Jordan Daly: Why we should back Kezia Dugdale and send Wings Over Scotland packing

LGBT campaigner and co-founder of the Tie campaign Jordan Daly explains why he is backing Kezia Dugdale in her row with Wings Over Scotland about homophobia

WHEN it comes to Wings Over Scotland and his controversies, I generally try to stay detached. He’s nothing more than a man with a blog, who has gained some notoriety, a bit of a strange cult following and whose online behaviour is akin to trolling. All in all, not someone I really want to discuss.

However, the news that he’s taking Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale to court after she called out a tweet of his and marked him as homophobic has sparked a debate around whether or not the blogger’s comments were indeed laced with prejudice, and it’s something that I’m just not sure I can keep mute on. 

As a reminder, the bizarre and uncalled-for tweet from the Wings Over Scotland account at the centre of the storm is as follows: "Oliver Mundell is the sort of public speaker that makes you wish his dad had embraced his homosexuality sooner."

Let me make my perspective clear: to insidiously use an openly gay politician’s sexuality as a weapon - with the intention of insulting his son - is, to my interpretation, homophobia. 

Wings has consistently and blatantly sought to provoke with his comments on social media, always reaching the brink of acceptability and surpassing it by a country mile. Yet this one really riled a lot of people, myself included, and in recent days I have watched many attempt to defend it by arguing that it isn’t homophobic.

I’ve spoken publicly about my struggle to accept my sexuality and the issues that I faced as a result of my experiences at school, but that period of my life has left me with a somewhat omnipresent self-consciousness about being known as "that gay guy", and having my sexuality define me or used against me. 

That’s why, when I saw the tweet in question, I was taken aback - because I understood the underlying sentiment, and the impact that it could have.

Let me make my perspective clear: to insidiously use an openly gay politician’s sexuality as a weapon - with the intention of insulting his son - is, to my interpretation, homophobia. 

In today’s society, with our legal protections and a general level of mainstream acceptance, prejudice against the gay community often rears its head in more subtle formats; that is, homophobia doesn’t always present as black and white. 

Visit our donate page to help us fund two new reporters

To a degree, the lines of acceptability have been blurred and it can be difficult for those who aren’t otherwise engaged in this issue to identify what is alright and what isn’t. To emphasise my point here, let’s take a look at use of language. 

We at the Tie campaign spend a lot of time in schools across the country, and one of the biggest problems is the widespread presence of homophobic slurs and insults. This is where perception is key, because while saying "your t-shirt looks so gay" may not be homophobic to you, it is homophobic to me. You might think that calling your friend a "poof" is banter, but others would view that as prejudiced and offensive.

That is the crux of this issue - perception. There’s a reason that considerable effort was taken to outline the importance of perceived discrimination in the Equality Act, and that’s because prejudice or intolerance isn’t always as clear cut as one would think. What matters most is how it’s interpreted by those on the receiving end.

There’s a reason that considerable effort was taken to outline the importance of perceived discrimination in the Equality Act, and that’s because prejudice or intolerance isn’t always as clear cut as one would think.

It’s worth remembering that while David Mundell is a highly public figure, he is also - in this case - the target of Wings’ vitriol, and so his views on the situation are important. Unsurprisingly, he stated at the time that he perceived the comment to be homophobic. As did Dugdale. As do I, and many others from the LGBT community. Notice the trend?

Whether or not the remark itself is homophobic has obviously been the topic of debate and while my tuppence worth is that it was, in the grand scheme of things that’s neither here nor there for those of us uninvolved in the suit. 

What’s alarming, though, is that this situation is likely to have negative consequences in similar scenarios. If a comment or statement doesn’t immediately appear to be homophobic, or racist, or misogynist - will a politician stand up against it and risk being dragged to court for doing what they believed was the right thing? That’s the predicament that our public influencers and commentators are inadvertently being put in with this obnoxious stunt.

The difficulty I have in this respect, other than someone taking an openly gay woman to court over her perception of homophobia, is that a controversial comment will now be defined by a judge or a jury. There’s a thin, blurry line here. If something this blatantly offensive isn’t ruled to be homophobic, then what else becomes acceptable?

In his column for The National newspaper this week, the Wee Ginger Dug (for whom I have a lot of respect, as someone who spoke up for gay rights at a time when it was not safe to do so) argued that Dugdale’s decision to call out the comment in question would make it harder to challenge homophobia, because - and, to paraphrase based on my understanding of the piece - Wings’ tweet wasn’t real homophobia.

