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A tissue of fair comments

Posted on April 19, 2019 by

Most of the on-the-spot media reporting of the judgement in our court case against Kezia Dugdale on Wednesday was pretty fair and straightforward news coverage. The majority of pieces accurately and prominently mentioned the fact that the sheriff had found that I wasn’t a homophobe and that Dugdale’s article in the Daily Record which had claimed that I was WAS both untrue and defamatory.

(Some readers objected to headlines claiming that Dugdale had been “victorious”, but the strict legal fact is that she had.)

But it didn’t take long for the press to recover its composure and revert to type.

A comment piece in today’s Herald is probably the peak so far.

Anyone reading the introductory paragraphs to Mark Smith’s ambitiously dishonest column would inescapably conclude that Sheriff Ross had found that the tweet at the heart of the case WAS homophobic.

Smith – seemingly still bearing a grudge over being “abused” in the only article we’ve ever written about him, way back in 2013 – sets up the case expressly as a battle over whether the tweet was homophobic and then concludes that Dugdale won and I lost. The only conclusion it would be possible for a reasonable person to reach from that is that the sheriff had ruled the tweet to be homophobic.

But in fact the precise opposite is true:

Ironically the online version of the piece is headlined “Look carefully at the Wings Over Scotland judgement”, advice Mark Smith should perhaps have taken himself. The rest of the column is the sort of dull-witted, hypocritical cant we’ve long come to expect from the paper’s cut-price David Torrance substitute and we won’t bother with it here.

Smith’s assertion of what the case was about – whether a tweet met the definition of homophobia or not – was also strongly at odds with someone else’s: Kezia Dugdale.

Dugdale’s column making that bizarre claim in the Scotsman was one of several to appear in newspapers. None asked me to present my side of the story. (Indeed, the only paper to ask me for any sort of comment rather than just trawling my tweets was the Herald. I gave them an extensive one, none of which was used.)

Her attempts to present the verdict as a free-speech victory for the ordinary Joe or Joanna in the street who happens to be the leader of a political party with a newspaper column and regular national TV platform and hundreds of thousands of pounds in backing from Labour members (who were never given a say in the matter) and huge media corporations are nothing if not audacious.

It will, however, be interesting to see if anyone takes the new blank cheque to defame anyone you feel like which the judgement provides – as long as you can convince a sheriff that you’re an idiot – and uses it against members of oppressed minority groups like the one Dugdale belongs to (and no, we don’t mean Scottish Labour), and what the reaction will be if they do.

Smith’s only serious competition for the most disingenuous and partisan coverage came from a lachrymose sob-story puff-piece in the Daily Record by Anna Burnside, in which she professed to paint “the full picture” of the case by, um, only speaking to one of the two people involved, in a spread she admitted (on the John Beattie show later that day) to having written most of long in advance of the sheriff’s verdict.

The article was ironically riddled with defamatory falsehoods of its own, of the sort the Record now presumably feels emboldened to get away with scot-free, as well as lavish screeds of simple rambling drivel:

I got the blame for Dugdale becoming estranged from her father – something in fact due entirely to her own actions – and Dugdale was portrayed as the poor bullied victim in the case, despite being found to have defamed someone and being by far the person with the most money, the most power and the biggest media platform.

Blaming other people for her own actions was something of a theme, as was also seen on Scotland Tonight‘s segment on the story on Wednesday evening.

The package featured a minute-long filmed monologue from Dugdale at the beginning (1m 20s into the above clip) in which she extraordinarily blamed the courts for the time and cost of the case. There was nothing at all from me, although I’d recorded a phone interview with Bernard Ponsonby earlier that day.

(A single sentence of it was used on STV’s teatime news report. Reporting Scotland sent a local cameraman to Bath to film a piece, some of which appeared on air.)

But the time and cost of the case were both entirely Dugdale’s responsibility. She ignored our attempts to settle it without going to court, wasted a year on an unsuccessful and vastly expensive attempt to have the claim thrown out without a hearing, and hired a string of supercostly senior QCs (which we then had to hire senior counsel to match, although our costs for the first hearing were still less than a quarter of Dugdale’s) when both sides could have employed humbler representation. She also tried to – entirely needlessly – have the case heard at the far more expensive Court Of Session rather than the Sheriff Court.

The Scotland Tonight segment was disappointing in numerous ways. Ponsonby and media lawyer David McKie both heavily downplayed the sheriff’s findings that I wasn’t a homophobe and that Dugdale had defamed me, with McKie relegating them to the sheriff’s mere “opinion”, rather than what they were – formal legal findings of facts.

Ponsonby also opined that he’d have been very interested to learn what legal advice I’d received with regard to bringing the case, which was odd as he hadn’t thought to ask about it when he’d been speaking to me on the phone just a few hours earlier.

(For the record I was advised of all the possible defences including fair comment, but told that we had a strong case and that the likelihood, though by no means whatsoever a guarantee, was that we’d win. Given the sheriff’s findings we’re still rather perplexed as to why we didn’t.)

Thursday’s media review on the John Beattie show featured by far the fairest, most balanced and nuanced coverage, as well as having Anna Burnside on. Regular pundit Eamonn O’Neill and Beattie himself discussed the case, the verdict and its ramifications in fascinating and mostly well-informed detail.

(The John Beattie Show, BBC Radio Scotland, 28 March 2019)

We’re sure there’ll be more to come, although the nation’s commentariat has been strangely reticent on the subject to date despite its rather juicy nature in a very dull period for Scottish political news, perhaps because some of the more intelligent columnists might feel obliged to present events in a rather more truthful manner than the likes of Mark Smith and Anna Burnside.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, it did stir the Telegraph’s dusty old dinosaur Alan Cochrane, who we’d entirely forgotten existed, briefly out of his slumbers to apparently blame us directly for the decline in political discourse, as nobody in politics had ever said anything a bit mean before we came along.

And of course there were comments from all our biggest fans in the Yes community.

But that’s all we intend to say on the case for now, pending advice from our legal team with regard to costs and a potential appeal. As things stand, were Dugdale to be awarded her costs as well as us paying our own, the Wings Fighting Fund could take a very significant hit (quite possibly into six figures), and an appeal, if undertaken and lost, would push that sum higher still.

Depending on the advice received, we’ll put the decision to you, our readers, on how to move forward. If an appeal is launched, we’ll almost certainly need to conduct a crowdfunder, although we’re overdue for one of those anyway (this year’s should have happened last month, but we’ve been waiting for Brexit developments to provide a bit of clarity on the political future).

If your view on the basis of the legal advice is that we should accept Wednesday’s decision and move on, that’s what we’ll do. If you want us to keep fighting for the rights of normal people not to be falsely accused and abused by the powerful and wealthy without any recourse, we’ll fight.

In the meantime (and allowing for the fact that it’s the Easter holidays when all anyone really wants to do is eat chocolate and get out into the sunshine), let’s see if we can all get back to the business of independence.

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  1. 19 04 19 16:56

    A tissue of fair comments | speymouth

255 to “A tissue of fair comments”

  1. Merkin Scot says:

    With WoS all the way on this one. Appeal this perverse verdict.

  2. Ruglonian says:

    What an almighty mess of a case – it’s disappointing (especially from those who push their progressive credentials and should know better), but no real surprise, that some have fell to their comfortable stereotypes rather than take the time to understand the nuances of this judgment 🙁

  3. Dr Jim says:

    If your legal team decides it’s a reasonable case to make and in the light of the subsequent reinvented judgement by Miss Dugdale and the Scottish media

    You’ve got my dosh

  4. iainmore says:

    At the f being accused of something by a gutter trawling Yoon – I never liked that toady Hassan. Now I know why.

  5. Taranaich says:

    I think this result could be a very grim precedent to set. It allows – to take just one example – for British Nationalist politicians to call individual independence supporters Anglophobes in newspaper columns. According to this judgement, such a column could be considered defamatory, and the accusation untrue, but the author could claim “fair comment” as their belief that Scottish independence supporters are Anglophobes is “genuinely held.”

    Why stop there? No defamation of someone critical of Israeli government policies or Zionism as Antisemitic can be upheld – or, for that matter, defaming somone stating anti-Palestinian government policy opinions as Islamophobic, as long as you “genuinely believe” that they’re Antisemitic/Islamophobic.

    The weaponisation of ignorance continues apace.

  6. Ken500 says:

    Sue the lot of them, especially the Daily Record liars.

  7. Conan the Librarian says:


  8. winifred mccartney says:

    The dear Kez has always been a stranger to the truth, she survives on spin, she does not even have the wit to realise she simply got away with it (for reasons I cannot understand) she did defame, the judge made that clear.

    Her going to court was in no way so that ordinary people should be able to seek redress and if she really believes this she is just proving herself to be as stupid as she sounds. How many ordinary people would have the labour party and the Daily Record to pick up their costs.

    And for her to suggest Stu did it for the money that is rich from the Celebrity who absented herself from her job,(without permission) her constituents and parliament to get paid for her jungle fiasco.

  9. Hugh Wallace says:

    I say fight.

    I’m sure funding won’t be an issue.

  10. Peter Mirtitsch says:

    So it’s about being allowed to say what you think…as long as your name isn’t Stu?

  11. SOG says:

    Well, the ‘Blatant Liar’ case showed what could be done in a short time. And that was at an average contribution of about £15. Lets see if KD also does something to upset half the population.

    Perhaps someone would remind Cochranosaur of the above, which he may have forgotten.

  12. Dramfineday says:

    What Dr Jim said.

    Now off you go Stuart for sunshine, chocolate and maybe a beer or two.

    Let them sweat a while, knowing that the Wingers are looking on and listening to this case with interest and intent.

  13. Stan Wilson says:

    Behind you all the way Stu. Crowd fund whenever you’re ready.

  14. CameronB Brodie says:

    I’m not a trained lawyer so my opinion is only that. I think this judgement was unsafe as it appears to lack rational cohesion and assumed “ignorance” as reasonable defense. This undermines Scottish legal practice but I’m not sure this is the battle to fight. Saying that, here’s some legal stuff that might help you make your mind up.

    P.S. Mark Smith is a partisan hack who appears to lack legal training and insight into equality matters. He is adding to contemporary discourse grounded in “woke” irrationally and a resurgence in (right-wing) positivist legal philosophy. The guy is undermining public safety and community relations, IMHO.

    The shadow of the law: Surveying the case law dealing with competing rights claims


    We live in an increasingly diverse and complex society in which all citizens enjoy a variety of rights, freedoms and corresponding obligations. It is inevitable that legal rights may sometimes encroach on one another.

    While cases dealing with competing human rights or equality rights claims are relatively rare, there are legal decisions which provide some guidance on the key legal principles people can use when resolving competing rights claims. There is no set formula for dealing with these tensions, but courts, in particular the Supreme Court of Canada, and tribunals have developed and refined legal tools to reconcile competing rights situations.

    Such situations include tensions between freedom of expression or religion and the right to a fair trial; the right to privacy and the right to disclosure of all relevant information in both criminal and civil proceedings; religious freedoms and the right to be free from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender, to name just a few.

    The Ontario Human Rights Commission is developing a policy framework to address competing rights claims. The goal is to provide guidance to organizations, policy makers, litigants, adjudicators and others on how to assess, handle and potentially resolve competing rights claims.

    This document explains the legal backdrop for the Commission’s Policy Framework. It is divided into two main sections. The first provides an overview and summary of key legal principles from some significant legal decisions. This section aims to help readers understand the relevant legal background when seeking to conciliate or otherwise reconcile competing rights claims.

    The second part of the document surveys the leading cases that deal with competing rights. It also provides examples of situations where the leading cases, and the key principles from them, have been applied by courts and tribunals. It is divided by the types of rights conflicts that most commonly arise. The cases are discussed in some detail as the specific factual context of each case is so important to the rights reconciliation process.

  15. Lenny Hartley says:

    What ever tou choose do to is fine by me, i cannot believe more has not been made of the bizzare judgement of the Sheriff, i thought ignorance of the law was no defence!

  16. Thepnr says:

    Might just be at my end but has anyone else managed to listen to the John Beattie show clip as it doesn’t work for me.

  17. Neil H says:

    Fucksake – Fight them. (Although my donation will be largely motivated by the prospect of seeing Haggerty and her shitty wee pals having the smugness wiped off the collective grotesquerie of their mugs.

  18. Neil H says:

    Lenny Hartley – I think ignorance of the law is only a defence if you are a judge.

  19. peter hill says:

    In all honesty i would move on in the knowledge that she didnt WIN and the judge was clear you are not a homophobe

  20. Ken says:


  21. Neil H says:

    I would also like to make a second donation (if you go ahead) in the name of Julie, who I suspect will be devastated by the recent ruling.

  22. Bill Hume says:

    Just let us know if you need more funds.

  23. SOG says:

    As Thepnr said, the JB clip doesn’t work for me. Even after I turned off all the guard dogs.

  24. Bobp says:

    Neil h. Or a unionist . I’ll be donating as usual to your crowdfunder rev.

  25. MorvenM says:

    Disappointed with Bernard Ponsonby’s comments. Always thought he was a pretty fair bloke. As for the other guy, who claimed Kezia’s defence “ticked all the boxes”, what were the “facts” that her claim of fair comment was supposed to be based on?

  26. You missed the tweet from the SNP equality officer Stu. With that, and a few personal issues, I’m looking at my membership and starting to wonder.

  27. Roseanne says:

    With you all the way!

  28. Almannysbunnet says:

    My tweet to Fiona Robertson, Captain Haggerty and Kezia Dugdale who were all delighted at Kezia’s ‘powerful testimony’ and thankful she had fought the case and wished some peace now the case was over.
    “So if someone accuses you of being, let’s say, a paedophile, you are ok with that, even though it’s patently not true, as long as it was “their genuine and honestly held opinion?” The far right and holocaust deniers will be absolutely delighted!!”
    I never did get a response.

  29. David R says:

    Please appeal. This is an incompetent ruling. Appeal judges will tidy up the conclusions to ensure you get treated justly and fairly. Which the current sheriff has not done. I will donate.

  30. Betty Boop says:

    @ Thepnr

    Not just “your end” Alex, wherever that might be at the moment! 🙂

    Can’t get JB to play.

  31. velofello says:

    Sheriff Ross perhaps should have conceded that the case was beyond his competence, that would seem to be have been a fair and honest judgement. What he has done is to an open an unlimited scope for unscrupulous persons saying whatever, under the banner of, “my honest view”.Sheriff Ross’s judgement is unsatisfactory.

    Wings was also facing up to the Scottish Establishment, not the Tory Toffs version, but the “stability regime”.

    I do hope your council’s advice is to appeal.

  32. Elizabeth Stanley says:

    I cannot get my head around this judgement.To me it’s contradictory & makes no sense but I have no legal training so perhaps that’s why.

    Stuart,if your legal team think an appeal would likely be successful I will be happy to help fund it.

    While I’m here I’d like to says thanks for all your excellent work.

  33. Betty Boop says:

    @ Greg Drysdale

    Have you got a link to that tweet somewhere? Frankly, my patience is also being stretched by their support for the ridiculous.

  34. Iain 2 says:

    Wings and its crowdfunding suporters have got the dwindling band of unionists very, very scared.
    What a shame.

