar thing happened to Gordon Brown in 2009. He was denied the opportunity of appearing as a pundit on Match of the Day lest it be seen as opportunism in the run up to the election.

    What I would say though is that I think it quite reasonable for Alex Salmond to anticipate many TV appearances during the Commonwealth games. As Scotlands First Minister it would be quite odd were he not seen to be welcoming the games to the country and helping to showcase Scotland to an international audience. Any political manouvering should and I think will be nipped in the bud quickly.

    I also wanted to make a more general point though. I really think it’s time the almost palpable hatred for the SNP and Alex Salmond was put to bed on this site. It’s off putting for those who come to see how Labour intends to change. Johann Lamont gave a good speech after becoming leader where she said no option would be left off the table in attempting to get Labour back on its feet. This website was specifically set up to discuss ideas on how that could be achieved (If in any doubt about that, see the “about” section above). To date though, much of content has done little to show that there is any real desire for change let alone any idea as to how to bring it about. There are some notable exceptions and I recommend, as an example, John MacKays article.

    The SNP may be one enemy of Labours. The others are petty tribalism, apathy, stagnation and being seen to be sulking and hateful rather than genuinely trying to win back the people of Scotland with new talent, new ideas and new politics. Until the others are attacked with the vigour that the first is, Labour probably aren’t going anywhere. Independent or not, Scotland needs a Labour party that is able to offer a credible alternative.

  35. It seems particularly galling considering that it now appears that the First Minister was the one who asked to appear on BBC TV. And he also asked to go on BBC Radio Scotland, and BBC Radio 5 Live.

    I think the Scottish Government spend quite enough on communications, without trying to get some extra wall-to-wall coverage of the First Minister courtesy of the licence fee payer who wants to watch sport, not be told how this sporting event shows why Scotland should be independent.

    1. Sadly for you John the FM read out the email inviting him on and then placed it in the Scottish Parliament Information Centre for all to read.

  36. Jim Sheridan says “At a time when Scotland is facing a great many challenges, many as a result of Big Alex’s Party’s mis-management”.

    It would be interesting to see how many of the challenges Scotland is now faced with should be attributed to the SNP, the Labour party’s 13 years in power in Westminster or the current coalition government.

    Let me start the ball rolling, I think Labour should take responsibility for:
    – Our soldiers being sent to die in illegal wars
    – The banks being left ungoverned, resulting in the destruction of our economy
    – The wealth and educational attainment gaps between the poorest and wealthiest in society growing massively.

    Over to you

  37. Part 2

    I think the coalition should take responsibility for:
    – Attempting to privatise the NHS (Scotland exempt)
    – Attempting to destroy the welfare system
    – Worsening the state of the economy

  38. Part 3

    The SNP should take take responsibility for:
    – Criminalisation of football supporters with the anti-sectarianism bill

    1. Grow up Jim – the Labour party should take responsibility and take action about more bullying of a female politician. What has happened to this once great party?

    2. Sorry Jim Boyland – got my kni….s in a twist. I’m so confused ….maybe since LABOUR became another Tory party!

      1. Not a problem Bill, there are a lot of people in Scotland who are struggling to come to terms with the fact that Blair and Milliband are just as much sons of Thatcher as Cameron

    3. Criminalisation of certain selected football supporters, you mean, not all of them surely?

      1. Any time I’ve seen a statue of Lady Justice she alway’s wearing a blindfold, are you proposing that she should now start sneaking a peek to see what football top the accused is wearing ?

    4. Whats wrong Jim…upset you cant sing your sectarian songs any more? Get over it an grow up!

      1. No because I don’t sing sectarian songs, I have been known to sing songs celebrating Irelands struggle for independance, but that’s a different debate.

        The fact is that this is a bad law.

        A law that say’s singing any song that someone could consider offensive is far to open to abuse, especially when there are so many people in this country who spend their entire life looking for something to be offended about.

