Glasgow SNP councillor Rhiannon Spear's tweet about hating the UK was stupid and bigoted, but not criminal – Brian Wilson

The police routinely say they investigate all complaints and that is commendable.

Glasgow councillor Rhiannon Spear has apologised for tweeting that Scotland hates the UK, after the latter's Eurovision entry received no points (Picture: Robert Perry)

There is no way round it because the apparently absurd or trivial can turn out to be something much more serious.

However, I do sympathise with the requirement to investigate every complaint about a tweet which has caused offence to someone. The line between offensiveness and potential criminality may be fine but most of us know it when we see it.

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

A case in point is the tweet by Councillor Rhiannon Spear who was moved by the Eurovision Song Contest to tell the world that Scotland “hates the UK”. Complaints have led to the inevitable “Police probe…” headlines.

Read More

Read More
SNP Women's Convener Rhiannon Spear lifts lid on Twitter abuse following anti-UK...

Yet what is there to investigate? The tweet may be stupid and bigoted but if every stupid and bigoted utterance in Scotland was investigated by the police, they would not have much time for anyone else. Stupidity is not the same as criminality.

Ms Spear is the SNP’s national women’s convener and in these circles “hating the UK” is more likely to be seen as a credential than an offence; hence her rise to eminence.

The role in which Ms Spear is laughably inappropriate is as chair of Glasgow’s City Council’s education, skills and early years committee. In a city where prejudice is all too common, anyone who even uses the word “hate” should be kept at a safe distance from young minds.

This is not a job for the police or the SNP but for her fellow councillors of all parties. Ms Spear should be found another billet.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.