2007 - 2021

You Paid for This

The grouplets that have formed around Stuart Campbell and a handful of other enragé  bloggers must be struggling today with some fearsome cognitive dissonance.

After years of (often brutally) enforcing party discipline – they now have to contend with Campbell advocating voting for one of the architects of the Better Together campaign.

In a series of unhinged tweets yesterday (even by his standards) the Reverend (sic) repeatedly referenced the Nazis before advocating people vote for Johann Lamont in Glasgow South (Lamont aka the Red Tories, Traitorous Yoon etc etc etc.)

Lamont, who has been a target of a multitude of blogs by Campbell is now his favoured option.

Let that sink in.

It’s a long way from 2014.

A whole section of people who have made it their passion to wail about any of even the mildest criticism of Scottish Government policy as “SNP-BAAAD” are now engaged in a long-term, large-scale co-ordinated propaganda effort arguing (wait for it) “SNP-BAAAD”.

This tribe who have been passionately loyal, policing the internet and the Yes movement in mobs for signs of any transgression, are now undermining the SNP, a week before a General Election.


Mostly because a handful of them are obsessed with other peoples genitalia, and the rest don’t appear to be discerning enough to realise how stupid this is.

It’s perfectly possible to be an ally of women and feminism, and also to be an ally of trans and vulnerable people.

This isn’t difficult. This is about human solidarity.

To do this requires good-faith, dialogue and understanding, all of which are completely absent from Wings and his creed.

For Campbell to shift to covertly organising against the SNP – to overtly organising against them (“Sturgeon must go”) must face even his most fervent disciples and apologists in the party and commentariat with a crisis.

You know who you are – and if you seemed to have no threshold at all before – now is the time to have one.

The excuse for his endless stream of invective about cunts and traitors ad nauseam was that it was worth it because of ‘his analysis’. To continue that argument in the face of his latest stance is beyond belief.

It might have passed their notice that if your trying to defend allegations of anti-semitism it might not be the best idea to portray yourselves as Nazis.

You’ll notice too that the obsession with trans issues quickly slides into an attack on sex education in schools: “You paid for this to happen”.

Anyone who has a child, works in schools, or knows young people at all will know the amazing leaps and bounds we’ve made in stopping the stigmatization of gay people and creating a better space for discussing sexuality as people grow up and find themselves.

None of this matters in the goldfish bowl of narcissism and endless conceit that is at play here.

Hatred of sections of vulnerable people has long ago transcended any interest in constitutional matters.

What is essentially now a trans-hate blog can’t have the profitability that Scots nationalism did, can it?

The sooner Campbell and his acolytes form a new party the better. They can howl at the moon about lefties, trans folk, young people, the gays, the ‘woke’ and whoever else they like (or hate). I suspect Campbell will be sectioned before he’s elected, but I urge him to put his supporters money where his mouth is and run.

The whole framing of “purity” and the inability to come to terms with contemporary political dialogue speaks to a position of self-entitlement and hubris that is precisely the thing that Campbell, probably thought he was working against a few years ago.

The movement for Scottish independence is not and will not be characterised by these reactionary forces.

It is and will be defined by a desire and ambition for a society that is better than what we have as part of the British State – a yearning that is about more equality, more diversity, and more liberty. Not more repression, more bigotry and more disinformation.

We refuse to be defined by forces that are transphobic, homophobic or misogynist, this is not who we are or who we want to be.

In the meantime, as we face the genuinely terrifying prospect of further Tory rule, we should be electing people that can defend and represent us against their malignant presence.

Comments (84)

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  1. Andrew says:

    I give monthly to this blog and Wings and generally consider it money well spent however I wish you’d both stop seeing the world in binary.

    1. Thanks for your support Andrew. I dont see things in binary terms – it would be good if you could address the stark changes in the person your supporting. How do you process the idea of Wings backing Johann Lamont?

  2. Andy Anderson says:

    Thanks for this article Mike.
    I have supported wings over Scotland financially and I was puzzled and concerned by this article attacking Nicola in the middle of an important election
    You are right our immediate task is to address this election and not to get involved in in-fighting which can only be of assistance to the enemies of Independence.

    Andy Anderson

  3. Iain says:

    well said.

  4. John M Bryden says:

    Well said Mike Small!

  5. Simon Brooke says:

    Uhmmm… speaking as an actual mad person, I’m not sure the reference to Campbell being sectioned fits well in a blog post about stopping the stigmatisation of vulnerable groups.

    Otherwise, I’m fully in support of this post.

  6. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Have just posted link for this article to WOS.
    Sorry to see you going down this road Mike.
    Totally uncalled for.

    1. What exactly is uncalled for?

      The road I’m going down is calling out people who advocate voting for the leaders of Better Together?

      It is unbelievable Ian that you have no threshold to this shit. Unbelieavable and deeply sad.

  7. Derek Stewart Macpherson says:

    Been saying similar for a while now, he passed my threshold long ago. Well said Mike.

  8. David says:

    Wings used to be my goto, i still go there but seldom urgently. I noticed that he had a few days not posting anything and then SNP candidate issues got connected with anti-semitism and the old fashioned view that a man must be born with a penis before we can call him a man.

    I’m left in a confused state. I don’t know who to point the finger at – Alyn Smith or his partner or Stu Campbell or the candidate or Nicola Sturgeon or dark forces or A.N.Other. All I can see right now is a very sorry mess which the more ordinary members and supporters of SNP and/or YES movement can only despair of.

    Meanwhile gladiatorial ego blogging continues. Whoopee!

    I now feel I want to be transported urgently to the end of next week where we can pick up the pieces and maybe fill in the gaps and maybe, just possibly, have half a chance of finding out what’s is really going on.

  9. Hamish100 says:

    A few months back WoS banned me from their pages. My crime? Supporting the SNP, the First Minister and not supporting a WoS party. From the day and hour the stupid comments about Mundell were posted the site has gone into a weird spiral into more and more vitriol about the SNP. Of course it is worse than that. It is hurting Independence and providing succour to the Unionists and britnats. Maybe supporting a liberal democrat from Bath, England was always folly. I suspect many are realising that now. Oh, for the heady days of the little black book. Campbell has burnt his breeches ( unisex/ gender neutral)! Lol

    1. Coinneach says:

      It’s a certainty that the SNP and the wider Yes Movement have been penetrated to some degree by the British State (The UK Civil Service in Scotland, 77 Brigade, GCHQ, MI5, MI6 etc), so, on the evidence of much of his recent writing, it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that he’s been turned.

