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Sunday 7 June 2015

Mail Charles Kennedy Hypocrisy

The Mail, ever ready to jump on the bandwagon well after it has passed the front door, has decided to appropriate the memory of former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy in order for the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre to go after their new political enemy, the SNP. After all, why bother understanding a political movement that has just yielded 56 Westminster seats, when you can kick them instead?
So, despite not mentioning it at the time of the General Election, readers were treated to the weekend headlines telling'Hounded' by SNP hate mob: How, in the weeks before his lonely death, Charles Kennedy endured a vile campaign of bullying and abuse by separatist fanatics that deeply wounded an already vulnerable man”. It was truly touching to see the concern that would not have been shown had he still been alive.

The SNP are accused of emptying Kennedy’s bins all over the road outside his house, of orchestrating a hate campaign against him, of egging on their supporters, of being responsible for all manner of social media accounts, of showing little respect for the former MP even when his father died, and yet the Mail fails - perhaps not accidentally - to address one question. If all this was known during the campaign, why was the paper silent?

Because, although the Mail ran a series of columns attacking the SNP, none of them so much as mentioned Charles Kennedy. You think I jest? Consider Dominic Lawson’s April effort, where readers were toldThe Scottish Nasty Party and how its growing intimidation and intolerance of dissent reeks of fascism … the kind of street-by-street intimidation of opponents that we would more normally associate with fascists”.

There was even sympathy for the BBC: “The BBC in Scotland is wearily familiar with similar intimidation — co-ordinated action by so-called cybernats has made the job of its journalists increasingly unenviable … The head of the BBC in Scotland, Donalda MacKinnon, described the cybernat campaign of abuse as 'completely unacceptable’’. All manner of bad behaviour was detailed. But Kennedy did not get a mention.

Nor did he feature in Jan Moir’s election night rant, where she suddenly remembered that she was a Scot. “Vile bigots have made me ashamed to be Scottish … We Scots have always taken pride in our nationality. And like pumped-up David Cameron - there’s a great Scottish name for you - we know all about passion, too. Yet all these positive feelings have been washed away in a sea of dread. For when I think about modern Scotland now, all I feel is despair”. Why so?

The rise of the SNP in Scotland is not, as Alex Salmond keeps saying, some lovely festival of democracy. From where I am standing, it looks very much like a forced march down the long road of grudge”. And yet more bad behaviour was described. But not a word about what was happening to Charles Kennedy. Not until after he had died.

The Mail didn’t give a crap about Charles Kennedy. But now his memory is useful for them to sell a few more papers and assuage their consciences. Pass the sick bucket.

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