But the Times is showing a bit off sloppy journalism when it says, "The respected Labour blogger Tom Harris MP has a link to A Leaky Chanter on his site" as if that was damning evidence that it was Labour run. But hang on a second thinks I the Scottish blogosphere is very incestuous when it comes to links so I checked out some of last years top Scottish Blogs in the Iain Dale love in. Well Jeff as top ranked SNP blog links there is his blogroll as do I. The Scottish Roundup will refer to it including this snigger at the Scottish Tories. So hang on if Leaky Chanter is meant only to be an attack blog against the Nats what is that story doing there. Admittedly most of the posts are anti-SNP but they are in Government.
But hang on Angus MacNeil, the SNP’s Scotland Office spokesman, said:
"With a senior blogger linking Leaky Chanter to Scottish Labour, and Welsh Labour finding themselves red-faced over the Aneurin Glyndwr blog, Labour must reveal who is running Leaky Chanter and what its relationship is to Labour’s blogging operations.
"There is a place for humour but we have Labour-linked blogs in Scotland branding neutral civil servants as SNP staff, making inaccurate allegations claiming ‘phantom houses’ and running fake sites as the First Minister — this is a dangerous path for any organisation to take."
Pardon? How does having a link to another blog link that to your own party. Tom Harris also links to Iain Dale, Guido and ConservativeHome does that make them Labour. Personally I agree with Tom's tweet that this is a pathetic attempt by the Nats to tartanise Smeargate.
There are a number of addition reasons that this rant from MacNeil is ill judged, first it comes so late in the day it cries out of attempting to steal some of the thunder. Although if he'd seen some of the polls at the weekend he may have seen that staying clear of the issue was the best course of action. Also Leaky Chanter does not fit into the modus operandi of a Labour backed attack blog, it is on blogspot not a purchased domain. It could be any manner of types that run it.
- A disillusioned floating voter not necessarily pro-independence that voted SNP in 2007 and is sick of seeing broken promise after broken promise
- It may be a disillusioned former Nat (there are a few of these one even sits in Holyrood)
- Of course it may be a Labour sympathiser doing it off their own bat. Particular seeing the number of Nat propagating blogs out there.
So as well as being ill informed MacNeil's comments are also terribly blinkered as a Labour spokesperson correctly points out at least 12 anonymous pro-Nationalist and anti-Labour websites operating (some of them will also be found on my blogroll). "Angus MacNeil and the SNP need to take a long hard look at the actions of people associated with their own party . . . before making baseless allegations against others."
One thing that MacNeil's misunderstanding of the blogoshere does do in linking him to smeargate is that like Draper and McBride he doesn't get the concept, thinks he can just jump in and make statements without full understanding, grasp of the facts or checking his own house first.