By a Newsnet reporter

A Labour supporting blogger who claimed Scots would turn on ‘Poles’ and ‘Pakis’ after independence has refused to apologise.

Appearing on STV’s Scotland Tonight, pro-Union blogger Ian Smart (pictured) claimed his tweet was ‘rhetorical’ and didn’t reflect his own views.

Mr Smart has caused outrage after posting the tweet and following it up with another which compared the SNP with the racist Ku Klux Klan.

However despite being asked by other users of the social media site Twitter to remove the offensive tweet, he refused. 

Also coming under increasing pressure after wading in is former Labour First Minister Jack McConnell, who defended Mr Smart and suggested those offended by the tweets should “get a life”.

The former First Minister himself has come under fire for suggesting Mr Smart’s critics were themselves racist.

The row has created a storm on social media sites and has led to headlines in the Herald, Scotsman and the Sun.  However Mr Smart’s appearance on STV has ensured the row will rumble on.

Refusing to apologise, the Labour supporting blogger, who is also a regular guest on BBC Scotland political programmes, tried to blame others he claimed had “twisted” his words.

“I’m annoyed at myself for having made a remark that others have been capable of twisting to suggest that I said”, he told interviewer John Mackay.

He added: “Because there’s a pattern to this if you’ll understand that anyone who criticises the SNP seems to be fair game for any kind of slur.”

Appearing alongside Mr Smart, Yes Scotland campaigner Natalie McGarry said she was disappointed with Mr Smart’s refusal to apologise.

She added:

“Well I was hoping to come on tonight and hear an apology from Ian Smart.  I thought that at the time he made the comments he’d made a grave error of judgement.  I tweeted Ian to say that.  I expected he would have woke up the next day with a clearer view on it.

“But instead he’s continued to obfuscate and try to bring in the reasons and parameters to excuse it.  But you know, Ian Smart is a lawyer, he’s a very astute lawyer.  He knows about captioning phrases.  He knows what he was doing.  I don’t think for a second that Ian Smart is racist.  However, the language he used was racist.”

Commenting on the intervention of Jack McConnell, Ms McGarry said:

“And I think that part of the problem with what happened with Ian and a bigger issue is Lord McConnell weighed into this and admitted that he hadn’t actually read the initial tweet, defended Ian Smart, went on the offence about so-called cybernats calling them a pack mentality. 

“In my opinion he didn’t actually read the tweet that Ian had sent which was offensive and weighed in to it by suggesting that elements of the Yes campaign were anti-English and continued that kind of discourse which is really offensive to many people.”

The row is embarrassing for the No campaign and follows a high profile media attack on pro-independence online activists with several pro-Union commentators accusation senior SNP figures of being behind coordinated online attacks.

It is also uncomfortable for the BBC which appears to be trying to play down the incident involving one of its regular guest pundits.  Despite a very high profile news campaign last week, which saw several reporters and commentators on BBC Scotland attack ‘cybernats’ after claims made by comedienne Susan Calman that she had been the target of online abuse, the broadcaster has refused to give the story equal promnence.


2013-05-08 13:21

It strikes me that this is the start of a unionist together campaign to discredit any internet input to the independence debate.

They are losing (have lost, indeed) the online debate big time, so they are now going to try to smear and discredit supporters of independence by association.

Ian Smart, Iain Davidson, “lord” Foulkes, Jack McConnell et al know full well what they are doing.

They post something controversial and then claim its the “cybernats” that are doing what they have just done.

It is all they have left. There IS no good argument for the union.
2013-05-08 16:23

If it wasn’t for the support of the unionist poodles at the BBC and MSM in Scotland, the so-called “Better Together” campaign would have collapsed long ago for they have nothing to offer Scotland except lies.
2013-05-08 22:15

For me, I think you have pretty much hit the nail on the head.

2013-05-08 13:28

So Ian Smart, the Labour supporter who would rather Scotland suffer 100 years of Tory rule than govern themselves as an independent country, refuses to apologise for using a racist term, and for comparing the SNP to the KKK.

Is anyone, apart from Jack McConnell, really surprised. When has ANY Labour supporter, MP or MSP, ever apologised for anything they have said or wrongly claimed about the SNP, Alex Salmond, or Government statistics?

Labour don’t do apologies, EVER!
2013-05-08 13:29

“Because there’s a pattern to this if you’ll understand that anyone who criticises the SNP seems to be fair game for any kind of slur.”

