Cybernats, Cybernaws, Clare Lally

Daily Telegraph front page headline on Clare LallyLast night on Twitter the front cover of the Daily Telegraph was causing a great deal of uninformed stushie.

Clare Lally is a notable campaigner and a full-time carer: she has two daughters, one with severe disabilities, for whom she is the primary carer with her husband Derek. In 2010, she was voted Tesco Living’s “Mum of the Year” in 2010. She was interviewed by the BBC 2011 electoral campaign as part of the launch of Manifesto for Carers: she’s also a Carers Champion.

Jackie Baillie is the Labour MSP for Dunbarton. Clare Lally is one of her constituents. West Dunbartonshire tends to vote Labour: the Regional MSPs for the West of Scotland reflect that – three Labour MSPs, two Conservatives, two SNP. The West Dunbartonshire council gained two seats for Labour in the last council elections, and the SNP lost three: the council also has one of the few Scottish Socialist Party representatives. It was an SNP commitment at the last local government elections to appoint a Carers’ Champion for every local authority. Labour appointed a Carers’ Champion to speak to their Shadow Cabinet: Clare Lally was a natural choice.

The Daily Record, 28th August 2012 reported:

Clare Lally is to join Labour’s shadow cabinet as their first “Carers Champion”.

The role will see the 31-year-old, who has no previous political experience, advise Johann Lamont’s party on the challenges facing Scotland’s 660,000 carers.

Clare, of Duntocher, Dunbartonshire, said she was delighted to help influence key policy.

She said: “I have always been a Labour supporter. But to actually be able to contribute and help make a difference is a better opportunity than I could have asked for.”

She also said:

“My focus is to just do what is right for carers. I am there to listen to them and take what they are saying back to the cabinet.

“It’s not all about money or services. It is time to stop talking about cuts and start talking about what to do about it.”

In September 2012, Jackie Baillie MSP reported on Clare Lally’s first visit to the Scottish Parliament

“I was delighted to be joined by Clare at the Parliament this week to discuss the issues being faced by Scotland’s carers on a daily basis.

“It is great to have someone from West Dunbartonshire on Labour’s Shadow Cabinet and I know Clare really understands the concerns of carers.”

Everyone entitled to vote in Scotland has got to make up their mind how to vote on 18th September, and we have to remember: whether Yes or No gets the majority, pretty much everyone is trying to decide or has already decided how to vote based on what they believe will be best for Scotland, even if we disagree what that is. Turnout is predicted at over 80%, and that level of involvement makes the referendum successful whether Yes or No gets the majority.

When Better Together launched their 100 Days campaign, Clare Lally was one of those asked to speak, as her MSP tweeted:

The Times and the Telegraph reported this, and “Rev” Stuart Campbell got a snit on. If you have not yet heard of “Rev” Stuart, he lives in Bath and runs the site “Wings Over Scotland” (not an official Yes Scotland site; it supports Yes Scotland in much the same way as the Daily Mail supports the Tories).
Wings Over Scotland
He discovered the Daily Record story about Ms Lally, and he also confused Clare Lally, the Carers’ Champion, with Claire Lally, the daughter-in-law of a former Lord Provost of Glasgow.
Wings Scotland Clare Lally
Stuart Campbell is a petty, mean-minded man, who apparently compensates for his inability to vote in the independence referendum by attacking those who can and who have decided to vote No.

Cybernats is the term coined for those who troll and attack No voters online: cybernaws those who do the same to Yes voters: and both campaigns have their poisonous trolls who think political debate should be abusive, not respectful. Unless they get threatening (in which case, report them to the police) none of them deserve any attention by either side.

I don’t link to the Wings Over Scotland site and I don’t have much respect Yes campaigners who do: Stuart Campbell (“RevStu“) is a cybernat. His views from Bath on Scottish independence should be treated with the same respect as the views of David Coburn from Kensington. His experience in journalism is reviewing computer games: he went from games review to games design. He founded the Wings blog as an alternative to shouting at Newsnight.
Wings Scotland Clare Lally
Stuart Campbell’s complaints that Clare Lally’s involvement in politics via her experience as a full-time carer makes her “political elite”, smells like the frequent Ukip complaints that political activists have been “planted” in the Question Time audience when the Ukip panellist gets asked a difficult question.

In the Telegraph this morning a story bylined by Simon Johnson, their Scottish Political Editor, claimed that Alex Salmond had “spearheaded” a “disgusting smear campaign” against Clare Lally. The evidence for this appears to be that Campbell Gunn, a special adviser to the First Minister’s office, contacted the Telegraph and told them what Stuart Campbell had “reported” in Wings Scotland.

[Campbell Gunn has since been ordered by Alex Salmond to apologise to Clare Lally, who has declined to accept his coerced “sorry”. Brian Taylor notes that the most charitable explanation for Gunn’s email is that he forgot he was no longer a political journalist but a civil servant.]

The Telegraph seems to think it was the other way round, saying his email “was echoed by a prominent nationalist website”. The Wings Scotland blogpost about Clare Lally was posted about 10am on 10th June. To diehard nationalists, Wings Scotland is treated as a news site: it never seems to occur to its loyal readers that Stuart Campbell is a blogger, not a journalist. He finds things out the way any blogger does; by searching online. To his devoted followers, however, this is treated as if it were properly researched news from a respectworthy journal: and my guess would be that Campbell Gunn read the blogpost, never thought to check in with anyone at the First Minister’s office, and simply emailed what he thought was a valid correction to the Daily Telegraph.