        Under this law singing along to either national anthem at a Scotland v England game could be grounds to arrest an entire stadium full of people.

  39. Perhaps Mr Sheridan’s own past hypocrisy in mixing politics and sport has resulted in censored responses of other commentators – it does seem awfully quiet.

  40. Seems David Cameron has just been on the BBC being interviewed about his views on Fabio Capello’s resignation as England’s national team manager.

    Is that not too politically sensitive what with a GE coming in a few years?

    Anyway, BBC Scotland obviously did not try to block his appearance.

  41. Wonder why David Cameron got to speak to the BBC about Fabio Cappello, shouldnt Cameron stick to his job?
    Must be double standards then?

  42. A bit of rather pathertic spin there, Jim, on the actual situation.
    AS was invited – then some PR guy in London vetoed his appearance using the excuse of “increased tensions”.
    Funnily enough the same expression, “increased tensions” was used by the beeb’s newsreader to describe the situation in Syria.
    I wonder who in London is pulling the BBC Scotland strings ?

  43. Try a bit of accuracy for a change Jim. He didn’t use the word Nazi. Instead he said Gauleitir, meaning in German a pettyfogging bureaucrat. You are the one who has lost the plot.

    Incidentally, I have just seen David Cameron on BBC News comment on the Fabio Capella resignation – any difference in principle? A politician commenting on a sporting matter. Tony Blair did it all the time. Wasn’t it, Gordon Brown, he of North British nationality, who described Paul Gasgoine’s goal against Scotland as his favourite?

    1. And Jim, what about Tom Harris’s depiction of Salmond as Hitler. That was OK, was it? Or Paxman’s comparing him with Mugabe. Just a bit or cut and thrust?

      But what I really want to know is when you, JIm, and LabourHame are going to talk about the scandalous goings on in Glasgow City Council. Whre is Lamont on this? Your silence suggests you condone the sort of thuggery that has been going on.

    1. Haha…aye, think theres been one or two partings.
      So nobody on Labour Hame, appart from the usual SNP guests, are condemning David Cameron for getting his air time on the BBC as regards the England football manager. Strange that, they must prefer the Tory Eton boys club?

  44. Cameron was just on the Today programme on Radio 4, discussing the resignation of the England manager and who his replacement might be. I’m not sure that was wise given the current heightened tensions.

    Can I assume that you are going to complain about that keep politics out of sport.

    hmm thought not!!!!!

    Saor Alba

  45. Can’t believe Mr Sheriden will take time off from organising his taxpayer funded trips to South Pacific islands to complain about something so petty.

  46. Davy @ February 9, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Where are the Labour supporters on here? The comments are almost exclusively nationalist. I have no problem with that, but it is ridiculous that you can’t even get a reasonable debate out of the second largest party in Scotland. They have disappeared like snow off a dyke.

    Free Duncan Hothersall!

    Every party needs an adoring fan.
    .

  47. ??? where did everyone appear from ???
    Current score: against 46 – 2 for. quite a skelping JIM.

  48. Alba1314

    There’s a world of difference between a politician being asked a question on a sporting matter during an ordinary interview – I am sure this has happened to Alex Salmond and will happen in the future – and appearing as a pundit on a sports program. It would not matter if Salmond did not make any political comments, his appearance alone is enough to constitute political bias if other politicians are not invited and this would apply equally to politicians from other political parties than the SNP.

    Doomedandmarooned in his excellent post has said all there is to say in the matter.

    Alba shaor ann an Rioghachd Aonaichte!

    1. Yes Deirdre, you are quite correct in your assumption that the mere presence of A.Salmond would immediately place those dastardly English Unionist types at a disadvantage, and not just on the rugby field.

      However, you are mistaken in your belief that he shoots lightning bolts out of his backside, has X-ray vision or leaps tall buildings with a single bound.

      He is instead, an astute politician who will deliver Independence to Scotland despite these meaningless articles that are so easy to prove inaccurate.

