The SNP Government was last night embroiled in a dirty tricks row after an aide to a senior minister quit over smearing political opponents on the internet.The blog in question, "The Universality of Cheese", is not one I've read, thankfully:
Mark MacLachan, who worked in Constitution and Culture Minister Mike Russell’s constituency office, had attacked rivals on his blog since February.
Mr MacLachlan suggested some Labour politicians got a sexual thrill from bullying women, branded a prominent Tory "the biggest liar in the Scottish legal system", and posted a picture of Gordon Brown in a noose with the headline "duplicitous lying bastards".Plenty more where that come from, if you're interested then read the article. Not very pleasant stuff, but it's unpleasant stuff which didn't help the SNP's cause even before his outing, which makes you wonder why the party hasn't done or said more publicly in attempt to call off the attack hounds from the more extremist wing of cybernatery.
He also alleged a married Labour MSP visited gay cruising spots, badmouthed the daughter of Lord David Steel, the former presiding officer at Holyrood, and described several opponents as "c***s". Mr MacLachlan had been employed at public expense since 2007.
This today from David Maddox should also really make the SNP PR boys have a long hard think about what's being said and done in their name:
The reason the comments are no longer allowed after my stories is because cybernats - by which I mean the extremist element that supports the SNP and manifests itself under anonymous names - were putting up comments actually threatening me physical harm and asking people to track down my home, car etc.If I had been Maddox in these particuliar cases, I'd have left that "confronting" up to the police to be honest but again, if the SNP are serious about developing "civic" side of its nationalism, this is not the kind of support it needs.
At that point it was decided by the newspaper's management that comments should no longer appear after my stories.
While I think it is a shame to close down the debate, I agreed with the decision, not least because my windows have been smashed eight times in the last two years, which makes personal security for me and my family a high priority, even if the vandalism was probably done by local kids.
I confronted via e-mail a couple of the pro-Nationalist posters who put up these threatening remarks and one, who at least had the decency to apologise, admitted to being a party member
*Thanks to SM753 for the original alert.