An open letter to Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs Roseanna Cunningham requesting that she clarify what the remit of ‘Community Safety and Legal Affairs’ actually is. Her Twitter conduct appears to have rendered it meaningless.
By Longshanker – being serious for a change
Dear Ms Cunningham (@strathearnrose)
I write this open letter to you to highlight a few instances of your recent Twitter behaviour and its potential public interest consequences.
I find your recent actions objectionable to the point of abhorrence given that you currently hold the position of Junior Minister for Community Safety in the Scottish Government.
It concerns your apparent patronage of a website and Twitter account known as Wings Over Scotland edited by an individual calling himself Rev Stuart Campbell.
I notice that your Twitter feed does not display any disclaimers regarding the legitimacy or endorsement of your Retweets or correspondence and therefore conclude that you fully support this individual and the extreme views that he holds.
While I understand that you do not have the time to be aware of all of this individual’s postings, I believe it should be incumbent upon someone in your position to err on the side of caution regarding whom you are prepared to be seen publicly endorsing.
For your background information, Stuart Campbell first came to the wider public’s attention in October and November 1993 for dishonouring and insulting Britain’s war dead, war veterans and the institution responsible for remembrance and veteran support; The Royal British Legion.
As an acting editor of a computer game magazine called Amiga Power, Mr Campbell wrote: “Old soldiers I wish them all dead” and further compounded the outrage by disparagingly referring to the Royal British Legion as “conscientious objectors”.
The details surrounding the incident and the disrespectful use of the poppy image were covered by the Daily Star and earned Mr Campbell the condemnation of Menzies Campbell MP, the Royal British Legion and Viscount Montgomery of Alamein – the son of Field Marshall Montgomery himself. Hardly a knee-jerk reaction troika, I’m sure you would agree.
That he has a problem with soldiers is clear. A recent mocked up poster of a funeral entourage passing through Royal Wootton Bassett used an image which, as was pointed out to him by concerned Twitter users, could be used to identify the service personnel.
Despite it being spelled out to him how potentially upsetting and grievous this could be to relatives of the dead service personnel, he refused in the most repugnant manner possible to use another image. It led to condemnation of the image by both Lib-Dem leader Willie Rennie and the Sun newspaper.
Much more recently, and ironically – given your ministerial remit and recently introduced legislation – Mr Campbell frequently baits Rangers fans through the medium of his Twitter account and his website.
I find it hard to accept, given that you freely converse with him, Retweet his tweets and ‘follow’ his Twitter timeline, that you could not have been unaware of this anti-social borderline sectarian behaviour.
While he may fall short of actual sectarianism – though that is debatable – the motivation behind his insulting and disparaging bigoted language is clearly designed to anger and humiliate those Rangers fans he engages with. He hoped someone “would die in a chemical fire” recently due to a spat concerning a Rangers fan and a Falkirk announcer.
Given that you have recently stated: “Hatred of any kind has no place in modern Scotland and we need to do everything we can to stop it wherever and whenever it occurs, whilst tackling the root causes.” I find it staggering that you could maintain contact and actively encourage such an individual using the term “good work” as you did yesterday. It is the reason for this open letter.
Finally, I will post some of this individual’s more illustrious posts to give you a flavour of his ethos and outlook and leave it to you to decide whether it is advisable for a Junior Minister in the Scottish Government to be seen endorsing, encouraging and supporting such people.
Editor of AhDinnaeKen
Some evidence from the Twitter timeline followed by Roseanna Cunningham
Note that Mr Campbell’s offensiveness is all the more repugnant given that he hides behind inference so that he can deny he ever said anything concrete which could be construed as bigoted or sectarian. The BNP do the same thing incidentally. Coincidence or magic?
Resepected and passionate SNP supporter and campaigner Kate Higgins recently referred to Mr Campbell as a “misogynist” due to his abusive, bullying and threatening use of language. Unsurprisingly, Mr Campbell has frequently referred to Ms Higgins as an “idiot”.
AhDinnaeKen wonders if “fighting the root cause” of bigotry involves actively Retweeting and recommending articles written by the bigots. A question Ms Cunningham should seriously ponder.
Mr Campbell wrote on his Wings Over Scotland site in 2010 that legitimate Northern Irish voters who voted for Sinn Fein were “spectacularly retarded”. Is this the kind of person whom Scottish Government ministers should be seen endorsing? AhDinnaeKen thinks we should be told.
Will Roseanna Cunningham, for the sake of clarity, tell the public why this kind of behaviour should not attract the attention of her Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Bill? This isn’t the first time that Mr Campbell has wished people dead in a chemical fire yet he still considers himself a ‘progressive’ independence’ supporter and is “chuffed” to be referred to as an “Ultimate Cybernat”. Still, that’s a story for another day.
AhDinnaeKen would like to apologise to any readers expecting regular Sunday feature MacAesop’s fables.