      This is supposed to be a Labour site for those of us with the urge to further the labour cause. Not to provide even more ammunition to the Nationalists by displaying a total lack of gumption.

  49. It seems like your views are in the minority Jim Sheridan, why no response? Labour in meltdown in Glasgow and all you are bothered about is this subject? Bizarre!!

  50. The real reason for keeping Alec Salmond off Britains screens was simply that he would come across as a fairly normal punter with fairly normal views on sport. This is not part of the demonisation plans of the London Media.

  51. It looks like the labour people are wakening up to just how low their party has fallen.
    Only the usual sycophants defending JS’s post.

    You can’t defend the indefensible, even Duncan has went quiet !!!

    Jim your pathetic.

  52. Perhaps Mr Brian Taylor can explain in his censored column why the BBC is censoring the First Minister, and if the order to minimise any matters which might involve a positive spin to the SNP came from the same person.

    Labour need to be strong, honest and fair, there are good people within Labour, and the Glasgow scenario shows that things are not ideal. I hope that story on that disabled boy is untrue, or at the very least cannot be proven, if it can then there are far bigger issues with Ms Lamont’s husband who is right in the mix there as deputy leader.

    Ms Lamont needs to speak to her husband and offer to carry out an internal enquiry and frankly get some credibility back. Mere denial and hope that the BBC continue to support the official Labour viewpoint due to those in charge being affiliated is going to be an issue long before may that will make Gray’s subway appearance minor in comparison.

    Get some credibility back please Labour, as the positive case to support you is withering on the vine. When I sat with Robin Cook on a train from london to edinburgh many moons ago and chewed the fat I believed what he said, but I am struggling now I have to confess.

  53. You have to wonder about the Labour party these days. They appear to have no direction whatsoever. Their hatred of the SNP is undermining the fundamental credibility of the entire party.

    Yet here they are, now more than ever, blindly thrashing out at anything to do with SNP in a frankly farcical manner. Didn’t Douglas Alexander made a speech recently stating that this would be political suicide?

    This seem to be there sole purpose. No vision, no aims, no prospects.

    It doesn’t appear to matter that they’re not even coherent arguments anymore.

    Watching Lamont on First Ministers questions constantly repeating factual errors over and over again, and the risible screaming and shouting from the Labour benches made me sad. Scotland’s need a viable opposition, but what we actually have is laughable.

    I mean is this really their strategy? Was there a meeting and this was deemed to be the sensible way forward??

    Do they actually believe that this approach is going to yield results?

    Incredible.

  54. Alex won several prizes as a politician last year, I think the London government does not want him to be more popular than “call me Dave”.

  55. Let’s have a look at those Hansard uses of ‘gauleiter’ by Labour, LibDems and Tories thanks to Munguin

    Hansard, 31 Oct 1990 – Column 1004 : Mr. Bob Cryer (Bradford, South – Labour ) : [ To Chris Patten as Secretary of State for the Environment] Does the Secretary of State accept that his reputation as the Gauleiter of Marsham street is preserved intact by his statement

    Hansard, 20 February 1989 – Column 773 : Mr. Brian Wilson (Cunninghame, North – Labour ) : … An arrogance is abroad–led, I think, by the hon. Member for Stirling (Mr. Forsyth)–that makes Scottish Office Tories believe that they can do literally what they like. There is a real touch of the gauleiter about them .

    Hansard, 18 Feb 1998 : Column 1063 : Mr. [ Paul] Flynn ( Labour ): May I say how pleased are the people of Wales that the Government are committed to improving the deplorable standards of literacy and numeracy in our schools, particularly after the reign of the right hon. Member for Richmond, Yorks (Mr. Hague) as gauleiter of Wales , whose legacy was 645 lost teaching posts?

    Hansard, 2 Jun 1997 : Column 122 : Mr. Alastair Goodlad (Eddisbury – Tory ): … If so, will she confirm that her representations to her ministerial colleagues went unheeded and that, in effect, she lost the battle and has had to bow to the unelected forces–otherwise known as the secret seven, or is it the secret seventy–of the gauleiters who now run the Government and the Labour party ?

