Wee Ginger Duck

The judge has now made a ruling in Stu Campbell’s court case against Kezia Dugdale. I was a witness in the case on behalf of Stu, so it wasn’t possible for me to speak about it before the judge had come to a conclusion. Essentially the key finding is that the judge has ruled that Stu Campbell is not a homophobe, but that Stu was unable to establish that he’d suffered any damage or loss as a result of Kezia’s remark about him, and that what she said was fair comment. It’s a peculiar ruling, in that the judge appears to have stated that it was defamatory to call Stu a homophobe, but not defamatory enough to be defamation.

In my own evidence, I was concerned to establish that homophobia is not a matter of opinion. I’m not sure how clearly I managed to articulate that. Kezia’s lawyer kept putting to me that assorted other people regarded Stu’s comment as homophobic, and therefore it was fine to say it was homophobic. I must confess there were points when I got quite irked with him. If it is the case that homophobia is a matter of opinion then everything is homophobic and nothing is homophobic.

Homophobia is not a matter of opinion, it is an objective reality faced by lesbians and gay men. If there is no objective standard for determining homophobia, then the word has no meaning at all. It is only by calling out homophobia that lesbian and gay people are able to challenge it and to change it. It’s vital that we are able to do so. However if homophobia is reduced to a matter of opinion, then it destroys the most important weapon in our armoury.

If homophobia is a matter of opinion, then any bigot can claim that their bigotry against lesbian and gay people is not homophobic because in their sincere opinion it’s not homophobia.  They just need to claim that God told them so, and we’ve seen where that leads.  Alternatively someone could say to me, “That’s a horrible pair of shoes you’re wearing,” and I could accuse them of homophobia because they were pandering to the stereotype that all gay men have to be very well dressed. Clearly, it’s nonsensical to claim that particular remark is homophobic, but if Kezia’s lawyer is to be believed, then it would be, because I would only have to assert that as a gay man it’s my genuine belief that it was homophobic and I was terribly offended by it. That’s essentially what Kezia’s argument was. It’s a dangerous argument to make as it devalues the meaning of homophobia and the effectiveness of accusations of homophobia as a campaigning tool for lesbian and gay people.

In my evidence I said that the definition of homophobia is not “I’m gay and I’m offended.” Homophobia is defined by the belief that homosexual people are less deserving of equality, by hatred of gay people. The judge agreed with that. He ruled that Stu’s tweet “was not motivated by fear, hatred or dislike of homosexuals.” He ruled that Stu Campbell is not a homophobe. I already knew that. Stu is rude, he’s offensive, he’s abrasive – all qualities which make him highly effective at what he does – but he’s not a homophobe. I am delighted that the judge agreed.

For my own part I pointed out that what Stu had said could not have been interpreted as homophobic if I had said it. I discovered – much to my shock – that I am the same age as David Mundell. David Mundell remained in the closet, married a woman and started a family with her, and then continued to benefit from heterosexual privilege until the sacrifices and efforts of other lesbian and gay people had made it safe for him to come out as gay without any loss of his professional or social standing. I don’t judge him for making the choice that he did. I know how horrribly homophobic Scotland was when both David Mundell and I realised our sexual orientation.

However I came out as gay during the height of the AIDS crisis and dealt with the consequences. I got gay bashed twice, I was unwelcome in my family home for many years, I was called more homophobic names and insults than I can possibly remember. Unlike David Mundell, I had a family because I entered into a private arrangement with a lesbian couple – we did that in the 1990s – and have two daughters as a result. (Stu Campbell knows that, by the way. So he certainly didn’t think that his comment about Oliver Mundell implied that gay people can’t have kids. Unfortunately I didn’t make that particular point in my evidence.)

So if it had been me who had made the comment about Oliver Mundell – “Oliver Mundell is the sort of public speaker that makes you wish his dad had embraced his homosexuality sooner.” It could not possibly have been interpreted as homophobic. It could only be interpreted as “Why didn’t your dad do what I had done?” With the implication that if he had then Oliver Mundell would have been the product of a private arrangement between a lesbian couple and an openly gay man, being brought up in full awareness of the intensely homophobic policies of the Conservatives of the day.

