Update: Since I originally posted this the universality of cheese blog went back up after it's author Mark MacLachlan was revealed as its author and sacked from his post by SNP Minister Mike Russell. MacLachlan later posted e-mails on his blog to Russell implying that Russell had known about his "cybernat" blogging activities. SNP Minister Mike Russell then suggested he would consider suing if the allegations were not retracted.
The Scottish Nationalists here in Scotland have for some time operated a "cybernat" strategy which involved regular and often anonymous posting on the Internet of material and comments attacking anyone who they thought opposed their aim of Scottish Independence. Go to the comments pages of any Scottish paper ( try the Scotsman) for example and you would find a small posse of Cybernats not only attacking other commenters but also often attacking journalists who did not toe their line.
The SNP has always distanced itself from the behaviours of the more rabid cybernats and claimed that they have no connection to the core of the party and do not represent them - but many suspected that the connection was much closer and that the "cybernat" program had at least the tacit endorsement of the SNP hierarchy or even that it was part of their strategy.
These suspicions have been confirmed with the exposure of the author of a well know cybernat blog - the-universality-of-cheese.blogspot.com
It turns out that the author of this blog was none other than Mark MacLachlan, an SNP aide and adviser to SNP minister Michael Russell. Mike Russell is at the heart of the SNP and has been closely associated with Alex Salmond’s White Paper on an independence referendum,
There have been apologies from MacLachlan who says he went too far online. The blog has been taken down and if you try to find it online Blogger reports that the blog is no longer available.
Little wonder that they moved quickly to take the blog down of course because it was full of bile and quite scurrilous lies about anyone that the SNP perceived as an opponent. They are not too keen, now that it is clear that this blog was associated with the core of the SNP, for everyone to starting looking again at the bile that they wrote.
But the Internet is a wonderful thing. It has archives and cached pages and even though the site has been taken down we can all still read the bile on the-universality-of-cheese.blogspot.com.
So if you are interested just Google the name of the blog and then select the "cached pages" link and you will find that many of the pages should still be available.
Just to give a flavor of the site I reproduce here, in the interests of fair and balanced reporting, an excerpt from the site and some of the comments;
The author uses the name Montague Burton and this clearly is what passes for political discourse inside the SNP. One hopes that the Paul McBride who was the subject of this scurrilous posting will consider the possibility of suing the author now his identity is known.
Just to be clear - I completely and utterly dissociate myself from the insinuations in the post below and I reproduce the post below simply to show the type of material that this SNP blogger and his NAT commenters were posting.
Monday, 4 May 2009
Paul McBride - QC Still the biggest liar in the Scottish Legal System
http://www.sundaymail.co.uk/news/scottish-news/2009/05/03/exclusive-legal-aid-chief-arrested-with-rent-boy-in-shopping-centre-toilet-78057-21328394/Sooooooo, the head of legal services at the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) is caught by police getting interior design tips from a convicted rent boy inside a toilet cubicle built for one and Paul McBride QC thunders that there is not enough evidence to convict.Without being too graphic, the Legal Aid chappy was discovered by the Glasgow polis on his hunkers on a toilet floor presumably looking at the fine examples of art decor on the St Enoch centre bog tiles, whilst his young companion, in an excitable state of undress was gripped with the moment and explaining about how the colour of his home soft furnishing matched that of his boxer shorts. The polis and security guards obviously mistook the proximity of the two chappies in the loo for a passionate tryst, best kept for behind chintz curtains and not particularly best suited in a public place, and subsequently huckled them.Naturally the policemen and Security guards who gave their time to make witness statements and the rather hard pressed procurator fiscal who deemed there was a case to answer, must have been a tad nonplussed when McBride with his keen analytical mind trumped their eyewitness reports with the astounding revelation that there was "not enough evidence to convict!"The young scallywag who it is further alleged, was helping to clear a phlegm blockage in Mr Heggarty's windpipe with his priapic member was of course being defended by a run of the mill legal aid funded solicitor. Mr Heggarty was defended by McBride, the chap who Cathy Jamieson appointed to the legal Aid Board in 2007 for a four year term the remuneration for this hard job is a mere £8,328 for about three and a half days’ work a month. In 2006-7 McBride took £379,000 in legal aid fees.Nice to see that the legal world in Scotland has its priorities right. When one of it's number is caught up in a scandal, be it for smuggling drugs up your snatch into prison, drunk driving, serious assault, attempted murder, inciting religious intolerance by singing songs of bigotry or merely paying a young man for sex in a public toilet, they will always defend their own and deem the charge to have insufficient evidence for conviction...Ach well I suppose Mr Haggarty can frame his written warning and put it on his office wall when he returns to publicly funded work, he's only been off on a sicky since he was caught in this delicate situation in January.
Posted by Montague Burton at 5/04/2009 07:31:00 AM
Very well written Monty. You make a sordid situation sound nearly poetic. There are more than McBride around I'm sure. The legal system needs a good clear out, so a retired lawyer friend of mine tells me.
04 May 2009 08:43
Aye We Can ! said...
MontyKeep them coming - of all the wings of the scottish establisment, I detest the legal profession mostThey give our bankers a good nameAnd I suspect - no know - there are worse than McBride
04 May 2009 16:08
Aye We Can ! said...
Watch you headline though - he'll sue - and you've left yourself open Your article is strong enough without it
04 May 2009 16:11
If Scotland made more sensible laws, there would be no need for grubbing around in public bogs. Men who wanted to pay for sex with other men would be able to go to a clean, safe and strictly regulated brothel to be parted from their cash.
04 May 2009 16:18
Montague Burton said...
Naldo, I hear Tesco are planning a move into this lucrative market and are planning their own brand cubicles for their new branches. 'TESCOCKS: Every Little Bit Helps.'Alan, I would relish the opportunity for McBride to attempt to sue me for asserting that he's the BIGGEST liar in the Scottish legal system. Obviously the onus is on him to prove he's not, and that A.N. Other QC is. I imagine it's quite a lucrative title. Perhaps Mr Anonymous could tell us who he deems worthy of the title.
04 May 2009 16:31
That's a hell of a long time to be off work. Did he maybe catch a cold being undressed in the public toilets? Poor soul. They should heat these places better.
05 May 2009 23:50
08 May 2009 06:29
Montague Burton said...
Thanks Scunnert. You have to wonder if McBride made that statement with his shiny new Tory wig on.
09 May 2009 12:57
Perpetually bemused said...
If Mr McBride did decide to sue you, it would unfortunately be you who had to prove that what you said was true.When an action for defamation (which is what McBride could potentially bring) is brought in Scotland, a defence is that the statement was true (this is known as the veritas defence).Once comments are shown to be defamatory (i.e. that they have the potential to harm the reputation of the person bringing the action), it is for the person who made the comments to prove that the statement was true (i.e. that the veritas defence applies).So your above assertion that McBride would have to prove that he is not the biggest liar, and that someone else is, in order to successfully sue you is wrong.You would have to prove that he is the biggest liar in order to succeed...
21 October 2009 12:06
Montague Burton said...
Dear perpetual, thanks for commenting. I relish the opportunity for Mr McBride to sue me, hopefully I'd be able to access Legal Aid and cost the state a fortune as Mr McBride's drug dealing violent scum clients do.As you're a chap in the know legally, can you tell me the difference between me asserting that McBride is the biggest liar in the High Court here on the internet and McBride bellowing at the top of his lungs at a witness after one question, that the witness was 'the biggest liar in the High Court'?