What makes it more difficult to openly challenge homophobia is when a blogger, who has made a disgusting comment which offended many, opts to publicly march someone to court for speaking out against it.

I disagree. What makes it more difficult to openly challenge homophobia is when a blogger, who has made a disgusting comment which offended many, opts to publicly march someone to court for speaking out against it. This ultimately, one way or another, sets a precedent for future incidents.

The backdrop to this episode is important and, of those who have surfaced to defend Wings, I haven’t noticed any offer an explanation for some earlier notable comments. During a Twitter conversation about American whistleblower and transgender activist Chelsea Manning, Wings wrote: "He can call himself whatever he likes and live however he likes. None of my business whatsoever. But I get to decide what I think he is. And no sanctimonious wankhole is going to tell me different ... I say what I see. A man. You can call him 'her' if you want, but you don’t get to tell ME."

Without hyperbole, such discourses are transphobic. Denying the validity of one’s identity and dictatorially ruling on pronouns is ignorance, and it should not be tolerated. Is it any surprise that a comment such as that which was aimed towards Mundell would appear on Wings’ timeline? Is it, then, any surprise that it would be perceived - by many of us - as homophobic?

What I can’t quite wrap my head around is why the seemingly indefensible is being so vociferously defended. I’m also not entirely sure why Wings retains any influence, considering his catalogue of controversies.

That this entire situation is now being depicted as the misrepresented pro-indy underdog taking one for the team and battling the "smears" of a "unionist" is uncomfortable to observe - particularly when people are actually engaging with this cynically conspiratorial narrative. It really does represent the worst fringes of a once vibrant and engaging movement.

To overlook homophobia and transphobia, from anyone, because they are a pro-indy voice is to consent to a level of intolerance which is not okay.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it now: I don’t care how good the 'Wee Blue Book' was - Wings should not be glorified, defended or encouraged by and within the Yes movement. 

To overlook homophobia and transphobia, from anyone, because they are a pro-indy voice is to consent to a level of intolerance which is not okay. If we are a movement underpinned by pillars of progress and social justice, then it is our collective duty to stand up for equality, fairness and respect. In this instance, I’m not seeing that.

So as a young, openly gay Yes voter who has spent the last two years of my life campaigning to advance LGBT equality - I’m with Kezia on this one and, constitutional differences aside, you really should be too.

Picture courtesy of Scottish Labour

Look at how important CommonSpace has become, and how vital it is for the future #SupportAReporter



Fri, 07/28/2017 - 12:41

Well said. I find myself being in the strange position of being with Daly, Dugdale, and Mundell on this.


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 12:43

"It’s worth remembering that while David Mundell is a highly public figure, he is also - in this case - the target of Wings’ vitriol, and so his views on the situation are important. Unsurprisingly, he stated at the time that he perceived the comment to be homophobic. As did Dugdale. As do I, and many others from the LGBT community. Notice the trend?"

Yes I do. You're all stupid twats.

steve ellwood's picture

steve ellwood

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 12:51

Being cis/white/straight I recognise my privilege.
I defer to the Wee Ginger Dug - Paul Kavanagh, who does have a dog in this fight:


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 12:58

Many, many people from LGBT community including weegingerdug came out in support of WOS but you choose to only accept the words of people who agree with you. Life doesn't work like that, a lot of what WOS says is his opinion & we all have the right to express our own opinions but the work he does for the Indy movement is not in my opinion (see what I did there) lessened because sometimes he says things I don't agree with. By the way I don't believe his comment was homophobic but that's just my opinion and he is as entitled to use the legal system as anyone else if you don't choose to donate to his crowdfunder that's your choice..... see that's how life works.


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 13:05

By calling this comment homophobic reduces the impact when someone really does say something homophobic and we need to challenge it. Too many times of crying wolf only makes the LGBT community seen as a bunch of moaners. As a gay man, I think his comment was fabulous. Giving witty, destructive and, ultimately, true comment is not prejudice - it is what gay men have been doing for years.


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 13:10

Sadly, Jordan would appear to have one massive chip on his shoulder. He is blinded by his own prejudices, failing to see the reason for litigation. Totally misses the point.


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 13:15

Campbell's comments may have been tasteless and offensive but under analysis I really don't think they were homophobic. Being gay you may consider them to be so but many other gays do not. The court will decide.

