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Becoming the squirrel

Posted on May 18, 2017 by

I went to the dentist this morning, and boy was I ever in for a shock when I got back.

So I guess we’d better talk about this for a minute.

Because as you can see from the clip above, the absolutely extraordinary truth is that Kezia Dugdale, the leader of the North British branch office of the Labour Party, spent the entirety of her allotted time at First Minister’s Questions asking not about the NHS, or the economy, or education, or policing, or the colour of municipal flagpoles, but raging about a mean thing I – some idiot with a website who doesn’t even live in Scotland – said about a Tory MSP on Twitter more than two months ago.

No, honestly. This was it:

It had caused a bit of a kerfuffle at the time, as disastrously stupid people who don’t understand even the most rudimentary operation of the English language pretended to think it was “homophobic”, most of them (one would presume) in an cynical attempt at a smear against myself and this site – something which has happened on a pretty regular basis ever since it appeared – aimed at reducing its readership and influence.

And one might presume that because it’s plainly impossible to construct any rational English interpretation of those words which is fearful of, or prejudiced against, gay people. It’s a satirical criticism of Oliver Mundell’s public speaking skills, made in the context of my live-tweeting the Scottish Conservative conference, where I was saying similar things about almost everyone else on the stage. To the best of my knowledge Oliver Mundell is not gay.

(In essence it’s identical to this joke on the premise of “I dislike you and I wish your father had never caused you to come into being” which had been made at the expense of Katie Hopkins a few months earlier, and which was retweeted and liked 147,000 times and lauded across socia media and the internet.)

In so far as it references his father, Tory MP David Mundell – who did come out as gay in 2016 – it’s plainly not using his homosexuality in a derogatory manner. Indeed, the opposite is true – it expresses a wish that he’d embraced and accepted his gay self sooner, rather than living a painful lie with a wife and family and causing them and himself great and unnecessary trauma as a result.

Interestingly, David Mundell’s own reaction to the tweet was to immediately try to turn it to his political advantage against Nicola Sturgeon, who is in no way responsible for my actions. He carefully avoided actually directly alleging that I was a homophobe.

And Oliver Mundell himself was even more circumspect – making no reference of any kind to sexuality and merely suggesting that the tweet was unkind, which it was:

Dugdale, however, lacked the two Tory politicians’ basic cunning. She used the tweet in an attack in her Daily Record column a few days later, claiming (quite rightly) that “it is utterly unacceptable for someone to face abuse because of their sexuality”. But nobody had done that. I’d been rude about – not even to – Oliver Mundell for being a terrible public speaker, not for his sexuality.

(I also make no secret of, and no apology for, my contempt for the party that both of the Mundells represent, or the reasons for it. But their sexualities are of no interest to me whatsoever. I care about what they do in their offices, not their bedrooms.)

The reason alleging otherwise is so offensive is that I’ve been a lifelong advocate of equal rights for gay people. Wings Over Scotland has only rarely addressed the issue because it’s not really within our Scottish-politics remit, but on the occasions we’ve done so we’ve been unequivocally supportive of, for example, equal marriage.

Dugdale’s dragging up a stale, months-old slur was nothing other than a transparent attempt to distract voters from the spectacular trainwreck Scottish Labour is currently undergoing over its councillors. She threw a dead cat on the floor of the Holyrood chamber so that nobody would talk about the mess her party is in.

Also, of course, it was a desperate shot at trying to discredit a website that’s been a thorn in the side of Scottish Labour for five years. Dugdale has long been furious that people trust Wings Over Scotland’s forensic and fully sourced journalism, and that we regularly catch her out telling lies.

And obviously it was also an attempt to tar the SNP with the brush of my sometimes abrasive online persona, despite my having never been a member of, or even voted for, the SNP. Bizarrely, Dugdale referred to me as a “colleague” of the First Minister, who I’ve never met or had a conversation with, while frantically trying to draw attention away from the gigantic beams in her own eye.

It seems that today she finally lost all control of her hatred. We will be pursuing her in court over the defamation she repeated in Parliament today. And that’s all we have to say on the subject for now.

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544 to “Becoming the squirrel”

  1. Rock


    “But to win independence we must also win over the middle classes who have been indoctrinated by the constant drip drip anti SNP bile in the Daily Mail and Daily Express the London TV channels.”

    Although it might take another 310 years before we could win over enough of them to tilt the balance in our favour.

    For heaven’s sake, the selfish middle classes are smart and stubborn people who don’t need anyone else to convince them.

    They act in their own self interest and convince themselves.

    Can we really win over readers of the Daily Mail, Daily Express and Scotsman?

    In contrast there are lots and lots of downtrodden people who don’t even bother to vote.

    They are far more likely to be won over.

    That is a proven fact from the last referendum.

