…of the Press & Journal.
Dear Mr Bates,
In a little over three years of monitoring the Scottish media, I’ve ceased to be surprised by the publishing of blatant mistruths, nor by the inadequate journalistic standards that see people made the victim of inaccurate smear attacks without being asked for a comment on the story. Nevertheless I must make the effort to give you the opportunity to correct your error.
Our petition was in fact launched in September as a satirical response to Gordon Brown hijacking another petition in order to call for the people of Scotland to demand something that Mr Brown had already pledged to personally guarantee them.
It used the caustic, irreverent tone and language that’s a commonly-noted characteristic of the people of Scotland, and plainly reflected the feelings of at least 13,000 people who signed it. I couldn’t give any less of a toss what Willie Rennie, a fourth-placed regional list candidate from a minor fringe party without a single mainland constituency MSP in Scotland, thinks about it.
Nevertheless, while people are perfectly free to selectively object to certain words from the dictionary being used to hurt the feelings of a man partly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of human beings and who spent the referendum campaign touring Scotland to frighten pensioners and the sick with lies, that does not give your newspaper the right to publish lies.
Wings Over Scotland has never carried an article on the Hillsborough disaster, nor has it run ‘highly contentious pieces directed at unionist supporters’. We freely attack politicians, who are fair targets, but not ordinary members of the public. We’ve already extracted thousands of pounds in damages from other Scottish newspapers for publishing similar defamatory falsehoods about us on these subjects.
Finally, I am not a member of the SNP and never have been, and have never even voted for the party. Nicola Sturgeon has no responsibility for or control over me whatsoever, and would be told where to go if she tried to dictate the contents of my website. If you must smear me with lies, kindly at least do not drag the First Minister of our country into them.
I look forward to your published correction.
Rev. Stuart Campbell
Editor, Wings Over Scotland
Still, it’s nice to know that petitions actually work sometimes, eh?