Leader comment: SNP politician’s blogging history raises serious questions

Gillian Martin MSP will no longer be put forward as a Government minister (Picture: Corbis via Getty)
Gillian Martin MSP will no longer be put forward as a Government minister (Picture: Corbis via Getty)

One definition of the word racism is “the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race”.

So when someone uncritically reports, as Gillian Martin MSP did, that “American Christian Whites – tip well”, “American blacks – don’t tip at all or tip next to nothing” and “American Jews – tip ok, but only if you’ve absolutely busted your hump”, they could be accused, by that definition, of spreading racism. Martin very nearly became a member of the Scottish Government, until her deleted 2007 blog post came to light and Nicola Sturgeon decided not to put her forward as minister for further education, higher education and science. Martin also made derogatory remarks about transgender people, which were known about but apparently not considered an obstacle to high office. The vetting of those elevated to such positions of democratic authority is a serious business. If these comments were missed, what else has been? The affair also raises questions about the vetting process that allowed her to become an MSP and whether she can remain one.