  10. Paul Martin says:

    I doubt his dwindling hard-core band of loyalists will keep him funded to the level he’s become used to for most of this decade. Nor do I expect another “Wee Blue Book” will ever see the light of day. Can see him writing a tabloid column though, lots of hateful cunts end up hooring themselves that way; cash for bile, an easy gig for “the reverend”.

  11. MBC says:

    Yes, stopped reading Wings some time ago. He has gone off piste. He no longer dissects the anti-indy news, he just rages against the SNP over trans stuff. He’s had his day.

  12. Stiubhart (Stuart) Jackson says:

    the Rev votes liberal democrat, so if he really gave a toss about indie he would vote for the one english party that supports Scottish Independence, and vote green.
    If I’m not mistaken, his reason for not moving back home was that he doesn’t want to live in a country that doesn’t want it’s own independence this despite the fact that a slim majority of Scots born voters supported yes but were knocked out by residents in Scotland who were from the rest of the UK and EU, so his point is mute, in fact the only difference in Brexit and 2014 is that the uk eliminated the significant other from the vote on the subject.

    He seem’s to hate Gaelic to, which is well, like fundamentally hating the core of Scottish identity, well if fact the nation’s, raison d’etre.
    I’m not saying he has to openly embrace Gaelic but to make explicit derogatory point’s seam’s to be a unionist position though he seem’s to have acknowledges the strength of feeling on that one.
    Anyway, he dose make lot’s of good points on other issues, and I’m pretty sceptical about some trans point’s too, or a fan of the direction of the SNP on many issues but even Nigel Farage knows not to shit where he eat’s; But I guess we put him on a pedestal, he now seem’s to have jump off it! Or it’s a cunning ploy to attract extreme unionists to vote for an upsetter, via the wing’s party to unwittingly weakening there own cause, oops shit honest to a fault.
    Or maybe he’s just become emotionally disturbed, it’s a a common byproduct of obsessive personality’s, I’m an artist I know.

    1. David says:

      He’s not homophobic either and eventually the Scottish courts agreed with him after he spent a shed load of indy supporters money lining the pockets of wealthy lawyers to clear his reputation. The technical nature of the proof that it wasn’t a homophobic remark and the strong possibility that many Labour supporters, Daily Mail readers and other ordinary folk could be mistakenly led into thinking it could be a homophobic remark might be the reason why he wasn’t awarded costs.

      Good journalists don’t willingly my make themselves the main part of the story and don’t start libel actions although, in the course of doing their job properly, they sometimes might run the risk of having libel proceedings raised against them.

  13. Jo says:

    “The movement for Scottish independence is not and will not be characterised by these reactionary forces.”

    “We refuse to be defined by forces that are transphobic, homophobic or misogynist, this is not who we are or who we want to be.”

    You know, Mike, in those two paragraphs you’re being as bad as WOS by seeming to speak for the entire Indy movement. You don’t. You’re also throwing around damaging labels. That, frankly, achieves nothing. It’s also unacceptable.

    There are definite issues of concern for many people over the plans to allow men to self-identity as women without certain conditions applying. These concerns should be taken on board and considered. (My understanding is that the SG is doing that and, meantime, plans to implement the changes have been put on hold. I think that’s sensible. I have to say too, however, that the minister Shirley Anne Somerville had no right to use the transphobia term when referring to concerns raised about the changes. It offended and infuriated many.)

    Those with concerns are not transphobic or homophobic or misogynistic. I have concerns myself about the proposals and I am none of those things. Many of the concerns are valid and the insults hurled at the likes of Joan McAlpine, Joanna Cherry and, recently, Jenny Marra of Labour are disgusting to say the least. The weapons being used to silence them are vicious, although not new. Labels can destroy careers and do irreparable damage to political Parties. These battles are going on in Labour at Holyrood too as well as in the SNP.

    On anti-Semitism, we have complex issues too, not least with a definition which many people have serious objections to. I would agree, however, that the female SNP candidate who resigned this week erred deeply by introducing the word Nazi so frequently into the comments she made. It’s interesting tho’ that the comments she made were apparently passed to Channel 4 News by colleagues of hers in the SNP. Again, this highlights what is going on within the Party. That’s not good. In the report carried by the Herald they also seemed to find it important to mention that the lady in question had been supported by Joanna Cherry and Joan McAlpine when nominated for a Party Committee position. Links were clearly being drawn. All very meaningful presumably to those who wished others to join the relevant dots. But, ultimately, very disheartening too.

    On WOS, it’s a blog I read once in a blue moon but I visited in the last couple of days after you flagged up some stuff here. I found it very depressing indeed on all sides. He made me angry but some of the stuff he flagged up about SNP people he named made me angry too. There were sensible folk urging all factions to get a grip and reminding everyone there’s an election next week. I’m not holding my breath.

    What a mess.

    1. kate macleod says:

      well said jo . you present a nuanced perspective.
      btw i suspect you may be a woman , something fairly rare in the comments here – and when women leave comments they are often ignored.
      i have also noticed the editor likes fulsome praise/agreement best (from what appears to be a largely male fan base ) and sometimes answers criticism, but almost never admits to error or changed perspective, so there will probably be no acknowledgement of your viewpoint there.

      stuart campbell has very frequently been a disrespectful, rude and arrogant man , since at least the little blue book days, when many had no problem it.
      even last year or the one before i think he was defended by robin macalpine at common weal as not particularly offensive.
      i think women in particular have not been seeing campbell as inoffensive for a long time.

      the list of minority things and people campbell dislikes is extensive, including the minority language scottish gaelic. i recall campbell’s verbally aggressive, taunting twitter rant to a native gaelic speaker and scholar who i think wrote on bella caledonia sometimes years ago .

      re ‘the actual mad man’ ‘s comment on campbell perhaps the anger is a sign of something deeper and he should be treated with less casual derision about possibly being sectioned . It may well be that campbell has always had mental health issues which have now reached a crisis point and perhaps he should be compassionately ignored, unless he will accept actual help for previous services rendered from his former friends.

