SNP should sort out the Salmond-masked assaulters

Salmond mask: This shot appears to have been posed for The Independent so it seems unlikely that any of these were the perpetrators of the attack on Ed Miliband.

Salmond mask: This shot appears to have been posed for The Independent so it seems unlikely that any of these were the perpetrators of the attack on Ed Miliband.

Political activist thugs donned ‘Alex Salmond’ masks to attack Ed ‘Tough Enough’ Miliband yesterday, after the Labour leader attended a campaign event – but before his TV interview on Channel 4.

It has been claimed that they were Conservative Party supporters. Whoever they were, it seems clear that the Scottish National Party needs to get involved, if this behaviour is going to be stopped.

The incident took place in Rotherhithe, southeast London. According to The Independent, a Labour activist said: “His [Ed Miliband’s] path was blocked by two people who were being very aggressive. He was shoved out of the way and couldn’t get in the car.

“One guy punched Ed in the chest and shut the car door so he couldn’t get in.”

Another Labour activist was quoted as saying: “The group came out of nowhere. Ed only had four of five steps to get to the car but they set upon him immediately.

“He was definitely pushed but he shrugged it off and made his way to the far side of the car. Ed had to push his way through them to get into the car. It was over very quickly but it was shocking.”

A spokesman for Mr Miliband brushed off the incident as “a bit of campaign rough-and-tumble”.

The article stated: “A spokesman for the Conservative party categorically denied any involvement from the party and said any claims Labour were blaming them were lies.”

It’s nice that the Tories don’t want us thinking Labour is blaming them (somebody didn’t think about what they were saying there!), but the fact remains that somebody attacked Ed Miliband.

The fact that they were wearing ‘Alex Salmond’ masks makes it a matter of great interest to the SNP, as it is clearly an attempt to bring that party into disrepute.

Logic suggests that the Tories could be to blame, as they have already run a campaign claiming that Mr Miliband is in Mr Salmond’s pocket:


This is not proof, though.

Let us hope the SNP has the guts to call in the police, find out who did this and ensure they are prosecuted – not only for assault, but for the attack on the Scottish party’s – and Mr Salmond’s – good name.

Or does the SNP think it’s all innocent “rough-and-tumble” too?

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34 thoughts on “SNP should sort out the Salmond-masked assaulters

  1. Gary

    Well apart from Rotherhithe not being a hotbed of Scottish Nationalism I can think of several reasons why no one in the SNP could be involved. Firstly Ed’s the leader of the party that the pictured protestors are so angry about being ‘propped up’ by them. The people angry at End Milliband are those on the right, the further right the more angry. It may just be a coincidence that a group of the same size, dressed in the same unusual masks were photographed on the same day in the same area, or maybe not. Personally I think it could be a group like Britain First. We’ve seen ‘rough and tumble’ in politics but this sets a new low. Usually politicians are jeered, egged or the like. I’ve never known of this before. There have been strong words, some way over the top (rivers of blood) in the right wing press about SNPs expected result. I fear some of the far-right’s boot boys are trying to intimidate Ed Milliband before a vote has been cast..

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Nobody here is saying the SNP had anything to do with the attack, mind. I said the SNP should get it sorted because these people are bringing that party into disrepute by association.

      1. Paul Pringle

        So the SNP should “get it sorted”? Get what sorted exactly? Why should the SNP concern itself with the actions of a bunch of puerile thugs even if they are wearing Alex Salmond masks?

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        Fine; so the SNP lets these people carry on and the public can decide that this is a party that supports that kind of behaviour.
        Suits me.
        I’m starting to think that, while the SNP itself is blameless in this matter, its supporters are showing their true colours.

      3. party over for blue and red tories in scotland

        What has this incident got to do with the SNP, more negative journalism. If something goes wrong blame the folk who are seeing through the red and blue tories. We are causing an earthquake by saying no to two right wing big business parties.

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        Here’s another one who hasn’t read the article… or the comments on it.
        How can you say you’re “seeing through” any of our politicians when you can’t even understand straight words placed directly in front of you?

  2. HomerJS

    I think you have understated the connection with the Tory party here. At the Labour conference a group of Conservative demonstrators wore Alex Salmond masks, which would make them prime suspects although would not constitute proof. Could be someone wanting to attack Labour, Tories and SNP. And in East London too. Could have a guess at who it might be but . . . let’s hope Ed (or his people) make sure this is investigated.

