Tuesday, November 01, 2011

That cartoon.........

..... was not the finest piece of political literature ever produced and it should never have got anywhere near the official Twitter account our our leader's Facebook page.

I know that lessons will be learned and more robust procedures put in place to make sure that things are properly signed off and seen by a selection of people before they go out. The people who designed it are original, creative, bright, clever, funny, good people, but on this occasion they pushed a boundary a bit too far. If you have never made a mistake in your life, then go ahead and cast the first stone. While I have no problem in criticising elected members and leaders in the party when they do something daft, I do get a bit mother hennish when it comes to our staff. They work well and hard and this is an uncharacteristic blip.

Willie Rennie has been characteristically open and genuine in his apology which appeared on his Facebook account early this morning.
I apologise for the offence that has been clearly caused by our cartoon on the First Minister's remarks in Qatar. Although I did not approve its publication I accept responsibility for it. It has been interpreted in ways that were not intended. It has now been withdrawn. I apologise.
I spent some time on Twitter last night explaining the rationale behind its creation because I wanted people to realise that it was a piece of satire, put together in five minutes in someone's lunch hour which was never intended to be interpreted in the way that it was. It was purely a take on the First Minister's comments about Qatar and Scotland having "remarkable similarities". If it had appeared on the front page of Private Eye, it would have been uncontroversial, but we all know that in this context it should have stayed firmly on the laptop it was created on.

Some people in the SNP have been extremely gracious - Humza Yousaf MSP, for example, who said on Twitter this morning to Willie that it was "good of u to accept responsibility and apologise". I think that's a good lead to follow.

Be assured that the lessons of the last 24 hours have been well and truly learned.


Brian Scott said...

Typical hypocritcal Liberal Democrats: Will your produce a cartoon mocking your own leader and the queen as they met the Emir of Qatar in 2010 as detailed below?

The Queen welcomed The Emir of Qatar and his family as her guests at Windsor Castle today.It is a sign of special favour when the Queen hosts VIP guests in her beloved Windsor Castle.

The Emir will also meet the Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. 26 October 2010

In This Photo: Nick Clegg meets The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani ::http://tinyurl.com/6z67lar

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg met today with Qatari Deputy Prime Minister His Excellency Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah.This meeting signifies the importance the Government places on building close ties with Gulf partners.27 May 2010.

Martin B said...

Cockups and iffy judgements do happen from time to time, and we absolutely shouldn't rush to condemnation and cries of Conspiracy, particularly when there's been an apology.

I'm sure I was saying this just a few days ago...

Still, thanks for providing a third party post that I can point various attack dogs to in future.

oldnat said...

Clearly you don't treat all apologies equally.

After Alex Salmond's apology for his mistake in reading out text written by an advisor "Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie accused Salmond of attempting to “nobble an academic, doctor the evidence and pull the wool over the eyes of the people of Scotland.” (Holyrood Magazine).

Errors are made by politicians. Decent ones apologise as soon as possible for their own, and accept prompt apologies by their opponents.

Alex Salmond did well. Willie Rennie did OK on the first, but failed lamentably on the second.

On the other hand, we have Ian Davidson.

Unknown said...

Don't get me started on Ian Davidson, Oldnat. On the List of Lib Dems I am Angry With, those who wrote this poster are nowhere in comparison to our MP Alan Reid. I don't think he should have sided with Ian Davidson and accepted his pathetic attempt at an apology.

Simon mcg said...

Where can we see it so we can make up our own mind?

Andrew said...

I'm in complete agreement with you on that last score Caron. I have no idea why Alan Reid took the stance he did.

oldnat said...


Presumably Reid is simply being true to the philosophy underlying the LD's joyous embracing of the Calman strategy?

Since no one has told him that he doesn't have to sook up to the Unionists, what do you expect him to do?

J. R. Tomlin said...

I have a real problem with this "apology". I agree that politicians make mistakes, are human and apologies should be accepted. But what does Rennie apologise for?

"I apologise for the offence that has been clearly caused..."

Not for the cartoon but that gave offence. He apologises that people took offence. That is rather a different thing.

And then:

" It has been interpreted in ways that were not intended. "

And how ELSE would someone interpret such a thing considering the both the blackface and the text?

I suspect the apology will be more-or-less accepted just as it was only more or-less-given. If he had cut out the insincere sounding bits, that would have been a lot easier. It would also be easier to accept if certain both he and bloggers such as yourself applied the rule that "politicians make mistakes and apologies should be accepted" rule to other parties and tried acting graceously.

cynicalHighlander said...

Well it's still can be accessed of his facebook page.

Photos/Videos of Willie Rennie

You say you can't understand the way your LibDem MP backed Davidson I would suggest that anything goes in attacking the SNP as they have passed form in that in GCC by blocking an enquiry into there murky dealings.

Unknown said...

Oldnat, just going back to your earlier comment - Holyrood magazine quoted Willie Rennie's point of order in the chamber before Alex Salmond made his apology.

CH, I think it's more to do with the blokey, macho, misogynist atmosphere of Westminster than anti SNP stuff.

Rod said...

Regarding Alan Reid. His support for Davidson was toe-curling in its grovelling sycophancy.
I can only think that he had been threatened with a "doing" and chickened out.


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