We’re here, we’re queer and we’re campaigning for Scotland

So there you are, having a lovely evening, talking about independence and the upcoming referendum to a group of very nice people in Edinburgh West. You’ve spent the week trying to kick out of touch the lie and slur that the independence movement is racist, and then you come home, look at Twitter, and wander off and bang your head off a wall. Wings Over Scotland is deliberately provocative, but sometimes the provocation only ends up causing everyone else a whole lot of work to do. Work we could have avoided. Time and energy we could have spent attacking Theresa May’s plans to undermine the devolution settlement. But now as well as trying to defend the independence movement against the Unionist attack that it’s racist, we also need to defend it against the attack that it’s homophobic.

Sometime on Friday, Stu Campbell had the enormous misfortune to witness the witless offspring of Fluffy Mundell speak to the dregs of the Tory party conference. Little Oliver was somewhere near the back of the queue when public speaking skills were being handed out, there are one armed chimpanzees rejected from the signing experiment who are more adept at communication than Oliver. There are more tactful and sensitive dogs which stick their snouts in the groins of strangers than the tact and sensitivity that was on display in Oliver’s perorations.

And so Stu Campbell tweeted: “Oliver Mundell is the sort of public speaker that makes you wish his dad had embraced his homosexuality sooner.” Cue the inevitable shitstorm that one of the leading figures in the independence movement was homophobic, and therefore by extension so is everyone else who has ever so much as glanced at a Yes sticker. If you want independence you’re as good as beating up a gay person, so you are.

I’ve been challenging homophobia for a very long time. When I still had hair. It was that long ago. I was challenging homophobia and getting gay-bashed and abused for my pains when David Mundell was hiding in the safety of the closet and staying silent while his homophobic colleagues in the Tory party voted to prevent equal marriage and then only coming out after folk like me had made it safe for him to do so.  And now there he is, retweeting Stu Campbell’s comment at Nicola Sturgeon like it’s got something to do with her and complaining about how he’s being oppressed.

The comment that Stu Campbell made was certainly offensive and stupid, it was supposed to be offensive, but not everything that’s offensive and stupid is homophobic, racist, sexist, sectarian, or discriminatory. Not all forms of hate speech are attacks on an entire community. Sometimes it’s just personal. Insults are supposed to be offensive. If an insult isn’t offensive it fails in its job as a insult.

A homophobic sentiment is one which denigrates gay people, or which attempts to prevent them expressing themselves fully. Homophobic remarks are those that express the view that gay people have less of a right to a public presence or are in some way less than fully human or less deserving of respect or equality. This comment did none of those things. This doesn’t mean I am defending or excusing the comment. I specialise in political insults, but I draw the line at expressing the wish that an individual had never existed and would never have drawn his father’s sexuality into it. However I reject the interpretation that the comment is founded in a form of disdain for gay men, or that it seeks to associate gay people with a particular political point of view. The disdain being expressed was disdain for Oliver Mundell, not for his dad. It was expressing the view that had there been less homophobia in the world, maybe we’d have been spared Oliver’s painful public speaking  because his father would not have got involved in a relationship with his mother.

It’s certainly deeply insulting and offensive to wish a particular individual had never existed, but that doesn’t mean that it was homophobic. Not everything that someone finds objectionable has to have some form of discrimination attached to it. In fact you could argue that the tweet was the opposite of homophobic, since its sentiment is that had there been less homophobia then Oliver Mundell would never have existed – and the comment implies that both these things would have been a more desirable state of affairs. However that’s to take refuge in sophistry. It sounds like an attempt to justify something that really shouldn’t have been said in the first place.

But let’s not lose sight of the fact that not everything that is unwise, stupid or thoughtless to say is homophobic or discriminatory. It’s the birds and ducks argument. All ducks are birds but that doesn’t mean all birds are ducks. All homophobic comments directed at or involving a gay man are offensive but that doesn’t mean all offensive comments directed at or involving a gay man are homophobic. It just suits the Unionists to pretend that they are when one of those implicated in the insult is a gay Unionist. They’re pretty blasé about it when it’s a yes supporting gay person being abused by a Unionist.  You can trust me on that point.