  35. Confused says:

    for the first time in many years I BOUGHT a dead-tree copy of the Daily Record, just to check it all out about KEZ

    its what I would expect, a lot of “keza, her struggle” – fighting against this appalling bully

    stu – you breaking up families, this daughter cannot talk to her father – oh the humanity …

    its not worth reading, a proper review would just consist of a lot of
    – fucksake
    – forfucksake
    – ohpissoff
    – shoveitupyerholeyabampot

    its written in the kind of operational journo style and has nothing of note – then I see something really tricksy – a real masterpiece in the “coincidental juxtapositions which are not deliberate honest” – the bottom right story, stuck in 2 pages exclusively about la kezionara is about


    – a wee byeline about some autocrat who wants to kill gays for doing gaystuff
    … not saying anything like, not drawing any false equivalences, not doing a smear

    bravo, daily record editor – top marks for being a CUNT

  36. Iain says:

    I’ll contribute to any funding appeal.

  37. CameronB Brodie says:

    How about a bit more Legal Theory?

    Of Pigeonholes and Principles: A Reconsideration of Discrimination Law

  38. schrodingers cat says:

    i would love to see dugdale ruined and the smile on haggertys face wiped off. no question. but that is twice the scottish legal profession has failed us, carmicheal, now this. there isnt and will be no justice for us from the british establishment. fact

    we could be days away from a new pm and a lurch to the right wing of the no deal tory party. at this point, we will know what brexit actually means and we can start the indy campaign in earnest.

    we are going to need a wbb2, lots of them.

    winning our independence will wipe the smile off the unionist establishment forever.

    just a thought. i will of course stand by you and the decision of the majority in wos

  39. Albaman says:

    Has your legal team got real experience of the Scottish legal system, and the fact that virtually all the daily papers are Union supporting, yes, that should not make any difference re the Scottish legal system, but ye Ken!.

  40. Craig P says:

    I’m not the tenacious terrier of truth Stu so feel free to ignore my advice, but I would leave it. Kezia is irrelevant. There are more important targets for your energy.

    However if you decide otherwise, my wallet is at your crowdfund’s service.

  41. galamcennalath says:

    Stu, be guided by your legal team and don’t dip into WoS Fighting Fund, it will be needed soon! Just ask us for dosh, we will provide.

    “…Yes community … Haggery … Hassan “

    Just columnists …. fifth columnists more like.

    LOL, glad you haven’t lost your sense of humour, Stu 🙂

  42. Proud Cybernat says:

    This case was about a defamatory comment made by Kez Dugdale. You took her to task, Stu. The judge agreed that Dugdale had defamed you. You won.

    But because the judge thought Kez didn’t know what she was doing, he let her off.

    I think another judge might well come to a different conclusion because this verdict, as it presently stands in law, is a complete cop-out and opens the flood gates to any zoomer to call anyone all manner of horrible things and get let off because what they said was an honestly held belief. Whit?

    Such a judgement is perverse and surely a dereliction of duty by the judge and as such, in the interests of ALL of us in this country, cannot be allowed to stand.

    This judgement is every type of haters Christmas, birthday and wet dream come all at once and simply has to be overturned. I say appeal, Stu. As always, we have your back.

    The ‘Establishment’ need to learn the lesson that nowadays the ‘poor’ can tool-up with lawyers too and challenge take them on all the way.

    Full justice will prevail.


  43. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    There seems to be some fundamental issues at stake here. Fair comment is one thing, but this contradictory verdict seems to rule that one can say absolutely anything derogatory about someone else provided one holds the opinion “honestly”. If this stands, it would surely invite open season for every “honestly-holding” bigot in the land. That can’t be right.

    The immediate reactions of Kez and the media to this are also in some need of correction.

    Stu, you have to follow your legal advice, but I don’t see how “fair comment” can be allowed unfettered supremacy over a person’s reputation like this. The reactions of many of the media are in effect compounding the injury.

    If costs were awarded entirely in your favour, it might be some recompense, and also serve as a real warning to Kez and others, so might possibly be reason to call a halt. But if you decide to appeal, I for one am willing to support you all the way.

  44. SOG says:

    Betty Boop

    That tweet, which made me wonder about the SNP’s chosen direction…

  45. CameronB Brodie says:

    This judgement lacked legal reason and so, subsequently, is legally incoherent. It is a bad judgement that will almost certainly undermine public safety. This nonsense would be unlikely if Scotland had a written constitution.

    Colm O’Cinneide: Equality: A Constitutional Principle?

    In 1994, Jeffrey Jowell published a paper in that year’s volume of Current Legal Problems entitled ‘Is Equality a Constitutional Principle?’ ((1994) 7 Current Legal Problems 1). The question mark in the title was significant. It indicated that the status of equality in UK public law was very much open to question. Seventeen years on, it is worth revisiting this issue. Can equality now be described as a ‘constitutional principle’? If so, what legal weight is attached to the idea of equality? Does UK public law provide effective protection against inequality, in particular discrimination based on ‘suspect grounds’ such as race or sex?

  46. mogabee says:

    Back you all the way Stu. It’s been boringly predictable hearing the usual fuckwits so whatever you need.

  47. CameronB Brodie says:

    See, I’m not a trained lawyer and I’m still very rusty.

    This judgement lacked legal reason coherence and so, subsequently, is legally irrational.

  48. SilverDarling says:

    Happy to contribute to any fund and the judgment is a mealy-mouthed one if ever I saw it although the judge probably meant it that way. It is easy for me sitting here to say go for it but know that you have support if you need it.

    As an aside I came across an article on Ruth Davidson where she says specifically on the issue of gay parenting:

    “They have both always wanted to be mothers but concede that, until recently, their sexuality made it unlikely…‘We couldn’t just assume we’d be parents the way a straight couple might,’ says Ruth. ‘We are fortunate to live in an era when it has become possible. Even 20 years ago, not in ancient history, but in my adult lifetime, it might not have been.’ ”

    Even though it is from the Fail it is interesting that Davidson acknowledges parenthood for her in a gay relationship would have been difficult 20 years ago which kind of confirms the what Stu was saying, not that Mundell could not have had a child but that Oliver Mundell would probably not have been the child born to Mundell Sr. if he had embraced his homosexuality sooner.

    Also, the bloody hypocrisy of Dugdale when she hid her sexuality and long term relationship for years while promoting the idea she was an advocate of gay rights. What was that all about? I understand that your private life is up to you but what was wrong with saying ‘I’m gay and in a relationship, I’d like to keep private’.

    ‘Fair Comment’ sounds a good title for a weekly column on Dugdale’s mishaps from now on.

  49. Thepnr says:

    I could have an honestly held opinion about someone and if I said that about them to someone else then it could I believe be considered “fair comment”.

    I don’t though have a Daily Record column nor a seat in Holyrood where I could make a defamatory comment about someone and still consider it to be “fair comment”.

    It’s only fair if it’s true and if it’s false and you make that comment not to another person but potentially hundreds of thousands and possibly millions considering the coverage this case has had. Then in my view that’s not “fair” at all.

    Kezia Dugdale is once again playing the victim here when the facts are she accused someone she doesn’t even know of being a homophobe. Not just in a newspaper article but also as FMQ’s where her opinion of a homophobic tweet was used to attack the FM and the Yes movement more broadly.

    I think the Sheriff has failed to consider the impact that Kezia Dugdale attempted to make, she sees Wings as a threat and no doubt with hatred since she has featured a few times in articles here, none of which could be thought of as defamatory though.

    This is a very bad decision in my opinion, an attempt at compromise that fails miserably especially when you take into account what this decision may mean for future judgments. If your legal advice is to appeal the decision then certainly take that advice seriously, I’ll chip in what I can as will many others who have already made that clear.

  50. Republicofscotland says:

    As expected “our” twisted media in Scotland, has closed ranks and presented you as the loser and bad guy all in one.

    Christ I hate the media in Scotland, a bunch of lying deceitful barstewards.

  51. Tam Fae Somewhere says:

    I think you should let this case go (but never say you are doing that until you absolutely have to…). You might be more useful being fresh for any Indy Ref coming along!

    However, it is your choice, after speaking with your legal folks, whether you go ahead and appeal. I’ll support any fund raiser if you do decide to appeal.

  52. CameronB Brodie says:

    It would appear that KD shares the “woke” world view spawned through a misreading of constructivist science and the ‘naïvety’ of third-wave feminism.

    The Personal is Still Political: Embodied Politics in Third Wave Feminism


    A close reading of essays by third wave feminists reveals that they privilege embodied politics, which are personal acts that aim to provoke change by exercising and resisting power in local sites. While respecting their emphasis on everyday politics, we note that third wavers seem naïve about the importance of juridical power and less than fully informed about connections between embodied politics and previous feminist movements, particularly the radical branch of second wave American feminism.

  53. Col says:

    Fight! Fight song by marylyn manson. Kick ass!

  54. SilverDarling says:


    ‘The personal is political’ is as true now as ever.

    The assumptions that those with a platform can choose to hide aspects of themselves while asking others to open up is I believe morally abhorrent. But then it is Kezia we are speaking about.

  55. McDuff says:

    Mr Campbell is not a homophobe but its ok to accuse him of being so. ?
    Appeal this nonsense and start crowdfunding Rev, i`m in.

  56. jfngw says:

    The Alan Cochrane cringe is bad, he complains of members of the public voluntary donating to a fund. But he has no problem with those opposed to independence being financed by both a political party and a national daily paper.

    He also seems to feel that an individual has no real right to defend himself against a government unless he finances it himself.

    I think it would be fair comment to consider him a hypocrite.

  57. TheBuchanLoony says:

    I would love to appeal this and get the proper result but I don’t think it is necessary…Kesia Dugdale, at the time of her now court proven defamation was Labour in Scotland’s leader…she is now a nobody in politics. Yesterday’s person of failed ‘leadership’ and the most boring, failed, useless participant in a jungle game show. She is fading into political oblivion. You won Stu and they know it!

  58. Morgatron says:

    Appeal Stu, at the cashline now. Dumbdale and her cronies require pruning.

  59. Colin Alexander says:

    Instead of filling lawyers bank accounts, Why can’t we crowdfund 6 Euro MEP candidates seeking a mandate to declare the political sovereignty of Scotland to the UK and EU?

    Show the UK and EU that Scotland’s people are sovereign, not a nation of people to be traded like slaves as part of EU / UK negotiations, with almost no say on our future.

    Just 6 candidates to obtain our democratic freedom, is that so hard to do?

  60. Dorothy Devine says:

    whatever you choose to do I’ll bung some dosh into the pot.

  61. Tony Hay says:

    Oh Fiona what have you done,you are either as thick as shit or working against indy,possibly time NS was inviting you in for a chat then clipping your wings.
    With friends like Fiona who needs enemies.

  62. Simon Curran says:

    I suspect many people will think that The Scotsman’s headline is spot on, that it never was about a definition of homophobia but that the whole thing was a crude attempt to smear Stuart as a homophobe and discredit the cause of independence in the process. I have no legal background but like many others think the whole court case is very worrying that you can very publicly slander someone and then run and shelter behind a defence of ‘fair comment’, even though the judge has declared that what you’ve said was untrue. It would be a travesty of justice if Stuart then had to pay costs.

  63. Auld Rock says:

    Given the evidence presented and the judgement given, will this result create a precedent in any future defamation cases???

  64. Effijy says:

    These matters are all stepping stones toward independence.

    It proves again that Dugdale and Labour are a complete waste of time and space.

    It proves Scotland only hasWestminster Unionist media and that the law doesn’t apply
    To anyone who puts their country, Scotland, first.

    Anyone who has the time and intelligence knows you have been cleared and the Sheriff and Dippy
    Dug are cheaks on the same corrupt Westminster Arse.

    We need to ride the blows and prepare for the next round the Independance battle.

    If anyone from the SNP is reading, can I suggest that when Labour make obscure claims such as
    Scottish Police being underfunded in comparison to other UK forces, we explain how we maintained our Police numbers while London Mets massive reductions have resulted in London
    Becoming the knife crime capital of the world and how Labour controlled police services in Wales can only hope to perform as well as Scotland’s force.

    When BBC Westminster ask for a comment, insist it only come with a statement that will be read out in full or just F*** off and peddle your usual made up lies.

  65. David Francis says:

    You are onto a loser if you continue with an appeal, Stu.

    You – and we – already knew how the Unionist Media would spin the outcome of the case, irrespective of whether you “won” or “lost”.

    They did exactly as expected.

    You – and we – already knew how some senior SNP politicians would comment on it.

    They did exactly as expected.

    Wings MUST be able to be used to convince many present No Voters, as well as preaching to the Pro-Indy crowd…….otherwise its usefulness is too limited.

    That section of Scottish society will NOT be on your side if you push this case any further – the will see you, more and more, only as the MSM portrays you.

    You, this Site and the Indy Movement will only be negatively affected by further action, in my opinion.

    That will be a high price to pay.

    I honestly believe you should just move on from all this.

    The Court found that you were NOT homophobic and neither was your tweet AND that you WERE defamed.

    You won that crucial victory.

    You couldn’t successfully sue Kez Dugdale as per the above, so you lost that one.

    Your reputation is intact.

    Leave this mess behind and get on with what you do best – continuing to make make Wings THE most important Site for debunking the huge amount of lies/deceit and hyperbole pumped out daily from the Unionist MSM.

  66. Brian says:

    Fair Comment in legal speak can only apply if the comment or article or tweet concerned has not been made with the intention of deliberately attempting to harm the plaintiff or is spiteful.
    Dugdale bringing it up in the Parliament and attempting to get the SNP involved in shutting the site down seems to me to be spiteful and certainly to harm the Rev.
    I say fight the ruling. It is unjust and unfair.

  67. Albaman says:

    One of the reasons the Daily Record got evolved was to protect the written press abilities to print stories which are nothing but near lies, as “fair comments “.

  68. Brotyboy says:

    If your legal team think there’s even a 50% chance of a successful appeal I say you should fight. On behalf of all of us.

  69. Albaman says:

    Had the verdict gone against the Record, they’d be shouting that the “freedom of the press” has been undermined.

  70. Liz g says:

    Rev…. While contributing to an appeal is a given.. Of course I would if that’s what got decided!
    The sheriff must already be aware of the way his judgement has been twisted.He might like that,he might not,either way,it’s his legacy to Scotland’s Law.

    But why should you and us try to fix the fault lines that this judgement opened up?

    As has been pointed out this judgement opened the door for some nasty behaviour and that will most likely come from (although not exclusively) our opponents!
    That’s entirely down to this judgement and Dugdale.

    This judgement is potentially a fault in Scottish Law why should you fix it!
    Let it’s consequences play out. They won’t be pretty but that’s not yours to own.

    Sooner or later the Law will need to be adjusted in that area,let the case for that build all by it’s self.

    Your not homophobic you’ve proved that,and that’s what really matters to you.
    Now, let Scottish Law reap what it’s Sheriff sowed….

    Keep yourself in the right (as always) and let the cards fall where they surely will.
    You can sit back and point to when and how this all got started and stupidity became a defence….Your very good at I told you so!!!!

  71. Brian says:

    I still can’t understand why being stupid can exonerate you from a crime?

  72. Essexexile says:

    I agree with TheBuchanLoony.
    There is an argument that appealing would be maintaining this woman’s celebrity. Which she may then cash in against the indy movement at a later date. She’d likely fade away into obscurity from this point if the Rev chooses to let it happen (maybe think of it that way and it feels better).

