I feel sad. 22nd March, 2014, a day that will live in……. great sadness.
Today was the day that Johann Lamont reached an unbelievable low.
Johann made a speech to the Labour party conference which has been interpreted as an attack on Alex Salmond’s private life. Mr Salmond is married but has no children.
I quote her words here as follows;
“But there is one thing which the First Minister has discovered this year. Women give birth to children. Then they look after them. So when his focus groups tell him women don’t like him he discovers childcare. It wasn’t exactly the same as Fleming discovering penicillin. Splitting the atom it was not but I suppose the First Minister learning anything about how real Scots live their lives is some sort of progress. I’m not going to give any theories about why the First Minister has a problem with women. But let me offer this thought. The huge issues which women face here and abroad are deeper than any constitutional arrangement and they must be addressed with political will regardless of what the constitutional settlement may be. I know that not one step on the road to greater equality for women was ever delivered without a battle so whatever happens in the referendum this September it will not mean that women’s lives will be better. The argument for greater equality must always be made and won on its own terms. We will continue to highlight inequality and demand change. But let me be clear. If there is to be any progress for women there has to be a connection between ambition and practical delivery. It is not enough just to describe the challenges which women face, there has to be a commitment to change.”
These words are painful, perhaps not to Alex Salmond and his wife, Moira, but to those of us who actually look beyond the September Referendum to a better Scotland.
I regard these words of Lamont’s to be bitter, angry and carefully crafted with the intention to cause maximum insult and hurt.
The problem with Johann Lamont is that not everyone wants to get so dirty and personal in this debate (I know, I run a blog that ridicules Scottish Unionist politicians, but I’m not a politician). As ordinary Scots we want to hear the arguments from both sides. I’m a Yes supporter, but I’m keen to hear positive, rational arguments for the Union from the No side. It makes for good democracy. I’m yet to hear them, but it strikes me that it isn’t that difficult. I could make a good attempt at a positive case for the Union. True, it would involve a lot of rearrangement of the current British Establishment and power sharing web that is dragging the UK down. So why cannot Lamont? Why fall back on bitter personal attacks on Mr and Mrs Salmond?
I believe that it reveals a dark heart at the centre of Johann Lamont.
The hatred enshrined in Lamont’s words is a visible example of the bile that fuels and drives Lamont. It is shocking on many levels. That a professional politician could draw on this to make a point during the most important point in the history of Scotland and, indeed, the UK, is disappointing. What does it say about us to the wider world? Thankfully, I suspect that Scots will not be tarred with the same bitter hued brush.
But what does it reveal about the darker thoughts of Johann Lamont and her closest circle? What is going on in there? Has her view of the debate on the future of 5 million people really been distilled down to one all consuming thought; “I hate Alex Salmond?” I suspect that it has.
This is actually dangerous, because Johann Lamont has the ear of very influential people. What is she advocating? At what point in the polls does the hatred reach a tipping point and we see Lamont cross a line? It is now March when I write this, with 5 months to go to voting day. What happens when, for instance, in April, there is further momentum towards Yes. What dark thoughts of Lamont’s will manifest themselves in actions more reprehensible than what we witnessed this weekend?
I strongly suspect that we require to be very vigilant. It only takes a rant from Johann Lamont to willing ears within the British Establishment and we could be witnessing something extremely sinister.
There is a further question from this episode that needs to be asked? Why is this nasty behaviour able to manifest itself within the Scottish Labour Party? Is there some ingredient within their collective make up that prohibits reasonable thought?
On the evidence that I have seen there is a clear lack of morality. It is not there. The Labour Party in Scotland has now recast itself as a party of hatred.
As someone who sees themselves on the Left of Centre I look at Johann Lamont and I see a dangerous person. Someone who is so bitter, so full of hatred that she is capable of anything. We should be worried, we should be vigilant and we should expect the worst.