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Wings Over Scotland

And finally… #16

Posted on February 11, 2013 by

As a new week of Newsnight Scotland looms, this should work most days.


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    57 to “And finally… #16”

    1. Ysabelle says:

      I’m afraid as a woman and a feminist I am not at all happy at the use of this headline. The tragic suicide of Frances Andrade is not at all appropriate for this site. She was abused years ago as a young girl, and killed herself as a consequence of the cross-examination experience, the belief that he was going to get off, and the lack of support she was given. I might add that if the YES side want to attract more women, this is not the way to do it.

    2. Oldnat says:


    3. Kirriereoch says:

      I´ve only commented on WOS a couple of times and have donated well and directed friends and family here to get an insight into the debate about Scotland´s self-determination that doesn´t echo the mainstream media´s typical responses.
      However here I have to agree with Ysabelle and say I find this more than a tad tasteless and pointless, if not counter-productive.

    4. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I’m afraid as a woman and a feminist I am not at all happy at the use of this headline. The tragic suicide of Frances Andrade is not at all appropriate for this site.”

      …and is not mentioned anywhere in the image. All references to the original story have been cropped out. It’s a simple pun on the name “Brewer”. (If I’d just seen the image I wouldn’t have the remotest clue what it was about, and in fact still don’t as I didn’t read the story.) Please don’t invent something in it to be offended about that isn’t there, and especially not to suit an agenda.

    5. Baheid says:

      Ysabelle says:
      11 February, 2013 at 10:39 pm

      I’m afraid as a woman and a feminist
      Don’t understand what being a feminist has to do with your opinion

    6. Morag says:

      I didn’t know what the story was about, and only saw the pun.  But human nature wants to know what it’s really about, and once that little bit of research has been done – well, I’m a bit uncomfortable now too.

    7. Ysabelle says:

      I knew as soon as I saw the image what it was referring to. I’m sure others did too. How dare you brush it off like that. 

    8. Morag says:

      OK, as a musician, I feel rather uncomfortable about this and think on balance it wasn’t a good idea.

    9. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “How dare you brush it off like that.”

      Because you’re finding offence where none was intended.

    10. KOF says:

      I’m with the Rev on this one.
      If the story which this headline was taken from had been linked in to the image/article, then yes, it would be offensive. However, it’s not, it’s just an image. It’s just a jokey side swipe at Newsnight, nothing else.

    11. Amanayeman says:

      You mean it’s NOT about Gordon Brewer?

    12. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:


    13. Oldnat says:

      Everyone makes mistakes from time to time. This article is one. I’m sure you didn’t intend offence – just saw it as a clever pun. But it was an error. Don’t make things worse by continuing with it.

    14. pa_broon74 says:

      I have no idea to what the headline refers, except to say, if its in the Express, it’s usually immigrants or Diana.
      I’m also uncomfortable with the notion I can be denied a piece of satire in case it offends someone else, especially when I have no idea why.

      Other than that, The Express is an execrable rag unworthy of the wood pulp on which it is printed.

    15. Castle Rock says:

      It’s clear that you didn’t mean any offence but given that people have highlighted what the story is about then I think it should be withdrawn.
      It’s a pretty horrendous story and out of respect I think you should withdraw it.

    16. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Don’t understand what being a feminist has to do with your opinion”

      “It’s a pretty horrendous story and out of respect I think you should withdraw it.”

      Here’s the thing, folks. I’m a human, and like other humans I don’t get everything right. One of my flaws is that if I see a headline that in isolation might make for an amusing end-of-the-day wordplay, I grab the screenshot and get on with my life, not bothering to read the story or to think that some people will recognise it and impose it on the joke, even though no reference was intended or could reasonably be implied.

      That’d all be very well and easily sorted, except for another character flaw which ensures that any demand made of me preceded by the term “as a feminist” will never, ever be acceded to. I love women. Of all the genders there are, they’re my absolute favourite, and I think that they should have completely equal rights to men in every conceivable sphere and plane of existence. Which is why I don’t much like feminists, and ones who try to bully me less still.

      I don’t say this with any pride, but had Ysabelle just said “I think this joke’s in poor taste” I’d very likely have taken it down, because I had no desire to upset anyone, even accidentally. Now you couldn’t get me to delete it at gunpoint. Like I say, humans are flawed, me at least as much as any other. There it is, I’m afraid.

      We should probably move on at that, because the only alternative will be everyone getting significantly grumpier with each other, and making not one iota of progress towards either gender equality or an independent Scotland by doing so.

    17. You know, this is all getting too twee and PC.

      I think Stuart Campbell’s instinct on these matters is generally sound, and if he strays too far over the line for some every now and then, ask yourself if you want every story to be pablum’d down to the least offensive undifferentiated meh. 

