All a-twitter over negative campaigning

The Labour Party rightly sacked their Westminster candidate Stuart MacLennan for the seat of Moray following his disgraceful comments on Twitter, your report, 10 April).

However, Labour already have “form” regarding internet attacks, as shown by the plans revealed several months ago by disgraced Blair aide Derek Draper to launch personal attacks on their opponents. He was rightly shown the door by Labour. However, they seem to have learnt little from the debacle judging by this latest scandal.

The internet offers boundless opportunities for interacting with voters. When will the Labour Party learn that people want to be enthused about politics, rather than simply reading smears – and what does it say about the psyche of the party that they feel the need to resort to such tactics?


Station Road

Coupar Angus, Perthshire

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The deeply offensive ranting by a Labour Party candidate on Twitter has quite rightly caused outrage across Scotland. Labour, however, remains all over the place in its response.

On Page 4 of The Scotsman (10 April) Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy says: “I had no idea of these comments, and no-one in the Labour Party did.” Yet on the same page, a Moray councillor, who is a member of the Labour Party, says: “I was aware he had a Twitter account, I followed him, I assumed it was all meant in a humorous way, as all these things are.”

It is, therefore, simply untrue for Murphy to claim no-one in the party knew about the comments. The more important question is this: who else in the Labour Party knew about the comments?


Conservative candidate for East Renfrewshire

Jim Murphy may have distanced himself from candidate Stuart MacLennan, but he is at a distance from the constituency, when he pronounced it “Mawray”. Could he have been keeping an eye on the Mori Poll with a view to be “going firth and preparing for government?”


Coates House, Dalkeith

It seems that all the parties are using desperate measures to win votes in an all-out effort to counter public apathy to politicians, owing to the recent scandals over absurd and massive expense claims.

The use of Twitter and Blog and e-mail plus rolling out the wives and girlfriends (Wags) seem to be the ingredients of Barack Obama’s presidential success in the US, so why shouldn’t it work in the UK?

The electorate are not stupid and will readily see through this questionable strategy being adopted from the US and will vote, or not vote, accordingly.


Mugiemoss Road

Bucksburn, Aberdeen

Before the current election campaign began, we heard much about our political parties sending researchers to the US to take inspiration from US president Barack Obama’s historic campaign. One week in, how have our Scottish parties fared? The Tories cannot be faulted for enthusiasm with giant flags and enormous posters. Annabelle Goldie’s 11 seats in one day helicopter tour also showed bravado.

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Labour, on the other hand, scored a massive own-goal with the Twittering of their now sacked Moray candidate, and the sight of Gordon Brown on television ignoring a parent who wanted to question him on the lack of school places was hardly voter-friendly.

The Lib Dems appear to have nothing more to offer than insults and the SNP can be best summed up by the slogan “more Nats, more bad grammar”. The latter will probably get my vote due to the fact that their candidate is the only one to have personally turned up at our flat.

But what happened to all those Obama techniques that were supposed to have us thronging the streets with joy and heartfelt emotion?


Warrender Park Road