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Thursday, 17 May, 2001, 23:06 GMT
Kilt broadcast attacked
SNP election broadcast
The broadcast was described as "tasteless"
A Scottish National Party election broadcast featuring a woman looking under the kilts of men has been attacked by Labour.

Scottish Labour campaign organiser George Foulkes described the broadcast as "tawdry, tasteless and tacky".

He claimed the broadcast would have caused offence to families with young children because of its content and called for the party to apologise.

The SNP said it believed that Scottish people would enjoy the joke.


I am sure I speak for many viewers when I say I was disgusted by this broadcast. It was tawdry, tasteless and tacky

George Foulkes
Mr Foulkes said: "I am sure I speak for many viewers when I say I was disgusted by this broadcast. It was tawdry, tasteless and tacky.

"It showed why the Nationalists can never be taken seriously as a political party."

The film showed the kilts of men representing the main Scottish parties rising to reveal their assorted underwear as the young woman put their political credentials to the test.

The message was that Labour had failed Scotland over fuel tax, the Tories failed the Poll Tax, and the Lib Dems had sold out to form a coalition in Scotland.

Age-old joke

Only the SNP candidate was a true Scot, so the broadcast implied, because the Nationalist kilt-wearer bore no garment and so had true credentials, according to the age-old joke.

Mr Foulkes said: "This was broadcast as early as 5.25pm when many children could have been watching.

"The SNP may think sexual innuendo is a way to sell their brand of politics but I think most people will have found it extremely distasteful.

"I call on the SNP to apologise for this broadcast and the offence it will have caused to many people.

"It's a pity that the party that claims to stand for Scotland has turned to the oldest joke against Scots about what they wear under their kilt, to get their message across.

Terrible campaign

"It speaks volumes about the SNP's approach. It's crass in the extreme and an insult to the intelligence of Scottish people."

Responding to the criticism, the SNP said the Labour Party had no room to talk given the events of the last 24 hours, and believed that Scottish people would enjoy the joke.

A spokesman said: "We are delighted that New Labour are having such a terrible campaign that they had a complete sense-of-humour bypass.

"After John Prescott hitting a member of the public and the Tories' sinister broadcast, this was an injection of much-needed fun into the campaign, which also made the serious point that only the SNP stands for Scotland."

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