A Sign, a Symbol
If your political base has crumbled and you are trying to reach the road to recovery, symbolism is important. From the wreckage that is the Scottish Labour Party came just such a move, today appointing Alan Roden, former Political Editor of the Scottish Daily Mail to become its Director of Communications. For a party in such disarray this is an important, and presumably an expensive decision. The appointment caused ripples of schadenfreude through social media, and there is a delicious prospect of (in just a few short weeks time) there being phone call between the media office of the Scottish Labour Party and the UK in the wake of Jeremy Corbyn’s victory:
“Hello Alan, it’s Seamus here”.
It’s not just that he has brought a hate-filled and poisonous approach to political discourse against the independence movement and Scottish culture, but more to the point, and much more fun, he has brought this to Scottish Labour.
From such a large menu of far-right ramblings to chose from, let’s just pick one, his disgraceful attack on gaelic language provision in Edinburgh. In 2014 he attempted to pin the tragic death of Keane Wallis-Bennett at Liberton High School on the fact that the school was in a poor state of repairs, a story we covered with Arthur Cormack: “Disgraceful Opportunist Cultural Hatred”.
As Cormack wrote at the time: “It is baffling why Alan Roden hates Gaelic so much that he would come up with a headline like the one accompanying his article that seeks to blame the tragic death of a young pupil on the money spent on Gaelic provision. If that was not his motive, why was the £3.5m spent on Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàircementioned at all? Whatever the cause of young Keane’s death, this is not a time to be apportioning blame. But what a sickening slur on those who attend and work in Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirce that they should be associated in this way with a tragic incident at another school. An example of the worst kind of gutter journalism and unadulterated, inexplicable hatred towards Gaelic and its speakers from Alan Roden.”
Once he’s got settled in his new job we look forward to reading Roden’s account of how the real reason Edinburgh’s schools are falling apart is the social and financially disastrous consequences of the Labour Party’s obsession with PFI.
As Labour purge their own members for dissent and continue to collude and coordinate a massive media smear against their elected leader, Roden’s appointment is just the sign and symbol they need to flag up their intentions.
What could possibly go wrong?
You may have your own gems from Roden’s prodigious output. Feel free to add them below.