Campbell feeds on the controversy that his offensive comments create. He is clearly not a nice person and he seems to have issues. He is a bit like Katie Hopkins et al in this respect. He does a lot of great work that could benefit the independence movement then undoes it all through his failure to understand the overall effect of his more offensive utterings.

Despite the great work and analyses that he does I think the net effect on the independence movement is negative because of his compulsion to offend.


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 13:21

"What makes it more difficult to openly challenge homophobia is when a blogger, who has made a disgusting comment which offended many, opts to publicly march someone to court for speaking out against it."

Well no, because that's not actually what the court case is about. People and politicians are absolutely free to criticise posts that they consider to be offensive - no one is challenging this point. They are not however free to label someone a 'homophobe' in a national newspaper without being subject to the legal challenge of defamation. The courts will decide whether Kezia Dugdale crossed a line or whether she had a demonstrable point: I couldn't care much about that outcome either way.

Jordan Daly is free to support Kezia Dugdale's side in that battle, but is falsely trying to turn a conventional defamation case into what it is not: a LGBT rights or free speech issue. Unless you wish to scrap defamation laws in their entirety then the argument falls apart here, because you don't get to pick and choose which people have the right to defend their reputation in the courts based on their popularity in the blogosphere or whether they hold the same views as your own.

The Quarmby

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 13:24

I've seldom seen a more blatant or pathetic attempt at self-promoting piggy backing than this self-serving tosh from Jordan Daly. I suppose its purpose has been served to an extent, as I'd never heard of the miscreant prior to links to this crap appearing on Indy-supporting social media. Which leads us to the problem. Daly's witterings could be shrugged off as the self-important nonsense of a childish nonentity were it not for the fact that he's allowing the forces of Unionism to use him as a useful idiot in order to do down a vital source of genuine alternative news to the Unionist MSM in Scotland. I suspect Daly's head in his profile pic only appears to sit on his shoulders because it is so far up his own arse that it's come out on top again. But his idiocy, in which he thinks his self-appointed status as an LGBT campaigner is more important than freeing Scotland from pernicious Westminster rule, is manifested in a defence of representatives of the British Establishment in Scotland like Dugdale and Mundell. The evil and the damage that what that pair represent has inflicted on the most vulnerable in Scotland clearly doesn't matter a jot to this self-obsessed young idiot Daly. What an absolute halfwit, who is lending himself to one of the most exploitative propaganda machines going.


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 13:32

I don't have a "compulsion to offend". I'm often rude to people if they say incredibly offensive and untrue things about me, though. Most people react the same way.

On that note, get to fuck with telling someone you've never met or spoken to that they're "clearly not a nice person".


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 14:05

What will be going to court will be a defamation charge against the man behind the tweet - that is Stu Campbell. The question itself will be "was Kezia Dugdale wrong to accuse this man of being a homophobe?", So let's think about this logically. First, and most important question - is the man a homophobe? Well as he has gay friends, has promoted the work of gay activists and supported gay marriage, i'm inlined towards the simple 'No'. I'm sure we all recognise that a homophobe would do none of these things.

Secondly, Was his tweet homophobic? Arguably. And how would one argue that it was? Well a pretty good indicator would be a pattern of homophobic behaviour, an active dislike of homosexuals or attacks against someone because of their sexuality. In this case, none of these conditions are met.

I have (being a straight white male - i know, i know) sympathy with LGBTQ++ for harassment they suffer - but being LGBTQ++ doesn't entitle them to a life without conflict, nor does it relinquish them of responsibility when it comes to actions like dragging independent bloggers into debates like this in an attempt to smear their political opponents - which is what Kezia did. She used and diluted "Homophobic" in order to score political points and slander someone. The LGBTQ++ community should be concerned with this more than anyone else.

High Lander

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 15:57

Is this truly an opinion piece or is it the official position of Common Space on this issue?


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 14:12

"David Mundell is ... - in this case - the target of Wings’ vitriol" Er, how exactly? By suggesting that he should have embraced his sexuality earlier in life? How does that count as vitriol? I think you'll find the target of very sharp vitriol - in this case - was Mundell's son, and the reason for it was his simply awful speechmaking.

Your opinion piece is the most compelling argument as to why any accusation of prejudice shouldn't rest merely on the perception of the person(s) against whom the alleged prejudice has been shown: if they're in a highly charged confrontation with the perpetrator, they're hardly likely to be balanced, rational or fair, and - exactly as has happened in this case - it's a blank cheque to attempt to score heavy political damage with a cheap shot. As others have noted, the real damage is that it undermines the real fight against these prejudices.

