Scottish Sun editor David Dinsmore has clashed with Sun columnist
Kelvin MacKenzie after the latter branded Scottish people "tartan
MacKenzie courted controversy north of the border with
a Sun column on 22 June, which in response to apparently World
Cup-related attacks on English people in Scotland, said: "I have some
good news and bad news about the English-hating Scots. The good news is
that they are dying sooner than the rest of us."
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He added that
the English should build Hadrian's Wall "another hundred foot higher
and start airlifting in Red Cross parcels of Mars bars". The following
week he referred to Scots as "tartan tosspots".
the Sunday Herald that it was curious that his column was kept out of
The Scottish Sun. "The editor in Scotland doesn't feel the same way as
me. He feels very sensitive and uneasy about what has happened. You
would have thought that the Scots would have been smart enough and
clever enough to join in with it, but they are not.
columnist in the Sunday Herald described the English as tosspots,
nobody would give a damn. Scots are extremely sensitive about the
position they find themselves in, which is having to take money from
Perhaps they are too proud to take it."
told the Sunday Herald: "Kelvin's views have as much relevance to
Scotland as a Morris dancing festival, which is why we have never run
his column. Frankly, our readers are not interested in the ramblings of
a man who enjoys a pint of flat beer and plates of jellied eels."
In the House of Commons, Scottish Labour MP Jim Sheridan has labelled MacKenzie as "irresponsible and dangerous"
asked deputy leader of the house Nigel Griffiths for a debate on this
style of journalism — claiming there would be a public outcry if the
same things were said about any other race or religion.
declined to comment on individual newspapers, but pointed out: "I do
deplore any such statements just as I deplore the tone which was set,
the anti-English tone, in recent weeks by much of the Scottish media.
is important that all newspaper editors know the perils of picking on
any one group, and you did mention a group (newspaper) that I am sure
has not recovered its circulation in Liverpool for comments it made
about that." Griffiths was referring to The Sun's coverage of the 1989
Hillsborough disaster for which it subsequently apologised.
deputy Commons leader added: "I urge newspaper editors and all members
to be cautious in their use of language when they talk about any group,
whether it's a minority group like the Scots or a majority group like