A couple of days ago Labour blogger Kezia Dugdale published the text of a letter sent by the daughter of an SNP councillor to First Minister Alex Salmond. It wasn't a very nice letter, it contained some very nasty allegations. Apparently the councillor Jahangir Hanif is going through an acrimonious divorce, and the letter from his daughter Noor appeared to be related to that family dispute.
It is rarely wise for outsiders to take sides in a divorce. For members of a political party to use accusations made in a family dispute to attack a member of another party is particularly unwise. However Noor had put her letter in the public domain, it has been quoted in newspapers and was mentioned in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday, so wise or not, it would appear that Kezia had the right to publish the text if she wished.
However, the blog post which contained the letter is no longer on line having being removed following legal proceedings bought by Cllr Hanif. I can sympathise with Cllr Hanif, to a certain extent, nobody wants their dirty linen shown in public. But an SNP councillor suing a Labour blogger for mentioning something that was already in the public domain is going to do more harm to the councillor and his party than ignoring it would have done. I hope that Alex Salmond has the sense to publicly distance the party from the individual actions of the councillor, otherwise the SNP will be open to attack for using the law to silence its critics.
Kezia's response to the legal action