However a remark can still be stupid, thoughtless and unhelpful even if its target is a heartless Tory bastard who cheerfully supports the demonisation of migrants, crapping on the devolution settlement, kicking away the support received by disabled people, and generally helping to flush all that’s good and civic down the toilet pan of privatisation. Sometimes insults rebound on the insulter more than they hit the insulted. Insults have to be carefully targetted and phrased. The problem with this insult was that it was wide open to misinterpretation by people who make a habit of wilful misinterpretation.  Some will say that it was homophobic because it implies that gay men cannot be parents, but as a gay parent myself – I have two daughters with lesbian friends – that’s not how I interpreted the remark.  I saw it as a comment directed at David Mundell’s previous relationship with a woman while he was in the closet.  This is an instance of what I mean about the remark being open to misinterpretation, and one of the reasons why it was a stupid thing to say.

I showed the comment to a number of gay friends before writing this piece. All agreed that the comment wasn’t at all helpful, but none of them felt that it was particularly homophobic. Tactless, yes. Ill-judged, yes. Offensive, certainly. Stupid, yes. Shooting the yes movement in the foot, oh god yes. It’s the kind of thing that gay men would say to one another without anyone taking offence except the target of the insult. However, and this is the nub of the problem, all of them agreed that the comment would certainly be interpreted as homophobic by a Unionist media and establishment which zealously seeks offence to take, all the more so since the comment originated from a heterosexual individual who has previously been criticised for comments he’s made about the transsexual community. Laying claim to victimhood status is a well worn Unionist tactic. Stu’s comment gives them another reason to paint themselves as poor put upon victims, and that much ought to have been entirely predictable. Let’s not give them easy targets.

I wish Stu hadn’t made the comment. It’s deeply unhelpful. We’ve spent the last week arguing that the independence movement is tolerant, inclusive and accepting following repeated accusations from Unionists that the Yes movement is founded in racism. And now we need to repeat the same schtick in order to defend the Yes movement from accusations of homophobia. We had this a few months ago when straight male Daily Mail journalists took it upon themselves to lecture a group of lesbian performers on the most appropriate form of language for lesbians to use to describe one another. Now we’re going to get the same howls of cynical and manufactured outrage from the same people about the supposed homophobia that lurks at the heart of the independence movement. This doesn’t help our cause. Leave the gay jokes to gay people. We do them better.

If I, and hundreds of other LGBT campaigners for Scottish independence genuinely believed that independence would lead to a reduction in rights and acceptance for our community we wouldn’t be here. But we are, and we’re often in the forefront of the campaign, because we know that the campaign for LGBT rights is a campaign that seeks to empower ordinary LGBT people and give them the opportunity and ability to make the most of themselves and live their lives to the full without fear, without discrimination, without hindrance. And we know that the Scottish independence movement seeks to do the same thing for the population of Scotland as a whole. The campaign for LGBT rights and the campaign for Scotland’s national rights are two aspects of the same struggle. That’s why we’re here, we’re queer, and we’re campaigning for Scotland. Let’s make sure that doesn’t get overlooked in the predictable manufactured outrage sparked off by a thoughtless comment on Twitter.

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0 thoughts on “We’re here, we’re queer and we’re campaigning for Scotland

  1. Pingback: We’re here, we’re queer and we’re campaigning for Scotland | speymouth

    • I agree with your complete article Paul. We all make mistakes. I am sure SC agrees.
      Keep up your good work.

  2. Mmm, I ‘kinda’ agree with your sentiment, Paul.
    Yesterday I joshed mercilessly about the preponderance of silver haired Tory Conservative members. Hertz renting Zimmers, steak and chips in the restaurant, waitress service to cut up the meat, Steradent (?)as main sponsor.
    I let loose my Negative Child, and specifically targeted my own group; pensioners, crippled with OA, set in their ways, who like me no longer run up stairs two at a time. I was being deliciously cruel, in a mild mannered way.

    I’d welcome McDougall or McTernan or the Dead Tree Scrolls to hunt me down and accuse me of ageism. I am in every sense drawing on my own experience in decrepitude to poke fun at Tory Grey Hairs.
    But I share your ‘ouch’ in this instance,when Stu appears to have ‘taken that too far’.
    We all do it.
    He is the Frankie Boyle on the independence movement. Strike that; Frankie Boyle is the Frankie Boyle of the independent movement. But you know what I mean.
    Better Together boasted an army of Trolls sitting at their PCs churning out lies distortions and threats, and mock indignation during Project Fear 1.
    We must try out best not to feed them anything this time.
    WoS produces an incredible body of work attacking the Unionist propaganda, lies, and downright threats of reprisals.
    The great good that his site generates is more than the odd ‘slip’, if indeed slip it is.
    I’ll stop now.