If it’s not homophobic for me to say it, it doesn’t magically become homophobic because Stu Campbell said it. The tweet is not hate speech, in the sense that it contains derogatory views about gay people, or terms of abuse for gay people. The only difference between me saying it and Stu Campbell saying it is that I’m gay and he’s straight. I got gay bashed, I suffered restrictions in the kinds of jobs that would accept me as an openly gay man all those decades ago, because I was fighting for the principle of equality. But if I’m allowed to say things which straight people aren’t, things which are not in themselves reflective of negative views about gay people, then that’s not equality.

The worst that you can say is that by making the comment, Stu was claiming heterosexual privilege. Which ironically is exactly what David Mundell was doing all those years he remained in the closet. However all heterosexual people have heterosexual privilege by virtue of being heterosexual, it doesn’t make them homophobes. In any case, calling out a straight person for heterosexual privilege doesn’t have the same potential to devastate their reputation as calling them a homophobe. (Heterosexual privilege is, basically, the ability to go through your life without having to worry about homophobia.)

The distinction between homophobia, heterosexism (the view that heterosexuality is the norm and everyone is straight unless you know otherwise), and heterosexual privilege is a nuance that I don’t expect most straight people to grasp. However Kezia is a lesbian, she should understand the difference. Instead she leapt for the strongest word possible in an attempt to neutralise a political opponent. That was wrong of her. She should have known better.

Many people have sought to conflate Stu Campbell’s views on the transgender debate with homophobia. You can’t do that. The two are not related. Many of the people who are most opposed to Self Identification (the view that a trans person merely needs to declare their gender to be accepted as member of that gender) are lesbians who have been active in the campaign against homophobia for decades. It is nonsensical to claim that because they do not accept Self Identification that they are homophobic. You might argue that they are transphobic, but that’s a different issue.

On the other side of the coin, the policies of the Iranian government are intensely homophobic. Gay men face the death penalty in Iran. However transgender procedures are available as part of the Iranian health system and transgender people can get their identity documents changed to reflect their new gender status. Iranian policy is appallingly homophobic, but an argument could be made that it’s not transphobic in the same way that it is homophobic, although it shouldn’t need to be stated that Iran is no bastion of human rights of any sort and this is not an argument I would agree with.

The point here is that you cannot use a person’s views on trans issues as a proxy for their views on homosexuality.  The judge agreed with that too.

However the most important part of the judge’s ruling was the discovery that he wrote that Paul Kavanagh is the author of a blog called Wee Ginger Duck. Clearly that sets a legal precedent. I’ll keep on quacking.


 

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64 comments on “Wee Ginger Duck

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug Wee Ginger Duck The judge has now made a ruling in Stu Campbell’s court case against Kezia Dugdale. […]

  2. aaron blue says:

    So, Wee Ginger Duck, who’s going to pay the bill? Will Duckdale be needing help from the Rowntree Foundation?

  3. Re: wee ginger duck

    Many times…I have been called a wee ginger dick! Mainly because I did something stupid or annoying…not necessarily because my dick is wee…or ginger. Which it is…both, I guess.

    More power to you 😀

    Sent from my iPad

  4. if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and shits like a duck…..
    Thanks for this tremendous piece rebutting Dugdale’s faux outrage, Paul.

    I assume that is ‘fair comment’ for me to observe that perhaps she were motivated by political spite to accuse Campbell of ‘homophobia’ in parliament and in print? If it’s not ‘fair comment’, sorry, Ms Dugdale.
    I observe elsewhere that as a male white heterosexual, I have few laws to protect me, other than the Divine Right of Straight Maledom of course, and I cede that I have little to add to this discussion, other than to observe that, yet again, Scots Law favours the Anglo Scotia Nostra when it comes right down to it.
    The headline writers from the BBC to the Telegraph, and of course the risible Herald Britland announce that Dugdale ‘won’, which she clearly did not.
    She should apologise for slurring an honest man’s good name, resign her List Sinecure and apologise to the Gay community for using the sensitive and harrowing issue of sexual preference as a political baseball bat just to attack Scottish Independencevioa WGD’s founder.
    I urge you to apologise and fade back into the Jungle, Ms Dugdale.
    You future is way behind you.
    There is no room for chancers in New Scotland; it may be ‘fair comment’ to observe that you can’t sink much lower than to use the genuine struggle of the gay community for ‘political’ cheap shots.
    The very least? A public apology.
    Background of the good Sheriff, anyone?