Criticising the SNP isn’t the issue here. Insulting the people of Scotland and using racist language is. I’d like to believe a lawyer could tell the difference.
2013-05-08 13:31

Mr Smart is just one of many Pro Unionist spokesmen who can be relied upon to promote establishment propoganda.
His “astute” comments are just the thin edge of the wedge.
Having witnessed “the Unionist dirty tricks department” (CAPTIONING) in operation for more than half a century,in the words of the showman,

“You aint seen nothing yet”
2013-05-08 14:03

I watched BBC Scotland’s Reporting Scotland, (your national news), eager to see how they would report this. Alas nothing, not even a cheep, (tweet?). It is pathetic not to report this slur. Top story this lunchtime (08/05/13)… Queen highlights the governments’s fight against independence for Scotland. You really could not make this up.
2013-05-08 14:55

Labour are in serious trouble over their tactics, they just don’t recognise it yet.
However it is BBC Scotland that is digging a deep, dark hole for itself.
They really seem unaware of what can happen once their bias is open to scrutiny beyond Scotland. As they are dependent on their reputation of fairness and unbiased reporting, the effect would be devastating for all of the BBC.
2013-05-08 15:52

Mr Ian Smart knows exactly what he is doing & trying to achieve.

Ian Smarts brother Alan gives a very clear analysis of it in his blog.

Here’s a wee bit..

“My brother Ian Smart is not a racist. He is worse than that.”

“My brother Ian has few problems, is rather well healed, well educated and mixes amongst the very highest echelons of the Scottish establishment. So when he asserts that there will be some sort of pogrom against the Polish and Pakistani communities (and presumably others) in a post independence Scotland, he is not doing this out of ignorance or prejudice, but out of political calculation. The calculation that if he asserts it loudly and often enough Scotland’s ethnic communities and others can be scared into voting No.
This is called playing the race card.”


I also believe Lord McConnell knows what he is doing.
2013-05-08 16:45

Ian Smart was Jack McConnell’s solicitor when he took his eldery neighbour to court over a coalsheld.…/…
2013-05-08 17:24

Have just listened to PS with A Kerr again in the chair,(come back Isabel Fraser)I waited with bated breath to hear Kerr mention something about Smart and McConnell but I should have know better as this is Biased BBC Scotland.
2013-05-08 17:35

Not for the first time Kaye Adams closes down the debate and gets on her high unionist horsey. Gordon from Dundee well done man you nailed her beautifully.
2013-05-08 18:00

We all knew were bbc Scotland stood regarding fair and balanced news reporting. This none reporting of ” Smartgate ” and the none reporting of ” Dirty Money ” proves beyond any reasonable doubt that they are nothing more than a mouthpiece for labour/ bitter together…
Vote Yes 2014..
2013-05-08 18:55

The unionists have lost the plot.

Do they really think they are going to win the referendum by insulting the intelligence of Scots voters?

Smart was throwing the race card into the referendum debate in a disgusting attempt to stir up racial tensions and win a few votes and no excuses from him and Labour will change that fact.

This just shows just how desperate the unionists are.

They have nothing positive or hopeful to offer Scots.

Instead the unionists peddle incessant negativity and their message that Scotland is a basket case that only exists because of the magnanimity of Westminster.

Goodness knows why the unionists think that sending out a message like this is going to persaude Scots that they are valued members of the UK.
Andy Anderson
2013-05-08 19:51

I was utterly disgusted when I saw that filthy racist slur thrown at the Scottish people by Ian Smart. For this to be defended by anyone claiming association with the Scottish Labour movement is unbelievable. However the best response to this man’s disgusting conduct comes from his own bother Alan who has saved the family’s name.
2013-05-08 20:17

I struggle with the Labour description of the SNP activist.
Why – because I work offshore with a crew made up of Scots and Northern English in the main.I have worked with people of many nationalities in the oil industry. I have worked abroad in a mainly muslim country. I have met many,many English / French / American and ethnic minority who have decided to live in Scotland and become members of the SNP. However the only time nationalism is expressed as a negative viewpoint is when the aggresive Labour activist gets to work. They are consumed by their hatred of the party that has “stolen” their votes.

Unfortunately we will have to witness the death throes of this party machine which hides under the title of a once great party.

The founders of the Labour party would not recognise the empty shell rotting in the gutter of Scottish politics.The limbs only move to lash out at those around them or when a string is pulled from Westminster.
call me dave
2013-05-08 21:24

Last sentence.
Graphic,strikin  g sharp,in a nutshell even!

Don’t hold back Clootie.

At least you know the Tories are out to get you.

Saw Queenie today on news looking a bit frail. When the camera drew back to reveal the red and ermine clads I thought, what a nonsense, what’s that all about. Charlie waiting in the wings to make matters worse.

Lets have a vote on all that after 2014.
2013-05-08 22:32

Couldn’t agree more clootie, with every last word and sentiment. Mr Smart wasn’t offering an opinion on SNP policy, he was insulting the Scottish electorate in one tweet and comparing SNP members and voters with the KKK in the next. This wasn’t political discourse it was naked threat and insult followed by degrading insult.