      1. Hi Kate – thanks for your comment – I dont think I or the site has a ‘fan base’ but committed readers and contributors. As is often pointed out the comments are often better than the articles (!)

        There IS an issue about women commenting less than men, and this is something that can only really be remedied, I think, by more women contributors. The experience being that a womens voice then encourages more women commenting. We try to achieve this by commissioning but also by having a Guest Editor spot three times a year, which has always been given to women to encourage more diversity in Editorial position.

        See our Contributors section for a rundown here:


        We’ve got a long way to go and any suggestions are welcome.

      2. Jo says:

        Hi Kate

        Yes, I’m female.

        Right now, a very depressed female who wishes I’d taken up something less demanding in my late teens than an interest in politics.

        We already know what happens when Parties become factions and single issues are turned into battlegrounds while the enemy outside rejoices. We already know what a corrupt mainstream media can do with that sort of thing. We know the damage smears can do along with all the other poison thrown in.

        The week before last I had to impose a politics blackout as I just couldn’t cope with the effect it was having on me. I’ve come to despise the media, especially the BBC, for the toxic lies it peddles and for the fact that so many journalists have studied and gone into what should be an honourable profession yet have sacrificed honour, and the truth, in order to manipulate politics and devote their time to spinning lies. It shocks me. It’s the reason why I consider journalists to be even more dishonest than politicians. For we will never get clean politics unless we have a clean media and, let’s face it, our media is filthy.

        Stuart Campbell isn’t my cup of tea. That said, James Kelly isn’t either and after a while I abandoned Craig Murray too. I’ve stayed faithful to Bella because, although I have disagreed with Mike, if we do, I say my piece and we move on. The other bloggers, however, write as if it’s all about them personally, their views. There isn’t room for anyone else’s. And then the followers lose the plot too and it becomes about the Wings guy, or Scot Goes Pop or Murray. These guys end up believing they’re God! Egos are sensitive things!

    2. Hi Jo – I deliberately didnt go into the nuances and complexities of the debate other than to say “It’s perfectly possible to be an ally of women and feminism, and also to be an ally of trans and vulnerable people.
      This isn’t difficult. This is about human solidarity.”

      I’d be interested to know what part of that you disagree with?

      I only – and can only speak for myself, when I say: “The movement for Scottish independence is not and will not be characterised by these reactionary forces”, this is an aspiration. If the movement wants to be defined by these forces then that’s a collective choice I have no influence over.

      Its pretty disappointing to hear a long-standing reader say you’re “as bad as WOS”, but if that’s your view then that’s your view.

      1. Jo says:


        “Its pretty disappointing to hear a long-standing reader say you’re “as bad as WOS”, but if that’s your view then that’s your view.”

        You’re not being fair by suggesting I said that.

        I said that when you speak in a particular way, I provided quotes, you’re “being as bad as WOS”. Please don’t misrepresent what I meant. It doesn’t help. My post also highlighted the “homophobia, transphobia and misogyny” labels.

        I’ve learned loads on Bella. There have been articles where I’ve been quiet btl but read posts and learned from people commenting about things I’m not knowledgeable on. Other times I contribute and exchange views even if we all don’t always agree. It’s a good place.

        On the gender split here I’m sorry that, of the few women here, I’m such a trial to you. ; ) Then again, in my experience, women can create as much carnage as men in some debates. The particular debate highlighted here is a case in point where it’s been poisonous in places as women attacked other women.

        Some debates are difficult. That’s a fact. Some can destroy entire Parties yet began with smears and lies peddled by people within the actual Party who then use the media to take it from there.

        Look at the state of British politics Mike and at what we face next week because lies, smears and utter dishonesty rule in our media. I watched a debate last night where the BBC host, and former Conservative, Robinson, actually protected Johnson from interrogation on his notorious racist past actions. Corbyn raised it but Robinson steadfastly refused to take it forward. Johnson was able to JOKE about lies and got away with that too! It would make you weep.

        1. Hey Jo – as Ive said at length here and many times before the gender imbalance is something we are trying to resolve. We’ve laid out our ideas, maybe you missed that?

          Anyway, you know you are very welcome here – despite/because – you regularly take me to task.

          I’m not sure how directly quoting you is misrepresenting you.

          1. Jo says:


            “I’m not sure how directly quoting you is misrepresenting you.”

            That’s my point, you didn’t directly quote me. I didn’t just say, “You’re as bad as WOS.” I qualified what I meant by saying when we speak in a particular way we sound just like Campbell.

      2. Alban Fry says:

        ” I deliberately didn’t go into the nuances and complexities of the debate other than to say “It’s perfectly possible to be an ally of women and feminism, and also to be an ally of trans and vulnerable people.

        This isn’t difficult. This is about human solidarity.” ”

        There’s the problem, though, Mike. right there. It’s rather easy to say “This isn’t difficult” when you deliberately don’t go into the nuances and complexities.

        Everything is easy when you avoid the hard bits. That’s the problem with the difficult bits, Mike. They’re difficult.

        It’s not remotely easy, or obviously possible, to be an ally of both when you finally do go into the nuances and complexities. and when your (not your, personally) answer to everything becomes “TWAW”, “no debate, bigot” or “F*** off, Terf”, as has overwhelmingly the case in this discussion, you aren’t likely to find that nuance or complexity considered.

        Joanna Cherry and Joan McAlpine have got death threats on this issue. I’m led to believe Nicola and Mhairi have not, though they’ve been attacked, like Joanna and Joan, on their other, shared issues. The idea you are on the side of the good guys is not fully supported by the facts, Mike.

        It just seems your particular position is entirely reflexive – ‘I’m LGBT friendly, so I don’t have to think about it’. As a man, that’s a position you are lucky to have.

        As for human solidarity. hat’s not a position, really. It’s just a tribal stance. Unless you are advocating the removal of ALL same-sex safe spaces – since, by definition, such spaces do not show total ‘human solidarity’ – , in which case, I think people would have the right to know that is your position, no?

        Anyway, I’ve tried to keep it civil, but what’s the odds this comment makes it?

        1. Hi ‘Alban Fry’ – you are right that there are complexities not explored in this article. The subject of the article wasn’t the debate about GRA and the bitter feuds that have been playing out over the last year.

          You put words in mouth saying – ‘I’m LGBT friendly, so I don’t have to think about it’ – which is completely unfair.

