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Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Conservative MSP John Lamont uses poppy to score cheap political points

To be fair, readers of my little blog know I do not have a lot of time for John Lamont MSP at the best of times, but even he has slipped to a new low this week.

There are some issues you do not, as they say "go there" and using the poppy and veterans to attack your political opponents is one of them, fairly close to the top of that list.

In the Southern Reporter, John Lamont MSP has fired off a press release attacking all MSPs but specifically the other MSPs covering the Borders and the South of Scotland for not attending the poppy appeal launch in Holyrood. He claims just six MSPs were there.

I'm not sure if he walked round with a register while talking to the veterans who attended, or just counted at one point of the event.

I think back to last year, when John Lamont MSP was bored of his current job and was trying to go for the Westminster seat (and failed miserably) and missed many events aimed at the Borders voters whether at Holyrood or actually in the Borders themselves.

Did Michael Moore, Jeremy Purvis MSP or Jim Hume MSP make cheap political jibes about them?

No, they accept that different people have different diary requests and pressures and therefore cannot attend everything.

It also appears that John Lamont was wrong anyway about the attendees, as Jeremy Purvis has corrected the Southern Reporter, because he did in fact attend the Poppy Scotland launch event.

I think the bigger point here though is that John Lamont has stooped to a new low and brought the poppy into politics purely and solely to attack his political opponents in the six months before an election.

The poppy is not a weapon to be used against other people, the work of Poppy Scotland is massively important and should be promoted, not politicised;
Poppyscotland is the leading charity supporting ex-Servicemen and women and their families in Scotland. We are probably best known for running the iconic Scottish Poppy Appeal, but we work all year round to help veterans and their families receive the care and support they urgently need.

The Scottish Poppy Appeal raises over £2 million each year and, combined with our other year-round fundraising, we are able to provide financial assistance to thousands of ex-Servicemen and women as well as helping to fund specialist services such as long term care, housing and employment.

We were established in 1923 as The Earl Haig Fund Scotland but adopted our current name and logo in 2006 to reflect our revised fundraising activities and charitable services work. We are an independent charity and rely entirely on public donations to allow us to continue our life-changing work.
I hope that John Lamont MSP will realise he has made a major error of judgement on this occasion, although I won't hold my breath.  He should apologise publicly for dragging Poppy Scotland into his cheap political election row and then make an additional donation to them.

When he lays his wreath on Sunday, I hope the veterans present will remind him that cheap political jibes such as his don't win votes and if they had acted in the same childish manner during the wars they represented our great country in, John Lamont wouldn't be here now.

You can read more about Poppy Scotland, follow them on twitter and add a twibbon to your facebook or twitter profile to help them publicise their great work or make a donation.


DJ said...

I can imagine that wrangling Purvis a bit considering he's done quite a lot of work regarding veterans.

Anonymous said...

They should have been there.

People died for them to be were they are today.

It's something politicians should do.

Stop hand-wringing

Anonymous said...

Typical Lamont. He's obviously worried that the electorate will remember he was keen to jump ship and join the Westminster Gravy train without a second thought. Unsuccessful in his bid to depose Michael Moore he is desperate to hold onto power and seems happy to use any means he can. Veterans or not it just doesn't register with this career politician. I for one have seen his underhand workings with his Tory chums. Never again will I vote Tory.

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