  5. Donald anderson says:

    STV news just said Kezia Duckdale won.

  6. alanm says:

    For many years I was incorrectly dubbed a “Fenian Bastard” and on occasion subjected to physical attack by supporters of Rangers FC who were clearly unaware that, although I supported Celtic FC, I was in fact Church of Scotland.

    I now realise that this was their honestly held view and was therefore “fair comment.”

  7. Jan Cowan says:

    Brilliant article, Paul.

  8. CATHERINE LINNEY says:

    Maybe I’m just a “PC” person having worked as a social worker all my life. I abhor all the comments I regularly read in FB posts where people often insult a person’s sexuality rather than concentrating on their dislike of that person’s politics. Our parliament embraces social inclusion of every type whether sexuality, religion or lack of, race and gender.

    I wish people would simply bear this in mind when posting or commenting.

  9. diabloandco says:

    bet if you had a wee ginger duck it would be a damn sight bigger than the average wee ginger duck!

    As ever your writing is brilliant .

  10. deelsdugs says:

    The dug quaffed the egg…
    Brilliant stuff Paul.

  11. There’s nothing trans-friendly about the Iranian policy that you reference here, Paul. The point of the policy, as I understand it, is that trans women are taken to be men who want to be women, and male gays are taken to be men who want to take the woman’s part in sex, ergo men who want to be women. So it’s assumed that one way to “cure” gays is to turn them surgically into women.
    That’s not trans-friendly. That’s transphobic, and homophobic at the same time.

  12. jfngw says:

    You can only be thankful the judge didn’t get his D’s and F’s mixed up also.

    Seriously, the judge has set a dangerous precedent as pointed out in the your text, we can all claim immunity now for anything as fair comment and interpretation.

  13. Macart says:

    Another keeper Paul.

    The legal profession, political class and the mainstream media are at a loss to understand why the general public have trust issues.

    Weeeelllllll… This issue more than arguably provides yet another Q.E.D. moment.

  14. John MacRae says:

    The Khaki Campbell of the blogosphere ?

  15. Dave tewart says:

    The sheriff is wrong in this so called judgement.
    Without trying to make a simple comment on a serious situation.
    Yes Sheriff the policeman says I was speeding in a restricted area but I have the honestly held view that I wasn’t speeding.
    This will become the Dugdale defence if it isn’t corrected.
    The Carmichael lying judgement is also a piece of establishment magic, wonder if a non member of the establishment would get off with this.
    The law is an ass if a sheriff can make a statement like this without challenge.

  16. Ah, the Edinburgh Establishment.
    They’ll always back the Brit Nats.
    They are part of the very fabric of the Oligarchy Iron Heel which would hold Scotland in chains while their English Cousins rob us blind.
    Carmichael and Dugdale….
    What a farce

  17. Robert Peffers says:

    ” … Paul Kavanagh is the author of a blog called Wee Ginger Duck”.

    Ach! Yon Sheriff’s mon bi richt quackers.

  18. Rod MacKay says:

    Excellent article. Now time to quack on to freedom, we’ll utilise the Web and bill Wastemonster.

  19. ArtyHetty says:

    It stinks the whole thing, the Britnats are biased even in legal cases, perhaps more so, and it’s a disgrace.

    Thinking about this as I read your very good article, it crossed my mind that Duckdale must have had at least bit of an idea she would not lose this case, just imagine if they had allowed an independence writer win a case against a staunch Britnat.

    Duckdale would never have taken it so far, if she thought she’d lose the case. Sinister times indeed.

  20. Robert Harrison says:

    After reading both this and stus side on wings it shows they was agreeing that dugdale did say slanderous things yet is let of the hook for ignorance how does that work the only thing thats makes any sense whatsoever is shes a britnat politician thats it because if she was an oridnary person she’d of lost.

    • Luigi says:

      Ignorance is not an excuse. Indefensible in law!

      Unless you are a member of the British establishment.

      Many, many examples.

      • Robert Harrison says:

        This reminds me of something in an old Samuel Jackson movie and he said this so a black guy calling another black guy a nigga is ok yet if a white man says it its automatically rascist this kinda has that same vibe when paul wrote about how it had of been ok if he said the tweet as a gay person yet stu its homophobic because hes stright.