          You say “Unless you are advocating the removal of ALL same-sex safe spaces” – which is something I clearly haven’t done at all.

          You demand a space on a public forum – and then completely misrepresent me. Interesting approach.

          1. Alban Fry says:

            Mike, how exactly can I misrepresent you when I’ve actually quoted you, at length, and responded entirely to that quote?

          2. Er, because you just made up me saying: I’m LGBT friendly, so I don’t have to think about it”.

          3. Alban Fry says:

            With respect, Mike, I didn’t make up you saying that – if I’d been creating a quote, I’d have used quote marks (” “) not single quotes (‘ ‘) – as you’ll note from the actual quote I did use. What I was doing was paraphrasing, or perhaps better inferring, a position that frankly seems clear enough from a number of your statements, including (and this time, I quote) “The movement for Scottish independence is not and will not be characterised by these reactionary forces…”

            The bottom line remains that it seems bizarrely complacent about many women’s fears and anxieties to say “It’s perfectly possible to be an ally of women and feminism, and also to be an ally of trans and vulnerable people.” when you decide you don’t have to consider the nuances and complexities – but having not done any such consideration, sound off about “a handful of them [who] are obsessed with other peoples genitalia” without it seems taking into account what the presence of that genitalia in previous safe spaces might mean for vulnerable or abused women or girls.

            So, yes, Mike, it’s “perfectly possible”, IF you don’t consider the nuances and complexities. Most women and girls don’t get that luxury, because of what those nuances can do, what is “perfectly possible” in a small and private enclosed space. And it’s pretty shitty of you to suggest they are “stupid” or hateful for the sin of being more bloody aware of their own reality, and the risks they run daily, than you are, or appear to be willing to be.

          4. Hi ‘Alban Fry’ – the post was about the political hypocrisy of Campbell’s position, not about the complexities of the debates about gender identity and feminism.

            I dont – and wont – suggest that anyone who has fears or concerns about their identity being distorted is ‘reactionary’. I was referring (and I thought his was clear, apologies if it wasn’t) to the people acting in bad faith and using these arguments to their own ends.

            If you believe this individual to be an ally of women and feminism then I wish you good luck.

  14. Annie Coll says:

    Many of us have long thought that at best- the sudden turning is a self-centred piece of theatre. But at worst- is indicative of long standing mental ill health. I too urge the a Reverend to move on: either form the bestest new political party in Scotland or give up entirely

  15. Iain says:

    “Enragé…unhinged…tribe…mobs…obsessed…malignant “
    You might not use the sweary words but you’re closer to Stuart than you think.
    When the reasonable left vacate the middle ground and refuse to allow any sort critique in the gender debate the void gets filled by something worse – in this case Stuart Campbell.
    This is yet another unnecessary personal battle at the wrong time
    Only in the last small paragraph do you address the real danger . Only one of these fights can be won in the next week. Lose that and the other may be footnote.

    1. Thanks Iain – its not a personal battle its political commentary about a significant, indeed extraordinary development, I dont intend to dwell on this further.

      I’m not sure what the ‘reasonable left’ is (sounds a bit crap) but I havent ‘refused to allow any critique in the gender debate’.

      1. Iain says:

        “Sounds a bit crap” . Wonderful insightful “analysis” there.

  16. Mr K Smith says:

    Good article Mike pretty much sums up my despair at WOS. I know he had personal opinions to me regarding his views on Hillsborough etc but I always admired his analysis with links and past comments to really hit back hard against the avalanche of unionist propaganda. I might be putting my tin hat on here but is it just me or has it been since he was arrested and computers siezed that his behaviour has changed? Has he been turned to the dark side? I’m as frustrated with the SNP as any at times but this goes beyond the pale. WOS was a major player 1st time round and the sudden change of heart doesn’t sit well with me, I just can’t help think that there is more to be seen behind the curtain, the British state would stoop to any lengths. Perhaps he is just a dick but its just too much of a 180 for me

  17. Hamish100 says:

    I think once this election is over Nicola Sturgeon as leader of the SNP should instigate a review of the party. From contstituencies and branches to the higher echelons of the party. In recent years some individuals attached themselves to the snp to aid their careers. A problem the Labour Party has had for years. Look how some ex MP’s end up in the Lords, write for Tory papers and attack Corbyn. They never had Labour traditional values.
    The SNP has suffered from its own success. Many new members joined the snp with views possibly more aligned with specific pressure groups and as such are single minded to push 1 view .Nothing wrong with that per-se if they recognise the wider church and are willing to compromise. Others? Some don’t care about the snp or Independence but in their pursuit of power and don’t care if any damage is caused as they move ( sometimes too rapidly) up the structures. Some were helped on their way by those in power! Still the General Election is 5 days away. Independence is the main prize for us. Anyone claiming they cannot vote for the snp are mere britnat apologists.

  18. Graeme Purves says:

    The people (from both extremes) who seem intent on turning gender identification into a bloody battleground seem to have lost sight of our common humanity. Sloganising doesn’t help us deal with this challenging issues. I find it very sad.

  19. MBC says:

    On the other hand I don’t understand why this minority issue has assumed the political importance that it has. That to me is the real question. It makes me suspicious of what is really going on here. An issue that requires compassion, pragmatism and nuance, has become toxically polarised and without pragmatism, nuance, or compassion.

    So there are two things; the issue itself (which as stated, is complex and requires careful consideration of all round compassionate solutions) and the political use that is being made of it, and that’s the part I don’t really get.

    The viciousness and apparent inability to resolve the issue with any tolerance and compassion leads me to conclude that those who are pushing it are dangerously unhinged. I suppose Campbell’s point is that those who are taken in by them lack judgement and that’s an issue for the indy movement because if they can’t deal with this with any fairness and common sense, how can they be trusted to lead us to independence?

    1. Simon Brooke says:

      I think there are some bad actors who are deliberately stirring in order to create dissent within the independence movement. These bad actors may be state actors, e.g. Russia, simply seeking to sow chaos and politicaly disengagement in the UK; but I think it much more likely that they’re monied interests who believe that their wealth would be put at risk by a possibly significantly more left wing and redistributive Scottish state.

      The soi-disant ‘Reverend’ Stu may be taking money from bad actors, or he may just be a bigot. I’m not sure which is worse.