  73. Muscleguy says:

    Count me out of the chocolate. I did make some pretty good gluten free Easter buns though*. For those interested the addition of 1/4 tsp of psyllium husk powder (note full powder) really kept the moisture in as well as adding dietary fibre.

    I will happily donate the cost of a moderately good Easter Egg to your fighting fund Stu, if only because as you and others have said the sheriff’s verdict was a very strange one. Also if you don’t get your costs awarded after the finding you were defamed and Dugdale’s extraordinary and extreme spending that would be worthy of an appeal as well IMHO.

    *Have never been able to make GF crosses work and I’m atheist anway. Happy Spring Festival to everyone!

  74. Cubby says:

    The British Nationalists have free rein to lie their heads of in the MSM and social media. Now they have free rein to defame when they want and just say I was stupid and I’m an idiot and it is fair comment. There is no personal or professional integrity in the foreign controlled MSM and the foreign controlled politicians in Scotland.

    I say appeal and sue the lot of them. Happy to contribute to a better Scotland.

    The fair comment I would make is that the dug, and I’m not talking about the wee ginger one, is an idiot and why would anyone want her in the the SNP. Haggerty is neither a captain nor a dug nor an independence supporter. Haggerty should be in the Labour Party they like self serving politicians in the British Labour Party in Scotland.

  75. Muscleguy says:

    I also think it fairly obvious her extravagant spending was deliberately designed to frighten you financially out of the case, a fairly standard technique by the rich and powerful when so accused.

    And look at poor Andy Wightman as well.

    I’m with Scottish PEN, the law in this area is long overdue for a big overhaul.

  76. yesindyref2 says:

    Serious suggestion. Ask the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust (JRRT) to help fund a legal case. In the old days of the Liberals, before they eagerly grasped power from the bums of the Tories, they’d have been all over this, as it affects individual human rights.

  77. johnj says:

    Oh Reverend Stu, you vituperative mouthpiece you. Go and stand in the corner!

  78. HandandShrimp says:

    To be honest, the individuals hanging their hat on this shoogly peg of a verdict are no great surprise. The names and comments could have been predicted in advance. They are never going to be friends of Wings and would likely rally to Trump and Farage if it provided an opportunity to fling pebbles at Wings.

    Given Kezia was found to have defamed you in her article common sense would suggest that each pick up their own costs in true judgement of Solomon style and there it should likely rest. However, law and common sense rarely seem to be own speaking terms so I wouldn’t like to call it. If costs go against Wings then an appeal on the whole matter is perhaps worth considering if the legal advice concurs.

  79. Cubby says:


    It’s a pity you won’t fade away into obscurity. When I have described you as Dr Doom in the past was that a fair comment you were willing to accept – No – you threatened me with lawyers.

  80. sassenach says:

    I’m saddened that Nicola has not seen fit to despatch Fiona Robertson from her “Equalities” post for that horrendous tweet.

    Just been reading the replies on it and there are many SNP members so angry they may resign, I would, too, but for the fact it would send the wrong message to our enemy, as I am seething with anger that an SNP office-bearer (financed by my subs) takes it upon herself to write such guff on what is presumably an SNP official site.

    If you do decide to appeal, Rev, count me in.

  81. yesindyref2 says:

    Apart from that, the implication of this judgement for anyone who puts themselves in the public eye in any shape or form, as a below the line poster, a blogger, twitter, facebook, instagram, or even letters to the papers, is immense.

    If anyone feels offended by what we wrote, they can suggest we’re anything they like to think of us – and get away with it.

    For instance, a picture of a married man with his arm around the shoulders of a young woman. The #faircomment could range from adulterer to a paedo groomer.

    Even though the picture is of a father with his daughter.

    “But I thought …”

    Funding should come also from way outside the Indy movement or Wings posters, except perhaps the rest of the world (Scotland + UK anyway) is too thick to realise the danger it’s in.

    If the legal advice is hopeful, I’m in for a fiver when I can spare it.

    It might be me next. It could be anyone, anyone at all.

  82. yesindyref2 says:

    And by the way, the tweet was tasteless, but not homophobic.

    Life is too precious to wish anyone’s life away, even in “jest”.

  83. cearc says:

    Happy to chip in if counsel want to go ahead.

    I think the judgement sets rather alarming precedents and that makes it not just a matter for you, Stu and WoS but for society as a whole.

  84. schrodingers cat says:

    HandandShrimp says:
    If costs go against Wings then an appeal on the whole matter is perhaps worth considering if the legal advice concurs.

    a very valid and important point

  85. defo says:

    Looking at both camps, we can simplify it into good guys vs wanks.
    Indyref gave many a platform which just wasn’t there before.

    Good guys like WGD & Stu managed well in not letting it go to their heids, and keeping the yaks on the prize.

    For the other camp, the show became all about them, playing with their tackle in public.

  86. yesindyref2 says:

    And by the way, Dugdale should be officially censured by the PO for her comments in Holyrood, with the full Sheriff’s judgement submitted as evidence. Is there some procedure for ordinary members of the public discussed in Holyrood to request such?

    If not, there should be.

  87. yesindyref2 says:

    @cat / @Shrimp
    I’ve a feeling that costs aren’t considered until an appeal either happens or is not sought. In other words if Rev puts in for costs, that’s it, no appeal. I could be wrong.

  88. dakk says:

    dakk says:
    19 April, 2019 at 7:55 pm
    A law that allows a contortion and inconsistent cop out such as this decision is no law at all imo.

    If such a cop out is indeed allowed( and it should be relatively easy for lawyers to ascertain this) then it is merely the personal whim of the judge or any appellate panel which matters.(Dressed up in legal parlance of course.)

    If it is the law that is unsound then you are probably wasting time and money.

    Whatever you decide though. I’m in.

  89. yesindyref2 says:

    I looked around, and those jumping in are using it for their own fell purposes, have an axe to grind, or are virtue signalling, though all they do is show how weak they are and how unprincipled.

    #faircomment I believe that to be true.

  90. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    Liz g @ 19:28,

    The way the law works, a judgement becomes precedence unless overturned by a higher court on appeal or superseded by new legislation. So allowing something to stand has lasting consequences. It’s not a matter of walking away and leaving the problem “for someone else to fix”. Once established, it becomes everyone’s problem.

  91. Dr Jim says:

    Fiona Robertson didn’t speak for the SNP, she spoke for herself and it looks like it’s going to cost her for making comment at all

    She opened her own big mouth and became personal in just the same way as Miss Dugdale did when she tried to rope the FM into the frame when she raised this at FMQs

    It was wrong of Dugdale and it’s wrong of Robertson, and she’s been told that by very many now

  92. Achnababan says:

    I will back any appeal – I feel the longer you (we) stay with it the brighter will burn the injustice of it all.

    Dugdale, who allegedly describes herself as a politician, defamed you for political gain, so she was doing it to promote herself and gain politically. She is no innocent and that’s the worst part of it!

    As for those tiny feeble minded self righteous carpet-baggers who supported Dugdale and the verdict (e.g. Robertson, Haggerty, Wightman and the most boring fart of them all Gerry Hassan) – you really are saddos!

  93. Tony O"neill says:

    Don’t waste your time and money stu, your appeal will fail, as the so called independent Scottish legal system is a 100% bonifidy signed up accomplice to the English /British establishment. Fact!

  94. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    HandandShrimp @ 19:57,

    Since Kezia was judged to have defamed Stu, I believe she should also have to bear Stu’s costs as well as her own. Kezia is already absolved of any requirement to pay damages, arguably incorrectly, so she has already received significant relief.

    Stu was deemed in effect by the judgement to be justified in pursuing his action, so why should he have to pay any costs?

  95. ScottieDog says:

    Are there any legal eagles on here who can rationalise that a statement which defames someone can be seen as fair comment?

  96. Capella says:

    I will support an appeal, financially and ethically, if that is what you choose to do.

    It is outrageous that KD with a Holyrood pulpit and a DR megaphone can pretend to be the injured innocent after being found guilty of defamation.

    How can defamation ever be “fair comment”?

    There is so much more about this case that is nastily redolent of unionist lies and mendacity. But that can wait for another day.

  97. Nuggets O'Pish says:

    Any opinions on the message being sent if KD has to pay her own costs? Also, is it the case that if an appeal is to be lodged, it has to be done before a judgement on costs?

  98. Graeme J McAllan says:

    Stu, we’re all with you on this – appeal and allow the legal eagles to find in your favour – it’s a point of principle, wipe the smirk from the fat COW (meaning Cup Of Water) 🙂

  99. Paul says:

    To appeal or not to appeal? That’s a tough one and I don’t know enough about the details to comment really but if it’s going to cost a lot of money/time……is it worth it?
    You’re not just fighting Dugdale and the DR, you’re fighting the UK and ultimately, you’ll always lose.
    Have lost faith in Scottish law and justice, we really are just a piddly wee banana republic that does what our big bullying neighbour wants.
    For me, this could become a monumental distraction from the invaluable service you provide. Granted when independence is off the table there’s not a lot necessarily to write about everyday, but keep your tinder dry and focus on the main prize.
    We need you.
    KD and the DR and all the rest can get tae.

  100. Steven McDiarmid says:

    Please appeal this decision I’ll gladly donate to any crowdfunding, what you said was in no way homophobic.

  101. CameronB Brodie says:

    The judgement is mince and makes a laughingstock of Scottish legal practice, IMHO, as it lacks legal coherence .

    Legal Reasoning and Legal Theory
    The Requirement of ‘Coherence’: Principles and Analogies

    This chapter provides more extended consideration to the place of arguments from general principles of law in legal reasoning. It has been suggested that the place of such arguments depends on a postulated requirement of ‘coherence’ in the law; ‘coherence’ in the sense that the multitudinous rules of a developed legal system should ‘make sense’ when taken together.

    It has also been proposed that it is a limiting requirement of legal justification that decisions in cases not covered by mandatory rules must be shown to be supported by some general legal principle, or by some relevant analogy or other ‘persuasive’ legal source. It may be thought that the discussion of the use of general legal principles in legal argument has failed fully to account for their importance.

    Keywords: coherence, general legal principles, legal reasoning, legal justification

  102. Welsh Sion says:

    Scottie Dog @ 8.47 pm:

    Are there any legal eagles on here who can rationalise that a statement which defames someone can be seen as fair comment?
    This might be a good place to start.

    and the full judgement of the case.

    PS I’m not qualified in Scots Law nor a Scot to dare venture an opinion one way or another whether Stu should appeal. I do think however that we should continue support him in all his ventures.

  103. Colin Alexander says:

    So, Kezia has defamed you Stu. Kezia should (but isn’t) ashamed of her conduct.

    Stu, you proved KD defamed you but, does your reputation really emerge unscathed?

    My understanding of the Sheriff’s comment is that he appears to be suggesting you are a hypocrite for slagging others repeatedly but, you run to the court for protection when KD has slagged you back (even though the slagging assertion by KD was false and defamatory).

    I’m sorry Stu, (especially if it involves me defending the often contemptible SNP but), I can see why they are backing KD in this.

    In my opinion, you regularly go too far with your slagging of people and the ned element of your website btl do the same with impunity on a daily basis. Broadcasting a wish that a person had never been born is contemptible conduct, even if meant to be funny. If anything, that makes it worse. Not homophobic but, shameful conduct nevertheless. And that is the root of the case.

    In my opinion it is toxic. Poison. It damages the fight for independence by dragging it into the gutter.

    I doubt any other court will have any greater sympathy to either KD or you Stu and what is in reality a petty playground-type squabble from two adults who should know better.

    You have an amazing talent for uncovering the truth to further the cause of independence – if you concentrated on that.

    It’s a shame you shite in your own nest and potentially harm the greater cause of Scottish freedom with all the nasty stuff that goes with the excellent journalism / blogging.

    Sorry Stu if it hurts your feelings but, you could do much better, so my criticism is meant to be constructive.

  104. Artyhetty says:


    It is tempting to say hang this farce. It’s a huge distraction.

    First thoughts, go for it, appeal, but, is it worth the time, effort and money, when this ‘blog’ ie, news channel online, is needed to keep calling out the Britnat lies, & my are they incessant, rich and powerful.

    I saw a daily rag headline today saying something about ‘social media causing mental health problems’. Wow.

    What is really causing mental health problems are the lies from the powerful in government, backed, up, aided and abetted by the compliant media. Not blogs, not online but what is piped into peoples’ living rooms, into sheltered housing community rooms, fed to people as they pass the ‘newspaper’ stand when out shopping.

    It’s a bloody wonder people are still moderately sane given the dystopian, mega capitalist levers of power, basically calling the shots. It never ceases to amaze how people are so placid, so oppressed, as to allow those with massive power and money to run the actual world.

    Still, as the saying goes and it’s easter, ( I heard a fab busker singing Hallelulya at George square yesterday, love Glasgow) ‘the meek shall inherit the earth’. I doubt it as an atheist, but ‘never say never’ ( why do people say that all the time argh!).

    I would say go for it, appeal Stuart, take the barstads for all thy are worth, definitely, but, these Britnats have so much power, and dark cash, perhaps your time and energy is better spend wielding power with your ‘blog’? Calling the liars out, holding them to account. Gits that they are.


    Have a good weekend all.

    Have lots of nice drinks to help ‘society’ in pubs, lol!

    Ps why are the grass parts of Glasgow’s George square all cordened off?

  105. robertknight says:

    Nothing to do with freedom of speech or fair comment or anything of the sort. Here was a chance to smear SC/WoS – and shit tends to stick irrespective.

    No matter what the outcome, the Yoon press was at liberty to spin the verdict in any way they saw fit, and in doing so attempt to discredit perhaps the biggest thorn in the side of the Yoon establishment.

    KD is simply a useful idiot and there’s more to this than a simple case of defamation.

    Even if an appeal is won, it’d be buried by the MSM and would therefore have little effect in redressing the balance of public opinion in favour of SC/WoS.

    Let’s face it, if WoS were awarded costs you’d likely read about it here and nowhere else. But if KD is awarded costs, rest assured it’ll be front page on every Yoon rag north of the border.

  106. Fairliered says:

    Be guided by your legal experts, Stuart. The verdict seems to me to be unsafe, but I am no legal expert. If their advice is to appeal, I will be happy to contribute to your crowdfunder. However, the most important crowdfunder will be the one that pays for a WBB to be delivered to every home in Scotland (when the SNP finally decide to call Indyref2).

  107. handclapping says:

    What interests me is the idea of “fair comment”. It is in the singular so if I say someone is something defamatory, even if it is broadcast into everybody’s home, that is not defamatory because I’ve only said it once. Does it become defamatory if I say it more than once?

    Saying it more than once shows an intent to continue in and further publish my defamation which may take it beyond the protection of “fair comment”. As an added problem, can making the defamation in privileged speech still be taken as evidence of intent for a later instance of more than one “fair comment”?

    I think that this will need very deep pockets to resolve

  108. Essexexile says:

    We’ve moved on haven’t we friend?
    I apologised for calling you names, you accepted the apology. We’ve spent too long frankly just dreaming up ways to get on each other’s thruppenies. I reckon we both enjoy our truce and concentrate our efforts on indy.
    Let’s just call it a clash of personalities, water under the bridge etc.
    Quite genuinely (and not in the Dugdale sense of the word either), let’s just respect each other from a distance. I reckon it’s for the best. OK with you Cubby?

