2007 - 2021

Stuart Campbell is a Disgrace that has Soiled Our Movement

Whilst it’s good to see lots of people now separating themselves from Stuart Campbell’s disgraceful hate blog yesterday after his latest publications, it’s also so overdue as to be it’s own shame.

Apologists for Campbell have hidden behind the idea that his “analysis is great”, none of which stands up to scrutiny. Here’s some of his great analysis below.

 

But this is 2021. None of it matters any more. The point is to dissociate a progressive movement from its most reactionary elements.

I understand the hesitancy to go here.

As the journalist Caitlin Logan has written: “Constantly debating over whether there is even a point in commenting on all of the infuriating awfulness of Scottish politics and associated media and social media, but I have, again, been pushed to the point where I feel the need to say something. With particular reference to the section of Stuart Campbell’s blog which invoked Neil Mackay’s daughter’s sexual assault as a means of attacking him. Now deleted but with the opposite of an apology. Before that, it was already shared by Kenny McAskill and liked by Joanna Cherry.”

So here we are in a space where someone focuses on a journalists religious background to discredit and smear them – and then focuses on his daughters sexual assault in order to bring down the wrath of his cult demons. Campbell, sensing he’s strayed even beyond his own zone of outrage issued a non-apology saying:

We’ve removed a paragraph from this piece that didn’t add anything to the story and which Neil Mackay was using to whip up a lynch mob. We hadn’t been asked to, but we can’t be bothered with the distraction and we hadn’t intended for any of the focus of this piece to land on anyone but Neil Mackay.”

In the world of Campbell this is tactic acknowledgement that there’s a legal or moral problem with spewing out such relentless bile.

Why has this taken so long?

One of the reasons this has taken so long for people to move away from this is that its been (wrongly) assumed that the more vicious you are the more effective you are. Rage has been misunderstood as radicalism. In what has been assumed to be a ‘war’ the aim has been to ‘destroy’ the enemy. But if the ‘enemy’ is people you need to persuade to your cause this is a fatally flawed argument. Here the suave Peter Bell describes this approach as the artillery”:

The second is the idea that Campbell’s site is somehow a threat to the Unionists in Scotland. It’s really not and never has been. It’s such a spectacular own-goal to have such a vicious voice and such a divisive figure in your own ranks. The idea that someone who was a wavering No voter or Don’t Know voter would be persuaded by reading Wings is deeply delusional. They would first have to wade through screeds of bizarre posts about trans people and then a further acres of text about why the SNP leadership is the devil incarnate before finding anything about independence. The litigious failure against Kezia Dugdale was – at the time – considered a massive success by Campbell’s supporters – but what exactly did it achieve?

The third reason it’s taken so long is the myth of unity. For years people have defended Campbell saying “don’t attack your own” (ignoring the glaring double-standards of him doing just that with unprecedented viciousness). There’s a real need for any political movement to have diversity within it and divergent views. In movement-building its known as ‘unity in diversity’. But what you also need is a threshold. You need some parameters. Whatever the operational use of an attack-dog you need a threshold based on some common values.

The fourth reason it has taken so long for Campbell to be outcast is that his supporters operate in a subculture that is sealed from the outside world. The cult has language codes, logos, slogans and forums to congregate and blocking mechanisms to stop members experiencing views they don’t agree with.

The political context of the Wings phenomenon

The political context for this bizarre phenomenon is worth noting. The first is the twist in the road from widespread discontent at the shape and standards of the media – into something which looks much more like pure hate: that all journalists are scum, that all media institutions are corrupt and that the media is the enemy. The attack on Neil Mackay couldn’t have come outwith this context [I should say I have been published by Neil Mackay, I have publicly and privately disagreed with him and I think he’s made grave editorial decisions, but it goes without saying that none of this means he is deserving of the abuse he received this week].

The second piece of political context for the Wings phenomenon is the backlash against women’s rights. If his blog is now a focal point for the “trans debate” (sic), the bigotry and intolerance that pre-dates this is a hatred of feminist thinking – a worldview shared by Craig Murray (see for example Another Vicious Ugly-Souled Feminist – Thoughts on Feminism) and reiterated by the narrative of The Salmond Witches.

 

 

Examples of this are everywhere …

 

But if the site is laced with misogyny it is also laced with language and levels of vitriol that are off the chart. So none of this weeks attacks are new. This is from 2009:
Or this from 2015 …
This level of hatred has been sustained over years and the misogyny has morphed neatly into attacks on the First Minister with obvious echoes of the “Lock her up” language of the Trump campaign against Hillary Clinton.
Many times the bigotry is indistinguishable and just becomes a stream of consciousness. Here he is mocking a women for using her Irish name …
Here he is on Scottish Gaelic (I won’t bother to point out the dark irony of such drivel):
“Non-primary native languages are a tool whose main utility in practice is at best the exclusion of outsiders, and at worst an expression of dodgy blood-and-soil ethnic nationalism. They’re a barrier to communication and an irritation to the vast majority of the population, who are made to feel like uncultured aliens in their own land.”
*
Recently the (quote) “war against the woke scumbags” has taken a turn against disabled people, here again its difficult to distinguish between casual racism, misogyny and assorted bigotry …
The comments section is a treat: “What makes you BAME?”
Nobody is off limits, not even an autistic child:
This is endless and maybe pointless. For the remnants of the cult these examples will mean nothing because there is no threshold to his or their behaviour. There is no such thing as thinking about ends and means, and no language or tactics are beyond the pale in the pursuit of … whatever it is they are in pursuit of now.
Another aspect of this is that because the 2014 election was lost because of black ops / missing ballot boxes / M15 (* insert your own Alt-Nat excuse here *), and because anyone advocating a Section 30 Order is a ‘Yoon traitor” there is actually no need to be persuasive, to win people over, to think about how you behave, to reflect on your own behaviour or your own movement or to be self-critical.
Why would you?
But if the independence movement is to have integrity and to coalesce around a set of values that are meaningful and progressive, if the independence movement is to gain further traction and momentum towards the goal of establishing a democratic country it must separate itself from the voices of hate that are personified by Stuart Campbell. This is so obvious it shouldn’t need stating. It is so long overdue.
*
*
Thanks to the dozens of people who sent examples of Wings abusive behaviour and posts, only a tiny fraction of which are published here.

Tags:

Comments (158)

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Kevin Hattie says:

    I’ll be honest: I had only heard of Wings Over Scotland second-hand, and have no idea about its creator. But those quotes attributed to him are absolutely disgusting. As the article says, it is hatred that seems to drive such a worldview. I can’t see what good could possibly come from associating with such an odious character.

    Yuck!

    1. Gray says:

      How can Stuart Campbell be soiling our movement by telling the truth.
      I once thought this site meant something, not any morem

      1. Michael Mooney says:

        Which part of the material quoted is here? The woman hating? The homophobia? The hatred of the SNP? Nothing there I recognise as the truth.

      2. Jim says:

        You can just leave and not announce your departure as if your a railway station.
        WoS is an obnoxious prick who has no one left shouting his praises that are anything other than sycophantic morons.

        People I give you Gary a WoS apologist.

      3. CK says:

        He’s not telling the truth. He’s a reactionary bigot and a horrible person. Disabled and trans people make up parts of the independence movement. What he does is alienate them from the movement, myself included. Keep your reactionary drivel to yourself.

        1. Bob says:

          Clearly you have not read anything on WoS as you would know he provides extensive evidence to support his articles.

          1. Alec Lomax says:

            You have to wash your hands when you come off the Wings site.

          2. CK says:

            I was making claims about his reactionary bigotry, and that it cancels out and dilutes any value someone should get from his ‘research’. I don’t care about his ‘extensive research’ if, in the same sentence or paragraph, he disbelieves the degree of someone’s disability or contributes to transphobia. Someone’s worldview, especially when concerning the lived experiences of human beings (human beings that are in favour of independence, no less) is a direct indication of their decency, and also directly affects the validity and quality of their apparent ‘extensive research’. I highly doubt he’s of a ‘higher plane’ of consciousness or something, he’s literally just a reactionary bigot that pathetic saddos idolise.

    2. Gray says:

      You obviously haven’t visited Campbell’s site. If you had you would see that he is the one subjected to hate and all be cause he prints the truth.

      1. Kevin Hattie says:

        Are those comments quoted in the post false, then? Or has he actually said such horrible things to people?

        If it’s the latter, how can you possibly defend them? They are some of the most hateful and disgusting remarks I’ve ever read.

      2. Callum says:

        Trying to defend the indefensible – you are exactly what he is talking about. Utterly divorced from reality, no boundaries or morality. Someone who will lose votes for independence.

