Jimmy Buchan, the Blogger Laureate of the Seafish Industy Authority has had his blog taken offline. Primarily known as the skipper of the Amity II from the BBC series, Trawlermen, Buchan is also the Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Westminster seat of Banff and Buchan.
Currently MP is Alex Salmond, who will be stepping down in 2010, three years after being elected to the Scottish Parliament.
As reported in The Scotsman, Buchan had blogged for Seafish until being selected as PPC:
Gaynyr Dickson, communications executive for Seafish, explained: “When Jimmy said he was going to stand for election he decided to stop doing the blog, but we couldn’t secure anyone willing to give it the time and effort so it stood empty.
“We decided that Jimmy could continue to blog as long as he made no reference to the political side of his life.
We then received about six or seven letters of complaint saying we were giving Jimmy a political platform and that we should not allow him to blog on the website.”
On the face of it, this is perfectly reasonable, as it would be unacceptable to use taxpayers’ money to fund an overt or covert political campaign. I have not seen, however, any suggestion that Buchan was doing so. Although blog entries since his return in September 2009 have been excized, archives until January 2009 remain and appear unthreatening.
Instead the description of the complaints simply suggests that umbrage was taken at a professional fisherman, who is also a PPC, writing about his profession.
As stated in the article, SNP sources insisted the party had not initiated any complaint. This still leaves open, as Buchan insists, that SNP-supporters did so for their own political ends. For instance, inclusive and gay-friendly formal policies held the SNP have had doubt cast on them by public positions displayed by individuals such as local councillor, Kenneth Gunn and PPC for Glasgow Central, Osama Saeed.