A North Ayrshire Labour councillor has caused outrage after referring to the Scottish National Party as “UKIP in tartan trews”.
Despite the SNP having formed the democratically-elected government of Scotland since 2007, Largs-based councillor Alex Gallagher (pictured) equated the party with the far-right, fringe party led by Nigel Farage. In Scotland, UKIP has just one elected representative, the much-ridiculed David Coburn who scraped the last MEP place at last year’s European Election.
Posting on a website covering tax issues, Cllr Gallagher said of an article that praised the Scottish Government led by Nicola Sturgeon, “The SNP talks left but acts right: they are UKIP in tartan trews.”
the3towns.today contacted Alex Gallagher regarding his comments, asking him to clarify in what way the moderate left-of-centre SNP could be equated with the far-right UKIP. The Labour councillor did not respond.
Ardrossan SNP activist Gavin Lundy condemned the comments of the Labour councillor, saying, “Phrases like those used by Alex Gallagher are being thrown around by Labour politicians attempting to scrape-back the progressive credentials their party has lost.
“This is clearly nothing but a contrived campaign tactic, which the people of Scotland see right through.”
Eighteen-year-old Mr Lundy, who comprehensively defeated Alex Gallagher in a debate during last year’s Independence Referendum, told the3towns.today, “Any party, like Labour, which supports austerity, has no ‘Left’ credentials. Any party, like Labour, which is prepared to spend billions-of-pounds on nuclear weapons, while people rely on foodbanks, has no right to claim it is on the ‘Left’.
“Alex Gallagher’s Labour Party is being rejected by Scots because it has abandoned them and abandoned its core progressive policies.
“Rightly, people now look to the SNP and other progressive parties to supply the Left’s backbone.”
Alex Gallagher’s comments are seen to be particularly offensive given recent revelations that UKIP MEP David Coburn had referred to SNP Government Minister Humza Yousaf as “Abu Hamza”, a convicted terrorist.
Coburn’s reference followed a long list of offensive comments and social media posts by UKIP members, including Tweets by then Plymouth constituency organiser Ron Northcott in relation to a protest in Edinburgh during a visit by Nigel Farage. Mr Northcott Tweeted:
“Just saw a clip of Jocks haranguing Nigel Farage. Unbelievably, one strung a whole sentence together – ‘Scum’, and was sober”.
This was followed by:
“Amazed that 50 Jocks could get out of bed that early. It’s not signing on day, is it or is the chemist open?”