Glasgow Olympic shame of Scottish Unionism

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By G.A.Ponsonby

It had to happen, the celebration of Scotland’s Olympians and para-lympians as they toured Glasgow City centre, has been politicised by Scottish Unionists.

The reason for the unbridled joy of so many of Scotland’s anti-independence groupies, isn’t the achievements of our athletes but the apparent booing of the First Minister by a section of the crowd in Glasgow as Alex Salmond honoured them.

In a sad, yet predictable outburst of childish triumphalism, people like Jim Murphy, Margaret Curran and Anas Sarwar decided to celebrate the fact that a small section of the Glasgow Crowd thought it appropriate to use the moment to jeer Mr Salmond.

These Scottish Labour MPs were joined in this twitter high-fiving by Daily Record journalist Torcuil Crichton, who described the day’s celebrations as a gathering of “Union Jocks”, proclaiming that they can’t all have been “Gers fans”.

Crichton was joined in the online show of boorishness by Telegraph Journalist Simon Johnston and former Scotsman editor and Labour party member Ian Smart who asked if Salmond had the “men in black out in George Square”, a reference not to the movie but to US Government agents brought in to silence critics.

Where did the story come from?  Well, apparently BBC Scotland reporter Laura Bicker had decided that a few spontaneous boos from the crowd was newsworthy.

Ms Bicker apparently reported that:

“First Minister Alex Salmond is booed by crowds in Glasgow as he is interviewed on the stage.”

Bicker doesn’t explain what proportion of the crowd booed, or where they were, however Labour MP Jim Murphy duly informed anyone who cared to listen (or read) that it was a “huge crowd” that booed.  Whatever the truth, Laura Bicker clearly felt that the expression of disaffection with Scotland’s First Minister was worthy of reporting.

Quite why a gratuitous showing of disrespect by a section of a crowd towards Alex Salmond is worthy of reporting is not explained.

But in the shallow world of the Scottish political commentator, the Crichtons, Smarts and Bickers rule.

The booing, jeering and sniping of anything and all things Scottish is reminiscent of the Maitland Mackies of this wee nation who revel in the sucking of hope and vision from every wee success story.  Given the thousands who gathered in George Square, a few boos for Salmond was not unexpected.

Who cares if a Scottish athlete succeeds in this world – what does it matter if a paralympian overcomes obstacles that would stop most of us in our tracks.

Let’s revel in petty booing and sniping.  Labour together, Tories Together – Bitter Together.

Radio Scotland’s Laura Maxwell claims boos “echoed round George Square”