    While the selfish middle classes in the then “SNP heartlands” voted No in stunning numbers, the less well off voted Yes in Glasgow, Dundee and North Lanarkshire.

    If we had spent more time and resources on the people in the schemes, we would have won.

    Instead the official Yes campaign was a very middle class affair and it failed quite badly.

    It is mainly due to the efforts of the RIC and Tommy Sheridan that we mangaged to reach 45%.

  2. Scot Finlayson

    @Mary Miles

    Just been reading about the British Empire which colonised Tasmania in 1803 and by 1830 there were no Aboriginal Tasmanians left alive on the island,

    Tasmania had been inhabited by aboriginal peoples for 40,000 years,

    it took the Brutish Empire 27 years to ethnically cleanse the whole island,

    called by most historians as deliberate genocide,

    British Values.

  3. Ian Brotherhood

    Hey, lurkers and newcomers –

    What a Rocktastic night we’ve all had, eh?!

    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  4. Rock


    “The National is not Pravda but the fact that Yoons hide it in all supermarkets proves that it is effective.”

    The publishers of The National are a major company.

    Do you think they would tolerate the hiding of their product?

    No, they know that gullible independence supporters will find and buy it, while they don’t want unionist supporters to see or buy it.

    The National’s owners do not support independence. The National just brings in extra funds to prop up The Herald.

    Why would the “independence supporting” The National follow the unionist line and call WOS “controversial”?

    Buyers of The National who are such frequent posters here should surely complain?

  5. Hamish100

    Rock of ages comes from the shadows.
    Ok you don’t read papers apparently but your fixated by The National. Guess what since you don’t buy the newspaper why don’t you shut up complaining about it. Easy peasy. How long have you gone on about it? Failed journalist I think.

    Just like the Tories if you don’t want to vote in a referendum then don’t.

    Rock your just a troll.

  6. Rock

    Meg merrilees,

    “Actually Rock, you assumed wrongly!

    I was asking a rhetorical question, hoping that it might open a discussion around the points raised.”

    I didn’t assume wrongly, you wrote badly.

    Meg merrilees,

    “Excuse me asking – just a bit confused.
    Why is there a separate Scottish Tory Manifesto when we are approaching a WM election?”

    That is not a “rhetorical question”, it is very innocent looking question, which is betrayed by your own firm opinion a bit later on:

    “It’s all rubbish, deliberately meant to mislead.”

    You were not at all “confused”, so why start with the false impression that you were?

  7. Robert J. Sutherland

    Ian Brotherhood @ 00:34,

    It’s a full moon, Ian. Need I say any more…?

  8. Rock


    “Rock your just a troll.”

    Anyone who has to resort to the “T” word has lost the argument.

  9. Graf Midgehunter

    Hallo Mary Miles 😉

    You may be “Miles away” but you’re still here with us and we’re all looking forward to hearing from you.

    Don’t be shy….

  10. Rock

    Robert J. Sutherland,

    “Ian Brotherhood @ 00:34,

    It’s a full moon, Ian. Need I say any more…?”

    Which planet are you guys living on?

    It is most definitely not full moon on planet earth.

  11. Cadogan enright


    What about investing the 10k in a really professional submission to Ofcom on the BBC

    Done well enough for a judicial review follow up if Ofcom fail to deliver

  12. Robert J. Sutherland

    Meg merrilees @ 00:15:

    Will it have to come out of Barnett consequentials?

    Presumably yes. That’s what I meant by an “IOU”. If it comes under the SG’s wunnerful new powers, which does include a certain amount of responsibility for welfare provision (as well as that essential power we have been demanding for years: control over road signs), it’s not in Rude Gal’s gift to promise. (Even though she seems to believe her own propaganda that she actually won the last Scottish parliament elections.)

    Ruthless keeps vainly trying to spring that particular trap set by the Unionists in the Smith Commission – give responsibility for more spending while leaving the equivalent power of revenue-raising safely in the hands of London. So we are seen to have to continually beg for our own money back. Then blame us for over-spending if we mitigate Tory cuts or blame us for being the “guilty party” if we don’t.

    Oh, and if the upcoming UKGov decide to kill off some funding stream down south, the Barnett consequentials of zero are =hmm= also zero.

  13. Ian Brotherhood


    It’s becoming a Rockathon!

    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  14. louis.b.argyll

    Cadogan enright,
    I agree, some legal activity would be a wise use for ten grand. But..

    Is Ofcom where an internationally-active sovereign nation’s cry for help should be heard?

    It’s not just the BBC, there’s an entire paranoid aging nation enraptured by an utterly protectionist Tory elite who are abusing democracy wherever it gets in their way.

    They are also suffocating Scotland’s democracy and natural development.

    We have a right to self determination.

