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The rot goes deep

I was going to say the rot goes deep in Scottish politics, but it ain’t just Scotland.

It started with a minor story about a senior member of the Scottish National Party getting into hot water. Until this story broke Dr Tim Rideout was the SNP’s currency guy. Quoting the Times:

“Nicola Sturgeon ‘will root out racism’ in SNP after adviser Tim Rideout suspended”

Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to “root out and condemn toxic racist political discourse” in the SNP after a senior party member said that Priti Patel should be “sent back to Uganda”.

Tim Rideout, a member of the nationalists’ policy development committee, was suspended from the party after the controversial social media posts about the home secretary came to light.

Pam Gosal, the Conservative MSP and the first Indian Sikh member at Holyrood, urged the first minister to condemn the “appalling racist comment”.

Pam Gosal was right. It was a nasty bit of snide directed at the Home Secretary solely because of her ancestry. I already knew Rideout was a twit on financial matters – here he is speaking at some sort of Modern Monetary Theory conference – but I had thought better of him than that.

A Conservative MSP angrily saying that a Scottish National Party official has said something appalling, when he has, is normal politics. What shook me, because not that long ago it was not normal politics, was the remark from the (Labour) Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, Ian Murray:

Ian Murray, the shadow Scottish secretary, has called for police to take action against Rideout. He added: “These are truly horrendous and outright racist remarks from a key advisor to Nicola Sturgeon.

Once laws against “hate” unaccompanied by any clear crime are passed, as the SNP has done in Scotland, it does not take long for the policing of political speech to become literal.

12 comments to The rot goes deep

  • There should be no role whatsoever for the police in this matter.

  • bobby b

    “These are truly horrendous and outright racist remarks from a key advisor to Nicola Sturgeon.”

    Were I Ugandan, I might say that it was a compliment and, so, not true.

  • A part of me thinks these people will never care about free speech until they themselves experience being banned for a remark.

    Another part of me warns that the most-eager-to-ban-rivals will claw their way to the top in a Scotland where dog denounces the hate-speech of dog and woe to anyone who lets slip a chance to knife a rival in that way before the rival knifes them. It was no accident that communist parties tended to end up with people like Stalin and Mao in charge.

    The spectacle of Scottish Labour denouncing the hate speech of the natz has its amusement. Meanwhile, I wish Priti to start sending illegal immigrants back from this country where they should not legally be. I suspect the distinction is equally lost on Rideout and on Murray.

    Meanwhile, Sturgeon has of course put back by a month the date when Scots will legally be allowed to show their faces. I know whom I wish would depart for some distant place.

  • The fact that the SNP are a nasty bunch of racists isn’t news. Just that they usually keep their racism purely to the English. Bit more of a stretch to demand Priti Patel be “returned to Uganda”, since she was born in sunny London.

    Still, the demented porridge wogs of the SNP are a bit hard of understanding at the best of times. I know my local SNP MP (Pete Wishart) certainly is. I’m guessing geography, UK immigration laws and the history of the Ugandan deportations under Idi Amin aren’t a hot topic for them, either.

  • Aetius

    John Galt, if you want to disgrace yourself by referring to people as “porridge wogs”, go for it.
    The SNP is a disgusting political party, which verges on a hate cult, and has an evil black-hearted leadership, but no need to use terms of abuse against Scots.
    Yours from North Britain.

  • @Aetius – You’ll never guess why my local MP is a member of the SNP…

    …and the original phrase IIRC is “the Demented Porridge Wogs of the SNP” (not mine, probably Tim Worstall’s)

  • Paul Marks

    I agree with Perry.

    The Scottish National Party person is a swine – but he can say what he likes, I do not care.

    If he wants to say that Priti Patel should go back to where her ancestors came from, or that Paul Marks should go back to where my ancestors came from, that is up to him.

    “Go back” to somewhere I have never been to does not make much sense, but he could change his words to “should be sent to where their ancestors came from” – although as the ancestors of EVERYONE (every person on the planet) came from East Africa, it could get really crowded there.

  • Just for the record, I do not think John Galt “disgraced himself” – especially in this context. There will always be a legitimate question of which rhetoric better resists the racism of the natz: asking them “How would you like it if I said that to you?” or “How did you like it when I said that to you?”

    Yours also from North Britain.

  • The Jannie

    Aetius: don’t be so sensitive. I’m a born and bred Jock and think that “porridge wog” is hilarious.

    As an aside, the scum in that excrescence at the foot of the Royal Mile continue to ensure that what goes on inside the heap is as ugly as the outside of it.

  • llamas

    @ bobby b. – there’s a sub-text here that is unknown to most Americans. Ms Patel is not ethnically Ugandan – she is the child of ethically-Indian refugees from that country in 1972, who were forcibly expelled by the dictator Idi Amin and re-settled in the UK. So the suggestion that she ‘go back to Uganda’ is more thah just a thoughtless ‘go-back-where-you-came-from’ jibe, but also contains a wish that she return to a murderous dictatorship.



  • bobby b

    llamas: “@ bobby b. – there’s a sub-text here that is unknown to most Americans.”

    Migawd, this is all worse than trying to figure out who’s not speaking to who when you arrive to Thanksgiving dinner with the relatives. Insults within insults. It’s like Dune, with Mean Girls.

    (“Unknown” is right. I looked at her pics and thought “Ugandan?”)

  • llamas

    @bobby b. – if you can find it, an indie documentary from 2 or 3 years ago called ’90 Days to Leave’ gives a rather-good overview of the whole affair. It caused tremendous political upheavals in the UK at the time. 50 years on, many of the children of these refugees, who arrived in the UK with nothing, have gone on to make very successful careers in the UK in all sorts of endeavours, vide Ms Patel.