The case of the missing blog post

Posted on

Some readers have noticed that a blog post that I wrote on Sunday morning disappeared during Sunday afternoon. This requires explanation.

The post in question referred to an FT article by Andrew Wilson, who headed the Scottish Growth Commission that recommended what I considered to be the disastrous policy of sterlingisation for Scotland post independence.

In the post I suggested that Andrew Wilson had claimed SNP policy to be something that it is not in his FT article. As those who follow this issue well know, the SNP leadership was defeated on this issue of sterlingisation in 2019 and a motion from Dr Tim Rideout became policy instead, setting the SNP on a policy of securing a Scottish currency as soon as practicable after independence, with no tests prior to adoption being attached.

I believed my article entirely appropriate in pointing this difference out, and for suggesting Wilson was misrepresenting SNP policy as a result. He stated what he might wish that policy to have been, but not what it was.

To continue, I returned from a robust riverbank walk on Sunday to discover a comment on the blog from what purported to be a solicitor suggesting this piece was potentially libellous if I could not evidence my claims. As it happens that evidencing was not difficult. But, whenever such suggestion is made the first, cautious, reaction is to take the post down whilst the claim is investigated. So, this I did.

I completed my investigation of the claim yesterday by phoning the solicitor whose name, address and email were given in the comment posted to the blog (which will not be published). It transpired he knew nothing of it. The comment used his identity, but falsely. He now has the information and is considering whether to refer the matter to the police, I understand.

The post is now live again.

I have three responses. First, this evidences the degree of tension inside the SNP right now. I am sure that there was good reason for someone within it to comment as they did, even if fraudulently.

Second, this evidences the stress of running a blog.

Third, it means my tolerance of those I think trolling on this blog will be even lower in future.

As for the post itself, I have noted Tim Rideout commenting on the same FT piece making it clear it does not represent SNP policy. The FT should have taken more care.