      3. CK says:

        If you truly think he isn’t an ableist or a transphobe, or a misogynist, then please substantiate those claims with evidence. McKay has substantiated his claims. The onus in entirely on yourself to prove it. Don’t leave comments if they don’t contribute to the conversation without substantiation.

        1. Cult Member says:

          There is no such thing as an ‘ableist.’ That’s fictitious American rubbish.

          1. CK says:

            Substantiate that claim with evidence. Ableism absolutely does exist. The oppression of disabled people exists, in Scotland and elsewhere across the world.

          2. Pub Bore says:

            Yep, Scots who experience disability generally do so as a result of being discriminated against and disadvantaged in the distribution of social goods. Under a social model of disability, this inequality is actually what it is that disables them.

            The same can be said for any ‘othered’ group; that is, any group that deviates from the prevailing physical or behavioural norm – e.g. non-white, non-male, non-heterosexual, non-cis, non-binary, non-indigenous, non-orthodox… in a word, ‘different’.

            As a society, we still tend to privilege the ‘same’ over the ‘different’, even at our best. At our worst, we demonise and persecute the Other.

            The Rev Stu seems to stand accused of demonising others, at least in his language, for the delectation of his fan-base. I’d suggest that those who agree with this judgement and find his behaviour abnormal and offensive should vote with their feet and navigate away from his platforms.

      4. Me Bungo Pony says:

        You do realise you sound like one of trump’s supporters don’t you?

    3. Josef Ó Luain says:

      @Kevin Hattie

      May I respectfully suggest, Kevin, that you give yourself a much needed, in my opinion, crash-course in Scottish politics and current affairs. You simply can’t wander in to any debate, any where, without the necessary background information to inform your contribution.

      1. Kevin Hattie says:

        Thanks, Josef.

      2. David GRIMMER says:

        FFS man I don’t know if that was your intention or not, but that comes across as a really snide response and unworthy of any decent human, never mind a Yes supporter.

  2. India Osaka says:

    Well said.

  3. Martyn says:

    When they play the man and not the ball……

  4. Mike says:

    I know this is definitely not the subject for levity, but I read a tweet that referred to him as ‘StuAnon’ recently, and couldn’t think of a more perfect tag for his burst beachball brand of punditry.

  5. Paul Martin says:

    Anyone, and I mean ANYONE, who is sharing or retweeting his blog, or inexplicably forking out £50 of their hard-earned money to buy him sweeties and gin (yeah, that £10K crowdfunder really was one in the eye for “the woke brigade”), are now metastases spreading his on-line cancer. That said, his acolytes are a small but loud and virulent hard-core group within the confines of a social-media bubble; the most toxic of the most toxic, the most deluded of the most deluded, the most gullible of the most gullible. They were always there, ready to drink the StuAnon Kool-Aid, and to be inflamed exponentially to ever more irrational thoughts and reactionary views. That’s his revenue stream now, and they’re sitting up begging to be monetised. At least we can see them all in one place, and block/mute is the best form of pest control I know. I count myself as a former donor in the early days and one of those who too readily made allowances for him even up until 4 or 5 years ago. But the Wee Blue Book is ancient history now and Business for Scotland’s recent work make a potential future effort from Campbell utterly redundant. As for the several hundred thousand pounds of crowdfunded money that remain in his possession, it’s just soiled money now, tainted and polluted. Take it, keep it, and for gods sake go – unfortunately however, he won’t.

    1. Time, the Deer says:

      Well said – StuAnon is essentially the Scots Bannon. I am reminded of Spike Lee’s comment about how Trumpism came about as a reaction to Obama, because so many people in the US still couldn’t handle having a black man in the White House. Something similar is going on in Scotland – unreconstructed macho tribalists who were only into the Indy movement for a rammy now can’t handle a woman being in charge and their hero Eck being disgraced. If Alec Salmond isn’t allowed to sleaze on his female employees without reproach, what chance is there for them eh? Thousands of guilty consciences raging together. The fact that Sturgeon is running the show so competently threatens their fragile sense of masculinity. All they have left are schoolyard insults and poison.

      They’re dinosaurs, their time is up – and they know it, hence the histrionics. An independent Scotland has no place for this bullshit.

      1. Susan Fraser says:

        Yes. Exactly this.

      2. kapelmeister says:

        You clearly can’t view what’s happening in Scotland without assuming direct comparisons with U.S. current affairs.

        Some facts for you first. Alex Salmond was acquitted on all charges by a jury that had 9 women out of 13 members, in a trial overseen by a female judge. Several women were among the witnesses for the defence. Salmond’s lawyers were prevented from presenting much of the relevant evidence in the trial.

        The pro-independence people who oppose Sturgeon have, as our heroine, and I and others hope future leader, the SNP MP Joanna Cherry. Those with animus towards Sturgeon are not motivated by “macho tribalism”.

        The real comparison that can be made with U.S. politics is, not with Trump supporters, but with the abuse of power and subsequent cover up that took place in the Nixon administration. The Wings website has been in the vanguard of exposing this corruption and cover up, along with other Scottish political blogs such as Yours for Scotland, Gordon Dangerfield and Craig Murray. They are all worth visiting with an open mind.

        1. Time, the Deer says:

          I didn’t make a direct comparison. If you want me to, here you go: Wings fanboys are part of the same Western crisis of masculinity that brought us Mr Cosplay Viking at the Capitol.

          Yes Salmond was acquitted in court, but he admitted to being a sleazebag himself. That’s unacceptable.

          There is literally one reason you goons idolise Joanna Cherry, and that too involves bigotry.

          To compare the current situation to Watergate is so absurd as to be laughable.

          1. kapelmeister says:

            Salmond made no such admission. Your febrile imagination supplied you with your claim.

            I do not idolise Joanna Cherry. She is a genuine Scottish nationalist who happens to be very clever. That is all.

            Perhaps Watergate isn’t the best comparison. After all, Nixon for all his wrongs, did not try to get an innocent man convicted on a rape charge.

          2. Ken Harvey says:

            Aye, thats the funny bit, they all thing they are Woodward and Bernstein…

        2. George Trist says:

          Sturgeon not the SNP tried to get Salmond jailed, fighting back the tears at her 8hr interrogation was real.

          Campbell has perceived a wrong doing against him from the SNP, whether SNP Youth, the woke element or main party he thinks SNP done him wrong. In true Stu fashion he can’t allow any slight real or perceived slip, his ego won’t allow it. So him doing what he does goes all out to bring the SNP & Sturgeon to their knees, if that hurts or kills Independence that’s of no concern to Campbell, it’s never about Scotland or Independence it’s all about Stu the ego Campbell.

          1. George Trist says:

            shoukd say “Sturgeon nor the SNP”

      3. Douglas Leighton says:

        I lived in the US in the Obama era. It is not my impression that it had much to do with his being black. He was undoubtedly the most gifted US president for many years. The problem was what he didn’t do with his ample gifts. Yes, he managed Obamacare, (almost half heartedly )but did nothing to address the deep discontent and inequity that had built up in relation to the financial crisis pre 2008 and the mad corruption of the banking system, and endorsed the Greenspan/Bush economic settlement that had prevailed up to his time in office.That settlement impoverished/ruined many people. He also failed to confront the militarism inherent in the appalling aftermath of Iraq, which had fuelled the prescription drugs epidemic,or did anything (except maintain it) about the huge failure implicit in the Bush/Cheney neocon position that had created Guantanamo, and flopped pathetically at the 2009 Copenhagen UN climate conference. All that and overseeing Biden’s oppressive legislation related to prison sentencing, resulting in the incarceration of huge numbers of Black people for minor drugs offences. All that and more, created the fertile social environment that allowed Trumpism to come about. It was born out of the huge disappointment of Obama, and the Clintons, also elite and gifted and probably corrup,who represented the gutless/indifference of the clever elites, and gave succour to the anti-intellectuallism implicit in American non-conformism.

    2. William says:

      Well said, I keep myself away from Infighting however I saw him turning, to what seems to be the unionst side in my opinion a while back and unfollowed.

      I’ll be sure to message everyone of my friends who I invited to like his page to tell them u follow his drivel.

    3. David says:

      “But the Wee Blue Book is ancient history now and Business for Scotland’s recent work make a potential future effort from Campbell utterly redundant.”

      If you do some proper research the Wee Blue Book was ancient history before it was published but that doesn’t give you the right to suggest McIntyre Kemps drivel is any better , most teenage Children have the ability to see through it at a first reading, i’m embarrassed for you that you cannot. Its a shame that so many hard working Scots are spending their hard earned money on such delusional conformation bias fulfilling nonsense. What a way to make a living. https://www.businessforscotland.com/shop/

    4. Cult Member says:

      ‘online cancer.’ Ever had anybody you lkove die of cancer? And cunts like you ar trying to get all sanctimonious and self-righteous. The irony is fucking amazing.

