Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Tuesday 20 March 2007

SNP take the Souter shilling!

I didn't get a chance to write about this yesterday, but it deserves not to go unmentioned here, specially as I wrote just a couple of days ago about my own evolving attitudes towards the separation (aka 'independence') of Scotland from the rest of the UK.

It was announced on Sunday that the boss of Stagecoach (a major bus and train company) Brian Souter is to donate GBP500,000 to the SNP. Mr Souter is the arch-homophobe who spent around GBP1m of his own money for his 'Keep the Clause' campaign in 2000 to try and prevent abolition of Clause 2a (aka 'Section 28'), the section of the law which sought to prevent supposed 'promotion' of homosexuality and classified such relationships as 'pretend family relationships'. Support for this campaign by the Scottish Conservatives was a direct contributory factor in my decision to resign from the Conservative Party in September 2001 (scroll down to bottom), and I could have no truck with any Party which went soft on this issue.

This is relevant because whilst the SNP has generally been moderately liberal on this issue in policy terms there are 'leading lights' in that Party who have supported homophobic policies (e.g. Roseanna Cunningham). I would like to hear Alex Salmond deny categorically that this donation from Brian Souter will influence SNP policies towards alternative lifestyles such as homosexuality or Civil Partnerships in any way and certainly not negatively. Bigotry of the kind with which Mr Souter has regularly been associated deserves no place in mainstream politics; the recent controversy over admissions to church operated schools shows very clearly that this issue is not dead in Scotland.

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