We live in tense times and as the Scottish Parliament elections draw ever closer, it's starting to get spicy on the pages of the Scottish press – with a columnist in The Scotsman today referencing the 'any means necessary' credo of Malcolm X and The Scottish Sun yesterday invoking the PR boss of Saddam Hussein.
On page 29 of The Scotsman, John McTernan – a former director of political operations for ex PM, Tony Blair – writes that Scottish Labour leader, Iain Gray, should attack the SNP's perceived soft policy on crime and prison policy, suggesting that were he (McTernan) running Scottish Labour's Scottish election campaign he would have a leaflet saying: 'Muggers. Sex offenders. Burglars. Vote SNP'.
McTernan claims that ”everyone who aspires to public office has to be, at least in part, an intellectual thug”.
He concludes: “How do you become First Minister of Scotland? Simple. Malcolm X was right: 'By any means necessary'.”
The article, headed 'Playing nasty card might get results', is accompanied by a large picture of Malcolm X with the caption: 'Malcolm X was prepared to 'use any means necessary' to get the job done. Good advice.'
Yesterday, in its leader column, The Scottish Sun said: “Saddam Hussein's public relations boss, 'Comical Ali', used to deny there were any American tanks in Baghdad. Even as they rumbled through the streets, he worked on the basis that as long as he kept looking the other way he could pretend they weren’t really there.”
Referring to a policy relaunch by Scottish Labour, it continues: “You could be forgiven for thinking he’d been recruited by Labour in Scotland.”