      1. Paul Martin says:

        Yes. My mother died of pancreatic cancer.

      2. CK says:

        Yes, Campbell is a cancer. Nothing controversial or out of order about that. Bigotry is cancer. Prejudice is cancer. Transphobia and ableism are cancer. If you can’t understand or accept that, I don’t know what to tell you.

        1. Pub Bore says:

          Could you stop demonising people with cancer, please? Cancer is a disease, not an evil like that of which you believe the Rev Stu is possessed.

  6. Foghorn Leghorn says:

    My biggest contribution to the anti-nationalist cause in the run-up to the 2014 pseudorendum was to share Stuart’s posts as widely as I could. ‘Rope’ and ‘hang themselves’ are two terms that spring to mind. Lang may his wings beat!

    Of course, yet another sectarian rammie within the Independence movement doesn’t go amiss either. Mair rope!

    1. Time, the Deer says:

      Lord help us, The Caledonian Anti-Syzygy has entered the chat…

      1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

        Don’t worry! I don’t have anything to say on the subject of the Rev Stu, the Beast of Bath, whose number (ἑξακόσιοι ἑξήκοντα ἕξ) is apparently up. I’m just here to enjoy the ongoing spectacle of the Independence antisyzygy deconstructing under the stresses of its own duelling polarities. For, as the Drunk Man says, it’s out of such chaos and turmoil that ‘Scotland’ will be born.

        That’s the Scottish genius, don’t you know, the Caledonian antisyzygy? “One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.” It just needs a wee push now and then with some immanent critique to keep it from petrifying.

      2. John Mooney says:

        The pub bore has entered the building,best ignore the sad loner,cheers Time the Deer.

        1. Time, the Deer says:

          Lol, sorry John. Next round’s on me 🙂

    2. James Mills says:

      Foghorn etc..

      The independence movement is hardly ”deconstructing ” because some nerdy bloggers are arguing about who is the biggest zoomer !

      ”Debates” on this site or any other are NOT indicative of how the vast majority of independence supporters ( and possible independence supporters ) feel about Ms Sturgeon or Mr Salmond or any other figure in the independence movement .

      Much as you perhaps would like it to be so, very few supporters will give a Foghorn about this ”debate” or even be aware that it is occurring . The arguing about the minutiae of what he said to who and when is for the very few who get their jollies in this type of pointless discussion .

      To suggest ( or fervently wish ? ) that such a minor political rammy ( in the view of the great majority ) is exercising the thoughts of most of us at this particularly dismal period is laughable !

      1. Pub Bore says:

        Aye, but all these blogs etc. are the organs of the different groups and tendencies within the Independence movement, and the spats between those tendencies are indicative of the tensions that drive the process of deconstruction. I’m confident the movement will reconstruct itself yet again. What is indeterminable is what the new configuration (‘mutation’) of the antisyzygy will be.

        All social movements evolve in this way; the movement for Scottish independence isn’t exceptional in this respect.

      2. Pub Bore says:

        Also, the increasingly toxic tone of the rammies between the duelling polarities within its antisyzygy bespeaks a fundamental brokenness in the Independence movement. Vide this and other public fora, where voices from the various polarities can do little but trade insults with one another.

      3. Pub Bore says:

        It’s more than evident that the movement as it is a present has outlived itself and is decaying into sectarianism. Such is the dialectical nature of such movements; they’re continually evolving, sublating into something else. It’s nothing to worry about; just part of the natural lifecycle of such phenomena.

        1. James Mills says:

          Piffle !! How many people in the population give a rat’s a*se for these navel gazing debates ? Some people can’t see the Cause for the arguments !

          1. Pub Bore says:

            We’re not talking of the population, who only see the less than edifying spectacle of the Salmond-Sturgeon soap opera playing out like the Borgias over the mainstream media channels; we’re talking about the Independence movement, the equilibrium of whose constituent polarities seems, on the evidence of all the infighting that’s broken out across its various platforms, seems to have become unstable.

            The great ‘Cause’ of independence is only a flag of convenience for many of the nationalists’ fellow-travellers, who are more interested in what comes after independence and the opportunities they hope might accrue to them from it in the furtherance of their own ideological agendas. It’s not unusual for such alliances of convenience to creak at the seams, after a while, under the strains of the internal politics driven by rival and sometimes incommensurable interests.

            Just saying…!

  7. Chris Connolly says:

    2 years ago, in the comments section of The National, I called Wings Over Scotland an Alt Right hate site. In response I was told that I should see a psychiatrist and was accused of being a Unionist masquerading as an independence supporter just to cause trouble. When I also said that just because Alex Salmond was popular among Independence Supporters it didn’t necessarily follow that he was innocent of sexual assault charges I was told “We can see what you’re doing.”

    On Bella, I was accused of being an English spy (by the same person who “could see what I was doing”) for implying that there was an element of racism in the movement.

    I’d like to say now that I feel vindicated. Aye, and just a wee bit smug too.

    1. Gerry McNally says:

      “When I also said that just because Alex Salmond was popular among Independence Supporters it didn’t necessarily follow that he was innocent of sexual assault charges…”

      Just in case you hadn’t noticed, Chris, Alex Salmond was in fact acquitted of all of the trumped-up charges he faced.

    2. Dean Clark says:

      You seem to have missed the part about the court finding salmond innocent though. I’ve certainly found wings to be verging on transphobia on some occassions, however that does not reduce the validity of some of the points he is making… Men can’t actually be women, no matter how much they want to be. I’m all for calling a man a woman if they have made the effort to take hormone replacement and have had surgery or are at least on the waiting list but calling a guy a woman and giving him all rights that women have spent a hundred years fighting for, just because he says he is a woman, it’s plainly stupid. It devalues all of the equality that women have been fighting for… Workplaces can be staffed entirely by men as long as 40% say they are called Sandra? Dumb. Back to the salmond thing… If you spend even a tiny amount of time looking at the defence then I’m sure you will be as pissed of as me regarding the state of the prosecution service in Scotland. Once you remove the accusations of hair flicking and the ones that were actually proven not to have happened, you are left with one person who got semi naked with him and the next day reported him. No one would want to sleep with a fat bald old guy eh, so he must have been in the wrong… Except she then went on to have an affair with another old bald fat guy who left his wife for her. I’m not excusing infidelity in any way but every story has two sides and the salmond prosecution couldn’t have been any more malicious if it tried.. 10 police officers on average were employed over a period of 19 months to dig into this…. Bet that wouldn’t happen if you were accused of hair flicking.

    3. Swifty Lazar says:

      No wonder this is a little read website on the outskirts of the independence movement.

  8. montfleury says:

    I actually feel embarrassed for you Mike. Go and get some fresh air and have a wee rethink?

    1. India Osaka says:

      “I actually feel embarrassed for you Mike.”

      Why do you feel embarrassed for Mike? What do you think’s embarrassing /for Mike/ about criticising Stuart Campbell for using the sexual assault of a young girl to attack her father?

    2. Time, the Deer says:

      What a classic narcissistic response: I have no argument, but I’ll try shaming you instead.

    3. CK says:

      And most of Scotland feels embarrassed for you.

  9. Daniel Raphael says:

    I carefully read Mr. Murray’s “Ugly Souled Feminist” article, and fail(ed) to see anything problematical in it. I’m acutely aware that my familiarity with Scottish politics and with some of the prominent figures in and around it does not (and likely never will) approach the level of knowledge many Bella readers already possess. So, I have to ask as a rather dewy-eyed innocent, what it is in that article by Mr. Murray that exposes him as a sexist reactionary? I am really asking: I have long regarded myself as a feminist, and I fail to find any substantive misanthropy or straightforward sexism in the piece. Please direct me to specific passages, or provide me with other, closely related pieces to read. Thank you!

    1. Time, the Deer says:

      Calling feminist women he disagrees with ‘ugly souled’.

      Doubting the testimony of sexual assault survivors.

      ‘I do believe that there are differing masculine and feminine personality traits’. [LOL]

      Representing prostitution, stripping, and sexualised advertising images as women ‘using their sexuality for economic gain’ [traditionally I believe all of these fields involved MEN using womens’ sexuality for economic gain]

      In reference to rape: ‘every crime can have aggravating or mitigating circumstances’.

      Representing false reporting of rape as an issue of more concern than the almost non-existent conviction rates.

