Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Speak up - or shut up

I've been trying to steer clear (mostly) of the Glasgow East by-election. My dad is a councillor in the constituency and I regard Davena Rankin as an old mate so I don't want to say anything that would annoy either of them. But I'm intrigued by the news of Dorothy-Grace Elder having a pop at SNP candidate John Mason. Unfortunately I don't have a link to the article but Kezia Dugdale's blog has reproduced it. Naturally Kezia and labour people love it. Nats aren't so keen. Even Lib Dems have stepped in.

If (and I'm relying on Kezia reproducing the article faithfully) Dorothy-Grace did say "Facing a feisty woman will be the last thing this man wants. He has failed to accept a woman in politics in the past" this is an allegation which should be taken seriously. Sexism and bullying can't be tolerated in any sphere of public life and if she has evidence of this then she should bring it forward and let people judge it.

If, as I suspect, this is a case of two people not liking each other then she should admit it, accept that it happens and say that her comments are based on personal antipathy rather than any sort of concern about John Mason's ability to do the job properly.

Dorothy-Grace Elder shouldn't hide behind her newspaper column. If she has evidence she has to present it, otherwise she has to shut up and stop dealing in mean gossip and innuendo.

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