I wrote this letter to The Herald in the light of the Tory spokespersons reported remarks about me. They did ask for it. I refuse to be bullied into silence. I should also point out that many Ghanaians have been in touch with me to thank me and also to say that they did consider the treatment of their President rude and racist. Are the Tories Racist? Am I Bonkers? and also Open Letter to President Mahama of Ghana as well as Scotland’s Shame as Political Leaders Embarrass Ghana
Letters: The shaming of our country
The Herald 24 Mar 2016
I HOPE that the remarks of the Tory press office about myself are not indicative of the upcoming Scottish election campaign (“Churchman under fire over criticism of MSPs on Ghana”, The Herald, March 23).
Dismissing those who critique you as “bonkers” and “ludicrous” is not exactly helpful to intelligent debate. My comment that there was an alarming tinge of racism in the behaviour of some MSPs cannot be so easily dismissed. Of course Ruth Davidson is not racist in the sense of discriminating according to skin colour. But there is a form of cultural imperialism which assumes that “our” cultural values are the obvious “universal values” of all humanity. It is a kind of Western liberal colonialism which assumes that we are the “progressives” and others who do not share our views are somehow backward.
In my view Ms Davidson as the leader of a major party in Scotland shamed our country by behaving in the way she did at the Scottish Parliament. One has to ask why she snubbed the head of an African democracy yet did not protest when the head of a communist autocracy was given the red carpet treatment by her own party?
Ghana is the ninth largest economy in Africa, with significant ties to Scotland. We should be cultivating those ties and not being rude and hectoring towards President John Mahama.
I should also point out that it was the local Ghanaian LGBT community who were critical of the unthinking actions of Ms Davidson and other MSPs. They were the ones who spoke of this gesture politics and virtue signalling doing more harm than good, and who warned that they did not need a “white saviour” coming to rescue them. Is it wrong for the people of Scotland to expect their political leaders to behave with more dignity and maturity? And that includes not calling those who dare to question them “’bonkers”.
David A. Robertson, St Peters Free Church, 4 St Peter Street, Dundee.