February 19, 2007


'Xenophobic' row deepens between SNP and defiant Lib Dem MSPs (HAMISH MACDONELL, 2/19/07, scotsman.com)

Jamie Stone, the Liberal Democrat MSP for Caithness and Sutherland, sparked the spat on Saturday when he accused the SNP of being "xenophobic" - just after his leader, Nicol Stephen, had publicly berated the other main parties of running a negative campaign.

Mr Stone's comments provoked a barrage of complaints from the SNP, with Alex Salmond, the party's leader, demanding an apology and action from Mr Stephen against Mr Stone.

Then, yesterday, Danny Alexander, the MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, fuelled the controversy by insisting there was an issue which had to be addressed.

Mr Alexander refused to issue a categoric apology, either on behalf of Mr Stone or his party, and then compounded the row by stating on BBC Scotland's Politics Show: "Nationalism is about building up barriers between people, liberalism is about breaking those barriers down."

The row between the potential coalition partners overshadowed the Liberal Democrats' Scottish conference in Aviemore.

Nationalism is, of course, a creation of liberalism.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 19, 2007 8:16 AM
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