  109. Petra says:

    David Francis (7:19pm) has saved me some time in responding to the contents of your article, Stu. I agree with him 100%.

    You proved that you’re not homophobic. Further similar cases will be lodged over time. Let someone else sort the law (lessness) out. Kezia Dugdale knows that she’s gotten away with this through lying through her teeth. Those closest to her, such as her parents, friends, colleagues and the SLab pack in general, will know that she’s just a wee conwoman. Those who support her, such as journalists (some with an axe to grind) know that the whole situation is a diabolical farce and solicitors know that the law is an abysmal ass. One that will come back, before we know it, to bite their clients on their ass. They, the whole kit and caboodle, should be hanging their heads in shame right now.

    The situation has escalated with Independence supporters (if they are) seemingly behaving like thuggish dolts online. I’d imagine that if you continue with the case this scenario will escalate giving the MSM the ammunition that they desperately seek and of course will go on to use against us / you / the cause on a regular basis: The last thing that we need in the run up to Indyref2. If I were you I’d save the time, energy, passion and money (and maybe even your sanity, lol) and focus on IndyRef2 as when we win it, with your help, that’ll be one in the eye for them. One that will hurt them a trillion times more than you going on to win (or more likely lose) your case.

    But you know anyway Stu, that I’ll support you, including financially, no matter what you choose to do.

  110. ScottieDog says:

    @Welsh Sion
    Thanks! Not sure if I’m any further forward.

  111. Giving Goose says:

    Don’t appeal. You fall into a trap by appealing – you’ll be using valuable time on an appeal and it will be a distraction.
    The BritNats are trying to control the agenda.
    Choose the fights you want to fight and your ground to fight.

  112. William Wallace says:

    Personally speaking, I feel the law has erred on this occasion. The judgement lacks coherence or clarity and I think an appeal would help to ensure that this verdict does not set a legal precedent.

    If your legal advisor indicates that there are sufficient grounds for appeal then I would proceed. I’ll donate to any crowdfund.

  113. Essexexile says:

    Colin Alexander @9.18pm
    I can agree with the sentiment of what you say to an extent.
    There is some truth in the fact that when KD (establishment) is taken to court (establishment) by SC (anti establishment) it’s perhaps not surprising that in finding for SC, the judge has done so in a way that actually makes the establishment look like the winner.
    It’s also worth noting some of the comments re bullying and ‘standing up to…’ we’ve seen in the aftermath. Whether it’s deserved or not (it’s not) the fact that WoS can be perceived that way is a worry. Sharp wit, inventive profanity and withering put downs are all great until it’s all being used against you to blunt your message. It may be time for a review on WoS modus operandi. As you say, WoS biggest attribute is the Rev’s dissection of biased political commentary, not it’s often caustic tone.

  114. Elmac says:

    Lets get some context here. We apparently have a ruling in a court of law that Dugdale did not understand the meaning of certain words she used in her allegtions against Stuart Campbell which, given her well educated legal background, would seem inconceivable. The words that she failed to comprehend are not technical or obscure and are well understood by the vast majority of the public. The only logical conclusion to draw from the decision must be that she is therefore a person of low intellect and worthy of pity.

    Alternatively the sheriff responsible for the verdict is either biased, corrupt or incompetent and on any of these grounds he is clearly unfit for the office he holds. So which is it? Do they really think our heads button up the back?

    I would prefer to see this matter pursued to a sensible conclusion and Dugdale and/or the sheriff held to account for their actions. The question of damages is really irrelevant. What matters here is that an individual in a public postion has used that position to defame a third party with apparent impunity and that cannot be tolerated. Politicians as well as Joe Public must be held accountable for their actions. In this glorious United Kingdom we have a tradition of politicians of all shades lying and putting their snouts in the trough with no fear of retribution. We have the opportunity to break free from this cess pit and govern ourselves with some semblance of decency. It will not be perfect but by god it will be a massive improvement.

    I quite understand if the Rev feels he has made his point but if he wishes to pursue this I will be most happy to contribute to a funnd raiser.

  115. robertknight says:

    Further to my last…

    By the time you get an appeal heard, someone else will likely be having his day in court and the Yoon MSM will be in full ‘tally-ho’ mode.

    Whatever the outcome of an appeal, nobody but those who are regular visitors to this site will be aware of any victory on your part Stu should things go your way.

  116. twathater says:

    Liz G 7.26pm I totally agree with you Liz , the ruling that you are not a homophobe and your tweet is not homophobic is PROVEN Stu , but as you have said yourself to appeal the rest of this pish judgment will be extremely expensive probably in excess of £100,000

    I have faith that our independence supporters would come through but what happens if funds slow down and all of a sudden the indy race is on , momentum changes and we are all diverted to the cause for which you are a crucial part , you would have the additional stress of that debt

    This judgment is a britnat judgment do you really think they are going to overturn this pish to prove you right and the other britnat scribblers are a shower of liars , this is the ESTABLISHMENT THEY DON’T ADMIT THEY ARE WRONG

    As Liz g and others have said this judgment has opened the door for all the crazies to spout their bile with the getout of fair comment , it’s not up to you to sort this clusterfuck decision , maybe some mental shot will expose and utilise this stupid decision and FORCE the legal profession to face their stupidity then you may retrospectively appeal the decision

    conspiracy theory is this another diversionary britnat tactic ?????

  117. Wulls says:

    I think I donated a tenner to the original crowdfunder……
    I’ll up that to £100 if you think we have a realistic chance on appeal.

  118. Robert L says:

    I actually think the overall press coverage about the judgement has been pretty muted, a lot less than I expected.

    Given the Daily Fail’s obsession with evil cybernats I fully expected a whole front page gloating all over the place. Nothing like this materialised likewise with the Express.

    A expected the fawning Record reacted on cue likewise with the Scotsman and Herald. The almost insignificant response from the Branch office tells you all you need to know about the feelings towards Dugdale from that source.

    A disappointing outcome but well worth pursuing as it demonstrated that nobody opens their mouth like Dugdale did and its taken lying down by people like Stu.

    I suspect anyone of the same ilk as Dugdale will think twice before acting in the way that she did.

  119. ScottieDog says:

    Question is are your unwilling to put yourself through more of this?? What’s the personal toll?

    The ruling is in black and white that you are NOT homophonic. Yes the media will foam over the “Dugdale victory” for a while but in truth, I feel they continue to dig a hole for themselves by doing so.

    Someone mentioned ‘The art of war’ and choosing one’s battles.
    Happy to pitch in tho

  120. crisiscult says:

    A mixture of views, based on a quick skim over the comments. I’ve no idea if you have some wealthy donors, but from looking at crowdfunders you’ve had in the past, there are a hell of a lot of us who are chucking in between 5 and 50 pounds because we’re ordinary low or middle income regular Joes. I think that good will and genuine grassroots support should go towards actions more efficient and damaging to the state we are fighting. I keep thinking back to the SPT adverts on Glasgow underground and how that’s an example of how to increasingly break the grip of MSM. So, I’d be inclined to drop it. I’ll chip in for costs in the bizarre event that Kezia is awarded costs.

    While I’m posting, I find the framing of this case (on twitter and MSM) as a case of David and Goliath, with Kezia being David, amazingly disturbing like the worst of 1984 (Freedom is Slavery etc). One positive of this case is that the lack of balance is reassuring if you ever started to wonder if ideas of MSM bias were just paranoia.

  121. Graham A Fordyce says:

    “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two imposters just the same” is the best advice Kipling ever gave me and I think you should draw breath, move on and know that your reputation is not only intact but enhanced. I feel sure you would not swap places with Ms Dugdale, which is the best way to decide who ‘won’. There are now bigger fish to fry. Good luck to you.

  122. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    Elmac @ 21:59,

    We have to be exceeding careful not to be seen to be making unfounded allegations about a jurist who has made a decision with which we disagree. We don’t want to be straying into Daily Heil territory here. Not even if it’s “fair comment”. =grin=

    If a judgement is thought to be flawed for any reason, the means of correction is to take it to appeal. Simples. (But expensive. And requiring faith in your case and determination to see justice prevail.)

  123. Davosa says:


    the Scottish media (with the very obvious exception of The National) are a bunch of self serving Unionist filth. Hope they all go down the toilet with their disasterous circulations. What a ‘cant’ Mark Smith is too

  124. Liz g says:

    Robert J Sutherland @ 8.35
    I know and that’s my point.
    Why should the Rev fix it and fund the fixing.
    It’s not his mess… everyone needs to see the problem and demand it addressed.
    Hopefully in an Independent Scotland where Holyrood has to be responsive to demand!
    Because so far the Scottish public doesn’t seem all that outraged about it and the so called Scottish Media either.
    Let the judgement do the damage that we can all see it could and just keep pointing it out till the demand to change it occurred.
    Otherwise we would be mitigating Unionist behaviours and paying for the privilege…
    We’ve enough of that from Holyrood already.

  125. CameronB Brodie says:

    This judgement smack of the entanglement between legal doctrine and ‘sovereign interference’, so here’s an essay on Political Jurisprudence, another ‘challenger’ to legal positivism.

    Political jurisprudence

    Political jurisprudence is a discipline that explains the way in which governmental authority is constituted. It flourished within European thought in the period between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries and since the twentieth century has been in decline. That decline, attributable mainly to an extending rationalization of life and thought, has led to governmental authority increasingly being expressed in technical terms.

    And because many of the implications of this development have been masked by the growth of an academic disciplinary specialization that sacrifices breadth of understanding for depth of knowledge, sustaining the discipline has proved difficult. Since we may now have reached a critical period in which the influence of technique threatens entirely to subvert the intelligibility of the foundations of modern governmental authority, it seems an appropriate moment at which to reflect on the nature and significance of political jurisprudence.

  126. Elmac says:

    In a perfect world accurate important information spanning the political spectrum would be available promptly for all to access with minimum effort. If we had one single broadcaster or large mainstream newspaper prepared to tell the truth this would be a huge step towards that ideal but given that all are controlled by a corrupt elite it will not happen. 99% control of broadcasting and the newspapers is insiduous, it breaks down the ability to rationalise by continually pumping out lies and propaganda with no alternative views. We are left with social media (now under attack), word of mouth and the efforts of our footsoldiers to counteract this but will that prove enough? I live in hope that the dam will break and one at least major media source will jump ship.

    In the aftermath of independence I would like to see something reminiscent of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee set up whereby those who have lied and abused positions of trust or have prostituted themselves to the Union are held to account. The death penalty may be a bit extreme but some public grovelling and financial pain would not go amiss.

  127. Elmac says:

    Robert J. Sutherland @10.27

    These were not allegations but a list of what I thought were the only possible interpretations of the judgement in this case. One of them has to be correct!

  128. Terry callachan says:

    I think that if you defame a person you do it whether you are knowledgable about the meaning of what you have said that was defamatory, or NOT.
    Your actual knowledge of the subject is irrelevant
    Your damage to a persons reputation occurs as a result of what you have said , NOT of how much of what you have said you actually understand.

    If someone can call me a nazi but not actually know what a nazi is , their lack of knowledge makes no difference to the understanding other people have of what a nazi is


  129. yesindyref2 says:

    Mmm, a blogger versus Kezia Dugdale MSP and ex-leader of the Scottish Labour Party, with a column in the Record, and a privileged position to speak in Holyrood and not be held to account. With her own story all over the media.

    Yet Dugdale is hailed as “standing up to bullying”.

    I don’t think the impartial are going to see it that way, specially with a little help.

  130. jfngw says:

    What was strange was the judges conclusion that the accusation was not malicious, anyone who saw the tirade at FMQ’s about Wings would find that hard to agree with. It had the intent to make SNP politician’s distance themselves from Wings, which I suspect succeeded, by damaging his reputation. So the judge concluding it made no material difference to Stuart Campbell’s seems an erroneous conclusion. It looks more like the Scottish establishment closing ranks.

    The only amusing thing is K.Dugdale admitting as Labour leader she was actually too stupid to understand what words mean. Imagine someone like this actually being involved in legislation.

  131. Kangaroo says:

    Dealing with the law is like dealing with a pandoras box of possibilities as the judge can see things very differently from either of the combatants. This judgement is very strange as everyone attests to, however he did suggest that he would only award £100 if he did not accept the fair comment/idiocy argument. This suggests to me that on appeal you might only get a rather paltry sum. The judgement, though not satisfactory for the reasons outlined in the various comments above, does leave you cleared of the accusations which is the MAIN thing.
    We need you concentrating on indy not being sidetracked by the Yoons and their shills. However if you decide to appeal count me in for a few bucks.

  132. Camz says:

    My own opinion. Forget about it, and move on to more pressing issues. Politicians thrive on the limelight, and Kezia is nothing without your attention now.

    Dare I inflate your ego, but Scotland’s foremost Indy blogger (barbs at the others who can’t stand you) should not waste his time with yesterday’s deputy leader of a lost party.

  133. yesindyref2 says:

    Sturgeon in The National tomorrow.

    “Our front page exclusive: Nicola Sturgeon unveils her new vision for independence in major article for us as she urges members to back her economic plan #indyref2”

  134. paul says:

    there’s good and bad here
    the good:
    some people who have been sheltered from wings by the union press will have been, driven by curiosity, made aware of a humorous, sophisticated and unremittingly accurate and honest news source.
    the bad:
    anyone from the unionist side of the fence will be emboldened to make fling any old shite.

    the only new development is in the good part.

  135. Capella says:

    Listening to the BBC Media Review above, I find it appalling that Anna Burnside, a DR “journalist”, is allowed to review her own biased and partisan article. Naturally, she found it a good summary of events. She didn’t contact Stu to provide his side of events in this summary which she had actually written in advance, leaving only space for the verdict.

    She thought it lovely to hear Kez on the phone sounding so relieved by the verdict, as she drove down to Edinburgh to give interviews after a spell of gardening at her partner’s house.

    Stu, however, is “divisive”.

    Eamonn O’Neill correctly noted the political nature of this debate.

    What an suffocatingly bourgeois world these media people inhabit.

  136. CameronB Brodie says:

    OT re. timing the next indy ref properly. Time for some International Relations Theory and stuff.

    Strategic Theory: What it is…and just as importantly, what it isn’t

    One of the most useful services that academics can perform is to explain the principles of thought that guide their study. As a ‘strategic theorist’ this is rather challenging. The term ‘strategy’ must be one of the most commonly used terms in public discourse. It is employed to refer to anything from state policy to personal choices. Yet, few appreciate what this term really is, and what it implies as a system of inquiry. In fact, I have rarely been called upon to state what it is that explicitly underpins a strategic theory approach to the study of social phenomena.

    The notion of strategic theory as a method of analysis has slowly, over the course of 40 years, permeated the domain of international relations and political studies via the work of those like Thomas Schelling and Colin Gray – classic strategic theorists – and has been increasingly used and acknowledged as a tool to assist in the comprehension of decision making. One of the best statements of the utility of strategic theory has been given by Harry Yarger: ‘Strategic theory opens the mind to all the possibilities and forces at play, prompting us to consider the costs and risks of our decisions and weigh the consequences of those of our adversaries, allies, and others’.[1]

    What, then, precisely is strategic theory, and how does it help us to open the mind? Working from first principles in the following commentary I aim to provide a concise understanding of what strategic theory encompasses in its most essential form. As will be shown, to achieve this understanding it is important to appreciate what strategic theory is not, as much as what it is. In the process, I hope to show that strategic theory is a simple, parsimonious, yet elegant, way of clarifying complexity.