  3. Talk about a storm in a tea cup, “Oliver Mundell is the sort of public speaker that makes you wish his dad had embraced his homosexuality sooner.” All this was meant mean was he should have never been born. No slant on anything but his right to be alive, everything else is jus narrow gauge railroading.

    • IMHO it would’ve been better if it had been phrased as “Oliver Mundell is the sort of public speaker that makes you wish his dad had discovered contraception sooner.”? Still gets the basic message across, without giving the Unionists any ammunition.

      • Wings’ tweet is more specific, though, and therefore wittier. In other words, he couldn’t resist tweeting something that he must’ve known would be exploited by disingenuous opponents, because it makes him look witty.

  4. A contextual observation on the subject of insults.

    I suppose if one were attempting to come up with an insult which might offend the authoritarian bigots and trolls of the britnat unionist zeolotry one might have to go a long way to improve on the accusation of political correctness.

  5. It matters not a jot because even if nothing was said the Unionist propaganda maxhine would still invent hurtscat everything us nasty Nationalists say or even don’t say. Anything poisonous from the Inionist side, there being so much to select, is just being ignored and it seems nothing wrong will change that. We only have out internet voice. As for Stu, his website does a lot for the cause but sometimes, just sometimes, his ego or view of his own fame overcomes sensibility and sadly one daft of ill construed post damages all the good.

  6. Wholly agree with this. As a movement, and this includes RevSTU, we need to act smarter. I’m also gay, and do not think the comment is homophobic – otherwise I’d be kicking up a merry old fuss about it. BUT, it was an absolute GIFT to the unionists.

    We all make mistakes. We need to be smarter in how we operate, and this includes Stuart Campbell. I like his robust, evidence and fact based style, but THIS comment just doesn’t help anybody. It allows the spin doctors for the Tories and their Labour unionist chums a ‘get out of jail free’ card’ they can run with over and over again, no matter what the truth.

    Stuart Campbell is at his very best when he is nailing unionists and their puppet London owned and controlled media, with hard cold facts, and he does it very, very well. This silly comment is right down there with 14 year old playground stuff. He is, I think, better than that.

    ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’ but only when you use it intelligently.

  7. The tweet was about Mundell, who is a hypocrite, a liar, a spineless wimp, a bag of wind, a Tory lickspittle who was promoted far, far beyond his abilities.
    He is a deliberate insult to Scots and Scotland. That’s what I see.

    • I thought it was very funny and offensive. Job done. How others interpret it is a very difficult road to navigate.

      • Yes, I laughed when I read it, as to me it summed the man up! I really didn’t think that it would set up the same nonsense as Sadiq Khan’s offering. However, I’m not gay so I can only say how it affected me. I certainly didn’t think it was gay-bashing, but then I’m old. But I relucatantly agree with Robert’s comment that it was a gift to the unionists, in that they can twist it as they choose.

        • I laughed too, then (exactly 9 minutes after he tweeted) said “Somebody is going to get you for that, Stu!”

          And so it was. It was hellish funny in a Frankie Boyle sort of way. It was intended to be offensive to Oliver Mundell, as a jibe at his nonexistent public speaking skills. It wasn’t any sort of insult to his father. Indeed, I’d say that by using his homosexuality in the context of older jokes along the lines of “Yer da should’ve used a condom”, it was normalising it.

          The best thing anyone could have done was ignore it. The unionists weren’t going to do that because they spied an opportunity for “independence supporter bad” finger-pointing. But there were ways to deal with that too, and my favourite was the tweet that said, “That’s not homophobia David. Being in the closet and voting against gay marriage, THAT’S homophobia.” #zing #burn

          But no, the rest of the self-righteous indy camp has to go on a holier-than-thou rant against Stu and how offensive he is. You’d think they’d never even heard of Streisand.

          • Agreed.

            I saw a retweet of Katie Hopkins asking what she should get her dad for his birthday – ‘ a condom & a time machine’ accompanied it, liked by 90k. I found that funny too.

  8. It can only be described as a stupid, smart arse comment. It was a tweet on twitter. The names say it all. Tweet/twitter!!! I’m still trying to understand why people take these things so seriously.