      As you rightly say, balancing the interests of women and of the trans community requires careful sensitivity and compassion; it cannot easily be done in the present climate of frenzied confrontation. But actually, the vast majority of women and also the vast majority of the trans community are not taking part in this frenzy; rather, it’s tending to silence them and drive them out of the debate.

  20. Hamish100 says:

    I see Campbell has backed up the Tory Courier newspapers comments for the First Minister to resign- again. Does he really, really not like her? It seems wings over scotland has turned on itself. So NS should resign…. and what next? How fed up, paid up SNP members are by the bleating of non-snp members of what we should do. A week before a crucial general election. You couldn’t make it up or more likely it has been completely maliciously planned. Take your pick.

  21. Sarah McIntyre says:

    I strongly suspect you’ll be too cowardly to publish this comment, but I’ll write it anyway so that I know you’ll see it.

    This is seriously embarrassing on your part, and only exposes the extraordinary bitterness and jealousy with which you’ve always regarded Wings Over Scotland.

    “In a series of unhinged tweets yesterday (even by his standards) the Reverend (sic) repeatedly referenced the Nazis before advocating people vote for Johann Lamont in Glasgow South”

    No he didn’t. He said that’s what HE would do. At no point did he say anyone else should.

    “For Campbell to shift to covertly organising against the SNP – to overtly organising against them (“Sturgeon must go”)”

    Sorry, what does this mean? When was he “covertly organising against the SNP”? What’s the evidence for that claim? And the tweet you quote says he’d vote for the SNP in 56 out of 59 seats, which is 95%. By your logic that means he’s advocating that other people should also vote for the SNP in 95% of seats. How on Earth is telling people to vote SNP in 95% of seats “overtly organising against” them?

    Bella Caledonia, on the other hand, actively advocated against voting SNP in 2016, telling people to vote RISE instead, and has regularly published articles highly critical of the SNP. Why is it okay for you to do that but not Campbell? You slag the SNP off when it suits you or when you disagree with them on a given policy, but here you are instigating a witch-hunt against someone else for doing the same. The only difference is that you agree with them on this policy.

    “The excuse for his endless stream of invective about cunts and traitors ad nauseam”

    He certainly says “cunt” a lot. Can you provide us with even a SINGLE example of him calling anyone a “traitor”, let alone an “endless stream” of it? As any regular reader of his site knows, the word is actually banned there.

    “Anyone who has a child, works in schools, or knows young people at all will know the amazing leaps and bounds we’ve made in stopping the stigmatization of gay people and creating a better space for discussing sexuality as people grow up and find themselves.”

    What does transgenderism have to do with homosexuality? It is not a sexual orientation. Why are you conflating these issues?

    Your intolerance and hypocrisy are showing almost as much as your open and furious hatred of someone whose main crime is simply to be more popular, more supported and more in tune with public opinion than you. I’ve supported Bella financially in the past but I’m done with you.

    1. Hi Sarah
      I love the idea that Stuart’s outpourings are just his personal opinion and he has no intent to influence his readers. That’s wonderful. If you don’t think there’s a huge hypocrisy at play for him backing Lamont then good luck to you.

      I note with interest you avoid the Nazi references. Probably a good idea.

      You don’t seem to know what ‘covertly organising against the SNP’ means. Not sure how to help you there.

      Bella Caledonia has always been a non-party political media outlet. Pro-indy but backing no party. We will be critical of whoever we like and believe that’s the role of any decent journalist.

      You ask: “What does transgenderism have to do with homosexuality.” Often nothing at all. Its a reference to the screengrab in the article. Try reading it again more carefully.

      As for intolerance and hypocrisy … I’m not sure quite what to say.

      1. Sarah McIntyre says:

        It’s pretty obvious that you don’t know what to say, since despite taking hours to approve my comment you’ve deftly avoided every single point I made.

        “I love the idea that Stuart’s outpourings are just his personal opinion and he has no intent to influence his readers. ”

        Okay, so answer my question. If that tweet was intended to influence people with the secret meaning that what he would do is what others should do, then it was telling people to vote SNP in 95% of seats, and only telling them to vote for a Unionist in ONE seat (1.7%). So how in heaven do you equate that with “overtly campaigning against the SNP”?

        (Interesting that you also neglect to provide any proof of him doing it “covertly” before, or of calling people “traitors”. Shall we just agree that you were lying about those things?)

        “Bella Caledonia has always been a non-party political media outlet. Pro-indy but backing no party.”

        So we all //imagined// you overtly backing RISE, did we?

        It’s also funny that you talk about the “stigmatization” of gay people, yet use mental illness as a pejorative to attack someone for having an opinion you disagree with. Isn’t that “stigmatizing” of people with mental illnesses? That’s what hypocrisy is, Mike. Someone openly saying they’d vote for a single Unionist (out of 59 MPs) because they despise the SNP candidate so much is just them disagreeing with you. Nothing “hypocritical” about it.

        Hypocrisy is also you weaponising gay people to promote a homophobic agenda like transgenderism, which has seen an incredible amount of abuse and threats aimed at my own group of humans (lesbians). But what would you, a straight man, care about that when you can use it to attack a rival who’s more popular than you?

        1. I’m sorry I didnt moderate your ridiculous comment instantly Sarah, I was looking after my children.

          You write: “If that tweet was intended to influence people with the secret meaning that what he would do is what others should do” – that’s not really intelligible.

          If you want examples of Stuart calling people traitors I’ll get you them, or you could get them yourself. If you are genuinely oblivious to this language then that’s kid of sad.

          You’re in so deep I doubt very much its worth having a rational conversation with you.

          And you’re still obsessed with RISE … oh god …

          1. Sarah McIntyre says:

            Here it is with the bit you apparently can’t understand removed:

            If that tweet was intended to influence people, as you claim, then it was telling people to vote SNP in 95% of seats, and only telling them to vote for a Unionist in ONE seat (1.7%). So how in heaven do you equate that with “overtly campaigning against the SNP”?

            And yes, I’d like the evidence for your two claims, please: how do you know he was “covertly organising against the SNP” before then (and what did that entail), and who has he called “traitors”? I’m not the one who has to provide the evidence, I’m not the one making the claim. I don’t think it’s true, so why do I have to prove it is?

