Homophobes and LOL kats

This isn’t going to be a particularly funny blog post, because homophobia isn’t funny, but apparently the most significant thing that has happened in Scotland this week is that some anonymous and childish wee airse has been saying nasty homophobic things to Ruth Davidson on Twitter. I have no time for Ruth’s immature politics, but homophobic abuse is never acceptable.

I’m much older than Ruthie, and can, unlike her, actually remember the damage that Thatcher did to Scottish communities and the gross homophobia which the Conservative party inflicted on LGBT people. As someone who came out as gay when Ruthie was still at primary school, or quite possibly before she was born, the Dug has been on the receiving end of homophobic abuse for many decades. And some of that abuse has been of the variety that left yer actual physical hurt, with bruising and contusions, not just hurt feelings. So I know all about homophobia. The Dug belongs to that generation of LGBT who taught folk like Ruth what homophobia is, how to combat it, and how to challenge it. You learn an awful lot about homophobia when you realise you’re gay in Coatbridge in 1975. But this is 2015, and we live in a different Scotland now – a much better Scotland.

I suspect that Ruthie, like any well adjusted gay or lesbian persion, was not hurt and wounded by the comments on Twitter, she was just righteously angered by them. That’s a good thing. Righteous anger is a healthy response to unhealthy attitudes – but that’s not a lot of comfort when you have to deal with the unhealthy attitudes in the first place. Sometimes you just want to put your feet up and have a nice wee cuppa and laff at photies of LOL kats, because that’s the cutting edge kind of sexual politics thing that your average gay or lesbian person likes to do of an evening. It’s certainly the closest that anyone in the Tory party has ever got to advancing the cause of LGBT equality, but that’s by the by. What you don’t want is to have to cope with eejits whose sexual politics would make a caveman blush at their unevolved nature.

The fact that having homophobic things being said about you on Twitter by an anonymous twankmonkey wi a mooth that runs like diarrhoea and stinks even worse should provoke such a storm of outrage and newspaper headlines is a sign that Scotland has, by and large, grown up in its attitudes to LGBT people. Because it wasn’t very long ago at all that those attitudes were mainstream and perfectly acceptable in polite society. It’s a sign that Scotland now has a healthy response to those unhealthy attitudes – and that means that Scottish civil society is itself healthy and mature. This is a Very Good Thing, with the capital letters and everything. However just because Scotland is healthy and mature, on the whole, that doesn’t mean that there are not occasional individuals who are pus filled plooks on the face of society.

But let’s be honest here. The real reason that these comments received the attention and condemnation that they have done is because they were made by a member of the SNP. There is random homophobia on Twitter all the time, most of which goes unnoticed by everyone except the targets. There are even homophobic LOL kats, but I’ve yet to see them being condemned in the BBC’s Reporting LabourScotland’s regular aww-look-adda-cute-kitten spot. Ruth Davidson herself said that she often has to deal with homophobic comments. But those comments don’t get condemned in headlines in the newspapers or make the lead story on the telly news. The lesson is, clearly, if you happen to be a lesbian or gay person who is subject to abuse, just to make sure that you’re abused by an SNP member and then you’ll have the media queueing up to take photies of you looking sad and oppressed.

The SNP now has around 100,000 members, making it a truly national party in the way that other political parties in Scotland cannot compare, and it’s bound to include amongst that number some individuals whose sexual attitudes are regressive and backward looking. But what is important is not that such persons exist as SNP members, what is important is how the SNP responds when those individuals open their snide wee gobs. Or type their snide wee comments behind the anonymity of a Twitter user name.

Nicola Sturgeon immediately condemned the comments unreservedly and the SNP member in question was suspended from the party. That was the appropriate action, and it’s to the SNP’s credit that they acted so quickly and unequivocally. The SNP member concerned has now made an abject apology. Compare and contrast the refusal of Ukip to accept that their MEP Jibberjabber the Hutt had done anything wrong when he made his racist sub-Jim Davidsonoid “joke” about Humza Yousaf.