      Maybe he should focus-group his submissions prior to publication? Because that’s what you’re doing here.

      He is not responsible for readers finely honed and delicately graduated sensitivities.

      I’ve watched him being attacked for the most ridiculous alleged transgression of someone’s practiced preciousness.

      My concern would be that on some level he may internalize this bull and self censor, but I hope he will not.

      I’d urge him to digitize his response, then keep on keepin’ on.

    18. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “My concern would be that on some level he may internalize this bull and self censor, but I hope he will not.”

      On that, at least, you can rest assured.

    19. The Man in the Jar says:

      This “forum” sometimes displays a robust sense of humour. If it didn’t I would not be here. In fact that is why I don’t visit NNS very often now.

    20. kininvie says:

      Well I disagree, (as you would expect). If you are going to criticise the journalistic practices of others – which you do supremely well – by exposing the half truths and out-of-context stuff, then you have to keep your own standards extremely high. You don’t have the excuse of being a human – you are a professional journalist. This was taken out of context, and as you say, you didn’t bother to read the story, and it turned bad.
      It’s not a question of who made the complaint. It’s a question of being truthful & accurate. Anyone can make a mistake, but that was a mistake.

    21. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “This was taken out of context”

      That’s a terribly unfair comparison. I attack things when they’re used out of context to reverse their meaning or truthfulness while remaining about the same subject. This is not an example of that.

      “It’s not a question of who made the complaint.”

      Not who, no. But how. I promise you, in the most unequivocal way possible, that nothing anyone can say will alter anything now, any more than people yelling at me got the Wootton Basset poster taken down. You can decide for yourself if you want to waste your breath trying. I’ve said my piece, I’m done.

      (PS Tomorrow’s AF is a funny picture of a cat, which hopefully nobody will object to.)

    22. Doug Daniel says:

      Stewart Lee wrote an article in the Guardian last year about Scotland which, if I’m perfectly honest, I found a little bit insulting. This is despite knowing his sense of humour and his style of writing in his articles. However, I accepted that, on that occasion, I just had to put that to the side and take the article for what it was meant to be – a bit of fun, and certainly not intended to be insulting. After all, if I start demanding Stewart Lee doesn’t write things that I disagree with, why should he write things that other people disagree with? Where does it stop, and would there be anything left for him to write about once all the no-go areas had been ticked off?
      It’s the same with the good Reverend. We all know his style of writing, in fact it’s exactly why so many of us enjoy his blog every day. Unless you find his style of writing offensive on the whole (in which case we’d be entitled to say “well why are you reading it, Duncan?”), then if something doesn’t hit the right tone for you, maybe it’s best to just say “oh well, that one didn’t work for me. But I know he wasn’t meaning to be offensive.”
      Most importantly of all, the subject of the humour here is not the article behind the headline – it’s the man sitting behind the Newsnicht desk, barking at people when they’re halfway through a sentence. I would understand folk getting upset if Stu was making fun of the people in the case, but he’s just using words on a page.

    23. CW says:

      Rev – ”Of all the genders there are, they’re my absolute favourite, and I think that they should have completely equal rights to men in every conceivable sphere and plane of existence.” I would’ve thought that by definition you are a feminist then, Stu. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

    24. CameronB says:


    25. douglas clark says:

      Just out of amusement, ‘Fortean Times’ often does headlines out of context. It is the fact that they are out of context that makes them, well, odd. Or dissonant.

      For instance:

      Hundreds of fairies to attempt world record.

      “Dead man “thrilled at first grandchild”

      etc, etc.

      Just saying.

    26. bmc875 says:

      My! There’s lots of folk determined to be offended. I, however, am not one of them. If WoS really wanted to offend, I sure he would do it to my face – and with some aplomb too!
      PS What is the Scottish equivalent of ‘Disgusted – from Tunbridge Wells’

    27. I don’t think reusing the headline from an article in another context takes anything away from the tragedy behind the original story. They are not actually connected. It is being rather precious to be upset by this. Is it only feminists and women that would be allowed to be offended. 

    28. CameronB says:

      Changed my mind.

    29. Albalha says:

      PS What is the Scottish equivalent of ‘Disgusted – from Tunbridge Wells’

      Scunnered fae Scourie, maybe ……on your more substantive point, I’ve said here before, there’s seem to be an ever increasing penchant for being offended.

      Fair enough not to agree, to reckon something is in bad taste but to feel offended that’s where I part company.   


    30. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I would’ve thought that by definition you are a feminist then, Stu.”

      I’m really not. I believe in equality. But I don’t think a discussion of the term will get us anywhere productive.

    31. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Changed my mind.”

      About saying “stakeholders”? Um, okay.