  9. What’s happened to everyones sense of humour there was absolutely nothing homophobic about it I thought it was hilarious


  10. I must admit, I laughed out loud when I read the comment on Stu’s twitter feed.

    Fluffy is indeed a waste of space – but, still twice the politician his son is.

    You might have hoped, having come out, Fluffy would be happier, more-confident and better able to do his job. Sadly for him, the more often he appears, forced to defend the indefensible, the unhappier and angrier he looks. I am sorry for him.

    As for attacks on Stu Campbell. Better the messenger gets hit than the message.

  11. One of the advantages of living in England is the Scotch Parliament is rarely deemed newsworthy enough to feature any other MSP aside from the one who drives tanks in her other job. so it was disappointing to discover this morning that there really is a Junior Mumble after all. Ignorance was bliss! The only question I would have given the circumstances, was whether he was cloned or conceived…

    Homophobic?? Get a grip..

  12. Nice analysis and reflection Paul.
    Sometimes things need to be spelled out.

    We like Stu because he is smart and motivated, and oalso funny. But we also know he sometimes gets it wrong…

    Hey ho…

  13. Stuart Campbell is one of the best analysts and clearest thinkers about politics and media anywhere. Not just Scotland, and not just the independence movement. Anywhere. We are lucky to have him.

  14. David Mundell said at conference this morning that the late Alex Ferguson, in their last conversation, told him to “keep sticking it up the Nats” and that is exactly what he was doing by branding an amusingly offensive tweet homophobic.

    • The phrase, “sticking it up,” refers to being anally raped. It certainly does have harryhoofter bashing anti shirt-lifter history. But that’s fine because it came from one of them and not us.

      PS. It was the late Alex Johnstone and not the (sadly not late yet) Sir Alex (unionist slag ) Ferguson.

  15. OT: Unionists in Northern Ireland lose their majority, which means they cannot veto again a Bill to make same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland legal.

  16. I used to manage what was. at the time the biggest gay bar in Earls Court London when I was in my early 20s. I lost two good friends who committed suicide solely because their parents and some of their friends shunned them. The fact is that we have to be very careful when traducing anyone who may be in a very vulnerable state of mind, we would probably not even be having this exchange if it were not for the genius of Alan Turing OBE etc. who himself committed suicide tragically after falling foul of Dickensian laws after the 2nd WW which he in no small part helped take us to victory.

    I would ask everyone to think carefully before they comment however innocently about members of our society who may be “different” in any way, after all, we can leave that to Jim Davidson and his late friend Bernard Manning who are (were) vile enough to to make “fun” of so many minorities.
    Leave it to the experts such as drag queens and disabled comedians who can make a far better job of it than we could dream of.

    Our society would be greatly impoverished if it were not for some of those wonderful human beings

    Peace and Inclusion Always!

  17. Manufactured outrage. Every July Tens of Thousands of ex Labour supporters, now Tory supporters march their bigotry up and down the streets. SDL and EDL and ex UK supporters stream back to the Tories daily. Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Xenophobia, Celtophobia, Anti Catholic, Anti Muslim, Anti European Anti Disabled all find a warm welcoming place within the Tory Party. The “No such thing as Society” Party. The Party supported by the Nasty Nazi loving Daily Mail, the only thing more nasty than this rag are their supporters. I wonder what Mundell’s voting history is not just on gay rights, but on the right of other vulnerable folks?

  18. I’m having the same argument with a few people on twitter about it not being homophobic. The weird thing is none of them seem to have any issue with Stu wishing someone out of existence – that instead the perceived homophobia is somehow worse. The thing is if Stu had said “I wish Oliver’s dad had pulled out or used a condom” there wouldn’t have been an issue with the comment. When is it acceptable to wish someone out of existence?

    • When it’s an insult indended as black humour. Look up “flyting”. Do we have to be so humourless that we can’t see the intent of the tweet? Nobody would have raised an eyebrow if Frankie Boyle had said it.

  19. Paul, many thanks for the talk in Edinburgh West last night. It was worth the tense wait outside in the cold and dark while we wondered if the doors would be opening 🙂 I would have gone to your talk in my hometown of Leith but Wednesday’s for now are taken up with Spanish classes.

    Many thanks for the detailed coverage and analysis of the position of Spain or of the current right wing Spanish government in relation Scotland’s independence and continuity of EU membership. That stuff is invaluable.