      No, Craig’s not sexist at all…

      1. Daniel Raphael says:

        Thanks for your reply. I see problems/questions with most of the things you mention, some of which were simply not touched on in Murray’s article, others are subject to parsing and interpretation. But I don’t want to haggle, as you were the only person to bother replying, and for that I thank you again.

      2. Cult Member says:

        ‘Representing prostitution, stripping, and sexualised advertising images as women ‘using their sexuality for economic gain’ [traditionally I believe all of these fields involved MEN using womens’ sexuality for economic gain]’

        So whores do it for the love of humanity, and not money, eh? And only men benefit from it? What about in legalised brothels? Independent whores? You remind me, hiariously, of Irvine Welsh ludicrously stating that the disgusting ‘pimp’ archetype resonated so much in the psyche of black Americans because it reminded them, subconsciously, of the slave and his master. It’s there, in the introduction he wrote to Pimp by Iceberg Slim. Always men to blame, or more especially white men, these days, eh? Tell that shit to Cynthia Payne. And Heidi Fleiss. And on and on…

        https://www.feministcurrent.com/2016/10/19/lady-pimps-media-madams-female-brothel-owners-feminize-american-dream/

        1. Time, the Deer says:

          ‘traditionally involved’

          Don’t drink and post.

          1. Time up, Dear says:

            I admire the mix of a supercilious manner, and regurgitated ‘feminist’ tripe…

            Your gestational parent and your non-birthing parent must be very proud

        2. CK says:

          Odious misogynist.

  10. Alastair McIver says:

    He also started the bizarre moral panic which is now raging across the internet concerning the delightful (and entirely harmless) children’s picture book Brenda Is A Sheep.

    He’s an odious jobbie with neither the ability nor the inclination to disagree respectfully, and I don’t think the wider Yes movement can afford to have anything to do with him.

  11. pogopat says:

    I’ve read both blogs for years. I know what I’m getting with Wings right or wrong. Not sure now with Bella. Your attacks on both Craig Murray and Collette Walker is what concerns me most.

  12. Ergasiophobe says:

    Hey Mike. Check the following blog: https://ahdinnaeken.wordpress.com/2019/08/11/wings-over-scotland-the-unbelievable-liar-behind-the-unbelievable-fury/ You can make up your own mind but, lying in court makes you a perjurer. And Campbell lied in court when he forced Kezia Dugdale to appear there in the name of defamation and intolerance of free speech. It’s a smoking gun. You should call him out on it. He’ll not answer because he knows he’s banged to rights. All those such and such is a liar pieces – projection on Campbell’s part.

    1. Humpty says:

      He has form. In the Dugdale case he said readers couldn’t tell the difference between opinion columns and news. Two weeks later he wrote newspapers can’t be balanced because it’s easy for people to skip past opinion pieces.

      Not quite as serious as your example but his relationship with the truth is flexible.

  13. John MacDonald says:

    The sad thing is the signs have always been there – as evidenced by some of the things in this article which predate his rise in the Scottish blogosphere. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and there were obviously those who recognised him for what he was right at the start, but before those of us who made excuses for him for far too long start self-flagellating, we need to bear in mind why he was able to occupy the position he did, because otherwise it’ll keep happening.

    There are parallels with the Tommy Sheridan situation (and not just the self-defeating court case over a comment nobody else cared about), where people who should have knew better kept making excuses for him because they felt he was somehow uniquely capable of motivating working class people to vote Yes. Campbell managed to convince people that he, and he alone, was capable of taking on the overwhelmingly-unionist narrative in the media. Finally, here was someone who took the media on at their own game, and gave us the lumps of flesh we so desired.

    He convinced people that he was an effective rebuttal unit to all the media spin, and you can see that in the angry demands from some people that the SNP should be spending more time rebutting unionist lies in the media. What these people don’t stop to consider is that if you’re spending time rebutting stories, not only are you re-amplifying those stories every time you do so, but you’re not spending time pushing your own agenda. But the people who still follow him don’t care about that. All they really want is someone to stick it to the media, Yoons and wokies. They want that lump of flesh, and he gives it to them. It’s not about furthering the cause – it’s about feeling that sense of triumph over the media. It’s entirely about themselves.

    In reaction to someone asking how his blog is helping the independence cause, one of his supporters on Twitter yesterday pointed out that his blog doesn’t actually lay claim to being pro-indy, just to being a monitor on the Scottish media. It’s quite an interesting admission about how skewed these people’s priorities have become.

    You can see the negative effect he’s had from the language a lot of people use, and not just the aggressive, macho posturing you see from the likes of the Peter Bell screenshot above. His affectation for hyperbole when he thinks someone has denigrated him, for example. It’s never “smears” or even “horrible smears”, it’s always something like “horrendously dangerous smears” – he loves that “somethingly something something” template. Then there’s the “stringent analysis”, which is nothing more than a bit of Googling, mixed with whatever assumptions are required to end up at the desired endpoint. The number of his articles that contain phrases like “we don’t actually have the figures, but let’s suppose it’s…” is remarkable and it’s always puzzled me that people don’t point this out. Unfortunately, this bred a whole bunch of other poorly-researched blogs, and the angry, boorish contingent to go with it. As a result, all kinds of nonsense is stated as fact by independence supporters, and it’s not particularly helpful.

    Whatever worth he may or may not have had in the past (and that’s debatable), no one in their right mind would point an undecided voter towards his blog now. He is yesterday’s man, and that’s probably what makes him so angry. Unless, of course, you’re the former leader of a political party requiring a mouthpiece to help you attack your predecessor, who is doing a bit too much better than you did, and had the audacity to not put her career on the line to help dig you out of a hole of your own making. Someone like that might find him very useful.

    1. Humpty says:

      This is absolutely spot on.

    2. Cult Member says:

      ‘Unless, of course, you’re the former leader of a political party requiring a mouthpiece to help you attack your predecessor, who is doing a bit too much better than you did…’ If you mean ‘doing better at trying to destroy the life of somebody who gave you your career,’ then yes, Sturgeon is definitely doing better. If you ignore the whole ‘Alex Salmond took us to the threshold of independence’ thing, that is. This is actually hilarious. You made a couple of good points, too, up until that risible conspiratorial gibberish.

      1. John MacDonald says:

        No conspiracy necessary – Campbell has literally published press releases on behalf of Salmond numerous times. He did one shortly after Salmond was first questioned by the police, and has done several others since then, including from members of the wider Salmond team.

        But then you already know that, don’t you Stuart?

    3. Claire McNab says:

      Excellent, John.

      Campbell uses alt-right techniques to make his fans feel big

    4. Alec Lomax says:

      This.

    5. Dean Clark says:

      Ffs, salmond was found not guilty. I’m not really a fan of the guy myself but a lot of money was put into proving his guilt and none of it stuck. Also, sturgeon isn’t doing better than he did, she is doing considerably worse though the election results aren’t in yet so maybe i will be surprised. Also, she definitely lied about when she knew of the accusations against salmond by about 3 months as she changed the policy to include previous ministers and it is inconceivable that her personal secretary has a meeting with one of the accusers and the next day she personally intervenes to have the policy changed against the advice of the uk gov. Both letters are on the scotgov website if you want to check. The whole salmond saga has completely sickened me of politics to the stage that if I hadn’t left, there is no party I could bring myself to vote for… Up until leaving the uk, I was an snp member. If you don’t think there was any dodgy business going on in the salmond case then it’s simply because you haven’t looked. Scotgov website and police Scotland both have foi sections and it really isn’t difficult to inform yourself. If the lord advocate isn’t up on a malicious prosecution charge again after the election has blown over, I will be very surprised… Ditto for david harvie, the crown agent.

  14. Andrew says:

    I donate to BC and will continue to do so because it has at least one really good article each week, some of them written by yourself. However, you are also capable of some sanctimonious twaddle, as in this piece. Plus you were happy to promote Garavelli’s hatchet job on Salmond, easily the worst piece of journalism outside of the Mail-Express-Torygraph orbit that I have ever seen. S. Campbell is often needlessly abrasive and I agree he has said some disgraceful things but if the odious Neil MacKay is defended by the NUJ, Campbell has some right to list all the horrible things fellow journalists have said of him, as he did today, -and he did not include the stratospherically arrogant David Leask among his detractors.

  15. Aynsley McGurk says:

    Lol can you imagine anyone saying any of this stuff to someone’s face in real life?

    1. Alec Lomax says:

      They wouldnt dare say it to someones’s face. That’s why the ‘warriors’ rarely stray beyond their keyboards.