    Hansard, 1 March 1995, Column 965 : Mr. Jeremy Corbyn (Islington, North – Labour ): Indeed, it is being done solely by an appointed civil servant answerable only to Ministers and not to anyone to do with London .

    Mr. [ Nigel] Spearing ( Labour ): A gauleiter .

    Mr. Corbyn : As my hon. Friend says, a gauleiter for this capital city . Those issues must be addressed.

    Hansard, 31 October 1990, Column 400 : Mr. David Blunkett (Sheffield, Brightside – Labour ) : Will the Secretary of State spell out a little further the way in which the regional boards which currently operate will be replaced by “respected local figures”? Those respected local figures will have responsibility, as spelled out in the attached document, for the appointment of members of the trusts and health authorities , and will account for themselves only to the new expanded NHS Policy Board. They will be gauleiters on an NHS politburo – -that is what it amounts to.

    Hansard, 8 Jun 2010 : Column 260 : Nick Boles (Grantham and Stamford) ( Tory ): … I would not presume to tell them how to strike that balance-but I can think of no place better equipped to run its own affairs without interference from regional commissars in Nottingham and planning gauleiters in Bristol .

    Hansard, 19 January 1993, Column 332 : Mr. [ Nicholas] Budgen ( Tory ) : I apologise–of course it is a noun. If I were subject to overall supervisory care by some European gauleiter , I should probably have a more normal way of speaking, though it might be less interesting.

    Hansard, 13 June 1995, Column 702 : Mr. Michael Fabricant (Mid-Staffordshire – Tory ): … I sincerely hope that the Government will support the sensible changes rather than bow to the pressure of the Commission which, as the unelected gauleiter of Europe , has neither the interests of motor cyclists nor those of the British motor cycle industry at heart.

    Hansard, 27 November 1990, Column 793 : Mr. John Marshall (Hendon, South – Tory ): … I am sure that my hon. Friend the Minister, who has recently visited that school, will confirm that it is a first-rate school. Three years ago, it was heavily undersubscribed ; now, as a grant-maintained school, it is fully subscribed. The gauleiters of the Opposition say that such schools should not be allowed to continue.

    Hansard, 11 June 1991, Column 803 : Mr. [ David] Blunkett ( Labour ): We believe that the people of a locality should be allowed to protect themselves from this or any other Government. In other words, when people vote in local elections, they should have some chance of seeing their votes matter. If not, and if whatever people do the Government of the day believe that they must protect people from themselves, what is the point of holding local elections? Why not appoint gauleiters ?

    Hansard, 18 January 1989, Column 321 : Mr David Alton ( LibDem ): Although I confirm what the Minister said about the successful role that the task forces can play in the regeneration of an economy, does he accept that there is something in the comments of the hon. Member for Leicester, East (Mr. Vaz) about the lack of accountability of some task forces? Does the Minister recognise that some people perceive the task force as a gauleiter in carpet slippers ?

    Hansard, 20 Jan 1994, Column 1070 : Mr. Martin Redmond (Don Valley) ( Labour ) : … First, no chairman or non-executive director of an NHS health authority or trust is democratically elected, yet we hear much criticism from Conservative Members about trade unions. Conservative NHS appointments are more akin to the Nazi gauleiter system .

    Hansard, 18 May 1995, Column 545 : Sir Dudley Smith (Warwick and Leamington) ( Conservative ): We are to have a commissioner on standards , or ethics officer, as the hon. Member for Dewsbury (Mrs. Taylor) so neatly put it. He will be a veritable gauleiter with strong powers to make recommendations. It is true that he will report to a sub-committee, but it will be his poodle.

  56. More disgraceful bullying of female Labour politician. Any response at all? No sense of shame? No decency left? It’s beginning to look that way!