    1. Florence

      There have always been political thugs and gangsters on the right and left, sad to say, so I wouldn’t rule out either (despite the obvious suspects). Was it a coincidence it was immediately before the TV programme, was it intended to un-nerve him? Despite brushing it off, it must have had some effect on Miliband. Given Paxmans underhand “are you OK” in that context, Miliband must be tough to keep it together.

      Attacking the leader of the opposition – the putative prime minister – is like something from Moscow, or Argentina, and usually associated with right-wing authoritarian ruling parties and their arms-length boot boys. It is a new low in the UK, among many in the last 5 years.

      Govt. propaganda pumped out against the disabled and the associated rise in hate crimes (where the tabloids have actually emboldened ordinary citizens into acts that would have been unthinkable a few years ago) is a direct precursor to this type of lurch into political thuggery. (Popular and Prime Ministerial support for Jeremy Clarkson is another such sign.)

      Oh yes, and what level of security has been provided by the Home office to Miliband? Obviously could do better. These people could have done real harm, and that is the veiled threat.

  3. Gary Hay (@KAlmsivi)

    Are you actually being serious? How many militant SNP activists do you think live in London?

    If Joe Bloggs knocked over a high street bank tomorrow dressed as George W Bush, would you write a blog post on why Dubya should distance himself from armed robbery?

    Sounds stupid, doesn’t it?

    Now you know what reading the headline & conclusion of your article feels like.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      If you had actually read the article, you’d know that I wasn’t accusing the SNP.
      Your comparison with George W Bush doesn’t wash, for reasons that should be obvious: He’s no longer politically active and therefore not representative of the Republican Party any more; and a bank is not an opposing politician.
      Now you look stupid.

  4. cnhay

    Mike my estimation of you as being a good journalist have dropped quite a few places with this scaremongering jibberish you have averted to try and make some kind of headline , something i expected from the gutter press but not you, You must be a very worried man to try and steer up some kind of violent manifestation from the SNP to cover the short comings of both the Labour party and Conservative Party , have you some kind of problem with discussing mandates/ policy of differing parties or have you decided to carry out a one man vigel to distort the messages being sent out by differing parties.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      If I’ve averted any scaremongering, that would be a good thing; it means I would have prevented it.
      Now go back and read the article again. I’m amazed that people are making up claims that I’m accusing the SNP of this violence when there’s no such suggestion in the article.
      Are you desperate to smear me? Is that what this is? You’d have to be very desperate indeed if this is your strategy as anybody can see that you’re proceeding from a false premise.

  5. Guy Ropes

    Could someone PLEASE blame UKIP so that we have a level playing field? Typical: not giving them the publicity that is their due.

  6. jaypot2012

    I’m an SNP supporter, as Mike knows, and if you read the article there is not one mention of the SNP being involved. What Mike said was “a group of people with Alex Salmond masks on” attacked Mr Milliband.
    The Conservatives have used this line of using Salmond masks beforehand and as they are extremely un-original, and don’t have much of an imagination, then they could have set this up. Yes, it was just before the television “suck up to”, and this showed that Milliband was even tougher than he stated he was as it must have felt very threatening and very worrying.
    Good on Ed for keeping his cool.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Now, what was I reading the other day about someone being on a train on the day of some big political riot, when a gang of Young Conservatives (according to the mob themselves) got on board, laughing about how they’d managed to disrupt everything, and fool everybody involved into thinking they were acting for someone else entirely?

  7. Colin

    Mike, I used to read your posts and liked a lot of what I read but as the GE loomed and your obvious loathing of the SNP became clear, I eventually had to give up and leave. The spin on your pieces just became too much….. I saw this link tonight and clicked on it on FB and found myself back here…. Surprised….but not surprised….if you know what I mean…. You retort to your critics that nowhere have you claimed in the article that the SNP are responsible and factually that is true……..AND yet your headline reads “SNP should sort out the Salmond-masked assaulters”. The implication is undeniable to any reasonable person…… to pretend otherwise diminishes your reputation still further…..

      1. Joan Edington

        I agree with both Colin and your good self here, Mike. Within your article you do say that you don’t hold the SNP responsible for the attack, which is stating the bleeding obvious, but your headline is what I would call “tabloid”.
        The attack was disgusting but I don’t know why the SNP should be responsible for “sorting out” a bunch of London yobs wearing Salmond masks. Stunts are carried out regularly with people wearing masks of various politicians. Admittedly, this attack was much more than a a stunt, but the SNP were not responsible and are also victims since they are identified with Salmond.