  15. Dr Jim

    I just thought I’d pop in for a minute in the hope it was all over but I see it’s not so I’ll off to bed before I’m convinced to vote Tory as I’m sure some folk reading some of this would rather do in order that Scotland can’t possibly fall into the hands of the Feckin marathon clown in the combat jacket and Che Guevara bunnet
    Just as well I’m in the 130,000 membership of the SNP that’s paying their dues every month to help buy our way out of this shit because if it was left to this guy he’d put everybody off wanting Independence

    People do what they can, shouting at people is just an annoying noise, but maybe that’s the plan eh

    Imagine that turning up at your door to reason with you


  16. Mary milwa

    Hi from Tasmania

    I’ve just watched an interview on Independence Live between Mark McNaught and Craig Murray and found it very interesting. Anyone have an opinion on it?

    Best wishes to everyone

    Mary Milwa

  17. Effijy

    Wee Ruthless was totally against Brexit, and now she is wetting herself with excitement thinking about re-colonising the Commonwealth.

    Wee Ruth Jung Un Stood Up in Holyrood to read out a damning report on NHS Hospitals, thinking that they were Scottish Hospitals and not English, now with the flick of a Tory Switch, you can rely on these disgraceful hospitals under the continuing Tory Governance?

    Wee Ruth Krankie backed up May’s Story that now is not the time for elections and referenda, but now this same time is the time.

    Wee Ruth Tank Commander demanded that she and most of Scotland could afford to pay for prescriptions, and now her pretend Scottish Tory manifesto wants free prescriptions for all?

    Vote SNP and keep Wee Ruthless Toothless, as she is completely Useless!

  18. Effijy

    Guys, if the Rev received £10K, the money would be his!

    He certainly has my vote in being one of Scotland’s greatest assets in our battle for Independence.

    I’d like to see him go on holiday, join a health club, have regular medical check ups, and install a good security system at his home.

    Sometimes we are all guilty of making bullets for the man who has them in spades, and who knows perfectly well when to fire them.

  19. Fred

    Ruth also assures us that the Winter Fuel Allowance will be maintained in Scotland as it’s colder here. Who will fund this? she doesn’t say! This Tory largesse in Scotland will go down well with English pensioners freezing their arses of next Winter & burning their earwax!

  20. Liz

    Kezia just wouldn’t let it go. She doesn’t think your homophobic or is appalled by what you said a few months ago, she pissed at you because of your FACT CHECK KEZ posts. And she probably guessed that with the labour councillors having a full blown public affair with the enemy of the people that you were more than likely busy tapping on that keyboard while Scottish labour crashed and burned.

    She knows only too well that more people read wings that vote labour in Scotland and that’s a big audience just willing to share it all over social media. She should have left it alone but she just couldn’t help herself, if labour was going down she was taking someone with her and that someone was you.

  21. stu mac

    @CameronB Brodie says:
    19 May, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    Unfortunately many people are stupid and act in stupid ways. What is careless is to assume that stupidity equates with lack of intelligence. You pointed out education but that is only a small part of it. It’s possible (rare nowadays but still possible) to be both illiterate and very intelligent. Stupidity is as stupid does and all sorts of people do stupid things. The reasons for this are various and don’t include intelligence.

    There is laziness – some can’t be bothered informing themselves and are too lazy to think things through;

    Then arrogance – on reaching adulthood think they now know it all and don’t have to bother about other views (also some highly intelligent folk expert in one field are arrogant enough to think being such an expert means their opinions on everything are automatically correct even though they don’t bother to properly examine them;

    Of course, prejudice – biggy here, this prevents folk even attempting to properly examine their thought processes; with intelligent guys what you get is convoluted excuses for the prejudice rather than clear thinking.

    There are more but I’ll end with selfishness and greed: that obviously explains a lot of Tory voters. Even those who vote against their own self interest: their selfishness stops them thinking things through or informing themselves enough to realise this.

    To finish off, we’re all capable of doing stupid things, no matter how smart we are. However a good many of us, when it comes to the serious things in life we stop and think and inform ourselves before we make decisions that could be vital: we’ve learned to do so through education, keeping ourselves informed and of course life’s lessons from when we’ve done daft things in the past.

  22. Hamish100


    You have no argument

    Just The National is Baaaaad. Sound familiar? You are boring and a troll. You lost the argument long time ago. Still you are persistent.

    At least you didn’t deny you are. Hope for you yet.

  23. Rev. Stuart Campbell

    “I know I am being cautious, but remember the Orkney Four – the expense, the worry, the time etc.”

    The two cases aren’t remotely comparable.

  24. Rev. Stuart Campbell

    “Yes, but that tweet came across as homophobic. To many pro-independence, pro Wings, people, like myself”

    I can’t help if people are too dim to read English properly.

  25. Nana

    Just spotted this TM post on facebook.