  57. Alex Salmond was a big hit with viewers in England when he appeared on Question Time in Liverpool. Now we cannae have that, can we?

  58. In the interests of fairness, Johann Lamont could have been asked on as well. Although it might not have been a great idea as rugby can be a high scoring game and, on the evidence of Thursday’s FMQs, Johann can’t count.

  59. Let me inject just a little real life into this topic. The Treaty of Union formed Her/His m
    Majesty’s Parliament of the United Kingdom. It had only two signatories. England & Scotland. England was really Greater England as England signed on behalf of the English Princedom of Wales and as including, (by act of the Irish Parliament), the Crown of Ireland. There is not a single mention in that Treaty of either signatory being either superior or inferior to the other. Thus it was a treaty between two equal sovereign nations. It states that the currency of the new union would be the Pound Sterling and the new parliament that of the United Kingdom – not of either Scotland or England. The armed forces and everything else was under joint ownership of Their Majesty’s. They still are.
    Now the situation is that we have the Prime Minister, (with no mandate from the voters of Scotland), doing such strange things as telling the UK Civil Service to NOT allow the Civil Servants charged with representing the Scottish Parliament to be party to what happens in meetings of civil servants. He has also taken sides against the Scottish Government but he is their Prime Minister too and his oath was to serve Her Majesty. He is thus legally a traitor as he is acting against her Majesty’s properly elected Scottish Government. As there are only two signatories to the Treaty of Union he has chosen to side with only one by actinmg against the other. Ho has broken his oath to Her Majesty, Elizabeth Queen of Scots. He could be arrested and tried as a traitor to Scotlan’s Queen.

  60. Regardless of the meaning of Gauleiter (and the true definition IS related to National Socialism), it was an inappropriate metaphor for the First Minister to use. There are a range of insults that are as effective and a bit more subtle which would have done nicely.

    As head of the Scottish Government, he should be careful with his choice of words, especially given Tom Harris’ childish video and McAlpine’s “anti-Scottish” comment – now used by Mike Russell it seems.

    Words will always been taken out of context, and politicians should know better, as should journalists – see bigbuachaille’s list above for the foot-in-mouth brigade.

    1. I hate to say it, it seems an eminently pithy epithet under the circumstances

      As I point out the Nat Blogger Munguin found plenty of evidence of it being in the public domain as Salmond said, Alan Cochrane when as Scotland on Sunday used it.

      It describes a person like Warden Hodges from Dad’s Army, it is a valid English word now

    2. I think it is a cultural thing. It’s not a word that is used often, if ever, in Scotland but it is down south, including in Westminster, and that’s where I would guess Alex Salmond picked it up.

      Which is quite entertaining when you think about it. The Great Nationalist Satan hoist by a Westminster petard!

  61. Where is Johann Lamont on this bullying case -looks like Labour have form in bullying. For God’s sake do something about this dirty shower in Glasgow! Do you want Labour, like I do, to have a future in an Independent Scotland or do you just want to go on shi….. on the people of Glasgow?

  62. Alex Salmond was a popular performer of the One Show and on Any Questions broadcast from Liverpool, where he defended public ownership of the NHS in England. Listeners approved of his defence of their values. Now that is sufficient reason for the BBC to want him off the airways.

  63. Hello, anybody hame? Been waiting for some sort of comment on the Glasgow council mess and bullying scandal. So far hardly anything on the BBC, nothing from Johann Lamont, nothing on here that shows Labour even care about the accusation, apparently Cllr Davidson hung up on The Herald when asked for his comment on the accusation. Only STV and the “nationalist” blogs apparently give a toss about the issue of bullying. The silence is shameful but definitely not deafening, I’d say it speaks volumes. The only thing more damaging to Scottish Labour than this sort of thing going on is the complete unwillingness of anyone at Scottish Labour to adress it.

  64. Well it appears that the “labour” members/support has went into hibernation, was it something we nationalist’s said ? We may never know !!!!