  137. yesindyref2 says:

    Mmm, I’m going to make a general comment here, perhaps one I should have made before.

    The only person who can “persuade” me is – me. And I doubt most people are any different.

    I can be offered possibilities, alternatives, even sales pitches, but like many, I am resistant to the idea that I should fall over myself agreeing. Leave me a leaflet and some references for further information, I’ll check it out if I’m interested.

  138. Phronesis says:

    Be like the Dutch. You cannot have an independent vibrant press as a cornerstone of democracy when it works for those who have access to the corridors of privilege and power who have a vested interest in preventing a country from gaining its independence from its bullying, unhinged neighbour. Perspective is a local and global feature of semantics.

    ‘An independent, vibrant, self-critical press is a cornerstone of democracy, and it is currently under attack from all quarters. The NUJ strives to preserve media workers’ rights, whether on the newsroom floor or in the field, freelance or salaried, all of whom toil on behalf of the public’s right to know and its desire to be informed’

    Be like the Dutch. Rising from the ashes of WW2 the Netherlands was a founding member of the EU, and as an independent country within the EU it remains an attractive prospect to business and finance.

    ‘More than 40 licenses were issued in 2018 to businesses moving to Amsterdam from London due to Britain’s departure from the European Union, the Dutch financial markets regulator said on Thursday.
    In its 2018 annual report the AFM said it had held discussions with 150 companies and expects 30 to 40 percent of the European stock and bond market to move to the Netherlands in the event of Brexit’

  139. jfngw says:

    The judge has set an important precedent in my opinion. Basically that the definition of a word in the dictionary is irrelevant if you are a member of a group that interprets it differently.

    So as a member of the heterosexual group if I want to defame any gay/lesbian with opinions, as a member of this group, then my interpretation of the word allows me fair comment.

    The proclaimers of ‘freedom of speech’ on this judgement probably will not agree, but anything else results in the law not being even handed. Only certain groups being allowed to defame people is not how expect the law to work, well outside certain kinds of states anyway.

    This to me looks like a bad judgement that needs corrected if possible.

    The MSM was always going to jump on this, they hate internet bloggers, they have exclusive rights to proclaim ‘the truth’ they believe. Although the truth in Scottish journalism seems to be for many just sitting in an office generating FOI requests.

  140. jfngw says:


    I think only BBC Scotland would invite a journalist to review their own article, it would be almost amusing if it wasn’t so pathetic.

    Next we’ll have the BBC going on about fake reviews on websites like Amazon, they won’t even see the irony.

  141. CameronB Brodie says:

    “Sovereign intervention” was a clumsy way of describing the cultural bias of British nationalism and the ‘moral stability’ it provides. I wasn’t suggesting the trial had been nobbled by anything more than a dim intellect and cultural chauvanism. 😉

  142. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    jfngw @ 23:12:

    What was strange was the judge’s conclusion that the accusation was not malicious; anyone who saw the tirade at FMQ’s about Wings would find that hard to agree with.

    Agreed. It was calculated to have the “distancing” effect you describe and also IMO intended to “settle old scores” of a very personal kind.

    Liz g @ 22:47,

    And my point is that if Stu, having brought matters to this pass, doesn’t proceed to fix it, no-one else will. And there this loophole will lurk to enable lots more tried-and-tested BritNat (and false friend) reputational mud-slinging with intent. Expensive though any appeal undoubtedly would be.

  143. stu mac says:

    Thing is, it’s no longer about the oddness of the judgement. The Daily Record and various commentators – as you’ve shown above – are lying about the result of the case and even implying that you are homophobic. Of course you have to take into consideration legal advice but those advisors should be looking at all the gloating misrepresentation going one as well as the legal judgement. If you do go ahead you’ll certainly get my financial support.

  144. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Any opinions on the message being sent if KD has to pay her own costs? Also, is it the case that if an appeal is to be lodged, it has to be done before a judgement on costs?”

    It doesn’t HAVE to be, but the time limit on the latter is a lot longer than the former, so it’s nearly always the case.

  145. Capella says:

    @jfngw – I often listen to the Media Review. It follows FMQs usually. But Anna Burnside is hopelessly partisan and, for a radio “personality”, annoyingly inarticulate.

    During the 2014 campaign RScotland dumped Ken MacDonald from the Saturday morning newspaper review for being too witty and even handed, and were going to replace him with …Kezia Dugdale.

    Fortunately, there was such an outcry at that, KD being a Labour MSP, that the idea was dropped. I forget who did get the slot. Margaret Curran still appears from time to time to give us the benefit of her opinion.

    BBC Scotland sounds like a wee Glasgow Labour club talking among themselves about how awful the SNP and YES supporters are. They don’t seem to have heard of the Rest of the World.

  146. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    jfngw @ 23:48,

    Hmmm. Can Stu then, as “fair comment”, now describe nasty statements from Kez, or indeed any of the trans activists he spars with, as “heterophobic”..?

  147. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    me @ 00:26,

    And can we independistas now describe typical BritNat mud-slinging from Kez et al as “indyphobic…?

  148. Dr Jim says:

    Kezia Dugdales life in politics is over whichever way you look at it anyway, Corbyn won’t allow her to be selected again in any election, she’s blown it with the Labour party and she knows it, any future she has lies somewhere else, it won’t be journalism that’s for sure, the Daily Record will drop her like a hot brick once she’s out of Holyrood, TV pundit will give her five minutes to diss everybody in politics then she’s history

    I understand she has a degree in chips or something so maybe food hygiene? or dinner lady?

  149. Mad Unionist says:

    At least the host has a job of sorts and Kezia should be looking for one along with the nonentities occupying Holyrood. The working class can get to read stories of what their bourgeois leaders are doing on their behalf in the press if they have the time between shifts.

  150. Patrick Roden says:

    Is it possible to ask the judge or he law society to clarify the findings in this case, before any appeal is made?

    Can we also get clarification from the law society about where we stand in so far as defamation cases, because a new ‘precedent’ has surely been made by this judgement?

    I can’t help thinking that just like the Carmichael case, the judge has had a ‘corridor conversation’ with someone who has reminded him that the ‘establishment expects’ so we have a scathing judgement that calls the politician out for doing the very thing they have been challenged about, but then finds they have nor ‘really’ did the thing that they have been challenged about, even though the same judge has said they have.

    It’s one of those cases when they can’t let you (Rev) bring down a politician, so I can’t see this changing in any appeal, no matter how compelling your case.

    A few years have went by since the Carmichael case, yet whenever I hear him speak or quoted in some media outlet, my immediate thoughts are something along the lines of ‘what’s that liar lying about now’

    From this point on, whenever most of us hear Dugdale mentioned we will immediately wonder ‘what’s that idiot saying now’ or something like that.

    She has lost, and she has lost Big Time, as time goes on, she will begin to understand this more and more.

  151. CameronB Brodie says:

    All I can say is that I hope lessons will been learned. Yes, I’m looking at you Scottish Law Society.

    Chris Argyris: theories of action, double-loop learning and organizational learning

    The notion of a theory of action can be seen as growing out of earlier research by Chris Argyris into the relationships between individuals and organizations (Argyris 1957, 1962, 1964). A theory of action is first a theory: ‘its most general properties are properties that all theories share, and the most general criteria that apply to it – such as generality, centrality and simplicity – are criteria applied to all theories’ (Argyris and Schön 1974: 4).

    The distinction made between the two contrasting theories of action is between those theories that are implicit in what we do as practitioners and managers, and those on which we call to speak of our actions to others. The former can be described as theories-in-use. They govern actual behaviour and tend to be tacit structures. Their relation to action ‘is like the relation of grammar-in-use to speech; they contain assumptions about self, others and environment – these assumptions constitute a microcosm of science in everyday life’ (Argyris & Schön 1974: 30). The words we use to convey what we, do or what we would like others to think we do, can then be called espoused theory.

    When someone is asked how he would behave under certain circumstances, the answer he usually gives is his espoused theory of action for that situation. This is the theory of action to which he gives allegiance, and which, upon request, he communicates to others. However, the theory that actually governs his actions is this theory-in-use. (Argyris and Schön 1974: 6-7)

  152. Fraser Reid says:

    Appeal – Sue – go get them!

  153. Mad Unionist says:

    Aye Padraig Roden from England on idiots. Enlightenment indeed!

  154. CameronB Brodie says:

    OT. Re. David Leask. Less said the better, frankly.

    The Partisan Brain: Why People Are Attracted To Fake News And What To Do About It
    An identity-based model of political belief

    We recently developed a model to understand how partisanship can lead people to value party dogma over truth. Because identification with a political party is a voluntary and self-selected process, people are usually attracted to parties that align with their personal ideology. Political parties are also social groups that generate a feeling of belonging and identity – similar to fans of a sports club.

    Indeed, neuroimaging research has found that the human brain represents political affiliations similarly to other forms of group identities that have nothing to do with politics. As such, identification with a political party is likely to activate mental processes related to group identities in general.

    Social groups fulfil numerous basic social needs such as belonging, distinctiveness, epistemic closure, access to power and resources, and they provide a framework for the endorsement of (moral) values (cf. Fig. 1). Political parties fulfil these needs through different means. For example, political rallies and events satisfy belonging needs; party elites and think tanks provide policy information; party members model norms for action; electoral success confers status and power; and party policy provides guidance on values.

  155. Liz g says:

    Robert J Sutherland @ 12.03
    And my point was why should he care?
    It’s not his mess!

  156. Black Donald says:

    I think it is a mistake to let emotions run high on this. I believe there is a good chance there will be a false flag incident in the run up to the next referendum. People getting upset will just make such a potential event more credible.

    Also, the Rev has such a reputation for being vile, any damages awarded might just be the £100.

    I think the Rev should publicly forgive Kezia for defaming him and say we all make mistakes at times. That we should move on and hope for a better relationship in future. This would not be the expected response and would certainly not be the action of a vile person. This would help neuter a lot of the negative abuse thrown at this site. It would also reduce emotions.

    Virtually all the key figures on the independence side have had to deal with defamation and/or court cases. Alex Salmond, Craig Murray, Grouse Beater, Nicola Stugeon with Frenchgate, and Wings. This degrades and deflects the activities of these individuals. However, it also reflects very badly on the British nationalist tactics. I for one am disgusted by it. Every one of those individuals is characterised by honesty and integrity.

    I think an appeal would be a mistake. It continues to keep emotions elevated and precedent for success is limited. It ties up critical resources.

    I think we need to focus on the main prize. This vastly outweighs any other consideration. Another defeat would end Scotland culturally, historically and economically. It is unthinkable.

    Remain calm and focussed.

    Try to be like Ghandi.

    Easy for me to say. It’s a hard call seeing the judgement and the MSM response.

  157. twathater says:

    Me @ 10.01pm As I referred to in my post upthread does anyone think giving the legal establishment a further £100,000 of our money will make the slightest difference to the outcome of the yoonunist msm and broadcasters coverage of the situation

    They would just ignore the result or put their ever twistier lying spin on it

    We all know Stu won his case they will NEVER admit it they will just continue to throw shite at the indy movement

    I have a proposal , how about instead of crowdfunding Stu’s appeal we all contribute the same amount that we would have donated , to fund even more Wee Blue Books , if we could raise that £100,000 that would make a bigger impact on the MSM and broadcasters , and it would be used for something more worthwhile than lining lawyers and the establishments pockets

    We could call it ” STU’S revenge against the biased and lying MSM fund ” shurely that might poke a few scribblers in the eye

  158. Wullie says:

    The Scottish legal profession will fail you. Stu this is one way of shutting down this site by financially crippling it. The so calledScottish legal profession have never done anything decent for Scotland in centuries.

  159. yesindyref2 says:

    Finally I had the time and looked at the judgement, because of looking out a tweet from a certain MSP who congratulated Dugdale – and the replies that tweet got.

    When told for instance “The case was defamation and defamation was proved. Stu won his case but got awarded no damages this time around” the MSP referred to page 7, with reference only to the “therefore” conclusion via “The Sheriff repelled (rejected) all of the pursuers pleas-in-law.”. Probably relying on his and readers’ ignorance of what “pleas-in law” are, but that’s by the by.

    So this made me look at page 7, this is part of the “Final findings and order”. And in fact on Page 7 these are summarised on two points. The MSP totally ignores that summation in contradicting those who disagree with him, In fact he likes it so much, he repeats “Page 7, page 7” like a Parrot. Clearly he is a polly (#faircomment).

    Howsoever, he inadvertenly puts his finger on what should be a third short Wings article – the final final findings in law or fact and law (can’t cut and paste a damn jpg).

    (1) which says the article containted statments which were incorrect and defamaatory
    (2) the article amounted to fair comment.

    THAT proves the “congratulations” MSP is an ass (#faircomment} when he says “In other words the pursuer lost the case on every single point they put forward.”. He doesn’t know the difference between a “plea-in-law” and a point put forward. I think his middle name is Eeyore (#faircomment).

    It shows the mixed nature of the judgement (judgment), and that the final judgement – the bit that goes “therefore” – is only on the fair comment which is used to dismiss the case for damages, effectively as the defendant failed on the basis of truth and defamation. Presumably all 3 would have had to be in the Rev’s favour for the case to succeed, and £100 damages awarded.

    That part of page 7 corresponds to point “j” in the initial part of the judgement, but words it far more plainly. It should be in a small article, far shorter than this post, with little explanation as it’s self-explanatory.

  160. Alastair Naughton says:

    WTF are two apparent Yes supporters doing publicly applauding this result? Absolute ******* disgrace! You can do without them Stu! The Sheriff handed you back your reputation in tact. That’s what matters. We all know who really won this case, no matter WHAT the trolls and the useful idiots say!

  161. yesindyref2 says:

    I think, by the way, the Sheriff talked himself into the final (2) and therefore the THEREFORE, via his points (13) and (14) above it, which he wrote probably before having his cup of coffee. Had he had his coffee, 13 and 14 would have had some basis in reality rather than still in dreamland (#faircomment), his final (2) would have been different, and therefore his THEREFORE.

  162. Golfnut says:


    If Rev Stu decides not to peruse Dugdale, perhaps this episode could be included in the next edition of WBB as a prime example of media manipulation and dishonesty.

  163. Robert Louis says:

    Black Donald at 0152am,

    I think you make a good point well. I like the idea of forgiving Kezia for having defamed, as the sheriff found. You are right, it isn’t what would be expected.

    I too agree, although at first I didn’t, that this is a distraction from independence. Kezia seems like an idiot to me, and always has. She should be pitied.

  164. Clootie says:

    Put up the fund raiser and let’s get on with it.

  165. Ken500 says:

    The justice system in Scotland is a total and absolute farce. The Police arrest innocent people and put them in cells overnight on false ‘charges’ that can never come to Court. They are an absolute disgeace. Totally wasting public money and trying to criminalise the population. Too many people on the spectrum are in prison. People who should never be there. Too many people with addictions who should be in proper (one chance) total abstinence rehab. It is cheaper. The Police arrest knowingly on any malicious complaint. It is a complete disgrace.