  8. nightentity

    It would seem that a few people will still put their own slant on what you write,no matter how clear the article is……….. I wish Trolls had stayed under their bridges x

  9. Colin

    I remain at a loss to understand your point about how the SNP should “get involved”. In what way precisely, should they get involved? You have given them shared victim status…… Do you expect them to launch an investigation of some kind? Is that what victims normally do in Wales? Do you expect them to hire a private investigator? Do you expect them to publicly ask people not to commit crimes while wearing Alex Salmond masks? The statement is really something of a joke….but clearly intended not to be…..and from the other comments attached to the thread, you haven’t really succeeded in getting your point about how or why the SNP should get involved, across….. Do you want to have another attempt and see if you can convey your meaning a little more clearly?….. I remain intrigued…….
    Or maybe it’s like soap operas on the Telly and you just want us to keep coming back for the next exciting episode?……. Confused?….. I am…..

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Colin, hundreds of people have read this article and only four have commented against it. I think I made my point well enough.
      I think you’ve reduced yourself to the point of trolling me, in the hope that I’ll slip up and say something you can attack.
      Seriously, if somebody committed a crime disguised as you, would you let that pass?

  10. nightentity

    I understood exactly what you were referring to etc,and yet others like Colin, who don’t appear to have any problems expressing themselves, seem to have problems with their understanding of your article………… I stand by my previous message.

  11. Colin

    Mike, you still haven’t indicated in what way they should “get involved”. It’s very easy to throw the trolling accusation around as a rather unworthy deflection attempt….. I think I’ve made my point and if you can’t offer a better thought out answer, you’ve simply confirmed my point for me….

    1. hstorm

      I refer you to the penultimate paragraph of the article; –

      “Let us hope the SNP has the guts to call in the police, find out who did this and ensure they are prosecuted – not only for assault, but for the attack on the Scottish party’s – and Mr Salmond’s – good name.”

      In other words, you are demanding something that has already been given.

      Wakey wakey.

      1. Colin

        That hadn’t escaped my attention, Mike but I had hoped you had some other idea, a little more credible, which you might share….. You see, the police cannot act on behalf of the SNP, unless some individual SNP member is alleging he/she is the victim of a crime. And wearing an Alex Salmond mask isn’t a crime of any sort…… The complainer in this instance could only be the victim of the assault….. I can say this with some authority…..perhaps more than you, having worked in the justice system for thirty years……… and from the accounts provided, it appears there was only that one victim of a crime…… The choice to involve the police is one which always rested with him, alone.

        It’s something of an ill-thought ruse, to suggest the SNP, party or individuals, have any locus in this incident whatsoever….. We can either put your misguided suggestion down to ignorance of the law, which is excusable….just…. or some deliberate mischief on your part for party political gain, which isn’t…….

        I’ll let you choose….

        I appreciate you responding, though……

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        So you’re saying the SNP should be happy to let goons run around in Alex Salmond masks, committing crimes.
        Glad we got that sorted out.

  12. hstorm

    So, Colin, if someone is framing you, you just have to ignore it, accept that it is ‘nothing to do with you’, and just get on with it. That’s what 30 years’ experience of the law has taught you?

    Anyone ever suggested to you that you’ve become too much a part of the machine? Because I’m suggesting it now.

  13. Colin

    No one is saying the SNP or indeed Alex Salmond would be happy about it ( last time I checked, the law was not there to keep us happy but to safeguard) just that it’s not a crime….any more than it would be to make and wear a mask of anyone, even your good self….. It’s not the mask that’s a crime, it’s what they are doing whilst wearing it….. And I don’t think there is even the faintest hint here that Alex Salmond is being “framed” for a crime…..that would be only in someone’s very vivid imagination…….
    You chaps really need to move onto something a little more productive and consider a little more research before you make these points, to ensure your points have some credibility…….an apology to your readers or even the SNP for the inaccuracy is unlikely to be forthcoming, I realise. It’s your blog and doubtless that will mean you will want to have the last word……but my point, which at least is valid, remains plain for all your readers to see….. Enjoy your day……

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      But Colin, I did move on – I’ve written several articles since the Salmond-mask piece. You are the one who got stuck here.
      And my point remains. If someone committed a crime wearing a mask of my face, then I would want reparation for the damage to my good name that was made by association with the crime and the criminals. It would be a matter for the civil courts, after the criminal courts had returned a guilty verdict, but I’d have my day. I appreciate you’re saying Ed Miliband would have to have made a complaint, but I don’t think that’s necessarily true; other people witnessed it and said blows were struck, and that should be enough to get an investigation going.

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