  16. Paddy Farrington says:

    Good for you Mike. Beyond the pointless and utterly counterproductive abuse and bullying Wings trades in, it’s time that his reactionary, chauvinistic politics were called out. Wings is the closest thing the independence movement has to a Trumpist cult, and it is doing us no favours. His view of independence is mean-spirited, deeply divisive and will only hinder building the inclusive and broad movement we need: no wonder he is now being used by the Tories. But what is extraordinary is the extent to which some leading commentators and SNP politicians, who seem to have completely lost their way, are prepared to write for his blog, and thus implicitly side with him.

  17. Ian Hart says:

    You sir, are a grade A fanny.

  18. Donald Reid says:

    Thank you. Finally, someone standing for YES values.

    WoS has gone rogue.

  19. Simon Z. says:

    You are better than this, Mike.

    1. It would be good to address the points made in the article

      1. Bob says:

        It would be good if you addressed the corruption going on in Scotland surrounding Nicola Sturgeon, the CPS, the Civil Service and missing Independence funds. But you don’t which is why WoS exists.

    2. CK says:

      No, mate. **You’re** better than this.

  20. Cult Member says:

    The phony sanctimony here is quite fascinating. It’s clear that Ms. Small has had some sort of strange jealous obsession with Mr. Campbell with quite some time. Stu Campbell is a prick, who seems to lack social skills. I am sure even he would not argue with this assessment. But he also does clinical analyses of material that nobody else will touch. And THIS is why myself and other read him (your ‘cult’ comments are offensive, by the way, denigrating, as they do, the capacity for rational ratiocination of a LOT of people), not because he is far too quick sometimes to fling abuse at somebody he finds deserving of it. You are a strange person, Mr. Small. All this fake self-righteousness these days is a thin, hardly-covering veneer for wanting censorship of a perceived rival that a person does not agree with. A concept I find almost as repugnant as trying to imprison an innocent man for career reasons. And I will go to Stu Campbell to get analysis of this and other disgusting, Scotland-destroying scandals, NOT insulting, bitter, jealous, hateful people like you. Christ, clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right…what the fuck ever HAPPENED to this country?

  21. Bob Costello says:

    You just cannot get over the fact that wings leave you standing as far as journalism goes. Your amateur blogs are in no way a match for the concise and factual wings journalism. You will go the same way as your leader , into obscurity. You are an embarrassment to the independence movement

    1. James Mills says:

      Yet despite your criticism you are still reading Bella ! Go figure !

    2. CK says:

      Absolute delirium.

  22. The Blue Flag says:

    What a load of pious guff. Get off your high horse. This movement is diverse and very broad. There should be room for all, including Stuart Campbell. I don’t often read Bella anymore. I also don’t particularly wish to criticise any fellow Yessers, other than to say that it’s not up to you what I read or the opinions I form from extensive reading. It’s obvious you want Wings shut down and to my mind that makes you a fascist. Think about that, because I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s not a good look.

    1. It would be good to address the points made in the article

      1. The Blue Flag says:

        We will not win our independence by being nice. Wings can be abrasive and can sometimes sail close to the wind, but his dissection of both the media and the uttering of the political class is extremely important to the Yes Movement. You may not like it, but you obviously keep reading and looking to take offence wherever you can. Is that not odd? Is the problem, for you, not a case of jealousy over his reading figures. Or is just that you think we should all shut up and let Nicola dangle more juicy carrots, only to whip them away when she’s back in Bute House.

        1. Pub Bore says:

          You won’t win your independence by alienating voters with your ‘abrasiveness’ either. It might hearten and rally the resentful around their several grudges and grievances, as populism does, but it will hardly win friends and influence people among the others in the wider Scottish community, whom you need to bring on board to bring independence about.

          Also, does the present brutal infighting not give the Scottish electorate a flavour of the destructive sectarian rammies into which the Independence movement will dissolve post-independence as they jostle for power in the smaller pond? Is that an attractive prospect?

      2. Dean Clark says:

        The point he is making is that the guardian exists, as does the daily mail… Journalist for the guardian do not continually go on about how shit the daily mail is so it should be shut down because the job of a journalist (before the interweb days) is to provide analysis, not content… Spending your time attacking other journalists is just filler, so why is that any better than wings?

  23. gehetacicl says:

    Meh. Until we have a full on authoritarian state making good on all the silly hyperbole likening Wings to the alt right and Qanon etc. etc. by literally blocking the site, getting its hosting nerfed ala Parler, etc., all this is just oxygen of publicity. The blog is clearly garnering orders of magnitude more pageviews than the more dry-as-dust right-on material it competes with in the “Yes space.” I’m sure that’s the answer then.

  24. IAB says:

    I look at both Bella and Wings. I agree that Campbell goes too far at times but this piece of Holy Willie nonsense appears like a load of stored up resentment. Mr Small – I see you as one who supported the dreadful Garavelli and did not support Craig Murray. The Yes movement is a wide alliance although you do not seem to like this idea.

    1. It would be good to address the points made in the article

      1. IAB says:

        It would be good if you addressed the points I made.

        1. Bob says:

          But he won’t. Just to put some balance on this article, as it was clearly written to provide a platform for others to attack WoS. Small has firmly attached his future to the coat tails of Nicola Sturgeon and employing a similar smear strategy to get rid of the competition. A win win for Mike Small to extend his career and stay relevant as long as NS is in power there will be no independence and I would advise anyone who doesn’t know this to search WoS recent posts where forensic journalism detailing events with supporting evidence on the background to Alex Salmond court case and the aggressive and nasty Woke faction now taking control of the SNP NEC to further their own agenda and promote ‘Out of Indy’ as a strategy. Helping to deliver Independence is what WoS is all about with the Wee Blue Book and daily debunking of UK MSM lies, now extended to reveal Scottish political lies at the top of the SNP where no work or progress towards Independence has taken place in the last 5 years. That is where discussion should be right now, and is, thanks to WoS. But with Bella Caledonia it is more of ‘Nothing To See Here’.

          1. Alec Lomax. says:

            ‘Helping deliver independence is what WoS is all about.
            Yeah, and I’ve a bridge to sell you.

          2. Dean Clark says:

            I’ve read all of wings content and although I agree with a lot of it, i remain unconvinced about his pension pete angle. I doubt independence will happen because the snp waited to long by paying it safe and now the majority in favour has gone, but despite what murray and campbell are saying about the snp being full of straight out of uni career politicians, people won’t use a party who’s aim is independence as a vehicle for a political career because they would be crippling themselves from the outset. Imagine trying to run as a Tory after a 4 year stint in the SNP… TAINTED doesnt begin to cover it… I think the flaws in sturgeons strategy are way less nefarious than wings are saying in that she is basically scared to pull the trigger. Sadly, that doesn’t make her any less corrupt than the rest of them, she is just more popular…

        2. CK says:

          You made the original point, and therefore the onus on you and no one else to substantiate those points. A publication that you’re replying to and responding to has zero obligation whatsoever to explain anything. What a ridiculous mindset you’ve bored yourself into.

  25. Cygnet says:

    Looks like the StuAnon hive aren’t taking it well by the state of this comment section.

  26. Craig says:

    Hi Mike,

    There are I think a few points worth considering with respect to your article.

    1. You point out that Neil McKay “I should say I have been published by Neil Mackay, I have publicly and privately disagreed with him and I think he’s made grave editorial decisions, but it goes without saying that none of this means he is deserving of the abuse he received this week” yet you seem unable to cut Stuart the same latitude. Is what Stuart did really different from that Salmond two pager and the distress caused to the Bulger family?

    2. Your claim about the vitriol in his writing (ref: Steve 2009, tweet 2015) seems weak. Both are clearly intended to be taken tongue in cheek. The 2009 response is clearly a exaggerated response to Steve’s assertion he’d toned things down. The 2015 tweet a expression of his disregard for Ian Murray. You may find both in questinable taste and not very funny but comedians like Franke Boyle, Jim Jefferies and countless others have made pretty good livings from similar material.

    3. “Nobody is off limits, not even an autistic child” Aren’t you a bit guilty of a double standard here? You seem comfortable to condemn Stuart’s response to Rosie as being outrageous yet it’s ok for Rosie to classify anyone who does’t support Greta’s agenda as being “a Brexiter, Trump supporter …”

    4. “Recently the (quote) “war against the woke scumbags” has taken a turn against disabled people, here again its difficult to distinguish between casual racism, misogyny and assorted bigotry …” The comments you’ve included aren’t Stuart’s – they are the comments of others. I’m assuming you would not wish to be tarred with the comments made by people who read your content and material, why should Stuart be treated differenlty?

    5. “But if the independence movement is to have integrity and to coalesce around a set of values that are meaningful and progressive…” You go on to claim that we must “separate itself from the voices of hate that are personified by Stuart Campbell”. Again I’d suggest you are not being impartial in this – where is the condemnation of people who have directed death threats and threats of violence at Stuart. I’d suggest that some of the debate around how and what a progressive set of policies looks like is currenlty very toxic with threats and vitriol coming from all sides. To target one individual seems to lack balance and not really address the real problem.

