Tom Morton’s inventive hearing.

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Tom Morton, the man with the sonorous voice who appears on Radio Scotland had an odd piece on The Guardian Website today.

He starts off by projecting a message of ethnic division onto a statement aimed at the Tories he attributes to Nicola Sturgeon:

“”Their morality,” thundersqueaked Nicola Sturgeon at the recent SNP conference in Perth, “is not our morality.” She was talking about the Tories, but as in the much flaunted myth of “civic nationalism”, there was an ethnic tinge lurking beneath the rhetoric”

As part of a comment I was posting below the article I went in search of the wider context of the quote, but something strange happened; I couldn’t find it.

The first thing I noticed was that Morton had linked to Live Blog coverage of the SNP conference in October 2013, and referred to it as ‘the recent SNP conference in Perth’. Given that his article was published on the 22nd of April 2014, it seemed odd to use the word ‘recent’. Even stranger since the SNP held another conference less than a fortnight ago at which Sturgeon also spoke. Why is Morton talking about an older speech when there’s new material to dissect?

Undeterred I read Sturgeon’s speech from October 2013 in search of Morton’s quote and found that the word ‘morality’ doesn’t appear once in the transcript. Perhaps she went off-script in her delivery, I thought, so I watched the speech too. Nope, still nothing about “Their morality”.

Morton must have meant the April 2014 speech in Aberdeen, then. It didn’t seem like it, given he specifically says ‘SNP conference in Perth’, but it’s probably just a mistake, possibly by the editor who inserted the link to the coverage of said conference.

So I read her April 2014 speech too. “Their morality” is again nowhere to be seen. She does say “Your morality”, directly addressing the Tory Party in reference to the massive rise in people in Glasgow reliant on food aid, but “Your morality” doesn’t have quite the same “ethnic tinge” as the phrase “Their morality” might.

But she must have used the phrase, Morton even invented an adjective to describe how she said it! So I watched the 2014 speech too, again checking if Sturgeon had ad-libbed. She didn’t.

It would appear that Morton has simply invented a turn of phrase and attributed it to the SNP deputy leader. More than that, he’s used it as a jump-off point for an article that suggests the Yes Campaign are attempting to disguise their brand of nationalism, which he believes is comparable to that which spawned ‘the bloody mayhem in the Balklans’: you know, the one with the ethnic cleansing and systematic rape of many thousands of people. Do not adjust your monitor, Tom Morton really did use that comparison.

There are many, many, more faults with the piece that I could go into, but I feel that the first two paragraphs are so spectacularly absurd that it really doesn’t matter what else he says.

Tom should stick to reading out texts between playing records and leave the journalism to somebody else. Seriously, Tom; anybody else.

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