            And I’d like to know if everyone is wrong in remembering when you directly endorsed RISE, because if you did then that’s more hypocrisy, and you should at least own it.

            “You’re in so deep I doubt very much its worth having a rational conversation with you.”

            So now you’re trying to stigmatize ME – a longterm reader of and donor to your site – as some sort of person with a mental illness too? This just gets better and better 🙁
            Maybe it’s my lesbianism that makes me mentally ill because I don’t like the penises you’re trying to force on me everywhere I go? Is that it?

          2. Hi Sarah, I’m not suggesting that you are mentally ill, no I’m suggesting that you’re immersed in a subculture of language and politics that you are unaware of.

            I don’t suggest your lesbianism makes you mentally ill, no, and I’m not trying to force penises on you.

            I did speak at the launch of RISE and I have spoken at Scottish Green Party events and at SNP branch events many many times.

            Bella has been a pro-indy site for 12 years, if you want to challenge that then fill your boots, I really dont care …

          3. Sarah McIntyre says:

            Oh, I see, so I’m not mad, I’m just //stupid// now? The silly gullible little woman having everything patiently explained to her by a man? This exchange really has revealed a lot about you, hasn’t it?

            I’m going to leave it now because there’s no point carrying on any further – everyone can see that you haven’t answered a single point and are just resorting to insults to cover up the exposure of your hypocrisy and the mistruths in your post. One last time for the record:

            – you haven’t provided any evidence of Wings “covertly organising against the SNP”

            – you haven’t explained how telling people to vote SNP in 56/59 seats is “overtly organising against them”

            – you haven’t provided any evidence of him ever calling anyone a “traitor”, let alone doing it “endlessly”

            – you claim to be non-party-political, but keep pretending you didn’t tell people to vote for RISE

            – you’ve offensively conflated transgenderism with sexuality

            – you’ve hypocritically complained about “stigmatization”, then used mental illness as an insult against someone you don’t like

            I feel bad that I was ever fooled by you. Goodbye.

    2. Jo says:


      Sorry, you’re way over the top here.

      Stuart Campbell threatened to form a new Party to challenge the SNP! That was just a few months back.

      Yes, I remember the RISE for the second vote business. I was against that and said so. Here’s the important thing. I was allowed to challenge and wasn’t automatically barred from the site. Stuart Campbell isn’t so forgiving!

      Bella isn’t just a blog. It’s brought much more to people about things I knew nothing about. It’s pro-independence but it’s about other things too.

      I think your attack, for that’s what it is, is very unfair and wide of the mark.

      1. Sarah McIntyre says:

        “Stuart Campbell threatened to form a new Party to challenge the SNP!”

        No he didn’t. That was the Unionist media spin on it. He suggested forming a party to take list seats that currently go to Unionist parties, so that there would be a pro-indy majority. The SNP has hardly any list seats and he said he probably wouldn’t stand in the region where 75% of them are. You don’t have to like him and you don’t have to like the idea, but you shouldn’t lie either.

        1. Jo says:


          You really should be careful about accusing people of lying, it’s very reckless indeed. I did not lie. Yes, Stuart Campbell wanted second votes. That’s what RISE wanted too. Some people were for that and some weren’t. But Stuart was also calling for Sturgeon to go and there’s an election next week! The MSM love to watch these blogs and then report the spats in the news, get the word out that we’re all at each others throats. It’s not a good look.

          You need to stop hitting out at everybody especially if you’re going to accuse folk of lying.

          1. Simon Brooke says:

            Look, I don’t like Stuart Campbell, but this it unfair. The De Hondt system is deliberately designed to stop a party which has gained a majority of first past the post seats gaining any list seats. That’s exactly how Labour planned to prevent the SNP ever gaining a majority, back when the Scottish parliament was set up. It is not possible for the SNP to win both all the constituencies and ANY list seats at all. Therefore, we do need a second pro independence party to take those list seats – otherwise the unionists will get them, as they do now. I explained this at the time of the last Holyrood election, in this post here:


            It doesn’t matter whether that other pro-independence party is RISE, the Greens, or Campbell’s proposed new ultra-bigot party, the only way to secure a big pro-independence majority in Holyrood is to have two pro-independence parties, one (the SNP) capturing the majority of the constituency seats, and the other capturing as many as possible of the list seats.

            #BothVoteSNP cannot and will not work, it’s just a way of preventing us getting a significant pro-independence majority.

          2. Jo says:


            I’m not raising any of the issues you’ve just covered in order to debate them all over again. That wasn’t the point of my post.

            Sarah said Stuart Campbell hadn’t threatened to start a new Party. He did. He said he’d do it if Sturgeon didn’t go after indyref2! That’s a fact. Now he’s calling for her to resign!

          3. Sarah McIntyre says:

            No, you’re lying again. I said he hadn’t suggested starting a new party TO FIGHT THE SNP. He suggested starting one to replace Unionist seats with indy ones.

          4. Simon Brooke says:

            People who don’t understand the de Hondt system of counting votes are not necessarily lying. It isn’t easy to understand, and it’s very different from First Past the Post. Also, more importantly, we don’t need a new party to win the list seats, we could all vote for the Greens. The reason Campbell won’t campaign for a Green list vote is the same as the reason he doesn’t live in Scotland – he’s a long way to the right of normal Scottish politics.

          5. Jo says:


            Can you please stop accusing me of lying?

            You seem determined to insult anyone who doesn’t agree with you here. There’s no need for that.

          6. Sarah McIntyre says:

            I’ll stop accusing you of it when you stop doing it. Deal?

          7. Gavin Barrie says:

            Excuse me for butting in, but seeing as I wrote the article on Wings setting out the case for a list only Holyrood party, I’d like to clarify a few mistruthes.

            A ‘Wings’ party would not and is well within guidelines and law, to not stand where the SNP already had list MSP so in no way would it threaten existing SNP MSP. That’s factual, true and irrefutable. If you don’t understand how that works you don’t understand the Holyrood voting system.

            Go and read the article again.

            The Unionists parties already benefit from a multiplicity of pro union parties which help then disproportionately hoover up list MSP.

            We suggest levelling that balance.


