Helen Liddell in the Press

Ah've nae grudges against the Nats, ah just hate their guts!

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Responding to a claim by Labour that they did not know who had written the memo leaked to the "Observer" yesterday, which outlines Labour's campaign strategy for the Scottish Parliament elections, and which calls on Labour to create a climate in which people "fear" the SNP, the SNP's Campaign Director, Michael Russell, has posed a number of questions to Helen Liddell MP who is in charge of Labour's campaign.

Mr Russell said: "Labour's ludicrous assertion that they do not know who wrote the document ignores the fact that the front page, according to the source that received it, identifies the writer as Douglas Alexander. Their claim that it was, in any case, an old document also ignores the dating on that page of December 1998 and the internal evidence in the text that it refers to the current electoral battle. And to claim that it was "one of dozens" makes the tone and content even more disreputable - what were the others like, if they ever existed?

"Helen Liddell has associated herself with a desperate spin about the origins of the document that flies in the face of the evidence. That is consistent with the tone of the document, which advises Labour to create a climate of fear for the Scottish elections, in order to attempt to defeat the SNP which the document acknowledges is succeeding in telling the truth about Scotland and Scottish New Labour.

"Helen Liddell must know answer three questions about the document. Firstly she must tell the truth about its author. Secondly she must acknowledge the date on which it was written. And thirdly she must come clean about what influence it is having on Labour's campaigning.

"Obviously, in the light of the events of recent weeks, this document is a core text for Labour's campaign. As such it reveals the deceitful heart of New Labour's propaganda offensive and throws massive doubt on anything and everything Labour says about the SNP and about Scotland. The fact that it came from a person who is not a candidate for the Scottish Parliament elections - just like Helen Liddell - shows that Labour's approach to the new Parliament is not only deeply flawed, but also deeply cynical. It is an affront to all those who have worked for a new type of politics in Scotland. And it demonstrates beyond doubt that Labour is unfit to govern Scotland especially after May 6th.

"The SNP will pursue this issue until we have an honest answer from Labour, and until those who approach the Scottish Parliament elections in such a tawdry way are removed from any involvement in the Scottish Parliament campaign. I hope Helen Liddell will have the decency to disassociate herself from both the document and the evasions about it that New Labour has been desperately peddling, and the decency to ensure that all New Labour campaigning from now on is based on a positive agenda which is sourced from those who want to take part in our new democracy, not those whose partisan interests and myriad failures make them fear the Scottish electorate."