Say what you like about Paula Murray, but it's important she doesn't get demonised by the whole Sunday Express/Dunblane affair.
It might sound a bit odd, that, coming from me, given that I was one of the first to talk about the atrocity of an article that appeared in the Scottish Sunday Express those couple of weekends ago. But I think there's a valid point to be made to try and stop this being seen as a rogue article by a 'bad apple'. Because I don't think it was.
But so far, no apology. If this were a rogue article by a bad apple, surely someone somewhere in the organisation with some authority over these matters would think that it merited an apology. Wouldn't they?
What of Murray's line manager, Scottish Sunday Express editor Derek Lambie? He is on record as blaming 'mass bloggers' for all the fuss about the article, rather than considering that the article itself may have been a disgraceful stain on all those employees who would rather not insult murder victims and tragedy survivors. As Tim Ireland points out today, Lambie wrote about the Dunblane tragedy many years ago and said it would never be forgotten.
So you have to consider that Lambie either thinks the article was acceptable (and give it was the front-page story, presumably at the very very least he had an idea what it would contain before it was published, if not having actually read it himself) or he now regrets it but feels painted into a corner by we 'mass bloggers' and the several thousand people who have registered their disgust in the online petition.
What do they think higher up the food chain? Is there any evidence that anyone higher up at the Express was appalled by this? Not so far.
So can we really dismiss this as a 'bad apple'? Or a rogue story that somehow got out of hand?
Certainly not until and unless there is an apology. And until that happens, the only conclusion to draw is that the Express approved then, and approves now, and thinks the story was justified. I wish the PCC had the power (or will) to actually do anything about this, but I don't think it will.
And nor should it. Anyone with a soul should be able to see that a terrible error has been made. Anyone with any nous should be able to see that at the very least an apology should take place.
If not, this is no one bad apple. This is an organisation that is rotten to the core.