    6. You also talk about “The political context for this bizarre phenomenon is worth noting. The first is the twist in the road from widespread discontent at the shape and standards of the media – into something which looks much more like pure hate: that all journalists are scum, that all media institutions are corrupt and that the media is the enemy.” I would suggest that there are some very significant issues with respect to how Scottish politics is covered, it’s honesty and the narratives it peddles. Easy examples are reportage on the Salmond trial and related events, BBC question time audience members selections, the frequent peddling of lies/failure to challenge (e.g. “once in a generation”).

    7. and a final point – you wax lyrical and wring your hands about the inteperate language Stuart uses yet you lazily tar those who may read his content and,heaven forbid, defend him as being partof a cult. Hardly symptomatic of the modern,progressive politics you seem to profess.

    I’d suggest that the real problem here is the lack of respectful debate from all sides. Whether its about GRA, positive discrimmination for party lists or womens rights. Stuart, like many other participants in Scottish political discourse has opinions, views, concerns. there are times he articulates them well and there are times he does it badly (grave editorial errors – perhaps?) …much like many others who have leaped to pile on him following Neil McKay’s tweet.

    Sadly the only real winners from this fiasco are the unionists who will be laughing all the way to the polling booths which is a great shame and will be to the detriment of us all and probably our children.

    Cheers

    C

    1. Dean Clark says:

      Good job in addressing the points in the article, saved me doing it. Cheers.

  27. Tom says:

    To save me wading through all this, have any in Bella’s angry-brigade had time away from their Wings hate-fest to say anything about the corruption ripping our politics and our country apart?

    Thought not.

    1. The Blue Flag says:

      If the ignore it, it’ll go away. Delusional nonsense of course and there’s a few people in for a nasty shock when the continuing stupidity of the SNP leadership comes to its climax in May. We either act now to rescue the party from its delusion or we’re doomed to more years of Westminster rule than is necessary

      1. James Mills says:

        ”We act now to …save the party ”.

        What exactly is on your ”action list” to save the party ? Another spiteful , anecdotal article on WoS revealing that Sturgeon is Satan and has 666 tattooed under her face mask ?
        Or a ( socially distanced ) march on Bute House , led by the wannabe MSP from Bath , with numerous collecting cans for contributions to WoS to pay for his next court appearance when someone rattles the bars on his cot ?

        let’s hear your master plan !

  28. Sweep says:

    TRANSLATION:

    I’m planning another crowdfunder. I’m targeting a potential new funding stream.
    I’m calling it: “No bandwagon too ricketty”.
    Alternatively: “Will ‘fetch’ for cash.”.

  29. J Galt says:

    I flit happily amongst four blogs, in no particular order, yours, Wings, WGD and Craig Murray’s.

    I don’t do Twitter as it appears to me to be the work of the Devil so I miss a lot of the “debate”.

    There are times I agree with what is being said on each of the blogs and there are times I disagree, even the one I would probably rate as the most honest – Craig Murray – I sometimes disagree with.

    I comment, sparingly, on all four. If by viewing and commenting on Wings that makes me part of his “Cult” then I must be part of yours and Pauls and Craigs!

    The dirt from the past? Frankly I curl with embarrassment when I think back at some of the views I had earlier in my life!

    And to save you the time, yes I am a white middle-aged male – as hopefully you will be Mike in the not too distant future. I find myself becoming more pragmatic as time passes and experience builds up, however I guard against complacency and always question myself.

    What I have learned is that there are rarely cases where one “side” has a monopoly of the truth, the “truth” as Oscar says is “rarely pure and never simple”.

    Sanctimony and self righteousness are not attractive traits.

    It is apparent to anyone with a bit of common sense that there has been, at the heart of our governance, something rotten. The precise nature of this is still unfolding and one must be careful in sifting the evidence, however I’m not going to be told that because I think that our leadership have some serious questions to answer for, and for which they must be held to account, then I am some mindless cultist.

    1. India Osaka says:

      “The dirt from the past?”

      Stuart Campbell used a young girl’s sexual assault to attack her father (checks notes) three days ago.

      He has been minimising and normalising physical violence against women and children for almost a decade — whether it’s emails to women explaining to them they haven’t been raped; long twitter threads about how Mark Field grabbing a green peace protestor by the neck and dragging her across the floor was justified; publishing and promoting abusers like Eric Joyce; or his whitewashing Bill Walker’s decades of wife and child abuse.

      You may want to put Stuart Campbell’s behaviour ‘into a perspective’ that makes his behaviour seem normal, the excesses of an immature young mind, but Stuart Campbell is 53. He may be shitting everywhere, but he’s no longer in nappies. The best time to recognise he was a vicious bigot was before the referendum, before the crowdfunders, before the pathetic attempts to bankrupt women who criticised his homophobia, before the attacks on rape crisis centres, before the attacks on young activists, before the attacks on trans people, before the attacks on gay and lesbian mps.

      The next best time is now. You can act your age, even if Campbell won’t.

      1. Well put India. It’s clear that nothing will impact some peoples loyalty.

        I knew this.

        I should add that people submitted DropBox folders of years of abuse and harassment to me, whole files-worth of bile and abuse. What I published was scarcely a fraction of what we were given. But at a certain point it is a useless act to present this material.

        1. J Galt says:

          Mike I am no more “loyal” to Campbell than I am “loyal” to you.

          I am loyal to my partner, my family and my friends – everybody else I take as I find.

      2. Time, the Deer says:

        ‘He may be shitting everywhere, but he’s no longer in nappies.’

        Excellent work! 🙂

    2. Niemand says:

      J. Galt: best, most sensible and sound comment so far. It’s so obvious too really.

  30. John Monro says:

    Thanks for this information, I don’t follow “Wings over Scotland”, and I have only the vaguest idea who the Rev. Stuart Campbell is. I only know of him because I follow Craig Murray’s blog and he has made reference to WoS in the past. From what you’ve published here, I think Craig might be well advised to avoid any reference to the WoS site, if he’s to avoid being tarnished by association. As it is, I find Craig Murray very persuasive, and I admire him for his unwavering support for Julian Assange and for his continued fights for honesty and humanity in politics and foreign affairs. But back to the Rev, rightly criticising him for his extreme unpleasantness doesn’t necessarily mean there’s nothing wrong in Scottish politics.

    1. Thanks John.

      Yes of course “rightly criticising him for extreme unpleasantness doesn’t necessarily mean there’s nothing wrong in Scottish politics.”

    2. Dean Clark says:

      You can of course make up your own mind rather than letting someone do it for you. You are an adult I presume? You can read an article from wings on the Internet and using the exact same Internet, check the veracity of the claims being made on that site…. Just as you can this site.

  31. florian albert says:

    Around the time of the referendum, I read a huge amount online. I gave up on ‘Wings’ because I found the tone unnecessarily aggressive and offensive. Recently, I have returned because it is commenting – still aggressively and, at times, offensively – on something very important; allegations of corruption at the top of public life in Scotland.
    His view, there there is something rotten at the top, is shared by among others; Jim Sillars, Robin McAlpine, Alex Massie and Magnus Linklater. The last of these paid tribute to ‘Wings’ – clearly through gritted teeth – in The Times this week.
    You refer to the need for integrity in the independence movement. There is a widespread view that such integrity is lacking Nicola Sturgeon’s government and in areas where it is responsible. It is this view which has created the civil war that you have referred to in your articles.

    1. Me Bungo Pony says:

      Of course Linklater praised Wings through gritted teeth. He is a full on Unionist. As is Alex Massie. When Unionists who used to rail against a site suddenly start praising it alarm bells should be ringing in your head. Campbell himself has been praising Jackie Baillie (?????) and James Kelly (Lab). Two Unionist politicians who he used to ridicule as numpties. Again, alarm bells should be ringing. However, you could have air raid sirens going off in the heads of his loyal followers and they would think it was just another sign from the great leader, calling them to prayer.

      1. Don’t forget JK Rowling and Johan Lamont, once sworn enemies now praised to the hilt.

      2. Tom says:

        This is not just silly, but objectionable, as is the reply from Mike at 4.39pm.

        I will side with anyone, even people I’ve disagreed with in the past, if it means truth will out, and corruption exposed.

        If it takes the involvement of (say) Andrew Neil and The Spectator to help expose the corruption, then bring them on. It’s just a shame Scotland can’t (it seems, so far anyway) do it for itself.