High Lander

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 14:11

I agree that the intrinsic humour of the statement seems to have been completely overlooked - it was a joke and really quite a funny one at that. If you drill right down into the meaning of that joke, it is not homophobic. These matters often boil down to semantics and I strongly suspect WOS's legal advice is that he has a very high chance of winning this case. He's a shrewd operator and wouldn't have escalated the matter if he thought he was going to lose.

WOS' uncharacteristic rant about trans folk on the other hand is not one I'd ever agree with. Maybe he'd had too much wine, maybe he was having a bad day, who knows. The important thing is that it's a separate issue and legally is irrelevant to this dispute.

Will Common Space afford Stuart a right to reply by publishing his own article in response to this one?

Clarence Boddicker

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 14:25

Sorry, but I think this article is pretty weak. I've yet to see anyone actually give a serious argument that the tweet in question was homophobic, and I can't see anything in this article that manages to change that.

To take your reasons in turn, you first say:

"to insidiously use an openly gay politician’s sexuality as a weapon - with the intention of insulting his son - is, to my interpretation, homophobia."

The 'insidiously' here is question-begging, so I'll take it that your claim is that using someone's (presumably a homomsexual's) sexuality as an argumentative weapon (by which I take it you mean something like 'using it to make a pointed criticism') is always homophobic, and so this particular instance is homophobic. You don't give an argument for this, but it's clearly false in any case. You use your own sexuality in this article to argue against Wings, and Kezia used it in parliament to distract from her party's difficulties. Does this make you homophobes? It seems not, to me.

The next thing you do is compare his comment to calling a t-shirt 'gay' or jokingly calling a friend a 'poof'. These cases are clearly problematic, but you don't do anything to show that these are relevantly similar to the Wings tweet. An obvious apparent difference is that, in both the t-shirt and 'poof' cases, homosexuality is implicitly a bad thing.

You then go on to claim, rather than argue, that if we don't treat the Wings tweet as homophobic, and condemn his defamation case, we'll end up accepting lots of other homophobic tweets and a proliferation of spurious defamation cases. This is just a straightforward slippery slope fallacy. *Why* will it lead to these things?

Finally, you suggest that, because he's said something trans-phobic in the past, we should take the present case to be homophobic. That's just blatant nonsense. Even granting the transphobia of his previous tweets (which is disputable), that does nothing at all to show that this tweet is homophobic.

The reason Wings Over Scotland is (and should be) supported is that it does a better job than anyone else in the Yes movement at rigorously (and with proper citations) critiquing the misleading claims made by the MSM and politicians like Kezia Dugdale and others. By endorsing her rubbish, you're facilitating her attempts to avoid proper scrutiny.


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 14:26

The independence movement needs to clean up its act. I don't feel welcome when people gloss over the homophobia and transphobia of Wings Over Scotland. The cause cannot be more important than people. Here's an example of his transphobia


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 14:40

That's not "transphobia", that's someone asking a genuine question. What's your answer to it?


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 14:41

Are CS and its contributors now the self-appointed arbiters of what is appropriate and legal now?

I remember a certain woman getting her arse handed to her when she waded into an argument about what constituted racism. Now that those erroneous standards are being applied regarding sexual politics CS has taken the same hypocritical stance. ie Only 'we' decide what constitutes offensive behaviour or language.

Well, you do not in this case and make no mistake 'you' are doing as much damage to Independence as those you accuse with your holier than thou approach. As to what constitutes a nice person, have you seen who your recent comments have resonated with? I would not want to associate with Spanner, Historywoman etc but that is who you have now become inextricably linked with.

Clarence Boddicker

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 14:43

It's not at all clear that tweet is transphobic.

Working out what, if any, difference there is between arguments in favour of accepting transgender identities and arguments in favour of transracial ones is difficult, and there's room for reasonable disagreement about it. An article was recently published (admittedly to great controversy) in a major feminist journal, Hypatia, arguing that transracialism ought to be as acceptable as transgenderism.


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 14:49

If you refuse to use the correct pronouns, you are saying to me that you do not think trans women are women or that trans men are men. Further still, you feel the need to make sure the trans person knows you do not accept their identity. That tweet is transphobic, I assure you.


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 14:53

We've had this debate, you blocked me. You do not get a do over. Your attempt at redefining the word transphobia is an attempt at removing the language I use to describe the discrimination my community suffers. To recap, WoS refused to use the correct pronouns for a trans person and he then compared being trans to identifying as a different race. This is who you are defending.

