By Rab Bruce’s Spider

It’s not often I agree with Lib Dem MSP, Alex Cole-Hamilton, but he made a very valid point when he criticised a tweet from Dehenna Davison MP which claimed that the reason Richard Leonard is doing so badly in Scotland is that he speaks with a Lancashire accent. As Mr Cole-Hamilton pointed out, this was an attempt to denigrate someone not only on their accent, but on purely ethnic grounds. It pandered to those who believe that everyone who supports Scotland becoming a normal, self-governing country is anti-English. Mr Cole-Hamilton’s indignation and outrage was perfectly justified, and I must put on record that I do not believe that the accent a person speaks with has any bearing on their ability or lack of it. As long as a person can be understood, how they say things is irrelevant.

Richard Leonard himself took exception to the Tweet by Ms Davison, and pointed out that he has a Yorkshire accent rather than a Lancashire one, something Ms Davison might be expected to recognise seeing as she was born in Yorkshire.

So credit to Alex Cole-Hamilton for calling this out. But the story does not end there, because it seems he deleted his tweet when he discovered that, rather than being an anti-English SNP MP, Dehenna Davison is actually a Tory MP. Why would he do such a thing? His point was perfectly valid, and Ms Davison’s Tweet was outrageous. Yet, on discovering that she is on the same side of the constitutional debate as he is, he seems to have pulled his comment from social media. What a strange thing to do. If a comment is unacceptable, it should not matter who said it; it should be called out for what it is. The Tweet by Ms Davison was clearly a racially-motivated slur, and it seems very strange that Alex Cole-Hamilton should withdraw his comment on discovering which Party she belongs to.

Readers can make up their own minds as to his motivation.