        • Illy says:

          That’s called “reclaiming the word” and is a noble intention fraught with problems in implementation.

          Basically, it has all the problems of an outsider hearing you greet a friend by saying “Hey, shithead” but without it being obvious that they’re a friend.

  21. Thank you very much for this.

    As a neutered male (prostate cancer medication) who suffered what might be called proxy gay bashing during his seventies adolescence (late puberty, middle class, sensitive, anti sectarian), and who embraced the feminist position quickly (enlightened parents, powerful mother, common sense), and who is/was thoroughly heterosexual (horrible word, but it’s the only one there is), I had immediately, and without reading any further into the judge’s ruling, interpreted this as acknowledgement that the whole thing was equivalent to a pub discussion that got a little bit out of hand, after which somebody went crying to the toilet or stepped out for a smoke.

    I always thought Kezia was on thin ice with that faux offense taking stuff. Also that the good Reverend is opinionated, brash and rude and doesn’t give a toss what others think of him. Also though he has political enemies. Amongst whom the establishment, for whom Kezia effectively works. So at another level this judgement is telling the establishment that it is not acceptable to attack its opponents for spurious reasons, nor to expect that members of the bench will accept faux offence taking.

  22. Alan D says:

    The National states Dugdale wins case. Who needs enemies when you have friends like this.

    #thenationalisajoke

  23. Patsy Millar says:

    Wee Ginger Duck just puts a whole different complexion on life. Wishing you a very quacky Thursday!

  24. Illy says:

    I’m glad you brought up the that Stu’s a transphobic (or trans-hating) arsehole (I don’t mind that he’s an arsehole).

    He seems to have the policy of “I don’t care who you love/marry/fuck, but if you’re trans* then I don’t think you should be allowed to use a public bathroom, or any swimming pool that has communal changing rooms.”

    I’ve seen this said elsewhere: that a simple way to tell if something is transphobic is to substitute “black” for “trans” in their statement, and see if it still sounds acceptable.

  25. Eckle Fechan says:

    Marvelous summation of the issues in the case of Schrodinger’s Dug, not to mention Duck-gate as a fine historical footnote.

  26. Millsy says:

    Duckdale is a typical cowardly self-opinionated politician .

    She thinks her sh*t doesn’t stink .
    Any comments true or false that she makes should be accepted as fact .
    She hides behind parliamentary privilege when attacking someone she does not care for .
    When the chips are down she expects others to step in and fight her corner .
    She leans heavily on her ‘status’ as a Gay woman and uses it as a convenient shield to protect her when she attacks others ,right or wrong .

    She is in plain English a Twat !
    ( Note to Sheriff , I use this term in the full expectation that it is my honestly held belief and that I have the right to express these beliefs , right or wrong .
    Precedent : Campbell V Duckdale 2019 )

    • By any measure, Millsy, Dugdale is a failure.
      her own description of standing on the sidelines carping at the Scottish Government, perfectly encapsulates her ‘career’ in politics.
      You may recall that she stepped forward to take over from Murphy, when everybody else took one step backwards, and completed the task for the series of Leaders who went before her: completely destroy the Labour Party in Scotland.
      We now have a Trades Union clerk ‘Leading’ the simmering ashes that is the Branch Office, and the bold Dugdale is consigned to the Back, silent, toothlerss, a List MSP who won’t be invoited on to the Jobs For the Boys (sic) List next time around, if there is a ‘next time round’, which I fervently hope and doubt after the Brexit Fall into Chaos.
      You may recall that during the INEOS crisis, Dugdale was off on a 4 week jolly, a ‘Leadertship’ course in the good Ol’ US of A, funded by the US State Department.
      And who can forget her f.. sorry, ‘dinging’ off (I am conscious of Paul Scoop Hiutcheon’s frail sensitivity at reading the F&%^ word in print) 15 minutes of TV Stardom eating unmentionables on TV in the Jungle, when the rest of us had to turn up for work as usual, like wot she should have been doing, representing the people of Scotland.
      Of course it is only my opinion that she is a ‘failure’ politically, and I postulate this assessment under Sheriff Ross’.( that well know Edinburgh ‘Nigel’) judicial ruling that I am as thick as pig shit (Sorry, Scoop Hutch) and ‘know not what I do’ to go all Good Friday Crucifixion about it.
      There, I’ve insulted the Christians among us.
      Fiona Robertson will be tweeting that I should have my membership of the Human, sorry, ‘Huperson’, Race cancelled.
      What next for Dugdale? A Book Deal? A Chat Show gig hosting a ‘politics’ programme on BBC Jockland?
      There will be some wee niche the Establishment will provide, as it always does for Brit Nat fallen warriors.
      A Railway Consultancy to join Big Tam Harris, the Red Tory who morphed into a Blue Tory when we kicked him and the Feckless Forty out of their Tony Blair Red Tory sinecures in 2015, and who is now, in between reviewing books and movies on BBC Radio Jockland, now Railway Suipremo sorting out Scotland’s rail network?
      The little Jobs For The Boys ‘village’ to which Dugdale herself has alluded.
      It is time to rise, Scotland, and smash this Elite Bunch of mediocre chancers who are there, not because of ability or commitment to Scotland, but because they will do their London Masters’ bidding and prevent Scotland going forward as a Free Nation once more.
      To stretch the Easter analogy to breaking point, there are hundreds of them who would be passing the salt along the supper table today, Holy Thursday.
      Judases aplenty who would betray Scotland for money.
      Rant over.