So this isn’t really a media story about the evils of homophobia. It’s really just another excuse to bash the SNP, and by association everyone who supports Scottish independence. Those who oppose Scottish self-determination have a vested interest in portraying Scotland as a backward province which is dependent upon the advanced graces of the UK to drag it kicking and screaming out of the 18th century. It’s something we heard with regularity during the independence debate – the constant reminders that the SNP has Brian Souter as a funder, although no reminders that Souter’s homophobic campaign was backed to the hilt by the Labour supporting Vow publishing Daily Record.

In that respect this story is a form scottophobia and is an attempt to insinuate – without saying so directly – that all independence supporters and the entire SNP are homophobes. And that pisses me off as much as the original homophobic comments did.

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26 comments on “Homophobes and LOL kats

  1. Andrew Brown says:

    Apologies for being o/t but just read your excellent piece in today’s National. First class. Looking forward to the next one.

  2. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    First let me congratulate you on joining the National, Richly deserved. I may even write a book entitled, “Wee Ginger Dug, my part in his upwards progress.”

    Anyway the miscreant who tweeted that nonsense, foes anyone know who he is and how long he has been a member of the SNP?

    I am a paranoid Panda.

  3. I thought of ‘sleepers’ too when I heard this.
    Whether it’s a genuine idiot or a false flag it’s got no place in the Scotland I aspire too. Would that the same torrent of media rage met the mysoginistic hate speech of that ’70s throwback ignorant arse-grape Diddy David Hamilton the other week.
    But he’s SLAB so it’s just good banter…

    Ran up to Gretna specially to get a National today. That’s a top class debut piece, Paul. Well done! πŸ™‚

  4. Albaman says:

    Yes Paul,
    I agree with your comments on this subject, which is a subject we ought not to be having to discuss, if you follow me.
    Also read your first column for The National,the first of many I wager,”onwards and upwards” Paul, I hope it’s an open door to a better, happier life for you.

  5. xsticks says:

    “So this isn’t really a media story about the evils of homophobia. It’s really just another excuse to bash the SNP, and by association everyone who supports Scottish independence.”

    My thoughts exactly, though I couldn’t have expressed them half as well.

    So enjoyed your budget piece in the Nat. Great work from BtP getting you that job πŸ˜‰

  6. Tinto Chiel says:

    An intelligent and heartfelt response to a deplorable comment from an SNP member.

    We will not be judged as sympathetically as those who call us a virus or wish to bayonet us, or even ( pace Mags Curran) are intensely relaxed about who runs over Alex Salmond with a bus but that’s just another day in UKOK land and we have to understand this pre-independence.

    Full marks to the FM for her perfect response: a timely reminder of the importance of internal discipline, given the reactionary and opportunistic forces ranged against us.

  7. diabloandco says:

    Whoever the pillock is the SNP can live without him or her but it is getting a tad tedious to have all the faux outrage of the media heaped on the SNP and their supporters.

    A brilliant day to leave my cynicism at home and purchase the National – a belter Paul and Wee Ginger looked most handsome.

  8. Brian Mckenna says:

    Excellent .We know there are Aholes in every party so does everyone else .

  9. Brotyboy says:

    I couldn’t give a tuppenny toss about Ruth Davidson’s sexuality, but I’m still incensed by her comment in the Big Big Debate (the Friday before the Indyref with Galloway, Nicola and Patrick?) that her Party wasn’t interested in a more equal society.

  10. Bill Hume says:

    You came out?…..in Coatbridge?……. in 1985?……..now there’s bravery.
    p.s. Loved your article in The National, and as previously said, wee ginger dug is looking very handsome.

  11. Bill Hume says:

    OK, got it wrong, it was 1975……..even braver.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Oh I didn’t come out in Coatbridge in 1975. That’s when I realised I was gay. I was still at school at the time. Wasn’t a bundle of laughs. I came out about 10 years later.