Clarence Boddicker

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 14:54

Ah. I thought your issue was with the racial comparison. I think trans women are women, and trans men are men, but I don't think disagreeing necessarily makes you transphobic.


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 14:56

There is one single person who claims to identify as a different race while trans people have existed all through history. There is a huge body of scientific evidence supporting transgender identities and treatments. There is no mechanism by which someone could have the identity of a different race.


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 15:00

I think it's pretty clear that Stu's comments were not homophobic. Homophobia really isn't whatever we feel it is, and indeed if we try to define it as such the word loses all meaning as the inevitable conflicting feelings on the part of those who are gay/bi would render the word redundant. Indeed the language we use is defined, and homophobia is generally defined as contempt/prejudice/aversion/hatred of gay people, so the question here would be whether it's inherently any of these things to use the fact that David Mundell would not have been living with a wife and having kids with her if he had come out as a young man (not least as part of a joke where the punchline was only derogatory towards Oliver Mundell’s speaking skills). I think the judge will likely rule in Stu's favour as it seems eminently clear that no matter how tasteless people may find this kind of humour, there is nothing about it that fulfils the definition of homophobia. And anyone who has had any kind of ongoing connection with Stu, even just online, would be clear that he is no homophobe and really is a compassionate person.

But this piece also attempts to smear his readers, working as a shame piece, and tying in Stu's controversial comments on gender in it’s attempt to do this. So I think it's important to say that while I disagree with Stu re gender, I accept that it's his right to decide how he personally understands (what I consider to be the construct of) gender.

I'm bisexual, and I've known people who, due to their faith, view my sexuality as a kind of harmful confusion. But they respect my right to be who I am in the world, i.e. they don't try to infringe on my rights just because they understand sexuality different to me; in other words they uphold us as equals and respect my rights as they do their own. There are of course those who do try to infringe on the rights of others, i.e. they are prescriptive, they think their views should take precedence over others and affect their ability to live their lives. This is totally different, and i would certainly agree this at the very least constitutes contempt and discrimination, and in the case of sexuality it would be homophobic. And this is the thing, Stu's comments re transgender identity, while i understand they have been hurtful to many who feel they are fighting an uphill battle to simply be recognised for who they are, are not in themselves transphobic. Of course he will understand gender whichever way *makes sense to him*, to argue any different would be tantamount to demanding mind control - i.e. it's just not rooted in reality. People think for themselves, they rationalise, understand and believe in the ways they do. What Stu doesn't do is demand that others share his views, or that others lose their rights in any way. He doesn't place himself above anyone, he’s not prescriptive in any way, nor does he try to convince anyone to share his views, he just wants to be able to have his right to his own understanding respected (I can’t speak for him obviously, I’m just going on what I’ve observed).

People disagree, including on areas deeply personal. The answer to this isn't intolerance, in fact it's quite the opposite. At some point we need to accept that others don’t exist to validate us(!). As such I would hope that we are educating our young people to understand the genuine differences between hateful + destructive acts, and those instances where people simply have a different view/understanding; this is tolerance, and it’s also the best way to breed the strength to be secure in our own self-worth, in my opinion.


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 15:02

I’d just like to offer my congratulations to the righteous left for doing the work of the establishment once again with this crap. Please conveniently forget that the poisonous little Tory and his father WOS offended would likely brand Left wing and/or Indy supporters enemies of the state and silence you if they could get away with it, who knows what’ll happen once the UK’s out of the EU and sucking up to the US in this respect.

The tweet/joke wasn’t homophobic and should only have been offensive to the Mundells. I’m sure he wasn’t (it was a joke!) but so what if WOS was actually wishing the younger of the two hadn’t been born. The Mundells are horrible people out to do nothing but improve their standing and the standing of their equals or betters, try not to forget that!

As for Dugdale, she should have been fired the morning after the GE, not only for her continued incompetence but for allowing her own party’s voting rules to be broken so blatantly. If Dugdale loses I’m sure she won’t have to pick up the bill and it’ll just be one more bloody nose to add to her ever growing collection.

Love or hate WOS it is still the best source of info for Indy supporters, with a few exceptions the rest seem to have fallen UP their own arseholes with their various brands of 'my left is better than your left' – well done, I’m sure your efforts will be rewarded with your own little special spot in the Union hell we’re all heading to…

Clarence Boddicker

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 15:04

How do you know there's only one person? Is it okay to oppress people, so long as there's only a small group of them? There's a lot of scientific evidence to the effect that many people identify themselves as trans, but whether trans women are women, or trans men are men, is a philosophical issue about how we understand those concepts.