        For you, a cover-up by ‘your’ people is more important than the truth. I fear for my country when I read this kind of blinkered drivel.

        1. Not really. It’s redolent of people who are ‘dead certain’ and on Angry Mode 100% of the time, then pivot 360 without explanation. Campbell’s output is riddled with this stuff. Too dull to list it al but if you’re even vaguely paying attention I’m sure you’ll be aware of it.

          1. florian albert says:

            I could have added Iain Macwhirter and George Kerevan – until recently a fixture on Bella Caledonia – to the list. The whole point is that these are mainstream individuals. Implying that they are ‘on Angry Mode 100% of the time’ is ridiculous.

          2. I was talking specifically about Stuart

          3. Clootie says:

            Yet he still gets 100 times the visitors Bella gets?

            I haven’t posted on his site for years but I still find value in his political analysis even when I disagree with him. This site in comparison offers only childish petulant abuse of an individual.

            Jealousy is a strong driver it appears.

          4. You maybe have read one article in a long time? This isn’t our usual fare.

            As fr great traffic, WoS does get remarkable traffic, bu then so does Alex Jones.

      3. Dean Clark says:

        Perhaps you should try to establish facts rather than just automatically judge someone to be lying based on their political persuasion… Thats the mature thing to do and in this case appears to be what wings have done.

  32. hugh loughlan says:

    Pretty hot in this particular forum. We must be approaching the nub of the issue. Time for cool heads.

    1. Bob says:

      The Scottish media is perfectly happy to print grievances that we complain about filling column inches after column inches day after day that distracts us from actually moving towards Independence.

      The issue that seems to bother the Scottish media is that we are now taking control of events to achieve that aim, with or without the help of the media or those in the SNP who do not share that view as it is without doubt the aim of the majority in Scotland.

  33. MacNaughton says:

    Mike, my advice is to forget about Stuart Campbell and concentrate on what you do best, which is critiquing the British establishment and Scottish Unionism. You are of course perfectly right about Campbell, who is a reactionary and a bigot and a rabble rouser, but you can do nothing about that.

    Campbell has done something very dangerous in his mad harangues, which is to conflate various distinct issues into one, more specifically, he leads his readers to believe that self-identification for trans folk has got something to do with the Salmond – Sturgeon divide. This really is not true. Self identification is on the agenda or in law in various countries right now, and regardless of who the leader or the FM might be, it would be on the table in Scotland.

    Nicola is absolutely right about self-identification, but we could really do with hearing from some experts on this matter, either trans people themselves or people familiar with the background because many Bella readers simply won’t know or understand the issue and it would be useful to have the matter explained. Not being sure what to think about self identification doesn’t make people transphobic, just ignorant or lacking information.

    We have a media in Scotland dominated by reactionary elderly men like MacWhirter, McKenna, Kerevan, Fry – the four horsemen of conservative thinking – and none of them have done even the most basic and elementary work on the issue which is what you would hope a progressive thinking journalist would do. They merely voice their own gut feelings and echo other’s opinions if at all, so, for example, we have the absurdity of MacWhirter explaining to us all what a woman is and how it is all about biology as if 200 years of feminism had never happened. Which is grotesque.

    In general, all four basically write either about their own pet themes or else from a position of blissful ignorance….They are all very conservative and Fry and Kerevan are rigidly dogmatic.

    Having grown up in the homophobic 80s I am very familiar with the arguments used today against trans people, because they were used against gay and bi people in the past. If gays married and adopted children they would abuse them etc, etc…if they joined the armed forces, that would make the army effeminate etc….This is not a rational manner of thinking, it is hysterical and irrational.

    It’s the same litany now against trans folk who are a tiny minority in society and one which suffers from prejudice, abusive behaviour and even physical assault. They are the victims and yet people like Campbell portray them as a threat. It is worth pointing out that a rapist could dress up as a woman and go into the female toilet with the intention of committing rape with or without a self identification law in place. It has never happened as far as I know.

    Underlying Campbell’s furious venom is something close to misogyny I think, and the Craig Murray article you link is just laughably embarrassing….why does he feel the need to tell us these things?

    But it means you have an open field on Bella to talk about issues like feminism and the environment and provide a space for new voices on these issues which we really do need….Feminism for example is understood as just about equality for women, but there are strands of it which are emancipatory for all of us….a whole different way of thinking about the social roles ascribed to us…..

    Stop following Wings on Twitter and avoid the SNP bust up. Make the very most of Bella as a platform for alternative thinking, which is why we all come here… In short, think positive, not negative….

    1. MacNaughton says:

      PS: there are strands of feminist thinking of which, you suspect, might be quite useful in deconstructing the toxic hard man culture of Scottish males. This is something which forms part of the conservative nationalist discourse, that the Scots are hard and tough and then there is all the baggage of the Scottish soldier and the Highland regiments and how, basically, we’re really good at fighting ( and always have been).

      It’s by no means unique to Scotland, but there is an aggression and angst in our male culture which, who knows, might well benefit from some intelligent reading of certain feminist texts. I’m no expert, in fact, I’m just now beginning to seriously engage with feminist thinking but already I can see it has a lot to offer conceptually to men as a counterpart in the sense that roles are handed down to us by society and we feel we should perform them or at least acknowledge them as being of value without any questioning, even when they re toxic and harmful both to ourselves and potentially to others around us….

      1. MacNaughton says:

        Finally, Campbell’s tactic of portraying a historically persecuted minority, like trans people, into the aggressor and a threat is absolutely 100% out of the handbook of demagogues and dictators.

        That is exactly what dictators do: they whip up fear against minorities, whip up outrage against the very people who have suffered persecution, it’s truly shocking and disgraceful behaviour….and quite possibly actionable.

        Certainly, to reference in the Spanish Inquisition as he did the other day, suggesting that straight people are being persecuted like the recently converted Jews and Muslims were in 17th century Spain is alt right propaganda…..

        Note how often he singles out minorities: Gaelic speakers,trans folk, Muslims…

        Campbell will end up with a show on Andrew Neil’s new channel, watch and wait….

    2. Thanks MacNaughton, very good advice and analysis – advice I propose to follow

    3. Dean Clark says:

      Well put, however wings is not conflating the self id issue with salmond/sturgeon issue… He is saying that sturgeon has moved to prevent a political rival.

  34. Tom says:

    Reference Mike at 11.22am.

    I had to look up Alex Jones, but I find him described as an “American far-right radio show host and conspiracy theorist”.

    So Wings is of the far right? It may be a lot of things a lot of people don’t like, but that’s just silly.

    As for the ‘conspiracy theorist’ comparison, we’ll just have to wait and see how that one’s proved, one way or the other.

    But it shouldn’t be too long now before we know …

    1. I think Campbell’s politics are an odd mixture, but certainly some of the homophophia, misogyny and transphobia is reactionary and right wing, yes.

      But that’s not what I meant. What I meant is that online phenomena can be hugely successful in terms of traffic – like Alex Jones – but its not really a metric of whether they are any good or useful.

      Jeffrey Archer sold a lot of books.

      1. Tom says:

        .. and Jeffrey Archer entertained millions. You’re beginning to sound a wee bit patronising there, Mike ..!

        As for the other stuff, that’s all disputed as you know, except for the allegations of homophobia which were clearly resolved by a legal judgement in Campbell’s favour. Whatever, there’s nothing to be gained by going over all these issues again, because nothing productive ever results, and no side ever comes out on top.

        We can always find other things to disagree about (and surely will!).

        1. I agree this is a pointless exchange.

          I’m sorry you feel patronised. Jeffrey Archer is indeed a great writer.

          “Kezia Dugdale wins Wings Over Scotland defamation case”: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-47963759

          1. Tom says:

            .. and here, from lines 5 and 6 of the BBC report you linked to, are these words:

            “In a written judgment, Sheriff Nigel Ross said .. it was incorrect to imply that Mr Campbell is homophobic.”

            So there was a legal judgement, as I said previously, that Campbell is not homophobic.

            Yes? No? Something else?

          2. Okay, he’s great. Totally not homophobic.

    2. J Galt says:

      I think you’ll find that Alex Jones is an actor playing a part.

      He works for Time Warner just like Piers Morgan.

      Wheels within wheels….

      1. Me Bungo Pony says:

        And we may yet find that Campbell is an actor playing a part.

    3. Pub Bore says:

      I had to look up Alex Jones too. I was flummoxed to discover that she’s a rather innocuous-seeming TV presenter. I’m relieved to learn that I’d got the wrong one.