  12. fillofficer says:

    wan o these days you’ll say something I don’t like, go on, go on

  13. gavin.C.Barrie says:

    My stock response to persons – I’m married three children, three grandkids – who cautiously advise me that they are gay is – I don’t remember ever being asked to chose whether to be heterosexual or gay. Neither in my mother’s womb nor any time after.

    We are what we are.

    Enjoyed your article in the National. The National has really lined up many really excellent contributors. Just hope you keep this blog going so we can continue to read your alternative, Coatbridge(?) direct style of expression.

  14. Jan Cowan says:

    Lovely to see WGD looking so relaxed and happy in The National. I’m going to pass my copy on to someone who, for some unknown reason, refused to read your work on-line. Sure to have another follower by tomorrow. By the way, really enjoyed your reference to the rising sea levels – something I’m always going on about. Great stuff!

  15. J Galt says:

    You can’t legislate for the odd eejit, that these comments are so far from SNP policy let alone maist SNP members or supporters views is indisputable.

  16. jimnarlene says:

    From the SNP’s member handbook: The responsibilities and rights of membership: Code of conduct. Item 06:

    Every member has the responsibility not to discriminate in his or her conduct on the ground of race, colour, gender, religious belief or non-belief or sexual orientation.

    I think that’s pretty clear and the plook will be booted out accordingly.

    Enjoyed your piece in the National and the dug’s looking well.

  17. Steve Asaneilean says:

    Spot on Paul – either something is wrong or it is not. And if it is it should be pursued with equal vigour each time it happens.

    Not to do so effectively condones the behaviour and devalues any subsequent attempts at condemning especially when, as in this case, the real intent is not the condemnation of the behaviour but rather using that behaviour to sweepingly condemn others instead of the individual concerned.

    Cognitive dissonance then rules.

  18. Sooz says:

    I have a more-than-a-hunch feeling that the eejit wasn’t actually an SNP member or even a supporter, but was out to spread discredit where he could. It’s easy to change a profile. I saw elsewhere on the intertubes earlier on that it seems he was / is a member / supporter of A.N.Other party but I wouldn’t quote me on that just yet.

    We’re going to have to keep an eye out for saboteurs like him. Challenge their alleged membership of the SNP. Plus keep a little lid on what we dish out, too. No point raising merry hell about some gawping geezer if we’re doing the same to others. There’s a line that we don’t need to cross.

    (loved your article in the Nashnul by the way!! You hit the ground running/ πŸ™‚

  19. hektorsmum says:

    I could not give a hoot about Ruth Davidson’s sexuality and nobody with any sense should bother, there is a whiff that this person maybe is a Ukip supporter now, but no real idea, rather they were not in the SNP.
    I am going to confess that I only read a bit in the National, I am busy doing what you were doing recently, flitting. I did note though how handsome Ginger is looking. I understand he is not the type of wee dug who poses like a haddock, mine does, if a camera is produced. Good on him, that is the way to become a bone millionaire.

  20. As always, WGD, you get right to the heart of the actual story here, blow away all the smoke and BBC MSM spin and hit the nail on the head. Kudos.

  21. macart763 says:

    Well said Paul and couldn’t agree more.

  22. Cag-does-thinking says:

    I’m really glad to see you in the National. Those who have sat on the fence about it’s motives should note how many of the truly great commentators pre referendum are now doing stuff for it and support it. I’ve never had a weblog I have enjoyed more than yours, a WGD book on that run up to the referendum, Andy and dug and all, is a must.

    I come from an era too where homophobia was just out and out gay bashing. It’s a tribute to the work of a generation of people that it is a better situation in these days although it’s a job thats never done. Like democracy it needs eternal vigilance to maintain. But we live in a country that is worth living in because we do have a great society in the core of people in Scotland.

    We merely have to get rid of the eejits in power who have taken us for a ride these last years.

    More power to your pen.

  23. Anne Gorman says:

    Well done for seeing the real substance of this with your eyes wide open. I’m glad that (the majority of) Scotland is a progressive and tolerant society. Personally I don’t care who or what you are as long as you’re guid ti yir mother and dugs!!!

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