Not sure what you mean by 'mechanism' here, but it sounds like the sort of thing someone who endorses the idea of transracialism would call question-begging. It does have a bit of a whiff of the sort of thing folk used to say about transgender people. You should read the Hypatia article.

I do accept transgender identities, and I don't accept transracial ones, but I don't think the matter is straightforward, and I don't think anyone who disagrees is necessarily a bigot.

Jim O'Rourke

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 15:05

Jordan Daly is of course absolutely to express any opinion he likes wherever and whenever he can get anyone to pay attention to him.
But whatever opinion he expresses is just that - his opinion.
As it happens I disagree with his opinion on Stuart Campbell and on Kezia Dugdale's role in this stooshie.
The point I took from the tweet Daly objects to was that Mundell Jr's abilities as a public speaker leave a lot to be desired. I saw no judgement of the fact of Mundell Snr's sexuality. Dugdale was cynically attempting to attack one of the most effective pro-indy bloggers we have and the one that is arguably the best at de-bunking unionist myths and exposing their lies and contradictions. Wings has a great record in showing the reality that reveals the smears and outright untruths that come so easily from the likes of Dugdale and other unionists for what they really are.
From my perspective, it seems abundantly clear that Dugdale was attempting to silence one of the main sources of clarification on the lies, half-truths, contradictions, errors, mistakes and general calamities that litter her public interactions. So I see her actions as cynical and self serving.
Of course, this is just my opinion.
Far from agreeing with Daly (or Angela Haggerty, for that matter) that indy supporters should in some way stop reading Wings over Scotland, I will continue to visit the site. I consider it quite unique and one of the best pro-indy websites. Few other websites, blogs or online journals are so meticulous in providing references to back up their claims. I doubt even many Labour supporters would accuse Dugdale of being meticulous in any area.
I have no idea what Jordan Daly's political perspective is. However, in the circumstances, I don't rule out the possibility that his wish to silence Stuart Campbell is more politically motivated than ethically driven. And, once again, I'm exercising my right to express my views and wishes in a public forum, just like Jordan.


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 15:14

Transphobia retains its meaning, you don't get redefine it. Misgendering and disrespecting trans people is a hateful act. If I went round misgendering cis people I bet they wouldn't chalk it up to a minor difference or opinion.


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 15:56

The comment may be in "bad taste" but the bad taste is about (pretending to) wish someone dead. There is no anti-gay payload

I should repeat "pretending to" wish someone dead. Anyone with half a brain can see it's a joke. It is not particularly unusual or remarkable in the context of what is said by prominent commentators on both sides of the independence debate.

Perhaps you think the standard of debate needs to be raised (god knows I do although I'm more concerned about factual accuracy than questions of taste) but then you must accept a responsibility to complain equally about all the guilty parties and not single out individuals for special treatment.

To be homophobic, you would have to display bias of some kind for example by making insulting or derogatory comments about gays or treating people differently in some way because they are gay. It seems a bit farcical to claim that simply mentioning someone's homosexuality is inherently anti-gay.

In a strange kind of way this itself carries a whiff of homophobia. The clear implication is that homosexuality is something to be ashamed of, something which must never be mentioned.

I'm fully in favour of speaking up against all forms of bias. Perhaps Stuart Campbell has made genuinely homophobic comments of which I am not aware but the Mundell tweet is not one of them.

The real issue here is of Scotland's desperately awful unionist politicians and their manipulative contempt for truthful political discourse. They will literally say and do anything to attack their opponents or gain an advantage - and then say something else again the week after. I wish we could prosecute them for lying more often.


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 15:56

I've only heard of one person identifying as a different race. This wasn't a good faith comparison. He was trying to ridicule people like me by comparing our entire community to the only woman who identifies as a different race. I don't have a horse in the trans racial argument, why do I need to debate this to justify my identity?


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 15:59

Far too narrow to be defined as Transphobia just as the implied Homophobic comment is incorrect.
One limited pic of one exchange is not enough, are there any others you can produce ?
Wings certainly has plenty of supportive claims on behalf of Homosexuality on his website so it goes against the grain in his view of people expressing themselves for what they are and being allowed to do so by such means as marriage for example.
He spoke out on behalf of that while acknowledging it might be a vote loser for the SNP, but agreed they "should do the right thing" even if it did cost votes.

