Tag Archives: ian blackford

14 January 2019 – today’s press releases

As we start another week, is there an emerging consensus on where we go next? Tomorrow sees the meaningful vote in the Commons, whilst tonight saw a somewhat less meaningful one in the Lords, although it perhaps offers a portent of what is to come…

  • Cross-party group publishes legislation for People’s Vote
  • Cable: Research shows UK companies hit hard by ‘Leave’ vote
  • Lib Dems: EU letter changes nothing
  • Lords defeat ’embarrassing setback’ for Theresa May

Cross-party group publishes legislation for People’s Vote

A cross-party group of MPs has today (January 14th) published legislation to bring about a ‘People’s Vote’ referendum on the Government’s Brexit deal in …

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No, Ian Blackford, you really weren’t the victim: your campaign against Charles Kennedy was a disgrace

Few things have made me quite as angry as SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford’s revisionist interview in The Times (£)last weekend in which he claimed that the SNP’s vicious campaign against Charles Kennedy in 2015 was nothing to do with him and he was in fact the victim.

He said:

I did not enjoy the election campaign in 2015 but that was more to do with the characterisation of me from the Liberals. I’m not in any way blaming Charles, who was the MP. It was the campaign against me. It was pretty nasty.

Blackford objected to the Liberal Democrat literature which referred to him, accurately, as a banker from Edinburgh. While his supporters were going round being pretty blatant about Charles’ health problems and calling him a quisling. At the time former Labour minister Brian Wilson outlined some of the horrendous abuse Charles received on social media from Blackford’s allies:

Mr Smith sent at least 115 offensive tweets to Charles Kennedy between January and May as well as countless Facebook messages. He was not alone. A member of Charles’s constituency staff worked full-time on deleting abuse from his own social media sites. Any attempt to communicate on behalf of his own campaign met with another torrent of well-orchestrated poison.

When Charles asked for supporters to put posters in their windows, one Clare Robertson (if that is indeed his/her name) sneered: “Just put an empty whisky bottle in your window. It’s the same thing.”

The Mr Smith referred to was Blackford’s constituency chair who resigned over his comments on Twitter. 

Blackford also refers to a visit he made to Charles’ campaign office in Fort William:

What about the infamous episode, I ask, when you and some supporters were said to have burst into the Liberal Democrat campaign rooms and had a shouting match?

“That wasn’t the case,” says Mr Blackford. “I’d been in on several occasions. We even took some cake into them when we opened up our offices. I’d actually gone in to him because we’d had a public meeting the night before and I’d gone to see Charles to say, look, could you lay off this personal attack on us.

“With the benefit of hindsight, which is a wonderful thing, perhaps it would have been better not to do that, but that’s what happened and the Liberals have sought to characterise it in another way.”

On the day, in April 2015, we brought you the story of Blackford’s ill-tempered and aggressive visit to the campaign hq where he had a right go at young staff members. 

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That’s not how we used to do politics in the Highlands: SNP candidate takes supporters on aggressive visit to Charles Kennedy’s office

The very first election I was ever involved in was in 1983 in Caithness & Sutherland. It was the first election since Bob Maclennan had left the Labour Party and was standing for the SDP/Liberal Alliance. It’s fair to say that there was a bit of bad blood from his former Labour colleagues. Not once, though, do I remember them coming round mob-handed and shouting at the people in our office. Their aggression was limited to filthy looks at hustings.

What on earth has happened to the peaceable Highlands?  I’ve just been speaking to members of Charles Kennedy’s team in his office in Fort William. They told me how the SNP candidate for the area, Ian Blackford, stormed in this morning with 4 supporters and shouted at everyone, wagging his finger at a member of staff. If he’d tried to do that at the doctor’s surgery or to a member of Scotrail staff, for example, he’d have found himself in big trouble. Why, then, did he think it was acceptable to treat young people in that way?

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