  166. Dave McCandless says:

    Surely the only way you can maintain a website like this without getting sued all the time is because of ‘fair comment’ principles.

    In this article alone you call Mark Smith a dull-witted hypocrite. The legal principles that allow you to do that (I am reasonably sure that Mark Smith would argue he is neither) are the same ones that allow Kezia Dugdale to call you a homophobe.

    It looks to me like you are happy to dish out abuse, but far less happy to receive it.

  167. Dorothy Devine says:

    I was incensed by what I considered a truly strange verdict and would want you to go ahead with an appeal if your legal team said it was a goer.

    However I am persuaded by some of those btl that the best way forward is not to fund some lawyers new top of the range BMW/Mercedes .

    I like the idea of publicly forgiving the ex leader of the Scottish branch and I like the idea of funding a new wee book, referencing the case and its findings and mentioning a willingly misleading MSM and the cases in which it has involved itself.

    That said it is entirely up to you and how you feel – you don’t have to fight an idiotic precedent ,there should be some legal eagles who should be doing that , not to mention a fourth estate providing honest coverage and asking very awkward questions. We can but hope and dream.

  168. McDuff says:

    On reflection Rev, just walk away and save yourself a lot of extra stress.

  169. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Surely the only way you can maintain a website like this without getting sued all the time is because of ‘fair comment’ principles.

    In this article alone you call Mark Smith a dull-witted hypocrite. The legal principles that allow you to do that (I am reasonably sure that Mark Smith would argue he is neither) are the same ones that allow Kezia Dugdale to call you a homophobe.

    It looks to me like you are happy to dish out abuse, but far less happy to receive it.”

    I’m not going to spend my whole life explaining the enormous difference in law between defamation and (to use the legal term) vulgar abuse to idiots over and over again.

  170. Gullaneno4 says:

    Accept the judges verdict and move on would be my advice.

    Nobody won and nobody lost.

    Mind you Wings did generate loads of publicity 🙂

  171. ScottieDog says:

    Just some more thoughts

    This has been a case of playing the man, not the ball
    It wasn’t fair comment by KD but used for a political attack but the establishment protects its own and I wonder what would be gained by going to appeal.

    Maybe move on now unless she comes after costs.

  172. Davie Oga says:

    Forgiving her for defaming you isn’t a bad idea at all. Dugdale is an idiot today, was an idiot in 2014, and anyone who reads about Scottish history 100 years from now will still think she was an idiot. Her place in public discourse as an eternal idiot is assured. This is someone who thinks natural resources are a burden and the British state is some kind of benevolent entity. A moron, more to be pitied than despised, and there are hundreds of thousands of her ilk in Scotland.

  173. winifred mccartney says:

    I do like the idea of another 100,000 wee blue books instead of an appeal with a section on how defamers and liars get away with it in the courts. That would put far more noses out of joint and help win our real job of getting indy for Scotland.

    It would be wonderful if KD had to pay all costs, but even if just her own that would be a bit of a judgement of Solomon and fair since it has been proved she did defame you.

    Take legal advice and think about all the extra blue books for all the indyphobics even dedicate the funds raised to the fact it was proved you are not a homophobe and that KD does not understand our language.

  174. Abulhaq says:

    Now we have it:
    “For the first time in my lifetime, polling suggests that people now believe their economic future will be stronger with independence. Our challenge is to build confidence in the route map that will take us to that better future”. Nicola Sturgeon in The National.
    “Our challenge” is to convince Scots that independence is more than just about Growth Commissions and economics. If we continue to follow the way of British utilitarianism in this matter, independence will remain a whisky dream. Is independence not desirable for its own sake? Or are Scots just too mercenary, venal and to be brutal ‘thick’ to get the message.
    As for building confidence, how many years has the SNP spent on constructing a liberal socio-political profile at the expense of assertively promoting independence per se.
    At the moment Malta has a greater world status than Scotland. Which is the pathetic little country?

  175. Bobp says:

    Wullie 2.02am. I agree. The scottish legal profession is a unionist establishment.

  176. Geoff Huijer says:

    I am stunned at the verdict which goes contrary to the findings. It is a worrying precedent to set where being thick and not understanding someone’s position means you can claim anything if you are dense enough to ‘genuinely believe it’.
    I’m sure there are plenty of Holocaust deniers that would love to use this kind of defence. Doesn’t make it or them right though. Ridiculous.

  177. Patrick Roden says:

    One of the most striking things about the few days since this judgment is the lack of a quote from ‘Rent-a-Honk’ Jackie Bailey!

    I seriously can’t remember a time when R-a-H wouldn’t be all over the written and broadcast media, after something like this, giving her ‘spin’ on the result

    What about ‘Snack-Beard’ why hasn’t he been all over the media thanking Kezia for standing up for what is right?

    Richard Leonard? Jenny Marr? Duncan Hothersall?

    Seems to me that this case has exposed just how far Kezia has been sidelined in Scottish Politics and how little millage she has left in her ‘good-will-tank’.

    She has only ever got into Holyrood, through the List system, so it will be interesting if she gets a place or how high up the list she gets in the next Holyrood election.

    If I was Kezia, I’d start looking for an alternative carrier, one in which your bosses wouldn’t require you to be intelligent enough to understand words.

  178. Breeks says:

    Bobp says:
    20 April, 2019 at 8:56 am
    Wullie 2.02am. I agree. The scottish legal profession is a unionist establishment.

    You could be right, but whatever the truth, it is pretty complacent about being dreadful and indifferent to actual justice. It’s a tool of the Establishment certainly, and yes, we know the Establishment is all Union.

  179. Clydebuilt says:

    Shareen Nanji’s BBC radio Scotland prog. is to discuss the court case starts 10am

  180. stu mac says:

    @Geoff Huijer says:
    20 April, 2019 at 9:08 am

    I am stunned at the verdict which goes contrary to the findings. It is a worrying precedent to set where being thick and not understanding someone’s position means you can claim anything if you are dense enough to ‘genuinely believe it’.

    Thing is, I can’t see how even that is a defence for Dugdale. She’s not just some daft wee lassie (though she is) who happened to put something foolish in a tweet. She is a well know politician who after saying something untrue repeated in parliament and then again in a newspaper column she writes. That’s right she has two national outlets to present her views, two outlets where you’d think (though we all know this not to be true) truth and accuracy mattered. You’d also expect the folk working in both parliament and newspaper knew what they were talking about (though again unfortunately many don’t). Why was this not taken into consideration?

    She was also given plenty of opportunity to retract which means she had plenty of time to think over what she’d said and realise she was wrong. She didn’t of course because this was all really about having a go at a well known Indy blog, not about homophobia. One thing bothers me and that is if the judge didn’t want to award any damages, even though he’d found that what she’s claimed was untrue, why not at least insist on an apology to the Rev? That might have killed off a lot of the rubbish about her “winning” the case.

  181. Mike cassidy says:

    My advice was to appeal if she got costs

    But walk away if she didn’t.

    However, if the time factor is going to force an appeal decision before the costs decision

    Then I would say forget it.

    Put out an “I forgive you” statement. (genius idea).

    Not sure who would report it though!

    Might influence the costs decision.

    What a nice chap that Mr Campbell is.

    Aye, right!

  182. There’s an opinion piece about the case in today’s courier, Saturday Journal by Stefan Morkis.

  183. SilverDarling says:

    I really like that idea of publicly forgiving her and calling for better-informed discourse from our politicians. To raise the bar we need politicians who should know what they are talking about and her ignorance in a position of power and influence led to this case.

    Of course, if you consider appealing the decision as well, fair enough, because suits her supporters to now take everything you say in the context of an angry vexatious litigious white man.

    Turn her holier than thou attitude back on her in every way possible whatever you do.

  184. ronnie anderson says:

    The irreverent Rev putting out a statement of apology to Kezia is ah no go , we like the Rev the way he is Fiery & Direct , non of this shilly shalling .

    Keep on Keeping on Stuart , I like the idea of more Wee Blue Books but as always its your decision , £££ whichever you toss that particular coin .

  185. SilverDarling says:

    @Ronnie Anderson

    Agree that he should not apologise as he has nothing to apologise for, but forgiving her is something completely different.

  186. robert alexander harrison says:

    This is that case of how charmicheal got let of in the fight he picked with the orkney 4 for lying he was found guilry of lying yet was let of the hook now same thing with you vs kezia dugdale stu shows if your a Scotland hating msp or mp working for the English supremacists dictatorship trio your getting a free pass even if your found guilty which kezia was.

  187. Al-Stuart says:

    Hi Stu.,

    Many here, including myself will donate money of you wish to appeal.

    But please can I ask you one thing?

    That you engage your brilliant, beautiful forensic mind and think about this…

    IF you win that Dugdale appeal, you still LOSE. You just won the substantive case on the narrative verdict of the Sheriff. Fact. Yet the case was lost in the minds of all who buy the dead tree press.

    Is it good logic to blow £100,000 more paying for a new Mercedes as a present to Dugdale’s solicitor in playing the Unionist game? We need to wake up: the Unionist cause in this case is to bankrupt WoS, or at least damage it’s financial reserves by bleeding £100,000 from Wings fighting fund.

    The moral argument at Campbell-v-Dugdale can NOT be won on appeal, anymore than we won this week on main the case. Even if you win, you lose. Welcome to Unionist laws. We need to be much smarter at this.

    Here is my point?

    If Wings chooses its own legal battle, it can beat the whole blood stained Tory/LibLab Westminster cesspit.

    Stu., your Twitter feed just featured the suicide of Stepehen Carre at the hands of Westmister weasels, DWP obersturmführers Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling. Your link leads to the fact (source: Disability News Service) there is now enough evidence to have Greyling and Duncan Smith charged with homicide.

    The lethal DWP Work Capabilty Assessment is an English Law. The SNP have the decent Scottish policy of treating disabled people with respect.

    Kezia Dugdale’s labour pal, Yvette Cooper brought the gerrymandered Work Capability Assessment legislation to life and thereby condemned up to 80,000 disabled people to death. The Tories delighted in inheriting this Dickensian lethal Labour policy. I PERSONALLY know the Westminster war on the weak has killed 60 people where evidence can be brought…

    Stu., pick your battles my friend.

    Either the fag-end of an expensive Dugdale appeal which the above article of yours proves you will lose, even if you win.

    Or trigger another Westminster MP Expenses Scandal?

    If SEVEN MPs and Lords went to jail over stealing money, what is the sentence for murder or manslaughter? I guarantee you the evidence is there.

    I served as a police officer. The evidence is up to court standard beyond reasonable doubt.

    Stuart what would you and fellow Wingers choose…

    To fight another round of a battle that has morally been won. But for what? IF the appeal is won, do we really expect the mainstream media to print a fair follow-up on the £100,000 appeal (it would be reported/buried on page 97 of the Daily Record (and Cochrane’s England based sewer news)).

    Or getting two Tory ministers jailed for an English Law that first killed a man in Scotland? Paul Reekie.

    If/when Grayling and Duncan Smith are jailed, that will be INTERNATIONAL NEWS. A demograph from the 55% of NO voters in Scotland will read that. Many will baulk at Scots disabled being killed by Westminster.

    We may not even have to pay legal fees. At last, or until a private prosecution were needed. Even IF WE LOSE THAT BATTLE WE WIN. The media coverage would benefit the decency of Scotland’s SNP government over Theresa May and Jacob Rees Mogg’s 18th century poor-house laws.

    Wings may only need to get a critical mass by moving this issue to a viral level. Secure an inexorable force of public outrage in Scotland against a corrupt English Law that is killing disabled people in Scotland. Our own police force in Scotland is competent to investigate at least 6 welfare reform deaths that took place on Scottish soil. If we can turn public outrage up to a high enough volume the police and procurators fiscal will have to take action against these dastardly English Law sociopaths.

    Here’s the added bonus. Going after English Tories that kill Scottish disabled people will also highlight the SNP decency in already ameliorating cruel Tory policies.

    It would make me very happy to donate at least £100 to a Wings crowdfunder to seek the prosecution of English Tories and their English laws that kill Scottish citizens.

    Stuart what do you think about this?

    What do Wingers feel?

    (P.S. for factual accuracy, Duncan Smith was born in Scotland, but so was Tony Blair and Ian Brady. Out of those three, Ian Brady is the most decent and that is an awful hellish thing to write).

  188. A. Graham says:

    Replying to Dr. Jim.

    She might have a degree in chips too, but apparently she “studied Law at the University of Aberdeen before completing a masters degree in Public Policy at the University of Edinburgh”.

  189. ronnie anderson says:

    SilverDarling Never give your enemas a even break , as Kezia has proven she used a double edged sword ( personal & political ) against a man with rapier wit .

  190. A. Graham says:

    As for what is to be done, it’s all up to Stuart Campbell, and I can see the point in appealing against the decision and the point in not appealing. However, given that there is at present no shortage of other issues on which to expend time, energy, and money, I quite like the idea of the public forgiving. The forgiving might, of course, be done with maximum smugness just for fun, or might not. I’d go for the former, of course.

  191. Black Donald says:

    An apology is not suggested. Forgiveness is.

    It would completely wrong foot the MSM narrative. The ‘vile’ man behaving like the saint he is.

  192. SilverDarling says:

    @ Ronnie Anderson

    She is so thick she probably wouldn’t understand what he was saying anyway!

  193. Robert Kerr says:

    Use the money for more Blue Books.

    Foreword to state “Partially funded by monies saved by not appealing judgement on my case against Kezia Dugdale who admitted that although a lesbian and Labour MSP did not know the meaning of “homophobia””

  194. katherine hamilton says:

    Good Morning all,
    Might as well stick in my tuppenceworth having read all the above for and agin an appeal. I’ve reluctantly come to the conclusion to let it go. You won and your reputation is actually enhanced by this. Putting your money where your mouth is etc.
    If you do go for it I’ll be right behind you, of course. However the big fight is coming and I would rather give you double my annual contribution for the Fighting Fund than split it between two causes.

    Ms. Dugdale will set herself up afore long. We need you ready to take her down.

  195. stuart mctavish says:

    Lest the obvious emotional distress encourage sympathy, or indeed empathy, for this talented young lady’s current plight it is worth remembering that it was a London led labour campaign, to defame a private individual in print and PARLIAMENT, that led to this juncture, aided and abetted along the way, with no little fueling and fanning of flames by fellow little engine that couldnae- ers.

    Further, as intriguing as Sheriff Ross’s invitation to come together on expenses whilst he assoilzies the defendant from the craves of the pursuant may sound, the decision remains unsatisfactory not least because, even were she keen to avail herself of the opportunity, her naughty friends may yet be sadistic enough to prevent her from doing so

    Specifically, despite any enthusiasm on her part for such opportune relief, whoever is controlling her duplicitous financiers may be in a position to
    (a) decline to settle and
    (b) convert their own expenses to their victim’s personal debt

    Accordingly the most humane solution, were it feasible, might be to make the appeal, but couched in terms that it could be held in abeyance or bound over until such time as it could be heard by the Scottish parliament when it were once again able to be considered the highest court in the land.