  65. Its no just Duncan that has been kidnapped, its the whole team.
    Please state your demands and we can open negotiations to get Duncan and his cohorts back. Please.

  66. If anyone thinks that Salmond appearing on the sports coverage wasn’t an opportunity for self promotion then they really need to ask themselves why he was so anxious to get on any TV or radio broadcast that would have him on the day.
    The poor injured First Minister wanted to get on the Scotland England coverage because he had something important to say about rugby. So important was what he had to say that in every occasion since his analysis of the team selection and tactics have been at the core of what he has had to say – its just that the biased anti Scottish media have censored his comments due to some unspecified English conspiracy.
    In a future” free” Scotland the national broadcasting service, of course, won’t be troubled with anything as inconvenient as political balance. There won’t be any need to try and balance coverage – particularly non political coverage between political parties.
    Gauleiter isnt a Nazi slur – well that’s a somewhat dubious claim but even the first ministers apologists can’t deny it was intended as an insult, it was meant to be offensive. So congratulations to the first minister of Scotland for showing the maturity and self assurance to respond to disappointment without bandying about Nazi slurs. The BBC should be ashamed of their anti Scottish bias and bullying of the First Minister.

    1. Excuse me “GAULEITER”, you dont have a brother called “GMcM” do you ? because your style and content are extremely simliar, he usually sprouts the same nonsense.

    2. He didn’t try to get on. He was invited on. He read out the email that came from the BBC suggesting it.

      Has it never occurred to any of you that the more you bang on about this the more attention you draw to that fact?

    3. Don’t give up the day job – unless of course that day job is to provide insightful and measured political commentary with a satirical edge.

    4. Frankly when one considers the smears thrown at Alec Salmond by the Unionist Press and broadcasting media who are equally enthusiastic in giving credence to the smears then, one might consider it reasonable politics to seek any opportunity to redress the balance by appearing as a normal sort of bloke with normal views on normal pursuits. Perhaps there is a deeper revulsion sponsored in Labourite minds as he had been asked for his views on a “posh” sport. He did appear on Any Questions in Liverpool and seemed to have won approval from the left leaning section of the selected audience with his remarks re the Health Service.

  67. The winds of change are heading towards glasgow city council,and soon the long suffering people of glasgow will soon be rid of the stench of 70yrs of corruption,cronyism nepotism and bullying.

  68. Yes – roll on that “free” Scotland so we will have independent broadcasting and not as you so rightly put it “biased anti Scottish media”. I see you chose to call yourself “Gauleiter” – maybe from deep sense of insecurity and sarcasm that reduces you to less than you think you are. Yes bias and bullying should lead to shame. Oh a bit like the bullying of a Glagow Labour councillor whose disabled son’s job was threatened to try to force her to “vote the right way”. Nothing at all from Labour – and that compared, to Mr Salmond’s comment, is an absolute disgrace. Ditch Westminster, reform Labour in Scotland, try to get back to what you once were and for any sake try to be honest!

  69. Rob, A good heartfelt post mate, however you need to think very carefully about what the labour party has become.
    Robin Cook resigned as the Disgrace that was the Iraq claim of WMD’s began. He was the only ‘man of principle’ in that cabinet and the other Scottish labour men kept their big lying mouths shut except to support Tony Blair.
    The labour party is impossible to support for anyone with a ‘thinking’ brain something you clearly have, because they sold out the genuine labour party principles when ‘New Labour’ became the new brand and the people now infesting the party are no more than career ladder climbers liars and troughers.
    You need to do some deep research into the dishonesty of the labour party and look carefuly at things such as the McCrone report to see how the labour party lied to the people of Scotland (fully in cohoots with the tories) for years and years until forced to reveal the truth through a FOI request. You need to find out about the disgraceful chapter in labours history when Scottish labour members secretly signed 6,000 square miles of Scotland waters over to England in a secret deal with Tony Blair.
    You need to make an informed choice Rob and the labour party along with their media lackies are desperate for people like you to be kept in the dark.

