Sectarian SMS's and a brewing PR disaster

I HAVE JUST AMENDED THIS STORY AS FRESH INFORMATION HAS COME TO LIGHT.

Police are investigating allegations that a Scottish Labour candidate was subjected to sectarian abuse by a text message sent by a PR adviser and lobbyist. The messages – repeating a line from the Famine song which was recently ruled by Scottish law lords to be racist because pillories people of Irish descent whose ancestors came to Britain to escape the potato famine which began in 1845 – were allegedly sent from a mobile telephone number belonging to a Scottish PR-cum-lobbyist.

Two weeks ago a Catholic Labour candidate received a message that allegedly read: “The famine is over. Why don’t you go home? FTP.” FTP is commonly used as an abbreviation for the sectarian phrase F*** The Pope. It is alleged that when the Lab candidate texted the sender to check whether the message was intended for him, he received the reply: “Yes, because you are one of them.” This Labour candidate was campaigning against a proposed major housing development in Dunfermline which the PR firm is lobbying for. In a statement the director of the PR outfit (who’s phone was allegedly used to send the message) said: “This is a private matter that relates to me in a personal capacity only. It in no way relates to any commercial relationships that I have.” (Thanks to Times Online for original report)

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2 thoughts on “Sectarian SMS's and a brewing PR disaster

  1. Gerry, are you sure this story really happened? I ask because I just did a search for statements from Invicta, the client firm, professional bodies associated with PR and communications …

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  2. STORY UPDATE: I’ve been contacted by the PRs legal representative in Scotland who advises:
    “We write to advise that as at 5th March 2010 the Procurator Fiscal’s office in Edinburgh,has decided that no proceedings are to be taken against our client concerning the allegations made in said article. In the circumstances we would be grateful if you would…mark your archive with the appropriate confirmation of the position, namely that the Fiscal has confirmed that no proceedings will be raised against our client in relation to the complaint.”

    Happy to set the record straight whenever new info comes to hand…wonder if the Times Online will be similarly responsive?

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