  196. exile says:

    When WBB2 comes out I think it should NOT mention Rev Stu’s case against Kezia. Rev Stu, in WBB2 don’t give Kezia more publicity. Don’t give UK nationalists an opportunity to divert the attention of those moving from No to Yes away from the facts/arguments that Scotland is Big Enough, Rich Enough, Smart Enough.

    Soar above Kezia.

  197. Gfaetheblock says:

    £100k wasted on this.

    It would be madness to spend a penny more. Think of what money could have spent on,rather than legal fees, for a case the judge has valued at £100.

  198. Bob W says:

    The Guy who congratulated KD on her ‘victory’??

  199. yesindyref2 says:

    Yeah, reading the comments and I totally agree, the priority is Rev himself, and perhaps he shouldn’t put himself through it for another year or whatever. You might be in the right, but sometimes the stress isn’t worth it. I’ve kind of given up on some of my crusades, the ones that don’t matter a lot.

    But I really really like the idea of “I forgive Kezia Dugdale” (she’s just silly, immature and ignorant). Nothing to stop repeating those conclusions as in my posting of 3.10 am. Any time some arse tries to claim it as a “Congratulation” to Dugdale. No, basically she lost everything in the case apart from the money.

    And without a court case looming apart from costs, that can be done in countless barely relevant articles. Or tweets. Again and again.

    Another suggestion would be to make the peace between father and daughter somehow and get the credit for it 🙂

  200. Graeme Purves says:

    Let it lie.

  201. Mark says:

    I Think we should use the judgement for our /your favor Stu ! You are a clever guy so lets get statements out there that are “fair comment ” and use this bizarre Britnat court convenience ruling and show up the absurdity of it whilst we go for the appeal .
    Also lets not think too wee and small and get this case into International media spotlight!

  202. Bob W says:


    To be clear Wightman not you, just in case you thought I was defaming you.

  203. Patsy Millar says:

    Stu if I were you I think I’d just step away from it, but if you decide to go ahead I’ll certainly contribute to a crowdfunder.

  204. Petra says:

    Forget about ”apologising” or ”forgiving”, FGS. It would be seen to be a sign of weakness or even guilt and spun as such by the MSM. As to reuniting father and daughter, well we’re now entering fantasy land with that one. I feel sorry for her parents, but just let her stew in her own juice now. It won’t be too long before she opens her big mouth and lets her belly rumble again.

    And I agree with Al-Stuart (11:32am), although I reckon the costs would be WAY beyond the £100,000 that many people are quoting.

    Al-Stuart:- ”Stuart what would you and fellow Wingers choose… To fight another round of a battle that has morally been won. But for what? IF the appeal is won, do we really expect the mainstream media to print a fair follow-up on the £100,000 appeal (it would be reported/buried on page 97 of the Daily Record (and Cochrane’s England based sewer news).

    You must know by now, as I do, that the judiciary can ”pluck” out the most obscure legal point from nowhere to win a case. To ensure that you lose. For example I was involved in a two part case where the test cases won the first part and proved that they were right due to overwhelming evidence, but lost on the second due to ”a material factor” defence being used. Now basically that boiled down to paying someone less than the other for any old reason (the material factor) that they could conjure up. At the time when the judgement was released we all looked at each other gobsmacked and said to the QC, ”so if someone has red hair that could count as a material factor” and he said, ”Basically yes.”

    The case went onto the House of Lord’s where they lost due to their lawyer (legal team / QC) being informed by the 6 Law Lords that he / they had not used the appropriate law in the first place and yet this was never pointed out at any time throughout the 7 year long legal process from Glasgow Tribunal, to Employment Tribunal Edinburgh to the Court of Session. In other words you can’t beat them if they don’t want you to win.

    FOCUS on the big prize, Stu. Hit them where it’ll really hurt. With an Independent Scotland we’ll have control over broadcasting, rid ourselves of second (more so third) rate politicians, biased journalists and can push to have the calumnious law changed. Distribute even more wee blue books which include the unfair, unjust legal system in Scotland: The Campbell v Dugdale case. The latter point could help you to overcome any number of feelings that you’re experiencing now and of course save you time, money and effort.

  205. Patrick Roden says:

    Since the judge says that Dugdale didn’t understand the words she was using, someone must have fed her those words!

    The Daily Redcoat? BBC? her friends the Tories?

    I think the response from the Rev has to be ‘concerned’ about who set poor Kez up. Who told her to say these nasty things, that landed her in court, and ultimately caused her to fall out with her dad?

  206. G-D G says:

    A bizarre verdict right enough; I didn’t know ‘fair comment’ was a thing, but there we are.

    Stuart, the moral victory is yours, and I think you should probably move on now, and not put yourself through the stress of another court case.

  207. winifred mccartney says:

    Love the suggestion for a foreword from Robert Kerr at 11.54 today.

    KD is not capable of telling the truth – did the court case for every citizens right to free speech and did I’m a Celebrity for charity – aye right.

  208. cassandra says:


    Forgiveness is absolutely not a sign of weakness. Whipping up and festering anger harms the angry person not the focus of their anger. Kezia is still angry even though she ‘won’. The Rev is not what makes her angry, she has issues.

    They will spin what they want anyway.

    How good was it to see Wee Ginger Dug’s eloquent defence of the Rev for the good stuff he had done? Didn’t make him look weak, made him look a decent person.

  209. Alex Waugh says:

    I am so torn on this one. My first instinct was to urge you to appeal and wipe the floor with the spiteful little cretin but she would just play the sympathy ‘poor wee gay lassie persecuted by big nasty man’ card and it would take up time and money better spent on other things. I rather like the idea of publicly forgiving her, though it would have to be carefully worded. Maybe along the lines of:
    ” Despite Ms Dugdale’s poorly-judged attack on myself and her attempts to traduce the First Minister and her Government by implying not only that I am a bigot but that the SG is, somehow, answerable for my actions; and in the light of the sheriff’s finding that she did, in fact, defame me, I shall not be pursuing this further. It is enough that she has been found in court to have acted in a culpable manner and also that her allegations have been shown to have no substance whatsoever. That the judgement was in my favour and her accusations found to be baseless is, to me, the end of the matter. I have no desire to subject either her or her family to further embarrassment but I do urge her, for her own sake, to consider more carefully before making any such public statements in the future. She is young and, perhaps, not fully aware of the consequences of her actions but her position places upon her a duty to strive to be wise, truthful and responsible. I wish her well in fulfilling that duty”

    Now, if something like that doesn’t drive her nuts, nothing will (assuming that she understands the words) but it contains not one word that could be construed as an attack. Any snide comeback to such sympathy – pity even – for her lack of wisdom and her rashness would not look good. Forgiving your enemies takes the wind right out of their sails.

  210. twathater says:

    Alex waugh and others , forgiveness properly worded would challenge the scribblers and detractors mental capacity to circumvent

    As others have said once you have put this to bed ( charitibly ) any resurgence by the usual arseholes will only backfire on them , and as others have also said when this stushie is over so is kez’s credibility , she has had her 15 min of fame and is no longer useful to her maisters

    Then we can use all that extra dosh garnered for an appeal to publish reams and reams of extra WBB to convince the doughnuts , get the crowdfunder up and running

  211. Petra says:

    You’re twisting my words or misunderstanding my meaning, Cassandra. I didn’t say that forgiveness is a sign of weakness. In fact in my opinion it’s more often than not a determination of strength. I said that it would be “seen to be a sign of weakness”. Seen to be by those who are influenced by individuals who have the power to spin it in any way that they like and you can bet your bottom dollar that spin wouldn’t include terms such as “strong Stu Campbell.”

    Kezia has issues including being angry (and vengeful) towards Stu, who has exposed her “issues” on here on a regular basis. And she’s a good example of how “whipping up and festering anger” not only harms the angry person, but the target of one’s anger.

    As to WGD’s moving defence of Stu, that’s just another example of how they can spin it, as I don’t see any mention of him in any MSM outlet. That means that the ordinary Joe Soap on the street has no idea that Stu’s not weak at all and is in fact more than decent. It’s propaganda, propaganda from beginning to end through their lies and omissions and that’ll go on as long as the case goes on, imo.

  212. Clydebuilt says:


    Not convinced Duggers is no longer of use to her controllers. The media have worked hard to protect her brand. Politicians like her were only ever effective with the ill-informed, they still wont know any better, some will even think she took the case out against The Rev. and won.

  213. Petra says:

    @ Alex at 2:57pm …..”Public forgiveness.”

    A great response to finalising the issue Alex, however I just wonder who would publish / broadcast it? Leading of course to who would actually be aware of it other than visitors to Wings?

  214. Alex Waugh says:

    I know Petra. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we had an unbiased media? I’m sure, however, that such a statement could quickly find its way around the net and maybe be picked up by one or two journos who are less soul-dead than their colleagues. I’m positive that KD must grate upon many nerves – some of whom might run with it out of sheer devilment.

  215. yesindyref2 says:

    I think by this time, the more the media does NOT cover a story, the more they expose themselves. And there’s enough going round the net, not just Wings, that draws attention to sources that can be verified.

    Bit by bit the media is destroying itself – unless it adapts and starts being at least balanced and telling the whole story, and all the stories, and nothing but the stories.

    There are some signs of that happening.

  216. Referendum1707 says:

    I’m no legal expert but how much do we actually need to know about the minutiae of the law to know if it’s “good” law?

    I’m starting to come round to the opinion that continuing to fight this case could become an expensive morass with little gain at the end of it, that’s if it was won at all. (an appeal I mean)

    It may well be a tactic to draw WoS’s financial fangs and preoccupy it’s owner with a lot of ultimately irrelevant bs.

    Anyone with a clue as to what’s really going on knows that Stuart Campbell has been vindicated, even if the media’s too corrupt to admit it, and the Judge too much of a coward to rule accordingly.

    Forget about the stupid bitch Dugdale and and her grotesque hangers on and focus on hitting them where it REALLY hurts, i.e boosting support for independence and 1 mil WBB11’s (printed and distributed before the msm fully gets wind of it).

  217. Bibbit Blair says:

    I am glad you’re waiting to see how costs are awarded. Given the Sheriff ruled you were defamed, I hope he rules she pays both sides expenses (unlikely) or, more likely, rules both sides pay their own expenses.

    Court cases are never cheap but the hidden toll is the stress.

    I’d love to see Stu appeal and win. But the press, BBC and arch-Labourite, Bernard Ponsonby, (oily worm of a journo) of STV, would simply down play a Round 2 Wings win.

    If Sheriff says both sides pay own expenses then I think Stu should call it a day.

    We have bigger fish to fry than a spent political no-mark in a third rate party.

    Indyref2 is on the cards. I want all Stu’s (and our) attention on the main event. ‘They’ are going to throw the kitchen sink at us. We can’t get sidetracked.

    ‘They’ already have Salmond tied up in court time, rather than indy time.

    They’d love our time & precious resources tied up. They’d love Stu’s eyes off the ball. Let’s not give ‘them’ that.

    However, if the Sheriff rules Stu pays both sides expenses then we have nothing to lose and appeal the hell out of them

  218. Frank Gillougley says:

    Lemons and lemonade.

    Such a difficult, difficult decision to make and I am not even involved. But I am. We are all involved, whether we like it or not. So here be my tuppence worth:

    I have followed the case, and followed this thread and many others. My initial reaction was to appeal, irrespective (although made more justworthy) of KD obtaining costs (which would likely happen, ye or nay, only after your appeal had been lodged in any case). The reason for appealing is that this decision is political. In a way, the establishment sheriff has acted like Pontius Pilate, and ruled: let the press and punditry do with him as they wish and we have all seen the result of that. So no particular favour here has been served by the law by their Schrodinger’s ruling to the claimant. I don’t believe an appeal would bear any further fruit from this case. Should we be choosing to dance with the devil? I’d be very surprised if legal council advised you to appeal.

    And then an interesting idea was put by Alex Waugh at 2.57pm. where the means to an end changes and would be on your chosen medium rather than in a court. ‘Forgiveness?’ I don’t think so. I ain’t that naive. Would MSM media accept and print such an advert/opinion as suggested? I dunno. Would you be able to draw a line under this if you were able to get published in the MSM a full page advert along the lines suggested by Alex Waugh?

    Given that I had always thought that any monies Wings may have gained in compensation for this case would be donated to a charity, why not crowd fund a statement page in the MSM and give half of the remainder to charity. I’d be up for that.

    But then again, that would probably be daft, but might get them thinking and get some on our side. Whatever, I’d stop playing by their rules and start turning this place upside down. You could write them their script… ‘a cheap political stunt’, blah, blah, blah etc. etc. etc. Well, really? At least, it would be a positive act and who really likes lawyers in any case? All publicity is good publicity.

    Anyway, I am sure you can think of a far better way that promotes independence to a wider audience as part of the campaign with whatever decision you will make.

    All the very best Stu, as ever, and sorry for going on at length.

    Make lemonade.

  219. chicmac says:

    You are not homophobic and you were defamed.

    You had no choice Stuart, you had to clear your name and you have.

    Mission accomplished.

    The damages side is pretty irrelevant being largely a matter of the judge’s opinion rather than legal facts.

    Whereas a defense of ignorance of the law would normally be dismissed, in Ms Dugdale’s case it is all too feasible that she did in fact not comprehend the actual meaning of your tweet and therefore believed the false accusation she made was correct.

    While this could open a can of worms for future defamation cases perhaps in this instance it will be regarded as a special case.

    What this ruling does do though, since it has been very widely publicised, is that any future false accusation of homophobia leveled at you by Ms Dugdale or anyone else would have very great difficulty in playing the stupid card twice.

    I’d forget about Ms Dugdale whose credibility, such as it was, now lies in tatters.

    However, should any fresh accusations be made, especially on a forum where the clear ruling has been cited, I’m sure that ‘special’ defence would no longer be an option.

  220. David says:

    Time to stop calling Kezia names accept the judgement no appeal move on

  221. pipinghot says:

    David, did somebody have to help you turn on your computer?

  222. robertknight says:

    Let’s face it….

    Appeal and win – silence from the MSM, only visitors here will be any the wiser.

    Appeal and lose – howls of derision and über gloating from MSM as evil cybernat takes legal and financial kicking. Again!

    Save the £ and let she who understands not that which falls from her own mouth disappear into obscurity.

  223. CameronB Brodie says:

    On producing “good” legal judgement.

    Legal Theory and the Problem of Definition

    Natural Law and Natural Rights is a refreshingly direct book about some decidedly difficult matters. It is also a book that refuses to do homage to the complexity of its subject by limiting the topics covered. Here is virtually a mini-treatise in moral philosophy, with illuminating discussions on the whole range of human value1 and on a good part of the related range of metaethics,2 legal theory,3 political theory, and the problems of methodology in the descriptive social sciences.

    Such breadth of coverage in such relatively short space admittedly comes at the cost of easy reading. But Finnis repays study for several reasons. First, he speaks directly to matters contemporary philosophers seldom discuss. Of the questions that mark the domain of ethics–“what’s good?” and “how can I know it?”-the latter question has long proved the more fascinating for modern minds, no doubt because of the seeming contrast between scientific and moral modes of “proof.”