    I am also a great admirer and financial supporter of the painstaking work of Stu Campbell but I so wish he could go down the pub with some trusted pals and shout and rant candidly at them while logged out from his Twitter accounts. That might dampen down his loose canon and give us all and himself a clearer, saner, space in which podemos ir adelante con las independistas.

    • and now I’m blocked by Wings on twitter. So he can say “Oliver Mundell is the sort of public speaker that makes you wish his dad had embraced his homosexuality sooner.” but I cannot say “Stu, find some trusted pals & let ur steam off somewhere private so we don’t have to clean up afterwards. Sometimes ur a twat.” … if I wasn’t so grown up, i’d ask for my money back.

      • You know, “Sometimes ur a twat” is a lot less funny than what Stu said, and while it might be less offensive you said it to his face rather than simply about him. I’m not surprised he blocked you.

        • Just feel the need to say that what was funny about Stu’s tweet was, in my humble opinion, cancelled out by its offensiveness and more so by its unnecessary presence. I’m a parent and I’d be offended if someone suggested that things would be better if my child had not been born. In the broader scheme of things I think it creates a shed load of distraction that is totally unhelpful to independence campaign. Rallying round and claiming the analytical higher ground by declaring it not homophobic seems to me like a lot of fine good people who should have better things to do with their time than fighting Stu Campbell’s corner.

          I stand by what I have often said in the past about the unique value of Stu Campbell’s, probably sometimes tedious, hard work debunking mainstream media stories and politicians’ lies and inconsistencies. We really need this and I’ll certainly carry on reading WOS web site for this vital work.

          “Sometimes ur a twat” was definitely not meant to be funny.

          • “I’m a parent and I’d be offended if someone suggested that things would be better if my child had not been born.”

            It’s rather telling that Mundell didn’t see it that way…He took on it himself to be outraged at a so called “Homophobic” comment and demand that the First Minister of Scotland to condemn such “Abuse”.

            If I was Oliver Mundell, I would be asking him “Why aren’t you outraged at the thought of people thinking that they are better off if I hadn’t been born”.

  20. “Manufactured outrage” Davie Mundell had a particularly uncomfortable interview with Andrew Neil so Stu’s tweet was probably a welcome relief!

    But you have to realise that Stu is surrounded in England by all the most right wing media which he checks out for us so we can blank it, which is so ugly it’s bound to make him incensed. It certainly would me. Personally, I want him to be outrageous.

    It’s how he chooses to fight back which gets some on twitter enraged…good for him…

  21. There is a whole lot of frustration just now amongst a lot of people who are trying to keep their temper in check, after what is now years of relentless lies, smears, from a media hell bent is seeing Independence dead and buried, ok sometimes it boils over, arguments get out of hand things are said that well on reflection maybe shouldn’t have been, I know it’s not on the same scale to some, but if you’re arguing with someone with Red hair that’s the obvious target, Fat , Ugly, big nose, it all comes into play, Ok a stinging remark about fluffys wee boy, might resonate and hurt a whole section of people who might take it as a personal slur on them, I really hope this doesn’t gain legs and is used as yet another stick to beat us ,
    We all have some wee foibles that others might find strange that’s life , if you are in any way different from those around you, yep your a target it happens to everyone, don’t take it to heart.
    End of Rant .

  22. Surely what ever one writes in one’s own twitter account is up to them, anyone else reading it or retweeting it do so at their own “risk”!

    I thought is was very funny and not at all homophobic. I don’t think for a moment we should adjust what we say or think just in case a “Yoon” may be reading or be offended.

    More power to Stu, “gratuitous offensiveness” is part of Scotland’s comedic heritage, ask Billy Connelly or Frankie Boyle or anyone who ever laughed at their jokes, or ask Billy Kay who notes in his books about Scots in Europe in the 15/16th Centuries as been known for their unique humour, I forget the quote but it’s modern equivalence would be “taking the Piss” but in a benign fashion not designed to threaten.

    Have we all forgotten to laugh at ourselves as well as each other?

    • Yeah, as I said earlier, look up “flyting”. Rich Scots tradition. But these mealy-mouthed humourless politically-correct automatons would strip the fun and the character from all conversation.

  23. Pretty much.

    They do manufacture outrage so well though.

