About two years too late, the Yes Scotland campaign has started to distance itself from controversial pro-independence blog Wings over Scotland, run by a Bath based individual who describes himself as “Rev” Stuart Campbell.
The Courier reports that Yes Scotland has asked its Edinburgh Group to stop distributing leaflet that invites people to look at Wings.
This is not just an Edinburgh thing though. I don’t live in Edinburgh and I had a Yes newspaper delivered with this leaflet inside:
Interestingly, the leaflet itself has no imprint, so we have no idea who produced it. All I know is that it came inside the paper.
A member of Liberal Democrat staff also had a Yes canvasser at his door recommend that he check out Wings because the mainstream media was biased.
And, of course, last week Alex Salmond’s Special Adviser Campbell Gunn got away with telling lies about Better Together campaigner Clare Lally in an email to the Telegraph from his official email address. Those lies bore a remarkable similarity to an inaccurate story that had appeared on Wings that very morning. I’d love to know how much of their time Government Special Advisers spent looking at this site from their official equipment, but even if we did FOI it, the Government wouldn’t respond. They have serious form on that.
The reason Yes has acted now is after Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone complained about this article in which he was variously described as “sewer-dwelling vermin” and an “ar*****e”.
Yes should have been worried long before now, though. There’s been plenty cause. Here are a few examples:
There was the time “Rev Stu” did me over for suggesting that being in the UK gave us more influence in the world to tackle violence against women and girls. “Vote yes for global rape” was not how I put it and is not how I would put it. Conservative leader Ruth Davidson got the same treatment when she had the temerity to suggest the same thing.
This post is truly bizarre. Apparently, because Danish women are less amenable to an idiot’s manipulative attempts at seduction, then women in Scotland should vote for independence. He’s not really much of a fan of feminists, though.
He also suffers from Galloping Transphobia as this Twitter tirade on Chelsea Manning shows, earning him A Thousand Flowers’ “Weekly W*****” award.
One of his lowest points came in 2012 when he posted this mock up Better Together poster which was at the very best in appalling taste. And when Willie Rennie tackled him on it, Rev Stu told him to “Go f*** himself.”
It’s clear that the alarm bells should have been ringing in Yes Scotland’s HQ about this character long before now. They should have proactively been ensuring that there could be no link between Wings and them.
Oh, and just as a bit of a bonus, here’s what he was up to last week. He said he couldn’t find any examples of any abuse of Clare Lally, the mum and Better Together activist who was vilified online. I helped him out – by pointing him to the comments site of, er, Wings over Scotland where she was variously described as a fool, an idiot, a liar and was accused of exploiting her disabled daughter for political purposes.
There are people who present the nationalist cause well and are worth reading. Peat Worrier and Kate Higgins will always make you think and they conduct themselves with engaging decorum and in the case of the former, a fair bit of mischievous humour that actually is funny. If Yes is looking for good people to promote, then they should start with these two.