  35. Paul Bassett says:

    Like Icarus, is Wings flying too close to The Sun?

    https://stageleft.blog/2021/01/27/is-wings-broken/

  36. Jim Sansbury says:

    A couple of years ago I began to realise that there was something seriously wrong with Wings.
    Ive never looked in since.
    Thanks for a bit of sanity Bella

  37. Alba woman says:

    What a relief to read Mac Naughton’s eminently sensible words. I don’t engage now with certain political zoom meetings as it entails having to listen to elderly Scottish guys shouting at each other for most of the meeting.

    Women in Scotland have the worst set of health statistics in the western industrialised world…..I have yet to hear any discussion of the whys and wherefores of that situation in our male dominated meetings or media. Does the male dominated culture of Scotland recognise any responsibility for these statistics? They have at this moment the power to shine some light on this question . We need to talk about such matters as a topic of some importance and urgency.

    I want to go into independence with a sense of equality which includes a recognition of the need to address and rectify women in Scotland’s health statistics.

  38. Robert says:

    I started reading Wings a couple of months ago because it is the only source for regular, honest analysis of the (alleged) SNP leadership conspiracy to frame Alex Salmond and the subsequent cover-up, which seems to be unraveling now on a daily basis. (A few other blogs also talk about this, eg Craig Murray, but none post as regularly or with as much detail as Wings.)
    If even a small fraction of what is posted on Wings and these other blogs about the Salmond affair is true, then it’s the biggest political scandal in years in the UK as a whole, much less Scotland.
    The vast majority of news outlets, including Bella, are either ignoring the whole thing or sticking to the agreed line.
    This is the reason why the readership of Wings has exploded. It’s nowt to do with people being seduced by his supposed alt-right views. It’s because people want to know what’s really been going on in their country, and Wings seems to be one of the few places that will tell them.
    I admit I haven’t delved into the archives in search of things that will offend my delicate sensibilities — life’s too short — but I’ve seen no evidence of any outright bigotry, though definitely there’ve been a few slightly off-colour or overly provocative remarks. Frankly I ignore them: the question of whether the SNP leadership and Scottish Government conspired to fit up Alex Salmond is a wee bit more important, wouldn’t you say?
    A few dodgy comments do not make Wings a hate site. It’s a site that seems to me to be doing the vital job of informing the public about goings-on that the rest of the media, including Bella, appear to be in denial about.
    Maybe it’s all BS, there’s no conspiracy; but the evidence Wings is presenting seems very real and very convincing. If true, then it is bound to come out sooner rather than later; too many people know about it now for the cover-up to work. And — again, if true — when it does come out, the “independent” media who ignored the story will be hanging their heads in shame.

  39. Niemand says:

    A main part of the problem is that Wings is so popular. If it were not then I doubt there would have been any sense this article was needed since Campbell’s influence would be minimal and his blog just an interesting sideshow. The real question therefore is why is it so popular? I think it a real mistake to dismiss it as alt-right posturing with a majority of readers being knuckle-dragging ‘Stu’ lackeys. After all, only a tiny fraction of readers actually post (and of those we can be sure that 99% are supporters since unlike here, there is virtually no dissent in the comments) so what is the motivation of the rest? This question is much more important than trying to prove one way or another whether people are transphobes or homophobes are whatever, a bad move anyway in my book as what you end up with there is half the country falling into such categories.

    The reasons have been highlighted already: 1) Many do actually like the fact issues hardly anyone else is willing to touch in the independence movement are addressed head-on (SNP ‘corruption’ and increasingly, suspect internal politics, GRA (he is obsessed with this but then a lot of people are), free speech issues, upping the anti re making indy happen etc); 2) It is entertaining and not sanctimonious – for all his vitriol, Campbell is humorous with it and the writing is infectious. There is very little humour elsewhere: nationalism is notorious for its lack; 3) Opponents love to lap it up to – nothing like some juicy insults to get you going and it becomes almost a badge of honour to have had the Campbell treatment. The soap opera of online argument and insults, between here and there, say, is quite addictive; 4) Haters gonna hate and Wings provides them all they want. Unionists love the site at the moment I suspect. Bella also has plenty of hate but it is directed externally, not at the indy movement itself.

    Bella is in most ways offers so much more – the breadth of its coverage puts Wings to shame though to be fair both sites are very different beasts, not least that Wings is 90% Campbell’s stuff. So what’s the answer if you really think Wings is a very damaging bigoted hate blog? 1) Don’t visit and don’t comment about it anywhere online. Ignore it completely – recent days have seen a massive spike in its readership, the biggest in years. I wonder why? 2) address those very real concerns head on that are legitimate that it does raise and which it looks into pretty well – some are addressed here but glaringly, some are not. To ignore them is to abdicate a responsibility.

    1. Me Bungo Pony says:

      Is Wings as popular as the figures would seem to indicate?

      https://talkingupscotlandtwo.com/2020/10/25/has-the-tusker-been-shadowbanned/

      From Craig Murray;
      “Even my blog [Craig Murray] has never been so systematically subject to shadowbanning from Twitter and Facebook as now. Normally about 50% of my blog readers arrive from Twitter and 40% from Facebook. During the trial it has been 3% from Twitter and 9% from Facebook. That is a fall from 90% to 12%. In the February hearings Facebook and Twitter were between them sending me over 200,000 readers a day”

      So Craig Murray’s blog looks to be losing popularity artificially due to “state intervention”.

      Also, from Prof John Robertson;
      “In May, 44% of the Tusker‘s readers came from Twitter and Facebook. In June, it was 40%; in July, 38%; in August, 36%; in September, 27% and in October so far, 25%. So, nowhere as dramatic a fall in traffic from those two sites as Craig experienced but a steady fall”.

      So another anti-Westminster site appears to lose popularity due to “state intervention”

      However;
      “In the same period Wings over Scotland, surged to almost 1 million visitors per month”.

      Hmmm. Anti-Westminster sites see an apparent dramatic fall in viewer numbers while the anti-SNP site of choice sees a dramatic rise in numbers. It couldn’t possibly be because the British state is keen to suppress pro-Indy info while attempting to get as many people as possible to view the Indy-destroying bile on Wings could it?

      From the Tusker;
      “Wings is to be encouraged because its hostility to the current SNP leadership and to the Scottish Government, fragments and potentially weakens the independence movement, whereas the Tusker avoids promoting internal dissent, though sometimes biting its lip, and day after day just goes for the real enemies in politics and in the media”.

      1. Me Bungo Pony says:

        For completeness sake, the full quote from Craig Murray is;

        “Even my blog [Craig Murray] has never been so systematically subject to shadowbanning from Twitter and Facebook as now. Normally about 50% of my blog readers arrive from Twitter and 40% from Facebook. During the trial it has been 3% from Twitter and 9% from Facebook. That is a fall from 90% to 12%. In the February hearings Facebook and Twitter were between them sending me over 200,000 readers a day. Now they are between them sending me 3,000 readers a day”.

    2. Robert says:

      100% agree that Bella is way more diverse and interesting a site than Wings could ever be. If Bella did not dodge the big issues (like the whole Salmond/Sturgeon business) then readers like me wouldn’t have to go to Wings and put up with Stuart Campbell’s abrasive personality and sledgehammer wit. But there it is.

      Bella, in common with the vast majority of Scottish news outlets, is obviously pliant to the wishes and sensibilities of the SNP’s dominant faction. I would not consider writing for Bella, as I have done in the past, while this is so evidently the case.

      What woke me up to the state of affairs at Bella wasn’t the silence over Salmond/Sturgeon. It was Mike Small’s excellent essay about the hounding of Jenny Lindsay by trans activists. (https://medium.com/@mike_79284/dark-horses-and-cultural-vandalism-fc67e6e4fe8b) which appeared on Bella for about 30 seconds before being taken down and vanishing into the relative oblivion of Mike’s Medium page. Blink and you’d have missed it.

      The reason for its disappearance: Bella is evidently afraid to offend the powerful trans activists among the dominant faction of the SNP. When a news outlet will not even publish an article _by its own editor_ for fear of offending the powerful, that outlet has ceased to be independent in anything but name.

  40. Jada Colquhoun says:

    He appears like a bit of a beast online, which is why I was so taken aback to see what he looks like. He’s nothing like how he projects himself. A totey wee fat man, wi a wee round hairy face and suspicious eyeballs. Some nick. Can see how he uses the internet as the main thrust of his social life. Has he even got a woman? Ah cannae imagine it. Lol.

    1. Me Bungo Pony says:

      All of which is irrelevant, ad hominem abuse Jada. Don’t make me defend him.

  41. Leith Imposter says:

    All ten comments on here from Wings supporters are just adding to the point of Mike’s article.

Help keep our journalism independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe to regular bella in your inbox

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address on our subscribe page by clicking the button below. It is completely free and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.