    When it comes to what I find truly offensive? Well I’d rank axing housing benefits for 18-21yr olds and bereavement benefits right up there as pretty damn offensive. So, no I won’t be listening much to tories bleating about folk having used harsh language, not when they take bread from mouths and trample over rights. Not when intolerance is their very own stock in trade.

    Said it before, but worth repeating. They are looking for anything they can use against the YES movement.

    Let’s be careful out there.

    • Well, sure, but Stu is not going to be careful out there. He doesn’t share your view of the tactical situation and rightly or wrongly he’s not going to take your advice. He’s going to go on being Stu and there’s not a blind thing any of us can do about it.

      So what’s the better response? Flooding twitter with “oh look Stu Campbell said something really offensive isn’t he awful he’s a disgrace to the movement every responsible indy supporter should publicly disown him”? Or just ignoring it?

      • Wings just blocked me on twitter for this. I suppose I’m supposed to intellectualise about the differences between telling someone that the world would be a better place if their child had not been born and calling someone a twat when they deserve it. i don’t think ill bother.

        “Stu, find some trusted pals & let ur steam off somewhere private so we don’t have to clean up afterwards. Sometimes ur a twat.”

      • No he’s not and he wouldn’t be Stu if he did. 😀 LOL

        He’s controversial, challenging and aggressive. He terrifies the bejebus out of the opposition because he’s just that good at what he does. When online or in the street you can only talk to folk as appropriate to your own nature. As I said above, there are things I find a damn sight more offensive than the Rev’s harsh language.

        On a response? Why respond at all? There is no general better response to satisfy someone elses idea of what you should think of a thing. There is only the appropriate one for you. What you think.

        On my own ‘tactical’ view?

        Most of us aren’t writers, orators, journos or party political types. Most of us don’t run in circles where we’re directly arguing the toss with politicians or the media and posing a not inconsiderable threat to their wee world.

        Most of us are just folks with an opinion, but also with access to very public forums. By comparison we’re amateurs and we wear our hearts on our sleeve. The folk above know this and they WILL take advantage of it.

        Like I say, let’s be careful out there.

  24. David,

    Maybe it’s the “sometimes your a twat” bit that was the comment to far? Yes, manufactured outrage is what the Mail and Express do. It’s their reason for existing. That and downright lies. I would not be the least bit surprised if this is mentioned even for a second by a politician on TV. That’s not STU’s fault. That’s theirs. We hardly set a foot wrong last time. What happened? Someone threw an egg at a liar and it’s all you heard on TV. Remnant women and children were attacked. Fascists saluted. If it wasn’t for STU and We’d and the like, we would be never the wiser. TV and the MSN blocked the transmission of this. More power to all their collective elbows.

  25. Pregnant women and WGD that should read. And the more obnoxious the Unionists were, the more the MSc turned their faces away and the more ‘Dutch Courage” that gave them. You give Unionist filth an inch and they take a mile.

  26. MSM. Bloody predictive text. I can see nothing wrong on what STU did. But that won’t stop Unionist Shit Stirrers in their Manufactured Outrage. Millions thrown on the scrapheap. (CHECK). Heavy Industry obliterated. (Check). WMD dumped at Faslane. (Check). You get the drift. Yet the Daily Mail got into a teacup storm over what Gay Women called each other in front of laughing Gay Women.

    Manufactured outrage is when a Better Together Supporter tut tuts at a Yes Supporters 4 year old Son singing “ba ba black sheep” and trying to make an issue of it in September 2014 whilst ignoring her bigoted Orange Son handing out BT leaflets whilst discretely wearing a swastika badge as seen by several people in an Ayr Cafe the Saturday before the vote. True Story. BTW ex neighbour.

  27. This is the first I have heard about it, and to be quite honest when I read it I laughed out loud, I don’t see it being homophobic or any other type of “phobic”, it was just taking the piss oot ooh a tory.

    The tory’s don’t hesitate to slag off Scotland or its SNP politian’s, look at the stuff they have called Alex Salmond and Nicola while they are or have been First Minster of Scotland.

    When it comes to the tories no matter what colour, just remember any insult we give them just makes up for the 100 they have thrown our way first.

