First off, I think Stuart Campbell aka RevStu of Wings Over Scotland is an idiot. A ridiculous buffoon who is a living embodiment of the adage of what happens when someone merely thought of as a fool opens his moosh. A pathological tribalist. A truly ignorant – in the pejorative sense as opposed to forgivable lack of knowledge of a specific topic – individual who, when he encounters summat he does not fully understand (which happens often), reacts with snarling aggression and scorn: one who is wont to blunder into a conversation to spk hiss branes only to be comprehensively refut/rubbished (again, summat which happens often), where he responds with histrionically outrage. Someone whose political expressions are more visceral and reflexive than intellectually considered, and instinctively demonstrative of an analogue of ugly nationalist bigotry.
An opportunistic nihilist desperately trying to recreate the drachm of relevance he had during the days of Cannon Fodder 2.
Not to mince my words.
Specifically, this manifests itself as an often tearful online support for an independent Scotland which strikes as less principled support for self-determination and social democracy than a Kevin the Teenage like crush on the allure of power with the corollary of disdain of the weak: such as Welshes.
Furthermore, his soi disant status as monitor of the Scottish print and broadcast media has been rather hindered by his not always knowing which newspapers are published here. And the whole thing is rather let-down by his residing deep in enemy territory.
All the same, I would concede the second point if he has property or assets secured in Scotland: perhaps at the chapel for the Jedi Church in which he appears to be a fully ordained priest.
That said, I was not expecting his most recent brainfart which in which he led his infantry section from 1 Bn. KEYBOARDS against an OP Banner veteran and former General Office Commanding in Scotland whom he shot down as being overly sensitive at a Scottish Government minister’s disseminating online his home contact details, and that it is acceptable for anyone – let alone a Scottish Government minister who has additional expectations of probity – to do so.
This refers to a Lt. Col. Sir Norman Arthur who recently sent speculative letters to those who biographical details were listed in Who’s Who 2013 seeking financial donations to the pro-NO Better Together campaign, which he opened with an admission that not all recipients would share his position.
The Good Reverend tells us:
It’s just lucky the IRA didn’t have Twitter, or things might have been different.
True enough. That said, the Provos and – their equivalent minus the humanity – INLA, not to mention Red Hand Loonies (which numpties like the Good Reverend habitually ‘mistake’ for Unionists-as-in-NO-supports) may well not have had Twitter. They did, however, know where people lived.
Step forward Roseanne Cunningham who, in her role as Scottish Government Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs has been behind the Offensive Behaviour at Football Grounds Act 2012, and would extend its ambit to Internet forums.
Although, despite the meme that Scotland is a naturally inclusive and tolerant nation, we do have an inglorious and not-too distant history of sectarianism which, at its milder end, would see even five year olds at non Roman Catholic schools clamour for blue pencils and reject green ones as I recall classmates of mine doing: as such, my favourite colour was red and I claimed to support Aberdeen FC.
So, some official action most definitely is needed. Many, however, have objected to the nebulous and sledgehammer approach of the Act. Tychy discussed it and other tendencies towards prurience by the SNP: and, I see that he has almost as high an opinion of the Good Reverend as I do.
Alas, Cunningham was not objecting to Arthur’s mining Who’s Who which is an argument I would have listened to. She twotted his letter with non-redacted home contact details. The result has been his being contacted directly with language which, although less severe than dodging AK-47 fire and pipe-bombs, still is pretty juicy and potentially more severe than the last time one of the Good Reverend brethren was accosted in the street by Darth Vader. Plus, this time it includes potentially his property and family.
Arthur has delivered a direct complaint to the Scottish Government. Although Cunningham has deleted the twit – suggesting a realization that it was inappropriate – standard SNP recourse to criticism. In my experience, this either is lies or vituperation.
She appears to have gone for the latter by dismissing this as a round robin letter through which Arthur chose to make available his contact details. (Although the letter seemed more a mail-shot than round robin, I will put that down to forgivable ignorance rather than conscious lie.)
Following this reasoning, it would be acceptable for amenities companies to pass-on the customer lists to third parties. Hardly. I am on the management committee of several community groups, and as such have access to members’ contact details. I would not countenance – or get away with – bandying their details about because of stuff like data protection legislation. Even when I am e-mailing everyone, I use the BCC option.
A public figure – and definitely an MSP, albeit a glorified and superannuated local Councillor and over-promoted mediocrity as many MSPs seem to be, never mind Government minister – is bound by even tighter restrictions and codes of conduct. Add to that the instant recourse to aggression which her actions precipitated.
Just because the target is a seasoned soldier does not provide mitigation for such conduct, especially from a Government minister involved with legislation intended to militate sectarian abuse and stalking. One might as well ridicule efforts to curb street vandalism because there are murderers and rapists out there.
Back to the Good Reverend, who has repeated the publicizing of Arthur’s contact details which even Cunningham has implicitly disavowed herself from. His reasoning is that they are available freely online. Yet, in support of this, he links to a cache’d copy of a third party website which strikes as manifestly different from open access official lists.
When he first ran on the letter a few days ago, the Good Reverend was dismissive enough of Arthur but still thought it prudent to redact contact details. Note also the mea culpa in which he admits to having overlooked earlier reports in the Sunday Times because it was filed under UK rather than Scottish news: an odd admission for someone identifying himself as a watchman of Scottish media which may not be parochial and insular all the time. Presumably this was a a nod towards my earlier link to his apparently not knowing the distinction between the Times and Sunday Times or that the latter has had a Scottish edition since the 20th Century.
Yet now he has switched his plodding coffee morning mind because Cunningham has done so. This leads me to see him as a follower not a doer, someone entranced by the office of political power rather than adherence to any sense of fellow fellingness towards his flock.
This is my Scotland, my belovèd country. The land of George Buchanan and David Hume and Adam Smith and Billy Connolly. One which resisted the pressures of Canterbury and York in the Early Medieval period to produce a diocese which was the direct Daughter of Rome and independent Episcopalian Church: the antecedent of the current Scottish Episcopal Church. The Crofters’ Party. The producer of Red Clydeside as well as being an integral part of 20th Century Conservatism and the Labour movement not to mention rural Liberalism as seen with the last Liberal minister from 1945 to 2010: namely, Archibald Sinclair later Viscount Thurso; the grandfather of my current MP, and Winston Churchill’s batman whose fizzog presents itself to me every time I leave the front door.
An endless source of case studies for the effects of alcohol abuse, and above average E. coli infection arising our love of processed meat.