    Do not be a mushroom bud. (kept in the dark and fed bull..it)

    Find the truth, it’s not difficult.

  70. Gauleiter
    Of course it was an opportunity for promotion. That’s what political figures do. That’s what encourages folks to vote for them. Are you trying to make some point. There are a number of ways you can draw public attention to yourself. For instance you can set fire to curtains in busy hotels or attack police officers after you have knocked over old ladies when drunk

  71. I take it then from the numerous comments here, that it is OK for us to call the First Minister a Gauleiter.

    After all, it is defined as a over-bearing, pompus regional official, excercising power in a partisan fashion.

    1. The First Minister of Scotland is a REGIONAL official, eh? Lolz.

      Compared to what he must be used to being called by now – Mugabe, Ian Smith (can’t be both, surely?), leader of a “neo-fascist” party, El Salmondo, a mad environmentalist who is going to do “more damage to Scotland than anything in it’s history, etc. – I doubt Eck would be bothered by getting called a Gauleiter.

    2. Is that the best you can do, Mr Ruddy? You seem to have learned nothing from the comments above and and as has been pointed out before, seem much more interested in playing the man rather than the ball.
      Any comment on the alleged bullying in Glasgow City Council? Any comment on the fact that this seems to follow other allegations of bullying withing the Labour Party in Scotland? Any recognition of the fact that while occaisionally there may be smoke without fire, when there is an awful lot of smoke it is awfully likely that there is in fact a fire? Are you proud of Cllr Gilbert Davidson, Mr Ruddy?

    3. Yes, sure. You can even call him a Nazi if you want. Hilter, Mugabe, Pol Pot (has that been used yet?) – all possibilities too. I don’t think he’ll take it to heart. In fact, I’d imagine he would actively encourage unionist parties to do this as much as possible, what with the council elections coming up an all.

      As an aside; I hear there’s a new independent Labour party forming in Glasgow. I do hope they take the as yet unregistered party name ‘Scottish Labour’ as we are sorely missing a Scottish Labour party.

    4. If you can find an excuse for it then yeah sure. But if you think Alex Salmond has the soul of an over-zealous minor official I suspect you are the only one.

    5. John Ruddy – I don’t suppose Alex Salmond would mind being called a “gauleiter” too much. After all he is a grown up unlike the many unionist politicians, some of so called “standing”,who have, to their shame, called him much worse!

  72. I read this with dismay. Partly because of the evidence of the continuing attempt to play the man rather than the ball. It’s really demeaning for those who participate in this type of politics, wherever it comes from and it’s insulting to citizens. The main source of my dismay however comes from the fact that if Labour were another party I might be able to vote for them. I come from the Fife mining belt, generations of my family have been miners, I was socialised into voting Labour, unsurprisingly. I am highly educated, have enjoyed social mobility that was not available to the generations that came before me, and I have a quite left of centre social democratic outlook. I understand that this puts me far to the left of the Labour leadership and also significantly to the left of the SNP (which I regard as a social democratic party – and I have better arguments to back this up than I do for Labour). I am also Scottish, and am prepared also to defend the idea that Scotland is a democratic political community in its own right, and that for better or worse, Scotland has been forged into a nation like many others through its medieval and modern historical trajectory – social and democratic.
    Why do I not vote Labour now? That is a question that the Scottish Labour party must answer. I should be ‘labour’, mainstream political science says that I should display a high degree of alignment and solidarity with the Labour party. Is there something wrong with me?
    I vote for the SNP – they offer the prospect of reforming a Scottish Social Democratic political community. Do I feel worried about the prospects for social democracy in England – yes, I certainly do, I worry about it for all countries.
    Am I voting for the SNP because I have somehow been ‘fooled’ or ‘duped’ by the ‘evil dictator’ Salmond, up to his ‘old wily tricks’ again, as in this article? I don’t think so.
    I scan this site for signs of sense, perspective and vision, and I find mostly none, and it is really a shame, a crying shame.