  28. Paul I pretty much agree with what you say. I did however laugh out loud at Stu’s comment which was not homophobic. Ill judged, perhaps, but not anti-gay.
    Anti-gay was Fluffy Mundell voting against the repeal of Section 2A – Clause 28 and voting against equal marriage for gays and lesbians, whilst pretending to be straight. That is something that I personally find offensive. I’ve fought all my adult life for equal rights, as has my husband of 35 years. I know what I and many other gay men and women have had to endure down the decades. With any luck Fluffy’ll meet a decent man and start seeing things differently. If that doesn’t happen soon, he’s more likely to lose it completely. During the recent grilling from Brillo, it was more like a re-enactment of Pedro Almodovar’s “Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown”. Fluffy was definitely right on the edge, looking as if “she’s no a well wummin” as a very good drag queen friend of mine is won’t to say.
    While it is entertaining to watch him become more and more shrill, I am genuinely concerned for him. He really does not seem to be coping and I wouldn’t wish him ill, despite his past voting record.
    What puzzles me more than anything is the surpringly large number of gays and lesians who side with the Tories. Talk about turkies voting for an early Christmas. These people need to wake up. The Tories are no friends of the LGBT Community Maybe I’m just getting old and don’t see the attraction.

  29. I don’t think Stu Campbell meant that remark to be homophobic but it might have been better to have said something like: “Oliver Mundell should never have become a politician as he has no talent in that direction” but no doubt that would have caused outrage to certain Unionists, too.

    His father, David Mundell, always seems uncomfortable on television and often comes across as being right on the edge but I think that’s because he’s out of his depths and he knows it. I’m certain he feels being Secretary of State for Scotland is beyond his capability as he only inherited that title by being the only Tory MP in Scotland.

  30. When I saw the comment I winced a bit, then went on to read about the important stuff. As has been pointed out on twitter, far worse has been said and threats made towards members of the SNP, and even towards Rev Stu, I think quite recently.

    Of course the yoons were going to jump on the twitter comment and have a pissy fit. An ill judged comment by Stuart in that respect, damage done, the yoons need to look at themselves though, they manage to go unscathed for many insults and threats on twitter towards independence supporters.

    Really the issue is, that in politics, it beggars belief that some are given status and jobs, very very well paid jobs, when really they are not worthy of it. They lack the talent, experience, and skills.

    It happens in the arts, and other professions, some people awarded status and money are not the most worthy or talented. It is a mix of luck, the right connections, gift of the gab and being in the right place at the right time. Not heard Oliver Mundell speak, but if he is not up to it, why is he being paid for a job he is not doing properly. That is what stinks about this whole thing imo.

  31. As if it wasn’t hard enough to get some people taking wings seriously already to the extent that people will dismiss reference to articles there out of hand and will not read them, I’m seeing comments from people (over?)sensitive to these things suggesting this’ll do far more damage than stu could possibly imagine. It’s not just unionists he’s pissed off by not thinking ahead.

  32. Thanks for the article Paul, you pretty well nailed it.
    To the Rev’ Stu I would say. FFS think before you tweet. Next thing you’ll be doing odd things with your hair and looking like a cheesy whotsit.

  33. There’s every chance that Mundell might have been one of those whos main sexual preference changed after becoming a parent. Something that’s more common in women due to the obvious direct biological effects that pregnancy and giving birth has.

    So whilst the most probable intent was a wish his son hadn’t been born at all an alternative might be that publicly coming out might have made Mundell senior a better father.

  34. There are a few sayings which, taken literally, would be understood to wishing someone dead,e.g., ‘I should have drowned you at birth’, and,’drop dead’. Similarly with ‘I wish I had never been born’, and even ‘a dead man walking’. But none is meant to be taken literally, not even by a tiny bit, and that seems to be the error in the negative reaction to Stu’s comment, which, after all, is only pointing out the ineptitude of Oliver Mundell and which may well be down to DNA alone. He is just like his father.

    Prejudice, even in very small amounts, and so easily capable of being overlooked, is well able to distort the mind, leading to all kinds of errors of judgement – of which I am regularly guilty myself.

  35. Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog. I’m in a land far, far away (Montana) but am passionate about independence issues (perhaps, one happy day, Wales even!) and followed your vote keenly. As you’ve likely noticed, our politics are…interesting at the moment so great to follow someone else’s! Also very passionate about animals (wee ginger ones and others–have the menagerie myself, even some gingers!)

    Anyway, not to interrupt your discussion but just wanted to say how much I enjoy it!

  36. David Mundell voted to retain Section 2A. If he had his way, gay teenagers wouldn’t be allowed to talk about their sexuality with their teachers.

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