          8. Hi Gavin

            thanks for commenting. Can I ask you:

            1. Do you remember when previously indy-supporting groups suggested organising on the List, and how this was responded to by Wings and other people?
            2. Do you think the SNP welcomes the proposal?
            3. What different policies would such a party have?
            4. Where would such a party draw its funds from?
            5. Where are you plans for a new party at now?

          9. Wulls says:

            Well said Gavin.

          10. Jo says:


            I’ve nothing further to say to you. Your sheer rage, evident in your first post on this thread, and all your subsequent posts, says more about you than I ever could.

      2. Wulls says:

        Hi, firstly Sarah is not over the top……. that however is a matter of perspective so I’ll let that one slide.
        Your comment about wings ( and this Bella post) are factually incorrect.
        Sarah calls it lying, I’ll settle for misguided Comments lacking a factual aspect.
        The suggestion of a wings party was to supplement SNP Seats in the Scottish parliament, not to challenge them, that is absolutely Chrystal clear.
        However to give you both the benefit of the doubt I’ll wait until you link to the actual wings article where it says “ challenge “ and “SNP”


        1. Jo says:


          I respect your point of view and your post.

          To lie about something is to deliberately decide not to tell the truth. I didn’t do that. Once you introduce accusations of lying into any debate you change the whole tone completely.

      3. Olive Sneddon says:

        That’s just not true. Wings suggested a second independence focused party to stand in lists to exploit the d’Hondt system and increase a pro-independence presence in the Scottish Parliament.
        Wings is no boy scout, but nobody else is producing the same level of analysis; perhaps if someone did, he would be less influential.
        Frankly if there was a second party that was too independence and pro protection women’s sex based rights, if probably vote for it because I’m holding on by the skin of my teeth here.
        I very much suspect that Wings is a modern Cassandra – doomed to make unpopular prophecies to people who pilloried her for it. Clearly the Rev does not take this in good part, and doesn’t mince his words in the nearly that is twitter.
        Just remember this.. Cassandra was always right

        1. Jo says:


          “Modern day Cassandra”

          I’m not sure he’ll like that comparison!

          Anyhoo, he has now called for Sturgeon to stand down.

          There’s also, currently, a war raging between women over this GRA reform business BUT the tactics on both sides are reaching extreme levels. Have a look at this in the Herald today where some woman is claiming she was set up by appearing to threaten Joanna Cherry. She hasn’t proved much but she’s implied a great deal. This is a member of the SNP giving the Herald an “exclusive” in order to smear others in her own Party!


          With a general election in FOUR days that’s irresponsible, to say the least. It’s worse. It’s crazy.

          Contentious issues are nothing new in politics. Those who address them by going on the warpath will achieve nothing but they’ll cost their Party dear.

  22. Gavin Barrie says:

    Look Mike, I know you have a lot of professional jealousy about Wings’ reach and influence but this is a lot of rather vicious, nasty character assassination and not much hard fact.

    Johan Lamont has come out as gender critical and being concerned about the protection on Women’s rights. That’s why I imagine that she gets endorsed.

    The incumbent, Stuart McDonald is alleged to be one of Integrity Initiatives Stooges and was named in the Wikikeaks documents. Why not do some proper journalism and check that out?

    I’m also very comfortable that Rev Stu is not having a mental breakdown.

  23. Wings = Campbell by name, Campbell by nature says:

    Spot on Mike.

    Many of us in the LGBTQ pro-Indy community have been ringing the alarm bells about him for years, but it’s good to see that finally people are waking up and seeing that all he cares about is his own obsessive hatreds and grifter crowdfunding.

    An absolute weapon (permanently living in Bath ffs) who recommends spite voting for a chief architect of ‘better together’ and removing our FM because his barren wee baws shrivel at the existence of trans people’s rights is no friend of the Independence movement, or Scottish voters.

  24. velofello says:

    “The grouplets that have formed around Stuart Campbell”, really?

    There is none so blind as those who will not see. And you, in this article have willfully chosen to mislead readers of the reasoning behind WOS recent articles.

    I recommend you read the post above by Jo regarding attacks on Joan McAlpine, Joanna Cherry, Jenny Marra. Then check out Joan Lamont’s views on said subject.

    And then apologise to your readers.

  25. B Griffiths says:

    Well said. I have given Wings money in the past but no more. He’s lost the plot lately.

  26. John McLeod says:

    I did not enjoy this article. Too many exaggerated statements and personal attacks. For me, at least, your usual mode of writing is much more effective – well-informed, reflective, ofering new perspectives

  27. Margaret says:

    Having read your defamatory diatribe, I can only conclude you have a case of severe professional envy. Not only have you defamed Mr Campbell, but you have insulted every woman concerned about GRA reform and the effects it will have in them, their children and their grandchildren. These legitimate concerns are not an obsession with other people’s genitals, but of keeping ourselves and children/young adults safe.

  28. Wul says:

    You probably feel like chucking it sometimes Mike.

    Please don’t.

  29. john burrows says:

    I completely disagree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it, to my death – Voltaire.

    Dissent and acrimonious debate are the hallmarks of democratic societies. It’s when we all agree with one another that I start to get nervous. Groupthink is often the precursor of tragic events. I’d say Scotland is in pretty good shape, by this measure.

    You cannot change minds by advocating shunning the society of those we disagree with – even Johann Lamonts. Get a grip people.

  30. Piers Doughty-Brown says:

    I’ll keep this simple. Folk (quite rightly) poured money into Stu’s crowd funder after seeing his good work on producing the Little Blue book.

    However, four years later and at around £90k p.a. raised what have we really gained from Wings over Scotland? Some fact checking I’ll admit, but to be honest there’s plenty of fact checking sources out there, and many of us learnt the art of fact checking over the last four years. So, other than that what have we really seen for the investment? I’d aver very little. Stu’s profile hasn’t heightened in terms of the independence cause, indeed his rammy with Kezia Dugdale was the last significant media exposure and it didn’t go well (que crowd funder).

    Then I started to see his trans comments and took little notice as my view is everyone is allowed their opinion.

    Then there was word about fielding a new party candidate, again I took little notice given the guy lives in Bristol and would need move here to run for office.

    Then the anti SNP comments. Now those did catch my eye, especially the one titled “Sturgeon must go”

    Whilst I agree the SNP don’t own the independence movement, they are the only significant party on our side, so attacking the party, despite having been funded by yessers for some years seemed very much like biting the hands that feed Stu.