He might be an aggressive and cheeky guy (on paper) but don't confuse that with Homo or Transphobic attitude taken out of context.


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 16:02

Misgendering a trans person on purpose and comparing being trans to identifying as a different race isn't transphobia? It's not even the first time it's happened, his transphobia is well known by now.


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 16:24

Everyone is confused about gender - even many who see themselves as progressive. As best we know, there is no such thing as an inherently "male" mind or "female" mind just one human mind* and a broad spectrum of human characteristics. The concept of gender (apart from the obvious differences in reproductive physiology) is essentially a meme, the result of relentless social conditioning.

The implications are that men and women are not merely "different but equal": they are entirely equal. Also, it makes little sense from a scientific perspective to talk about changing gender, or multiple categories of gender, if there is no such thing as gender in the first place. Instead we should simply be encouraging people to be exactly as human as they already are regardless of what might normally be deemed appropriate for their traditionally-perceived "gender".

*in terms of cognitive abilities: there are some physiological differences but no-one has shown male/female brains are different in ways which are both (a) innate not developmental and (b) relate to differences in cognitive ability.


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 16:26

I hope I get called called to the stand as a lesbian who knows Rev Stu personally. To call him homophobic is beyond ridiculous and at best, grasping. At least he'll owe me a drink then.

As did Dugdale. As do I, and many others from the LGBT community. Notice the trend?
"many others from the LGBT community." Well this is easily fixed. Absolute loads of us from the LGBTQ community are in no way offended. You're welcome.


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 16:28

Is this wee boy Jordan just trying to attract some attention for himself from the whole farce? Perhaps Wings should add him to the case, he'd get more attention that way.


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 16:25

I find this "go at Wings" unacceptable, I feel it's more to massage the writer's ego than anything else........This is only the second** that has been against Mr Campbell.........The other one was a certain Ralph Malph in the Herald
Mr O'Rourke's post says it all in his Last Paragraph

** Excluding the Scotsman


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 16:27

WOS is going to lose this action, and in all likelihood be on the hook for Kezia's legal fees as well.

Kezia's legal team will present a defence of veritas – that her statement was true. Simply put, the comment made by Rev Stu was homophobic. To use a gay person's sexuality as a means of making a joke or comment at their or someone else's expense is homophobic. It's embarrassing in this day and age that people are unwilling to recognise that. We still have some way to go. In fact, one benefit of this court case is that it will ultimately help to show that we are not a society which will tolerate the attitude that it's acceptable and fair game to use a person's sexuality as a weapon against them.

As a back up defence, in the incredibly unlikely event that the defence of veritas is not accepted, Kezia's legal team will present a defence of fair comment. The defence of “fair comment” in Scotland protects honestly held comments or opinions based on fact. The fact is, Rev Stu made a homophobic comment (in addition to transphobic comments made in the past). It was therefore reasonable for Kezia to hold the opinion and make the comment that he is a homophobe. After all, a person who repeatedly makes homophobic comments is, well… a homophobe. Even if the court is unwilling to make a ruling itself that Rev Stu is a homophobe, there's no question that they'll accept it was an honest comment to make.

This case is entirely without merit and under normal circumstances any law firm would advise Rev Stu not to proceed with it – after all, he's made sure his homophobia has been publicised far more widely than it ever would have been as a result of Kezia's comment alone, and he will incur significant expense pursuing this dead end. But these are not normal circumstances; Rev Stu has built his brand on bad publicity, and will profit from this action regardless of the outcome. He's done enough damage to his own personal reputation that drawing attention to these unsavoury comments in particular will have little effect. Morever, having crowdfunded his expenses (since there are, apparently, people willing to part with their hard earned cash for the express purpose of enabling a homophobe to hound a gay woman through the courts), the cost will be of little consequence to him.

I have little I would ever wish to say to Rev Stu, who is not a person I consider worthy of anything but contempt. But for those people here expressing their willingness to turn a blind eye to the disgusting attitudes WOS has represented for the sake of furthering the cause of independence, I suggest that we follow our own motto and start to live as though we were in the early days of better nation. Independence is a movement built on progressive, tolerant and inclusive values. Don’t abandon these essential ideologies for the sake of cheap, short term publicity.


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 16:47

Could you all move over so that I can get my feet on the point of the needle you all appear to be trying to dance on.
Let me repeat the words of Jimmy Reid who said " I'm not concerned what people do when they're in their bed, it's what they do when they get out their bed that concerns me"

My feeling is that the class that oppresses us all would cheerfully allow us to tear ourselves to shreds over these issues as long as we let them get on with their business.