      • Check out the typos, regular Wee Duckers, an indication of the severe level of my anger: I’m ‘dinging’ ragin’.
        ‘Ding’ them all to their version of hell.
        Our country is on the brink of disaster and eternal serfdom to our neighbour to the South, and we have to put up with this nonsense from a petulant little loser?
        I use the word ‘petulant’ in the spirit of the latest ‘ruling’ on Fair Comment.
        In less than 7 months time, England falls; Scotland is not going with it into that Dark Night.

      • Donald anderson says:

        It’s her parents I feel sorry for.

        I hope St is able to appeal and is not demoralised.

  27. Daisy Walker says:

    I’ve just donated to Wings, on the principle that actions speak louder than words, and also because I can’t say the words as eloquently as TWGD, lucky he’s here so I don’t need to.

    Wouldn’t it be a lift for the Rev if everyone who is able does likewise.

    We really do have his back…. and yours to Paul.

  28. Apart from showing that the failed politician, failed jungle contestant and uninformed Daily Record paid unionist hack Kezia Dugbreath is an idiot (fair comment) and that Scottish patriots will never fully win what should be a cut and dry case in a Unionist Court, and also of course clearing The Rev Stu’s good name there is something else here.
    That is the publicity gained for the website that money couldn’t buy. Many No voters reading their unionist rags may just be curious enough to enter Wings and be swiftly converted. That is if they have a half open mind.

    • Donald anderson says:

      Nor would an establishment Judiciary and Media consider Kezia Ducktail and her party a traitor to her class and Country.

    • It’s akin to a black man in Alabama in the ‘sixties on trial because a white woman accused him of ‘looking at’ her, and the jury comprising twelve Good Old white Boys, and the judge honorary president of the Robert E Lee Memorial Society.
      They are laughing in our faces now.
      I believe that Sheriffs are appointed by Auld Lizzie…says it all.

  29. A. Bruce says:

    Paul, after reading the totally misleading headline in The National, re Dugdale and the Rev, I hope you take Calum Baird to task in the next Dugcast for this disgraceful journalism, which I would expect to see in the Hootsman or Heil.

  30. Pogmothon says:

    Kezia Dugdale studied for a Law degree at the University of Aberdeen from 1999–2003, and completed a Masters in Policy Studies from 2004–06 at the University of Edinburgh.

    Master’s Degree (By Definition A master’s degree is an academic degree awarded by universities or colleges upon completion of a course of study demonstrating mastery or a high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice. A master’s degree normally requires previous study at the bachelor’s level, either as a separate degree or as part of an integrated course. Within the area studied, master’s graduates are expected to possess advanced knowledge of a specialized body of theoretical and applied topics; high order skills in analysis, critical evaluation, or professional application; and the ability to solve complex problems and think rigorously and independently.)

