By a Newsnet reporter
A Labour councillor is at the centre of a row after he posted an offensive image of First Minister Alex Salmond on the internet and claimed the SNP leader had a “deep seated racial hatred” of the English.
Councillor Allan Nimmo, a member of the Falkirk Labour group, posted a ‘cartoon’ depicting Alex Salmond alongside Iranian fundamentalist leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, beneath which was a caption that read:
“One of these men is a megalomaniac intent on increasing his dictatorial powers, with a deep seated hatred of his near neighbours and a strong determination to destroy Britain.
“The other is the President of Iran.”
The Labour councillor posted the offensive image on his Facebook page but swiftly removed it after complaints were aired.
The leader of Falkirk’s SNP group Cecil Meiklejohn reacted with anger and called for Labour to take action against Mr Nimmo, describing the councillor’s post as “unacceptable and inappropriate”.
Ms Meiklejohn said: “We can see from Cllr Nimmo’s public utterances not only the level of intellect within the Falkirk Labour Group but also the direction they wish to take the debate.
“If Cllr Nimmo truly believes that Alex Salmond is racist for believing people who live in Scotland are best placed to take decisions on issues affecting Scotland then he must also believe the peoples of countries that has seceded from Britain are racist also.
“If so then Councillor Nimmo just insulted around a third of the world’s population.
She added: “However, what is more worrying is his use of inappropriate language and comparisons. This is particularly relevant in that Cllr Nimmo is the politician in charge of Education within Falkirk.
“What example does this set for the young people of Falkirk district, particularly those with interests in subjects such as Modern Studies?
“Falkirk Council’s Labour / Tory leaders must recognise that action must be taken to promote proper educational standards and Cllr Nimmo has fallen well short of the level of standards required for such an important position.
“Cllr Craig Martin, the leader of Falkirk Council must act now to replace Alan Nimmo as Convenor of Education or fail the young people of Falkirk District also.”
However Mr Martin defended his colleague and called the incident “frivolous”. He added: “This was Councillor Nimmo’s personal site, […] There are hundreds of messages like this on the web and most people think they are just funny.”
The offensive post by the Labour councillor follows a similar incident last week that saw Labour MSP Michael McMahon used the Hillsborough disaster and the Norwegian shooting massacre to attack Alex Salmond and Kenny MacAskill.
Mr McMahon posted an image of Mr Salmond standing beside media tycoon Rupert Murdoch with a caption saying “Remember the 96 Mr Salmond” a reference to the 96 people who died at Hillsborough.
The Labour MSP also claimed that Norwegian maniac Anders Breivik who massacred 77 people in Oslo, would have escaped prison had he been sentenced by Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill.
Last year, Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie was forced to apologise after an image of Mr Salmond with blacked out face and dressed as an Arab appeared on the Lib Dem MSP’s own Facebook page.
The cartoon was published to coincide with a visit Mr Salmond was making to the oil rich Gulf region in order to drum up business and improve links.