    Truth will tell when the next fund raiser is launched, but I’d predict it’ll no attract the funds it did prior to the turncoat attitude I’ve witnessed from Stu recently.

    1. Petra says:

      Money matters to him. Really matters. He’s raised around £1 million, over time, that we know about (how much more?) and many people felt that he was worth every penny of it by holding the Unionists to account. That’s LONG gone now. His truly pathetic articles are beyond the pale. Totally embarrassing to the point that I can see him laughing his head off at his numpty supporters. His attacks on Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP just highlight that he no longer supports Independence for Scotland at all and I doubt that he’s reliant financially on the dafty, and I was one of the dafties, fundraisers anymore. He’ll be getting his dough from elsewhere now. Big bucks no doubt. Waken up folks and start thinking outside of the box on that one.

      Thousands of people, some elderly, are running around Scotland in sh*t weather getting the, “support the SNP / independence” message out there whilst that charlatan is lying back in Bath, England doing nought. Sorry not nought. He’s lolling back and doing his utmost to undermine our best efforts. Calling Nicola Sturgeon a liar and a fascist woke? Nicola Sturgeon who’s working her socks off for us, in comparison to him as he seemingly wont move his lazy ar*e off of his couch, computer chair or out of the nearest casino. If he’s such a fervent independence supporter, instead of being a Libdem or Labour (Johann Lamont) supporter, why isn’t he up here, in, eh Scotland not England, working his butt off for us? It’s not as though he has to be sitting in front of his computer in Bath to do anything to help us to get our Independence and with all of the money that he’s clawing in he could have bought or rented property up here to ensure that he could vote. But naw.

      The GRA issue? The bottom line is that it can be repealed like the OBFA, but by god he’ll use it to undermine the SNP at every turn even although they didn’t pluck this issue out of thin air, many countries worldwide are attempting to deal with it, and have put it on the back burner. He’s also blocked people who have tried to post information counter to his on this issue. In other words using his site to promote a one sided argument, propaganda, and the dupes don’t know what’s going on or don’t want to see it. Blinded by the light or more so his sh*te.

      He wants to front a new political party? So he says. The minute the MSM get wind of that reality, and publish his many vile, to say the least, tweets, he and his party will be over and out. Not just via them but due to the hundreds of thousands of SNP / Independence supporters that he’s kicked in the teeth. Will they support him and his party? And ultimately what he’s been getting up to WILL come out in the wash, rest assured, as he’ll be detested, and outed, by all regardless of what side of the fence or border he’s been found to be sitting on.

      In fairness to him maybe money isn’t the key issue. Maybe the security services have him locked up somewhere and his doppleganger has taken over his site? Anyone seen him in the flesh recently? Whatever the case don’t search around Scotland looking for him, because he isn’t here anymore. Not in body, mind or soul.

      1. Simon Brooke says:

        I believe that Lindsay Bruce did most of the actual work of pulling the Little Blue Book together, and Wings main contribution was fundraising and publishing. And Stuart Campbell can be extremely generous on occasion. Also, his fact checking is pretty good. I don’t like the man, and suspect he may be taking money from covert sources to cause dissention within the movement, but he is not all bad.

        1. Petra says:

          Lyndsay Bruce constructed the WBB. Mr Campbell is the fact checker. Well we don’t know if that’s correct or not. He may be paying someone else to do that for him too? Generous? I don’t see it. He’s been hoovering up money from many people who don’t have two pennies to rub together to line his pockets and pay for his legal cases. Hoovering up £hundreds of thousands to the detriment of other pro-Independence sites. Some Wingers kept highlighting the case of someone who needed a few thousand to pay for preordered flags, recently, and as far as I could make out if he didn’t do so he would be out of pocket. Campbell ignored their calls for help. If he had promoted that cause it would have been resolved within 24 hours.

          Not all bad? Taking money from covert forces? If so they clearly don’t support Independence, as per Campbell falling in line with what must be their number one aim and that is to discredit Nicola Sturgeon and destroy the SNP. Campbell’s objective now is as plain as the nose on your face. How long it’ll take for the penny to drop with the genuine pro-Independence supporters who still frequent his site is anyone’s guess.

          1. Wulls says:

            Do you wear a tinfoil hat to bed Petra ???
            I have never read such a bitter diatribe.
            Please tell us how you know wings donors do not have two pennies to rub together ??????
            That will be fascinating.
            Thing is we donate to wings to allow Stuart Campbell to do what he does. Forensically examine claims and policies.
            Not to redistribute the donations to every Tom dick and Harriet who you think has a “good cause”
            This whole thread is an exercise in bitterness and jealousy.
            If you see someone with a “good cause” get involved. Donate. Do crowdfunding.
            Complaining about others who have done just that then complaining that it has been too successful is petty, small minded, and mean of spirit.
            Grow up Petra.

        2. Lindsay Bruce says:

          I wish to post a correction here. I did NOT write the Wee Blue Book – not a single word of it. I did do the page layout and cover design, and I helped to distribute it, but I didn’t do any of the writing or fact-checking. To the best of my knowledge, Stuart Campbell wrote every word of the WBB.

          1. Simon Brooke says:

            Thanks for the correction.

  31. Ian says:

    I think the thing that is most overlooked in this discussion by people being polemical against proposed changes to gender recognition is the detail of the proposals themselves. They require someone wishing to self-declare their gender to live in their identified gender for 3 months, make a legal declaration, and then have a further period of 3 months reflection. It will be made clear to anyone going through that 6 month process that to do so falsely is a criminal offence. Reasonable safeguards will remain in place that in some cases exclude trans people from the provision of single sex services. Given all of this, do people really think that a psychopathic rapist, intent on harming, sexually assaulting or raping women, would seek to gain access to potential victims by publicly identifying themselves for 6 months in advance, in a process that made it easier for them to be convicted of a criminal offence than if they just sought to carry out an attack in a clandestine manner, and run away leaving as little evidence as possible? And in the very rare cases where men with very serious mental health problems have posed as women in the act of committing attacks, do people really think that a psychopathic rapist would be either encouraged or discouraged by what gender recognition laws says? They are already prepared to risk going to prison by committing rape. That is the problem, not the gender recognition framework, which is completely unconnected to how they are chosing to behave.

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