    As I see it the options are

    1
    a. Aberdeen and Edinburgh universities look at this judgement and consider revoking her Law Degree and Political Studies Masters Degree. Because she has been officially and legally deemed to be incapable of understanding “Homophobia” and or satirical riposte. And must have by some machiavellian chicanery justified compliance with the above definition to obtain said degrees.

    b. As a direct result of “a” playing out as postulated Ms Dugdale has built her entire career to date on false qualifications, less than sparkling abilites, and plain lies. Is there for unfit to hold any of the positions through which she has past, or now holds. This being true I submit that there will be 1 or 2 others seeking recompense for falsehoods committed by Ms Dugdale. Not least the Scottish people.

    2
    a. She could demonstrate humility and understanding, and apologize as publicly as she accused.

    I offer this hypothesis in the full expectation that it is my honestly held belief and that I have the right to express these beliefs, in the spirit of the latest ‘ruling’ on Fair Comment.
    Precedent : Campbell V Duckdale 2019

  31. Referendum1707 says:

    I hope that no one was naive enough to think that the cowardly Uncle Tams of the Scots judiciary were ever going to rule against the wishes of their “establishment” masters in a case like this, whatever facts evidence and common sense say.

    Judge rules that the pursuant is not a homophobe as claimed by defendant, however because defendant is a certifiable idiot judge rules against pursuant. Hmmm. Great legal thinking there champ.

    Facts evidence and common sense mean little if anything in an ideological war where powerful vested interests are under threat, more especially of course where the media is totally corrupt and controlled.

    Re the National, sometimes I buy it when I can. Not this week though.

  32. Jeanne Tomlin says:

    I have to strongly disagree with your argument that transphobia has nothing to do with homophobia. Trans people have always been a part of the LGB *T* movement and their issues are our issues. Transphobia is part of the same spectrum of bigotry. That there is a nation that is not transphobic while being intensely homophobic is certainly not proof that the two are unrelated.

  33. I see the first leg of my treble’s come up.
    McLeish ‘sacked’. Only May and Gerrard to go before the end of April….

  34. Oh yes Jack, they are all Purr Majesty’s Courts.

  35. susan says:

    I agree with you Paul, transphobia and homophobia are separate issues. As a lesbian I find some transactivist ideology offensive.

  36. manandboy says:

    The part played by The British Establishment in this case is a very important one, so let’s start with the fact that both Ms Dugdale and the Sheriff are members of the aforementioned Establishment and that Mr Campbell is not.

    The British Establishment operates thus : anyone willing to do anything to maintain, enhance and protect The Establishment, then The Establishment will do the same for them. This applies in every circumstance and without exception.

    This is what Mr Campbell was, and is, up against, as he is I’m sure we’ll aware. Therefore, this case, apart from anything else, is important because this pact aspect of The Establishment is exposed for all to see where normally it is discreet.

  37. Steve says:

    Ginger duck:common pochard. But it’s not wee. In fact, it’s quite a big duck.

  38. Muscleguy says:

    I agree with the entirety of this. I’m a hetero man still formally in a marriage with grown up straight kids. But, I was propositioned by gay men several times when younger and managed not to take offence and was even felt mildly complimented by it. I certainly didn’t feel the slightest need to gay bash them in some sort of panic.

    When I was at university the guy two doors down from me in halls suddenly had a load of the girl residents in his room giggling lots. He hadn’t won the lottery, he’d come out and was eliciting makeup and style advice (hence the giggling). He subsequently cut a stylish and distinctive figure around campus. I hope you are well Gomer. This was just after the Fourth Labour Govt we had elected had finally decriminalised homosexual sex. This was 1985.

    The religious right got up a petition against it and I had to decline several times. On one occasion I was accompanying a woman back from a performance along the main street one evening when we passed a stall soliciting signatures for that petition. I declined and was subjected to a mouthful of homophobic abuse for doing so. So I have been homophobically abused despite being straight (and being with woman at the time).

    Critic, the student newspaper said we should all not just assume we were straight and should consider the possibility that we might be gay or bi. So I did so and concluded I was straight as a result. The point is I am not just straight by default. I have thought about it.

    I have a cousin by marriage who is gay and we have hosted him and his boyfriend in our house with no problems. They lived in Edinburgh and loved Scotland and how good it was to be gay here (in the noughties).

    So these things have impacted me, mostly to the good. Certainly to the consciousness raising.

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