His pitiful attempts to explain this as anything else is yet another insult to simple common decency. I can’t believe that many regardless of party allegiance would support this behaviour.

2013-05-08 21:57

Ian Smart stated in the interview that people are using this as a stick to beat him with! Well, Mr Smart, you provided the stick, so don’t complain that you are being beaten with it.
But this is more than just introducing racism into the independence debate, its also about brainwashing their own members and supporters that SNP members are nasty people. I recently met a Labour party member who told me she got on with all her work colleagues apart from one who is an SNP member.
2013-05-08 22:54

McConnell’s beneath contempt, remember this is the despicable wee “member” who made an eighty year old Stirling lady’s life hell over a territorial dispute about her broom cupboard when he moved in next door.
2013-05-08 22:54

Someone asking why the BBC ignored the story when it made headlines on STV and various newspapers. Citizen Smart confirmed Ian has friends at BBC Scotland. “John Bootham BBC Scotland Head of News and Current Affairs a personal friend and fellow Labour hack. Prob agrees with him”
2013-05-09 00:00

cokynutjoe…I well remember that incident, but you have to remember that whatever our lords and ladies do or think is always right. After all they are the elite and how dare we commoners question them.
The unionist party politicians have only one goal in life and that is to become a member of the unelected house of lords which is really a gravy train for the rest of their lives.
2013-05-09 01:23

@ Zed- do you have a link? That could be dynamite. Be good to have him at the rally on the 18th 😉…/
Dundonian West
2013-05-09 11:47

Direct link to Citizen Smart’s Blog where he writes about his brother Ian.
Very interesting and revealing.…/…

2013-05-09 01:45

The sooner the public realise that the BBC south of the border are just ignorant of Scottish affairs the better but the sooner the Scottish public realise or are made aware that the BBC are running a Unionist/Labour agenda in Scotland at pacific quay the better too. Democracy is not for leaning on but the labour party have still to realise this.
call me dave
2013-05-09 02:15

MSPs to monitor BBC Scotland’s output and quality

The education and culture committee has been taking evidence on the operation of the BBC

MSPs told of ‘low morale’ at BBC
MSPs have questioned the ability of BBC Scotland to cover major events such as the referendum and the Commonwealth Games in the light of job cuts.

Members of Holyrood’s education and culture committee said they were “far from reassured” over the issue.

Following evidence sessions to the committee, it wants to monitor the BBC’s performance every six months.…/…
2013-05-09 08:04

Having read the BBC’s response I would question their use of the word “impartial” in respect of their coverage of Referendum issues!
2013-05-09 08:58

I would question it too. If it isn’t an outright and deliberate lie then it must be evidence of someones misguided delusion, because the BBC is certainly not impartial.

You cannot avoid the conclusion based upon objective comparison of the BBC’s output with alternative coverage and better documented truths, and what else can it do but alert your suspicions further when it is revealed that the BBC has been thoroughly infiltrated by Labour sympathisers.

See any signs of the BBC’s urge to purge itself of this internal corruption of it’s noble public image? Nor do I, in fact the BBC seems completely at ease with it. Would you trust the BBC even if it did? No, nor me.

Don’t fix it, get rid of it. It is unfit for purpose. Perhaps our beautifully democratic revolution needs a little more rebellion when it comes to the issue of broadcasting. The BBC will cover up for pedophiles, so they’ll hardly lose sleep over political bias in Scotland.

2013-05-09 09:32

Alan Smart, a former TV producer, brands his brother, Ian’s, “worse than racist” comments as despicable in todays Herald.
2013-05-09 10:06

Neil Scott covered this and goes on to question why Jim Murphy plus another 10 Labour MPs share a place on the “Advisory Council” of the right wing think-tank, the Henry Jackson Society,with the Tories & LibeDems. Apparently Douglas Murray who is the Associate Director has voiced his dislike of the Scottish Parliament, & who has been defending UKIP’s immigration stance.

Neil Scot claims Ian Smart has been “throwing the term, “ethnic nationalism” around cyberspace” and goes on to say “I would refute that. The “ethnic nationalism” of the ‘pro-Orangeman’ who spat at my feet and sang the sash in my face while I was recently campaigning for YES on the main street of a middle class village …”

An excellent piece & like Alan Smarts piece this is a personal story.
2013-05-09 22:25

Tell me if I am wrong, but I thought that inciting/and/or using racist language was/is an offence in law,ie, you could be arrested and charged? Aside from the fact that it’s stooping pretty low to use the race card in any way at all for political gain… It’s a very unintelligent, old fashioned way to conduct any sort of debate, but then perhaps the aim was to detract from even attempting to focus on the real issues at stake here, and with absolutely no positive argument for Scotland staying in the UK having been put on the table, the ‘no’ lot are desperate indeed.

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