We should perhaps try to focus our attention on something more important than our genitalia and what we do with it and try to get on with looking at trivial matters such as preventing the world from slipping into thermo nuclear holocaust, global environmental catastrophe, poverty, famine and war.

Just saying like.......


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 16:53

Sorry, totally disagree. If you look at it with the forensic, legal, eye (which will now occur) it is not homophobic, it is nasty, tasteless and well...Wings but it is not homophobic. That's kind of his point, he has in the past stood up for gay rights, posting many positive tweets/articles about gay issues. He also, can be a bit of a twat but a harmless twat. We need people like Wings and the sterling work and lazer like analysis that he does.
I'm sorry you feel it's homophobic but I fear people like the DUP should be more in your target because they ARE homohobic and have a hell of a lot more power currently than Wings.


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 16:54

Anything to substantiate that claim Lisa ?

I suggest you are reading into his statement things that are clearly not there, certainly the limited pic you provided was of little significance to your claim that he transphobic.
If so "well known" where is the evidence to support that ?


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 16:55

Are you trying to undermine the biological basis for trans people to justify the transphobia of wings over Scotland?

You haven't interpreted the paper correctly/honestly, I know because I've actually read it. But why do you think this conversation is appropriate in this context?


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 16:58

Look at the screenshot. He misgenders a trans person and compares being trans to identifying as a different race. Is it transphobic to misgender and compare being trans to identifying as a different race? I want to know what you actually class as transphobia.


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 17:00

The best reason yet,but not the only one,to get rid of Gugdale.


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 17:07

DC.... I think you need to separate your dislike of the Rev and the reality of what he said.
Don't let any kind of hatred or dislike change the way you look at something; undoubtedly there are homosexuals who are in support of Wings on this so it is clearly not a cut and dried issue for certain.

His publicity is definitely not short term, and while his comment may have been vitriolic or nasty and rude ( as he accepts) it was not homophobic.

The explanation of his comment identifies these points and there are a whole host of related issues to the scenario.
Why are the Mundells not taking action ?
Oliver would want to defend his dad surely ? But it wasn't aimed at his was at him !
David would want to defend his sexuality surely ? But he is proud of his sexuality ...hence coming out to the world ..and importantly...his wife and family.

It is this point that Wings highlights .... the fact that for years David Mundell (unhappily ) was in the closet as a hidden gay man.
"Coming out" was not only an occasion of joy but of sadness and heartbreak ... wonder if David Mundell coming out earlier would have been of benefit to himself and his wife and family ...maybe they suspected it all along.

Given that scenario is the situation the comment is based upon.

I know children who have been adversely affected by their parents unhappiness and hidden sexuality and benefitted when the truth came out.

Isn't it the case that the Truth sets you free ? It was for Mundell ... adding weight to the joke (or nasty cheap comment) by Wings.

Wings has nothing to defend here other than a questionable taste in jokes or a real aptitude for dagger like wit to get to the heart of the matter...however uncomfortable.

I suggest it is this very aptitude Wings is renowned for and reviled in equal measure by the opposing sides.


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 17:08

Can you explain why it's different, other than - irony of ironies - dismissing one of them because they're a smaller minority?


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 17:08

Fifish taxi driver.. long time reader of wings sometime reader of ginger dug, wildernessofpeace scotgoespop GAponsonby occasional reader of Bella and common space.
Socialist, nationalist .. brought my daughters up to be independent.
I will vote socialist in an independent Scotland.
Read 2 paragraphs of this guff before registering to make this point:
Are you talking to me?


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 17:12

Why do I have to argue for or against people who identify as a different race? What's it got to do with me?


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 17:16

Because you're the one rubbishing them in order to get out of a position you can't defend, like the massive hypocrite you are.


Fri, 07/28/2017 - 17:18

I do not have a horse in that race. It has nothing to do with me. Why do I have to argue for or against a position that does not impact me to justify my identity?

Clarence Boddicker

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 17:25

You don't have to have a view on transracialism, and you don't have to justify your identity to anyone. But if you use an example of someone asking about the difference between transgenderism and transracialism to demonstrate their clear transphobia, you have to justify your claim that it's actually transphobic.

CommonSpace journalism is completely free from the influence of advertisers and is only possible with your continued support. Please contribute a monthly amount towards our costs. Build the Scotland you want to live in - support our new media.