Saturday, 26 May 2007

Lowering the debate

Pretty disgusted, as are some others, with the comments of Ann Moffat MP - during a debate in the House of Commons on the Scottish elections, she said:

"proportional representation gave Germany Adolf Hitler and in Scotland to a lesser degree we've had the member for Banff and Buchan"

This is as offensive as it is inaccurate - Salmond won the Scottish Parliament Gordon constituency first past the post. It's also fairly disrespectful to the 14,650 voters who voted to elect Alex Salmond in Gordon (clearly a very strong personal endorsement too, as only 6,501 voted SNP in Gordon in 2003). If he'd been elected on the North East list, her point would've at least have been nearly relevant. I'm sure that she wouldn't dream of questioning the electoral legitimacy of any of her Westminster colleagues.

Ms Moffat claims she was taken out of context, although I'm not quite sure how such a comment could be otherwise interpreted! I'm also disappointed by her refusal to apologise. Maybe she thinks it was a light-hearted quip; perhaps she considers herself incredibly witty. In my view, she's most definitely neither. However much or little she intended, Ann Moffat's comments attempt to defame the SNP as an extremist party by association. As this follows on the heels of Jamie Stone's comments, I'm left a bit frustrated that's the best that our detractors can do.

2 comments:

Marco said...

To respond to her on a level more mature than she deserves, she's also factually wrong. And it's one I hear so often as well.

PR actually came close to keeping Hitler out. Under first-past-the-post he would have had an overwhelming majority in 1932. Instead he had to go into a coalition. It was only when he subsequently outmaneouvred his coalition partner and used his militias that he really took power.

Bastarding 'what are you going to do? bring back Hitler?' arguments, *grumble*, *grizzle*, *grouch*...

Rab said...

The thing about this is that Mr Salmond was elected under the “first past the post” system, as he won his constituency seat in Gordon.
So Ms Moffat is wrong in that regard.

On the other hand, Mr Blair, just like Adolf Hitler, manipulated public opinion and the media, lied to Parliament and entered into a stupid war by illegally invading a foreign country.