    32. CameronB says:

      @ Rev. Stuart Campbell
      No not about stakeholders. I was about to reply to bmc875, but changed my mind.
      I was not implying any criticism of your standpoint, simply pointing out that you have introduced a new dynamic to your blog (i.e. seeking to go full time). Though I am not suggesting that this should prevent you from doing your job as you see fit, I think it might serve you well to bear it in mind in the future. Only my opinion.

    33. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      ” I think it might serve you well to bear it in mind in the future”

      What is it you suggest? Checking someone’s name against the donations list before I reply to them in order to determine how much weight their opinion should carry?

    34. pa_broon74 says:

      Really? So now that a number of people have contributed to a fund which will pay a wage or salary to Rev Stu, he must some how mind his tongue? We’ve essentially paid for a gag?
      If that was part of the deal, I want my £10 back. I’m don’t want my convictions confirmed, I want them informed and challenged, I don’t want to be told what I want to hear.

    35. CameronB says:

      @ Rev Stuart Campbell & pa-broon74
      No, I really wish I hadn’t said anything now. It was the last article of what must have been a long day. The Rev. is human after all.
      I applaud the Rev.’s position of calling it as he see it. However, he himself acknowledged that, what he referred to as a character flaw, prevented him from responding to a complaint in a more conciliatory manner. I do not personally think that this is a means to business success, and like it or not, going full time turns WOS into a business. How you handle this transition Rev. will determine whether WOS has a future.
      Will I get my coat?

    36. Tonia Wight says:

      Well, just to add my tuppence worth, I’m offended too. But I guess that’s alright. If we agreed with everything everyone else did/said it would be a strange world… indeed I don’t agree with what I did yesterday a whole lot of the time. However, in respect for a woman who took her own life I would personally remove it after the requests. But the beauty of free will and free speech is that we don’t all have to do what others want.

      OK that was a rambling way of saying “I respect your reasons for keeping it up Rev Stu, but disagree with your stance”. Hmmmm.

    37. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “If that was part of the deal, I want my £10 back.”

      Rest assured it was not. NO REFUNDS.


    38. Bill McLean says:

      I wish those appearing this morning to express their discomfort would do the same with the foul distortions and downright lies being published daily in the press. Or have I missed the point?

    39. Morag says:

      I agree with Tonia for what it’s worth.
      Bill, you have missed the point.  RevStu will listen and respond, so it’s worth saying you feel uncomfortable if you do.  The MSM doesn’t give a monkey’s what I or any other nationalist thinks, so I might as well save my energy.

    40. velofello says:

      My concern and interest is to enable Rev Stu to continue, with the quality of his articles and observations on Uk politics and his support of the drive to independence. There are no free lunches in life and his call for some financial support comes as no surprise to me. Indeed I feel a bit relieved that he has made the call since i wondered just how he managed to maintain such a flow of well thought through critiques of UK politics and events and hold down a day job.
      The Unionists have the advantage of resources on their side, how many civil servants have they now working to prepare tedious wordy documents to sap pro-Independence resolve?
      Instance we have just been advised that Scotland ceased to exist in 1707. And, lo and behold, we have a dispute arising here over a newspaper headline – linking it to the coming week’s Newsnight Scotland. Note there is no other comment on any other subject as has been pointed out by Rev Stu.
      Just what the Unionist camp would hope for, the pro-Independents arguing amongst themselves over…what?
      i’m not at all happy reading through the comments here and finding Rev Stu having to defend himself.
      Keep up the good work Rev Stu, you cannot please them all.

    41. Bill McLean says:

      Good morning Morag – no problem with people feeling uncomfortable and agree about the Rev, but people frequently complain about the press. I simply wish that people who are offended by the press would write to it. No matter whether they give a monkey’s or not – there are people reading the press who may and who may be persuaded of the duplicity of said press!

    42. BillDunblane says:

      Terrible when what you meant to say is taken in a completely different context and not at all related in any way to what you said in the first place.
      Why, a friend of mine……

    43. Morag says:

      Well, yeah, but sometimes you drop a clanger without realising it.  It’s better to back off once the clanger has been pointed out to you, than to insist that it’s all OK becauce you didn’t originally mean it that way.

    44. CameronB says:

      To clarify my position, if that is necessary, I am not having a go. I think using that particular headline was inappropriate and a mistake. I think the Rev, feels similar after discovering what the headline referred too. Apologies if I am wrong Rev.
      I support WOS emotionally and financially, and I hope to do so for as long as is necessary. Would everyone please kiss and make up so we can move on?

    45. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “It’s better to back off once the clanger has been pointed out to you”

      I think I’ve already covered this. But one thing to add – there’s a difference between “offence” and “upset”. You can do the latter by accident, but not the former.

