It won’t have come as any surprise to SNP supporters that the media – the same one that devoted hundreds of column inches to misrepresenting Joan McAlpine’s “anti-Scottish” comments on Twitter – was today absolutely silent on Labour MP Denis McShane’s comparison of Alex Salmond to Serbian war criminal Slobodan Milosevic.
MacShane, who voted in favour of the Iraq War, hasn’t deleted the tweet, despite a storm of protest on Twitter. But he’s only the latest in a long line of Unionist politicians to compare Scotland’s democratically elected First Minister (who as far as we know isn’t implicated in a single death) to murderous genocidal dictators.
Labour in particular are fond of crying about the nasty cybernat “bullies” who occasionally call Labour politicians names online, but those are pseudonymous internet users with not a shred of evidence that any of them are members of – or even vote for – the SNP. We’re not aware of any elected Nat representative or even pro-independence journalist ever having likened Gordon Brown or Tony Blair or Ed Miliband to Hitler, but the brave defenders of the Union have no such scruples. MacShane is merely the latest in a long and ignoble line, so we thought it’d be a good idea to keep track and see if we can get a full house.
1. Slobodan Milosevic? YES. (Denis MacShane, Labour MP)
2. Benito Mussolini? YES. (Lord Foulkes, Labour peer)
3. Adolf Hitler? YES. (Tom Harris, Labour MP)
4. Adolf Hitler (again)? YES. (Ann Moffat, Labour MP)
5. Adolf Hitler (again)? YES. (David Starkey, Conservative historian)
6. Joseph Stalin? YES. (Alan Cochrane, the Telegraph)
7. Robert Mugabe? YES. (Lord Cormack, Conservative peer)
8. Robert Mugabe (again)? YES. (Jeremy Paxman, BBC)
9. Kim Jong-Il? YES. (Lord Forsyth, Conservative peer)
10. Caligula? YES. (John Macleod, the Times)
11. Nicolae Ceausescu? YES. (Neil Collins, the Financial Times)
12. Genghis Khan? YES. (Kevin McKenna, the Observer)
13. Nero? YES. (Annabel Goldie, Conservative MSP)
Not a bad start, but there are a few missing. Can you help us fill in the blanks?
Pol Pot? NO. (So far we’ve only got an unnamed blogger for this one.)
Chairman Mao? NO. (Well, sort of. We do get an oblique comparison from David Thomas in the Daily Mail’s stark-raving-bonkers “Right Minds” ward.)
Ayatollah Khomeini? NO. (But we do get a dig to that effect from Ming Campbell, former Lib Dem leader, albeit grudgingly retracted later in the quote.)
Napoleon? NO. (We’re down to comment-thread loonies now.)
General Franco? NO. (Again, just some demented Rangers nutjob. No apparent reason for the comparison can be seen.)
Idi Amin? NO. (A surprising omission, surely, given Amin’s infamous status as “The Last King Of Scotland”. Give it time.)
Saddam Hussein? NO. (Perhaps too raw a nerve for Labour, this one.)
Darth Vader? NO. (Nothing yet. Someone’s slacking.)
Keep your eyes peeled, readers. All sightings welcomed – we’ll fill that card up yet.