  73. wee fifer
    I cannot site the same background. My mother and father were both teachers but my father went to school in Maryhill in the early years of last century without shoes. His elevation to higher education came by accident . He was put in a seminary after his father was killed by WW1 trench gassing.
    I have very deep understanding of where I came from which gives me a great understanding of where we still have to go – and an understanding of how we get there.
    I am sure the people I knew in the Labour Party when I started in political action when I was a teacher in Lanarkshire in the 1960s were very open to an independent Scotland and most of them would have voted for it had they thought they were going to ever get the opportunity.
    You are correct. I find the banality of much of the content here deeply distressing. There is a lot more sense in the free contibutions than in the lead articles

  74. Should, of course, be “cite” not “site” in the first sentence and “contributions” in the last sentence

  75. The level of paranoia being displayed by the SNP at the moment is quite astounding. You would think that with all the years of political experience they have, that they would have noticed a pattern.

    When you take your seat at head of government, you will come under attack on a daily basis just as the SNP have done to governments over the years. Now the shoe is on the other foot and they can’t stand it. While they were a minority govt they could blame the lack of action and legislation on the other parties blocking them, however those excuses have gone and they are being exposed for the charlatans they are. One trick ponies.

  76. @wee fifer SNP-social democratic???? Really, cutting college budgets while youth unemployment is at the highest level in years, suggesting corporation tax cuts, buying in steel produced by cheap labour abroad, I am afraid they all sound a bit Tory to me.

  77. Let me see if I understand this correctly, Alex Salmond is being slated for using the word “Gauleiter,” he certainly didn’t call anyone a Nazi.
    In the meantime, Alex Salmond has been called at various times:
    1. Slobodan Milosevic? (Denis MacShane, Labour MP)
    2. Benito Mussolini? (Lord Foulkes, Labour peer)
    3. Adolf Hitler? (Tom Harris, Labour MP)
    4. Adolf Hitler (again)? (Ann Moffat, Labour MP)
    5. Joseph Stalin? (Alan Cochrane, the Telegraph)
    6. Robert Mugabe? (Lord Cormack, Conservative peer)
    7. Robert Mugabe (again)? (Jeremy Paxman, BBC)
    8. Kim Jong-Il? (Lord Forsyth, Conservative peer)
    9. Caligula? (John Macleod, the Times)
    10. Nicolae Ceausescu? (Neil Collins, the Financial Times)
    11. Genghis Khan? (Kevin McKenna, the Observer)
    12. Nero? (Annabel Goldie, Conservative MSP)

    Anyone else detect a whiff of hypocracy?

  78. Space Cadet

    As the marvelous Feeble Fifty didn’t manage to save any of the Scottish steel industry Scotland doesn’t produce the steel that is needed for the Forth Bridge.
    Perhaps you hadn’t noticed

  79. I’ll say no more than that this is cut & Paste from an on-Disk Oxford Dictionary.

    gauleiter/ n.
    1 hist. an official governing a district under Nazi rule.
    2 a local or petty tyrant.
    [German, from Gau ‘administrative district’ + Leiter ‘leader’]

    See that wee bit, “Hist”, that is the historic oragin and the other is normal modern usage, but then you knew that. By knowing that YOU knew you give very good reason never to vote Labour ever again. What a disgrace to a once great party this present lot have turned out to be.

  80. There is an alternaitve to having politicans mixing with sport….let’s have neither on TV and no party-titles on ballots and peolpe will have to go to the open meetings of election periods where politicians can be freely-questioned by us, the public, rather than pontificate during PPBs or get soft-handling form TV journalists.
    On the subject of insults – real and imagined – opf course Gualieter is a derogatory term, but it does have a modern usage soemwhat removed from that of Nazi Germany. Everyone uses derogatory tems, though some are aceptable to the BBC. It’s somehow OK to call Gnats ‘separatists’, but imagine the uproar if somebody described unionists as ‘quislings’.

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