The Scottish secretary Alistair Carmichael has attacked the leadership of the SNP for emboldening nationalist twitter trolls.
The Scottish secretary Alistair Carmichael has attacked the leadership of the SNP for emboldening nationalist twitter trolls to launch abusive tirades against those opposed to independence.
The minister was making his first keynote speech in Inverness since being appointed to the cabinet, following attacks on his identity as a Scot.
David Alexander, an SNP councillor in Fife, has refused to apologise for dubbing the Scottish secretary a ‘supposed Scot, whilst Scotland’s deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon has accused Carmichael of being ‘against Scotland’.
Concluding that the nationalists are seeking to ‘divide’ Scotland, the secretary of state explained:
“Not content with trying to divide the UK, the supporters of independence also seek to divide our fellow Scots – depending on their voting intentions in the referendum. I tell you this, once you start mixing up politics and patriotism you can quickly get into dangerous territory.”
Referring to Alex Salmond’s desire to paint the Prime Minister as somehow arguing against Scotland as well as Nicola Sturgeon’s attack on him, Carmichael continued:
“One view is that is just a wee bit of predictable political knock about. But look at my Twitter feed. See the names I get called.
“That’s something that happens because the trolls on Twitter are emboldened when they see the Alex Salmonds and Nicola Sturgeons of this world taking essentially the same approach.”
This author would concur. One look at a twitter conversation I had with a supporter of Yes Scotland on the day of Alex Salmond’s conference speech reveals how personal their campaign has got.
Extracts of the conversation can be seen below:
Albannach: “Expect the Lib Dems to be wiped out. Labour already walking dead here as 2011 showed. This will permanently change politics.”
Ed Jacobs: “What happened to Lab in Scotland in 2010 general election? Also, what proportion of scots voted for pro-union parties in 2011?”
Albannach: “2010 hardly relevant when they were destroyed in 2011. Check the political polls. I mean, have you ever seen Lamont speak?”
So, for Albannach the debate gets reduced to a personal attack on the way Lamont speaks. Would the SNP please distance themselves from him?Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.