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Sunday, 29 November 2009

SNP Minister Mike Rusell's Aide Mark MacLachlan in smear campaign

Alex Salmond and Mike Russell will not be happy chaps this morning as the often talked about cybernat bullying is finally exposed as the News of the World uncover (now former) senior aide Mark MacLachlans disgraceful online bullying/hate campaign.

Mike Russell's office manager Mark MacLachlan has now resigned (or been sacked) not only from his job but also membership of the SNP.

Mark MacLachlan hid behind the pseudonym Montague Burton on his blog, “The Universality of Cheese”, this blog has now been taken down, although we have had a bit of a period of blogs closing in Scotland, this is one we are all happy to see the back of.

Jeff over at SNP Tactical Voting does offer a small bit of defence of Mark himself, after having met him twice. Although on this occasion I do feel Jeff is wrong about this not being the SNPs "Damian McBride" affair. The SNP will suffer more than blog damage from this.

On the eve of the SNP's attempt to waste time and money by introducing the Referendum bill this is not only bad timing for Alex Salmond but this smear gate will no doubt take column inches away from his beloved independence campaign.

Tavish Scott says in today's Scotland on Sunday this is Alex Salmond's "Damian McBride" moment - spot on Tavish.

"This is Alex Salmond's Damian McBride moment," said Tavish Scott, the Lib Dem leader.

"We need an apology from him and for him to disassociate himself from this blogger immediately.

"This poisonous SNP bile attacking anyone who dares criticise Alex Salmond's nationalists was paid for by the Scottish taxpayer. I want a full investigation by the Permanent Secretary into what other SNP special advisers, researchers and hired hands are involved in this kind of odious politics.

"Scott added: "If Mark MacLachlan posted any of his defamation's and smears in office hours, while being paid by the taxpayer and while using facilities provided at the taxpayers' expense, Mike Russell's position is untenable and Alex Salmond should sack him."

In The Sunday Herald they report "He also alleged a married Labour MSP visited gay cruising spots, badmouthed the daughter of Lord David Steel, the former presiding officer at Holyrood, and described several opponents as “c***s”. Mr MacLachlan had been employed at public expense since 2007."

The News of the World who exposed Mark MacLachlan's trail of hate, smears and lies seems to have gone on for some time. I do however wonder if Mike Russell knew what his office manager was up to? Given how close knit the SNP operation is and everyone is told what to do and say and when to do it I don't see how others including Mike Russell didn't know about it.

That is one thing I am sure we will never really know the answer to.

The one thing that has been very obvious to me is that the SNP may have got rid of Mark MacLachlan quickly, but this won't go away as many of those that he has attacked and spread rumours about may now well take legal action against him.

David Maddox called last Wednesday "black Wednesday" for the SNP, this is a much blacker Sunday and the SNP should be ashamed of the actions of this former senior member of staff and congratulations to the News of the World for uncovering the actions of this person and bringing to a halt this trail of hatred and bullying type of political action from within the top levels of the SNP minority government.


Jeff said...

"Jeff over at SNP Tactical Voting does offer a small bit of defence, although I have to say on this occasion I do feel Jeff is wrong."

Please don't confuse "defence" with my saying Mark is a good-natured, engaging chap in person.

Bloggers need to sharpen up their language when talking about others, surely this episode helps illustrate that.

Andrew Reeves said...

Fair point, happy to amend.

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