    46. Morag says:

      I’m not really sure I understand that.  Sometimes people take offence at something I said, although I had absolutely no intention of causing offence, and had not even realised that what I said could be taken in that context.
      It’s a judgement call as to whether to decide the other person is being ridiculous, or to decide that in fact you understand in retrospect why what you said appeared offensive to them.  I don’t think you can legislate for people taking offence at innocently-made remarks though.

    47. Dave Smith says:

      The most offensive thing about that image was the insult of ‘Scottish’ in front of Express, given the toxic, pro-serfdom keech that ‘graces’ that glorified arsepaper.

    48. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I’m not really sure I understand that. Sometimes people take offence at something I said, although I had absolutely no intention of causing offence, and had not even realised that what I said could be taken in that context.”

      It’s easy enough. If I post something that accidentally UPSETS someone, I’VE made a mistake. I haven’t been careful enough when checking that the material might be upsetting. Clearly that’s what’s happened here. But OFFENCE is about intent. Nobody has any business being OFFENDED by something that wasn’t expressly designed to offend.

      If someone’s OFFENDED by that post, when it was absolutely clearly intended to attack nobody but Newsnight Scotland and/or some of its guests – the accompanying text makes that absolutely plain, as does the light-hearted context of an “And Finally” post and the cropping out of any reference to the original subject – then THEY’VE made the mistake.

      (To be more precise, the mistake of not understanding what offence is. The difference is the difference between being tried for involuntary manslaughter and murder.)

      In either event, though, making angry demands about it – and doubly, triply, a hundredfold doing so “as a feminist” – will do nobody any good whatsoever.

    49. Morag says:

      I suppose I interpret the langue a bit differently.  I do see it as possible to offend someone unintentionally.
      Sometimes, I even feel very offended by something someone has said, even though I know they didn’t mean it so I struggle not to over-react.
      I tend to have the same reaction to the “as a woman and a feminist” bit, though.  This was about the tragic suicide of a human being.  If it had been a man who had been the subject of sexual abuse while a choirboy, would it have made any difference?  None whatsoever.

    50. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      On a happier note, congratulations on your 1000th post! (And, indeed, on your 1001st, the one above this one.)

    51. Morag says:

      Clearly I should have split my postings up into a number of subtle variants on my name, to be more discreet about it all.

    52. Keef says:

      I thought the headline was exactly as how the Rev. Intended it to be. A dig at newsnight. I’d never heard of the other story mentioned so it was impossible for me to see anything else in it.  It is so easy to misconstrue a meaning, a tweet or an e- mail because of the very fact that it is written and not spoken face to face. It is therefore becoming more common for people to take offence at things that resonate in their sphere of life, even though the written ‘offending’ artefact was never intended to do so.
      FFS cut the guy some slack folks, the sole reason of Stu’s articles are to highlight and inform on the paucity of unbiased reporting in the MSM. Anything else is clearly coincidental and I urge you to bear this in mind as you read. Making it out as something it is not and then attempting to apply gravitas to it by adding the ‘feminist’ offended remark. Might be more apt to drive more female voters away than if nothing was said In the first place Ysabelle.

    53. Morag says:

      It was a bit tasteless.  But hey, RevStu is a bit tasteless sometimes.  It’s hardly an intermational incident.

    54. Albamac says:


      1: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes

      I’m the father of six daughters.  I didn’t spend much time theorising, but I made damned sure that they owned their own lives before they left the nest. I think it’s called independence

      2: organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests

      I lived with seven women, nuff said! 🙂

    55. Jeannie says:

      For what it’s worth, I’m not offended.
       If Stu had taken the actual story in the Express and deliberately used that story in a tasteless way to make a point, then I might have thought he’d made a bad call.  But he didn’t use the story.  He used the bare headline and the headline alone, thus decontextualising it and reducing it to nothing more than a collection of words which only has meaning within the context of Newsnight Scotland.  I, personally, had no idea what the headline originally referred to and therefore simply made the connection to Gordon Brewer and Newsnight.  I didn’t even look any further to see what the article was about……I didn’t think there was any need as I had already gotten the point. 
      And even if Stu had meant to offend – and I don’t know why he would have – taking offence requires my consent and I simply wouldn’t be giving it.

    56. Tris says:

      It’s best to make up your mind to be offended by as few things as possible in life. otherwise you go through life being offended… or upset…or whatever your particular definition is.
      I see no offence and no upset in this: none at all.
      But I am slightly tired of the “as a woman and a feminist” stance. As I think Morag says, if you are going to take offence because of a connection which actually wasn’t there, do it as a human being. Being a woman and a feminist doesn’t make you any more special than being a man and a…whatever it is… masculinist?

    57. Appleby says:

      Anyone who says “how dare you” or “don’t you know who I am” aren’t worth listening to. I find this rule works very well.

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