    If I lose just six seats I will lose this election and Jeremy Corbyn will be sitting down to negotiate with Europe

    “I believe this is an extremely realistic prospect. That’s why I ignored the fixed-term parliaments act & called an election 3 years early”

  26. Reluctant Nationalist

    Rock, you’re a cure for boredom, I’ll give you that.

  27. Andy Anderson

    Not a related story to Stu’s article.
    In Dorset doctors are charging for appointments now. Varying costs dependant on time with doctor. Takes up to four weeks to get a free consultation. My brother who lives in Newcastle says it takes four weeks to see GO there if not an emergency. His Doc is considering £40 per consultation.

  28. Jockanese Wind Talker

    Morning all.

    From the Revs Twitter:

    “Wings has now had more unique readers in May than we got in the whole of January, February or March, with 11 days still to go.”

    That’ll be why Rock was running interference most of last night them.

  29. cearc

    To sue or not to sue?


    I think that Kez has made it essential by (in my opinion) abusing her public office and making political what was a civil matter between two people.

    Probably best to do a separate fund-raiser. Some may still consider it a private matter and not be happy that their money is being spent this way.

    Anyway the money spent on legal fees will probably produce more ‘advertising’ than could have been bought direct.

  30. Meg merrilees


    So glad I went to bed when I did and missed your later comment @12.46. You’re nothing if not persistent!

    Maybe you should read these definitions of a ‘Rhetorical Question”.

    A rhetorical question is a figure of speech in the form of a question that is asked to make a point rather than to elicit an answer. Though a rhetorical question does not require a direct answer, in many cases it may be intended to start a discussion or at least draw an acknowledgement that the listener understands the intended message.

    “The effectiveness of rhetorical questions in argument comes from their dramatic quality. They suggest dialogue, especially when the speaker both asks and answers them himself, as if he were playing two parts on the stage. “

    Oh, and may I suggest that you qualify your statements e.g.
    You were not at all “confused”, so why start with the false impression that you were?

    might be better if you prefaced it with,
    ‘in my (humble) opinion..’

    after all, and I’m sure you’ll agree, you didn’t actually know whether I was confused or not.

  31. meg merrilees

    Nana @11.43

    Thanks for the links.
    The most recent TM Facebook link is too unctuous to try and read properly.

    However, I notice that there is NO mention of her ‘Preciouss Union’ in the recent Facebook diktat… can’t be aimed at Scottish voters then…

    Also I notice BBC news headlines are helping to stir up (t)Ruthless’ hornet’s nest about Winter heating allowance.
    Not going down well in South Britain.

  32. CameronB Brodie

    Re. alleged homophobia. Fill your boots.

    An Introduction to Critical Discourse Analysis in Education

  33. CameronB Brodie

    stu mac
    My brain just hurts some times. 🙂

  34. Foonurt

    Jist lik yurr anti-Semitic, whin ye caw Izraeull, Palestine land-grabburrs.

    Iz thurr no ithurr semitic folk, ower thoan Middle East?

  35. K1

    Cameron, ‘stupid voters’ 😉

  36. CameronB Brodie

    I’d suggest we’ve been conditioned to be ‘stupid’ over the last 40 years. Folk who lack technical insight have been overcome by repetition of the mantra that ‘the market knows best’ (a key feature of Anglo-American neoliberalism is it essentially limits analysis of public policy to crude cost-benefit analysis). The market is short-sighted and irrational – FACT!

    To a neoliberal ideologue, critical thought is like garlic to a vampire.

    Culture of Cruelty: the Age of Neoliberal Authoritarianism

  37. K1

    Well yeah Cameron, that’s kinda obvious 😉

  38. Foonurt

    Prestwick Airport – a lang runwayed NATO airport.

  39. CameronB Brodie

    What, you gonna dock me points now for stating the bleeding obvious? The way I see things, if the public service broadcaster has decided to relinquish it’s role as public educator, preferring to pimp hard-right isolationism instead, someone has to inform the public of the impending dangers we face. Might as well be myself. 😉

  40. Ashers

    Why have you not published any of my comments?

  41. Alex Waugh

    Rather disappointed that Ms Sturgeon did not point out that your comment was not, in fact, homophobic (what a stupid word that is) in any way. I would have taken the chance to dissect every word of it and challenge Dugdale to show me where it was and shown her up (again) for the incompetent that she is. Was it snarky? Absolutely, but in no way did it express hatred of homosexual people or suggest that they should be harmed or discriminated against. Nicola also missed a chance to point out that what Dugdale was essentially calling for was the denial of free citizens’ right to say, think and read what they want. There are times when I wish that the FM would take the gloves off and get properly ripped into idiots like Dugdale. Knee-jerk stupidity coupled with a cheap shot on the Dug’s part – obviously your fact-checking has got right up her nose. Good!

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