In the week that Aberdeen Council tried to ban the First Minister from all Council properties, a reaction to the previous invasion of a primary school without any consultation, culminating in councillors referring to Salmond as a bully we have other far from satisfactory behaviour from Roseanna Cunningham on the day that the SNP Government came out against Cyber Bullying. Eyes and motes come to mind. Certainly from our position on the wind issue we have seen examples of unconstitutional behaviour both on the rejection of council planning decisions and the overbearing behaviour of some planning officers fulfilling national aspirations and forgetting who pays their wages! Many of us commentators on wind have come under the abuse of both SNP MSPs, Cybernats and the Cyber climate trolls. Their language and abuse is beyond reasonable behaviour which in it’s own way demeans their opinions every time! Perhaps someone might remind the SNP Junta, few of whom have risked their own lives for their fellow man, that this country fought two wars to protect our freedom of speech, however unpalatable that may at times be to them.
Lieutenant General Sir Norman Arthur complains to the Scottish Government about Roseanna Cunningham after she helps publicise his home and email addresses and telephone number.
Sir Peter Housden, to Alex Salmond’s right, has been asked to investigate a complaint about Roseanna Cunningham Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA
By Simon Johnson, Scottish Political Editor
6:00AM GMT 06 Mar 2014
A general who was Scotland’s most senior soldier has accused the SNP’s Community Safety Minister of endangering his family when she helped publicise his address which led to him being abused by militant nationalists.
The Daily Telegraph can disclose Lieutenant General Sir Norman Arthur has complained to Sir Peter Housden, permanent secretary with the Scottish Government, about Roseanna Cunningham’s actions.
Earlier this week the 83-year-old was targeted by Cybernats, a notorious wing of the SNP that specialises in online abuse of Unionists, after his home and email addresses and phone number were published on a social networking website.
Sir Norman told this newspaper he contacted the police after receiving around half a dozen emails, some of which were abusive and contained expletives. One warned him to “shut the f*** up.”
They were sent after Ms Cunningham posted a message on Twitter mocking a letter-writing campaign the general has started to drum up donations for the pro-UK Better Together campaign.
The minister ‘tweeted’ a photograph of one of Sir Norman’s letters, distributing it to her 5,820 followers on the website, despite the image clearly showing his personal contact details.
Ms Cunningham last night denied any wrongdoing, saying Sir Norman’s “round-robin” letter was being widely circulated on Twitter and his address and phone number are available in Who’s Who.
But the row puts more pressure on Alex Salmond to quell the Cybernats’ activities and threatens to damage his SNP administration as Ms Cunningham is in charge of community safety and legal affairs.
The Perthshire South and Kinross-shire MSP oversaw the introduction of controversial legislation aimed at clamping down on sectarian abuse, including insults levelled on football ‘chat room’ websites.
Sir Norman, who was General Officer Commanding in Scotland and Governor of Edinburgh Castle between 1985 and 1988, said “the very least” he wanted was for the minister to apologise for her actions.
“There are definitely some hooligans about and when a political issue becomes very heated, as this one (independence) will, some people do go over the top and do stupid things,” he said.
“I don’t want them to go and do stupid things to me, my wife or my property. I’m pretty annoyed that a lady whose job is community safety and legal affairs should go and tweet personal details against the Data Protection Act.”
One of Britain’s most distinguished former soldiers, Sir Norman was appointed Commanding Officer of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards in 1972 and was mentioned in dispatches in 1974 during the regiment’s service in Northern Ireland.
He later commanded the 7th Armoured Brigade – the famous ‘Desert Rats’ – before becoming GOC Scotland and retired from the Army in 1988. He lodged a complaint on Monday with Sir Peter Housden, the Scottish Government’s permanent secretary.
“As a result of the minister’s actions I have today had to contact the police to alert them to the situation and to ask them to provide me with advice as to my family’s safety and the safety of my home,” he wrote
“This was not a decision I have taken lightly … We have already witnessed regrettable incidents where this passion has boiled over into unacceptable personal attacks and attacks against property. I have no wish for my family and me to be subjected to either.”
He asked Sir Peter to investigate whether Ms Cunningham’s tweet breached data protection laws or the ministerial code of conduct and whether it “enhanced community safety in any way.”
Sir Norman also asked the permanent secretary to consider whether the minister was attempting to “intimidate me and to prevent me from acting to support the Better Together campaign”.
Although he has no formal links with the campaign, he is sending letters to influential people with links to Scotland making the case for the Union and asking for donations.
His letter argues that independence would be “splitting kith from kin and wounding a nation which has achieved so much for its people and given so greatly to the world.”
It concludes: “Nor can we forget how fully the blood of us all is mixed in the families of our four nations, or how freely it has flowed, as one, in war. We are, in tradition and effect, one nation. Let’s be passionate about this and hold onto our great Union.”
A Scottish Nationalist obtained a copy and last Sunday posted a picture of it on Twitter complete with the letterhead, which contained Sir Norman’s personal contact details.
Ms Cunningham then posted a message on the website thanking the anonymous nationalist for “tweeting this startling letter”. Referring to the Better Together campaign, she said: “They seem extraordinarily anxious don’t they?”
The minister’s tweet concluded with an Internet link to the picture of the letter that included Sir Norman’s uncensored address in Dumfries and Galloway, email and telephone number.
The 83-year-old said he received the abusive emails on Sunday night and Monday morning. Although a nationalist website also published a copy of his letter, it partially blacked out his contact details.
Ms Cunningham later deleted her tweet but Murdo Fraser, a Tory MSP, said she must “apologise immediately”.
He said: “Roseanna Cunningham is the minister responsible for community safety and legal affairs, but unfortunately she has failed on both counts with this reckless stunt.
“It’s one thing to disagree with someone because of their political views, but it’s quite another for a government minister paid by the taxpayer to plaster their address and contact details all over the Internet.”
But a spokesman for Ms Cunningham said: “This was a round-robin letter, which had already been widely circulated by others on Twitter. As for the address and phone number, they are already freely available in Who’s Who.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We have received correspondence from Sir Norman Arthur and will respond in due course.”