Monday, March 14, 2011

Why are the Conservatives still putting up Bill Aitken for hustings debates?

It's three weeks since Bill Aitken chose to resign as Convener of Holyrood's Justice Committee in the face of public pressure after making highly inappropriate comments about a series of gang rapes in Glasgow in which he asked if the victim was a prostitute and implied, against the evidence, that "the police say there’s a lot of drunken carry-ons that result in rape allegations which are subsequently dropped, put it that way"

As I said at the time, the Conservatives are usually falling over themselves to support victims of crime - unless that crime is rape, when their first instinct is to question the victim. Is it really any wonder that women find it so hard to report this horrendous crime?

I also said at the time that the manner of his resignation didn't really make me think he'd understood what he'd done wrong - and I'd actually prefer that, to be honest.

As bad as Aitken's conduct was, the fact that Annabel Goldie was prepared to tolerate someone with those views on her front bench team is, to me, far worse. Bill Aitken remains a Tory Justice Spokesperson and in fact is today representing the party in the Scotland on Sunday debate which takes place at 3.30 pm. His presence to me is a powerful message from the Tories that they condone his comments, or at least consider them not worthy of fuss. 

You can watch the debate live here and submit questions via that site or by tweeting @scotlandvotes.

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