    Even those who do turn to the first question-“what is good?”-as often as not are soon sidetracked into questions about what “good” means or about how to describe the moral strategy (utilitarian, deontological) for discovering what’s good. But Finnis is direct: he tells us what is good. He describes seven basic forms of human values and nine requirements of practical reasonableness 7 that we use in pursuing (in Finnis’s terms, “participating in”) these forms. For comparison one reaches back to Aristotle (on whom Finnis draws extensively) for a similarly direct and illuminating confrontation with the substantive problems of ethics.

  224. CameronB Brodie says:

    The quality of law is determined largely by the character of the legal philosophy the law is derived from. I’m sure the Scottish Law Society would agree.


  225. CameronB Brodie says:

    So why am I spouting all this legal theory, seeing as how I’m not a trained lawyer?

    Mikhaïl Xifaras | The Role of the Law in Critical Theory

    Note: This is a draft. Please do not quote or circulate more widely.

    The Role of the Law in Critical Theory
    — The case of Property and the Commons —

    As a Commentary of the first chapter of Négri and Hardt’s Commonwealth

    This is a shorter version of a longer initial draft.

    In a nutshell, my argument is that Critical Theory (hereafter, CT) is no less radical, but much more concrete (or into “real life praxis”, to use the title of the seminar) when it is not only an external but also an internal critique of the Law.

  226. CameronB Brodie says:

    I’m sure the Scottish Law Society is acutely aware that their practice helps to shape society’s view and practice of social norms, and the value placed on the rights of Others.

    Legal Realism as Theory of Law

  227. iainmore says:

    David – Are you a brass necked or bare faced Yoon by any chance? Just asking?

  228. iainmore says:

    Almost 5 years since the Indy Ref and I still haven’t forgiven the Yoons and the Nah bags. My intolerance of them just grows with age.

  229. Claire Duncan says:

    Please just leave it that you have the moral victory and move on.

  230. CameronB Brodie says:

    IMHO, seeking to convert folks is the wrong approach, you are fighting against the media and evolutionary psychology and stuff. It is better on trying to open minds to tolerance of diversity. This requires patience and an empathetic ear.

    Seeking conversion versus advocating tolerance in the pursuit of social change.

  231. CameronB Brodie says:

    It was pretty much over when the doctrine of “TINA” infused British public discourse without much resistance.


    I recently received an e-mail from a graduate of our College. She wrote: ‚So much that has been said about tolerance and diversity encourages people to accept only one point of view. If religious beliefs differ from that point of view, freedom of speech is disregarded.?

    Her comment takes us to the heart of a much-neglected dimension of the diversity discussion: Authentic teaching of diversity must include respect for legitimate differences of moral and religious conscience. In the 21st century, more than ever, educating for democracy requires that schools form citizens who can live harmoniously in an increasingly diverse society. But educating for diversity must have, as a core commitment, teaching respect for diversity of conscience.

    It must include the explicit recognition that persons of conscience may disagree, even profoundly, about issues ranging from personal moral choices to public policy. In a democratic society, an authentic respect for diversity enables us to live with our deepest differences, even as we continue to debate them.

  232. Ghillie says:

    Cameron B, you are so right to highlight that the Law Society of Scotland should be very concerned by the precedent set by this case.

    Many on Wings have pointed out how this could now be abused.

    As for Rev Stu, he clarifies at the end of the last thread, he has been found innocent of homophobia in a court of law and cannot be called by that description again. That is a good result. Albeit obscured by the fog of nonsense from the usual suspects.

    Petra @ 3.52 pm You make very useful and interesting points.

    The thing about forgiveness is that I find it is more about saving the person who tries to forgive than the person who has done wrong and should be seeking forgiveness and owning their wrong.

    I have also found that the folk who do us wrong often have a deep seated history that brings about that wrong, problems that go way deeper and further back. Once I, for one, have seen that truth I find that it sets me free.

    When we are able to forgive someone it helps to release us from the pain they have caused.

    They need never know and we certainly do not ever have to accept their presence again. But it sets us free.

    As for Kezia Dugdale, my understanding is that she was found, in a court of law, to be ignorant. THAT was a very poor outcome for her.

    Worse, she seems to have a problem now with her family.

    My heartfelt advice to Kezia Dugdale, even if she cannot for now stop the crowing about a situation where she was in fact found to be wrong and is, in my opinion, continuing to smear a good man’s character, she should at the very least go her father and repair that rift.

  233. Craig says:

    I read the Herald column this article refers too, and I feel it was well balanced. The most important thing to come from it is that straight people are not the best judge of what is and what is not homophobic. LGBT people are best placed to decide what is and what is not acceptable. The comment you made about Mundell may have been a joke, but many LGBT people did find it offensive. I would suggest your comment was a microaggression, in itself not a hugely offensive comment, but when combined with the everyday indignities gay people suffer through ignorance they all add up.

    Even though you feel you are not homophobic it important to check ourselve and what we say everyday, whether it could be homophobic, racist, sexist etc… It is only when we truly respect others and edit what we say that our society will truly value all peoples equally regardless of who or what they are.

  234. Craig says:

    I would also point out there has always been a defence in defamation cases that if the defendant truly believed the opinion and a fair and reasonable person could understand their opinion then no defamation occurred, to suggest this judgement redefines the law is wholly inaccurate.

  235. Richard Hunter says:

    I have to say I was never happy about taking on this case. I don’t think it’s wise to put any trust in the British justice system. I am concerned that WoS could take a hit in costs that could cripple it. That would be a tragedy. My hope is that WoS escapes with minimum liability and we can move on.

  236. Orri says:

    Legally the judgement was that, to paraphrase, that LGBT people can get to fuck with any claims at being the sole arbitrators of what is it is not homophobic.

    It might be just me but there’s more than one way that joke can be read.

    The obvious one is the play on expectations that a gay man or woman can’t be parents. Which is obviously false these days. Not homophobic really.

    The barb may be that Mundel is akin to Thorpe and lied to himself, his wife and party in order to advance his career. There’s a fairly good dramatization of that available.

    At a stretch the fact that homosexuals actually raise children who are happy and well adjusted might lend itself to the idea that rather than being not born at all it’s the quality of upbringing that’s being commented on.

    Basically the perceived homophobia relies on a presumption that the author was only aware of one interpretation of their own words and that the worst intention was it.

  237. Richard Hunter says:

    I also sense that you’re beginning to get a bit tired of WoS, just judging by your increasing interest in the transgender issue. That’s fine, you’re entitled to do as you please. Maybe it is time for you take stock and decide what you want to do?

  238. Al-Stuart says:

    Good morning Stuart,

    What a fascinating thread. In a perverse way it is a wee bit uplifting. Lots of constructive comments.

    I posted earlier that it might be a better option to chose your battles; that the fag-end Dugdale appeal would be lost again in the MSM even if you won it.

    The suggestion that £100,000 could well secure the imprisonment of Tory murderers Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling still stands…


    That WoS would obtain better justice striking down an English Law (DWP work capability assessment) that has so far killed 6 Scots. A far better use than appealing Dugdale waster round 2.

    However, I just read Twathater’s post and agree with that.

    His proposal for a £100,000 Wee Blue Book2 GIRFUY Crowdfunder is a stoatir.

    By raising £100,000 to spend on extra copies of WBB2 we, the subscribers reach our own verdict: Kezia is a loser!

    Gaun yersel Twathater. A bramma of an idea 🙂

    To quote Mr T.W. Ater….

    “I have a proposal , how about instead of crowdfunding Stu’s appeal we all contribute the same amount that we would have donated , to fund even more Wee Blue Books , if we could raise that £100,000 that would make a bigger impact on the MSM and broadcasters , and it would be used for something more worthwhile than lining lawyers and the establishments pockets

    We could call it ” STU’S revenge against the biased and lying MSM fund ” shurely that might poke a few scribblers in the eye”

  239. Undeadshuan says:

    Rev, we ned you to have all your focus on the next independence referendum.

    If you appeal, is that maybe playing into what the establishment want, by diverting your attention away from where you can damage them most?

    As others have said this judgment breaks scots law and opens a can of worms by allowing a claim of idiocy to be not found guilty. Leave it to the legal system to put its own house in order.

  240. SOG says:

    I’m way out of my depth here. If anyone comments that KD actally won the case, would it be relevant to ask when she’s going to repeat the opinion in public?

    Fiona R’s tweet seems hard to find.

  241. Onwards says:

    Surprised at the benefit of the doubt given to her in the ruling.

    Her “comment was fair because it can be rationally justified from underlying facts”
    Really ?
    Seems to step well over the line, when considering the balance between free speech and defamation.

    Even if she genuinely believed a short twitter joke to be homophobic, it’s a big leap to publicly tar someone as a homophobe without stronger proof.
    But she not only fails to check for a mountain of opposing facts, she exaggerates to enhance her slur.

    The references to plural tweets seems far more than a minor inaccuracy of limited effect.

    A single short comment may be controversial or questionable.
    But multiple times, spouting.. a tirade… that looks like pattern of behaviour.
    Should Daily Record readers really be expected to fact-check – especially in such an apparently clear-cut case.
    Most people have heard of WOS, How many tabloid readers use twitter anyway ?

    “Such comments are, of course, not unique to the man who tweets as Wings Over Scotland. But it is depressing and disheartening that there are SNP politicians who promote his work.”

    Again, This can be easily read as ‘multiple comments on multiple occasions by the same person’. Not just the alleged ‘twitter tirade’ during the Tory conference.

    The article clearly portrays an abusive blogger who regularly spouts angry homophobic rants.

    Expected any close call would see the case won on merit, but with limited damages.
    Hard to see how any appeal could go, when so much value judgement is made in the actual ruling.

    However any ‘reasonable person’ saw the most likely reason for her article:
    Underhand hatchet-job by insincere politician with personal grudge,
    Never heard of George Takai, uh-huh

  242. CameronB Brodie says:

    Richard Hunter
    Transgender issue are one of the most pressing political issues of our time, with huge and wide reaching significance. If you don’t realise that, then I suggest you don’t understand the issue.

  243. Richard Hunter says:

    @CameronB Brodie

    I don’t know why you say that. I do understand the issue and I do agree it’s important. I would just prefer if Stu’s time was focused on Scottish independence instead. As I’ve said, he’s entitled to do whatever he wants to do.

  244. CameronB Brodie says:

    Richard Hunter
    Sorry, I’m just a bit protective. ;

  245. SOG says:

    This bit from Mr Smith…

    “if the Union flag has negative historical associations so does the Saltire, which has been flown at the front of many an invader’s army”

    … makes me wonder if his meaning could be the flag being flown by the defending Scots in the face of invading English? What would that make him?

  246. CameronB Brodie says:

    “if the Union flag has negative historical associations so does the Saltire, which has been flown at the front of many an invader’s army”

    Though history isn’t my specialist topic, I can’t think of a nation that Scotland “invaded” and, subsequently, colonised. Scotland only became a colonial ‘power’ through union with England and the creation of the political construct known as Britain/UK. Obviously, it was the economic and political elites of the time who determined the political economy of the day, not the common man or woman, who were also victims of colonial mercantilism.

    IMHO, it is the Union Flag that most strongly symbolises the historical oppression of global cultures, including Scotland’s.

  247. cassandra says:

    Petra @3.52pm

    I wasn’t twisting your words – I made no reference to your words. I was emphasising the point that forgiveness is not a weakness.

    In fact I said later on in the post that they would spin what they want anyway, which you maybe missed. That you feel it would be interpreted as weakness by anyone is fair comment (!) although I don’t see that at all.

    The idea was put forward as a means of closure and for the sake of the Rev’s health and wellbeing. He has had it clarified he is not a homophobe and that Kezia is thick, two major points. We will find out if in the settling of costs whether she is a spitful person who will not let this go. It will probably be much clearer to the Rev what he wants to do then.

  248. robertknight says:

    CBB …

    I suspect that the Mi?kmaq people of what is now Nova Scotia might have something to say on the subject.

    During the Gulf War the Iraqi’s would have seen several vehicles belonging to the Black Watch or Royal Scots Dragoon Guards sporting saltires from the whip antenna. If I had been an Iraqi I’d have certainly classed such as invaders, albeit of the ‘British’ variety.

  249. Petra says:

    Ok clarified. Thanks for that Cassandra.

  250. CameronB Brodie says:

    Thanks for the correction. 😉

  251. george wood says:

    Appeal the decision.

    We can’t have vindictive politicians trying to silence debate by defaming those they don’t like in the press and at Holyrood.

    The sheriff clearly allowed his personal opinions to cloud his judgement.

    I’m willing to contribute to any crowdfunder for this.

    You may need better cousel though, there was great milage to be made out of going after the Stonewall guy, given their bizarre outlook on lesbians – requiring them to consider men as sexual partners. Pointing out that by opposing the Transcult, you are standing up for women and lesbians.

  252. Gary says:

    There was no way that ANYONE who is famous for supporting independence would win a defamation case against ANYONE.

    No, I don’t own a tin-foil hat! But the facts WERE clear and the Sheriff agreed with you and STILL managed to find a way to weasel out of finding in your favour. If THAT doesn’t convince people, nothing will.

    Looking at another recent court case, only similar due to how controversial the defendant (in this case) was you can see how being a ‘controversial figure’ damages what passes for justice. Julian Assange (yes, in know!) was taken directly from the Embassy to a trial. No time to prep or instruct a lawyer, no chance to get a trial date to allow such either and YET the judge gave a speech calling him a “Narcissist” and his ‘defence’ “Laughable” All this in spite of the fact that Assange was unable to put any ‘defence’ forward and had spoken only to ask a question about the additional charge he was facing. ie everything the judge said was for the benefit of soundbites for the TV news. None of these ‘news gatherers’ questioned ANY of this. They took what they were handed and churned it back out the public. However, these days the public are a little less accepting of what they are handed. These days actions like this have to be carried out by governments with the full knowledge that at least a SECTION of the population KNOWS they are duplicitous.

    So, as in your case, anyone who has watched how the papers, the TV news and political parties behave towards you, and others like you, will realise there is a concerted effort. To bring your site down by hacking, to shut down your YouTube with political pressure, to destroy your reputation with targeted newspaper, TV and blog articles. Sounds like EXACTLY the kind of job that the 77th Brigade would get their teeth into. Just the kind of thing, coincidentally, that Julian Assange warned us of when he broke the story on PRISM.

    ALL of that information is publicly available now, it has all been confirmed as correct. So there’s no need for the tin foil hat, this is all true…

  253. Vince says:

    It seems to me that this judgement states that as long as a person sincerely believes their statement to have truth and merit, then that statement can never render them liable for defamation. In other words, defamation is only actionable if an attempt is made to knowingly deceive the public. Of course, most people believe that what they say is truthful and has merit.

    This seems to give a blank cheque to defamers, particularly if they are going to have their costs covered, and if they have the financial banking to ‘outlast’ their pursuers.

    Furthermore it seems that Dugdale gets to define what she means by homophobia, specifically because she is gay. Introducing that kind of subjectivity into case law seems like it’s going to create a lot of trouble in future.

    So I would like you to appeal, if you and your lawyers think that you have a way forward. I am not a man of means, so could only make a small donation. But, given your readership, I think that you could make it work.

  254. Dean says:

    Remember Gordon brown called that old bag an old bag? Pretty much lost him his job and he done that accidentally. Sad state of affairs when the leader of a political party can call some guy who has a website a homophobe in a newspaper and get away with it.

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