Anthony Barnett (London, OK): I didn't know that life peers could also be members of our various parliaments, but it turns out that 'Lord' George Foulkes is now also an MSP. He has just implicitly suggested that the leaders of the Scottish government are racist - by denying that he is saying this, while calling on them to exercise care with their language. You can hear the BBC interview for yourself. He wants SNP leaders to stop all sneering, anti-English antagonism as it could lead on to dangerous things. For examples of such remarks he refers to a comment sent into the the Scotsman. But at the same time it is the web itself that has opened the way for dangerous talk, permitting the SNP to "legitimise the cyber nats that come out in the middle of the night blogging onto the Scotsman website". Its a wonderful image, bloggers who dare not share their views except at night! A Scottish friend recalls the splendid slogan that swept over Ayrshire in a general election in the 1980s: "Vote Labour for Foulkes' Sake". I need to be careful with the date if not my language, can anyone confirm which election it was?
9 September 2007