If this proves anything, it proves that some Yes Scotland supporters take the blog “Wings Over Scotland” entirely too seriously. If Campbell Gunn is required to resign for that injudicious email to the Telegraph, he is at fault not for “spearheading” or “coordinating” a personal attack on Clare Lally, but for not remembering that Wings Over Scotland is just another blog: Stuart Campbell doubtless publishes the truth as he sees it, but he is a biased and partial political campaigner, not a journalist.

I don’t doubt that Clare Lally and her supporters got abused on Twitter by the cybernats. Stuart Campbell is a provoker of such attacks. But the Telegraph’s claim that she was smeared is as much a distortion of the truth as the Daily Mail’s report on the wheelchair ramp in the Lally’s front garden. It is not a smear to say that Clare Lally has been invited to sit on Labour’s Shadow Cabinet and join in Policy Forum discussions: it’s true, and a respectworthy achievement.

Clare Lally is the kind of Scot whose experience as a carer and campaigner, whose contributions to welfare policy and to the independence referendum, are worthy of nothing but respect: shame on Stuart Campbell for attacking her for them, and anyone else who followed his lead.

56 Comments

Filed under Internet, Scottish Politics

56 responses to “Cybernats, Cybernaws, Clare Lally

  1. Jon

    “Stuart Campbell doubtless publishes the truth as he sees it, but he is a biased and partial political campaigner, not a journalist.”

    In the context of a post about The Daily Telegraph of all things, Matthew 7:3 springs to mind.

  2. Chris Murray

    I generally find your contributions to the discussion informative and interesting, but you’re helping no one by throwing around the cybernat label. The only thing that word ever does is bring the discussion down a level.

    Not sure why Stu’s coming in for so much stick here, either. He acknowledged his error on mixing up the Lally’s, has never claimed to be non-partisan and has been perfectly polite to me in the few dealings we’ve had. As for pointing out that he was a games journalist as if that’s some kind of negative… Huh?

    Stu highlighted the fact that Lally is not just someone off the street, as The Times portrayed her, but actively involved at the top level of Scottish Labour. That’s not an attack, and the real outrage of this affair (I just got done venting about it myself) is the way Lally’s child is used to make all manner of political points. No one seems perturbed at this but me, I grant you, but how you’ve found grounds to go after Campbell with the kind of petty, namecalling you accuse him of… This might be the worst post of yours I’ve ever read.

    • I find “cybernat” and “cybernaw” useful tags for the kind of people who think it’s appropriate to “campaign” for the referendum with abuse and personal attacks. Most people don’t do this – either Yes or No – but the ones that do bring the discussion down to a level not worth thinking about.

      Stuart Campbell is a homophobic, transphobic, misogynistic cybernat. I’m sure he’s always been quite polite to you: this is not the case when he’s dealing with people from the groups he’s bigoted against.

      I mentioned his blog specifically because I wanted to explain how I am sure that the Telegraph has got the order of events reversed: the assertion that Alex Salmond is “spearheading” an attack on Clare Lally for her involvement in the Better Together campaign is based on the presumption that Stuart Campbell was echoing information he got from Salmond’s office, since Campbell Gunn made the same points to the Telegraph as the Wings Over Scotland blog.

      In this I believe the Telegraph misunderstood the veneration in which RevStu’s Wings Over Scotland blog is held: I am quite sure, as I said in the blogpost, that Gunn simply assumed that Stuart had got the facts right, and that he could give the Telegraph a factual correction based on WoS: that Alex Salmond’s office had nothing whatsoever to do with it. My concern in writing this blogpost was primarily to defend Clare Lally, but also to defend Alex Salmond / the office of the FM, from the (I believe false) accusations of orchestrating an attack on Clare Lally.

      I agree that it would be wrong to bring Clare Lally’s daughter into the matter more than by reference to where Ms Lally got her expertise as a carer.

  3. D Weir

    Above its says that Clare Lally is married to Derek, so she married Derek Lally, you know there has only ever been one Derek Lally registered in Scotland since 1855, he was born in 1973 in Glasgow, and as your link states Peg lally the wife of Pat had two sons, Robert born 1969 and Derek 1973. So it could only have been this Derek that married Claire Fitzpatrick in 1998 in Glasgow, sources elsewhere tell me that Clare’s mother is called Rosaleen a marriage between Rosaleen Campbell and John Fitzpatrick took place in Glasgow 1976, and there one of their sprogs was our Claire. don’t my word for it use Scotlandspeople it never lies. even still draw out the Certificates. I think she is going over the top on this apology and its gonna hurt her bad, its a shame I think she maybe has been forced into doing this.

    • You’re assuming (a) that Derek’s surname is Lally (b) that Clare took her husband’s surname (c) that Derek was born in Scotland.

      Do you have any evidence for any of your assumptions?

      • D Weir

        A) who Steel, naw his name is Steel, B) there is no marriages for a Clare Lally in scotland since 1855. C) Derek Lally was born in scotland. other people made that error of assuming that the Derek she is living with was Derek Lally, it has been said elsewhere his name surname is Steel, read on I will explain with his daughters. Anyway back to another scenario. The only other alternative would be this, there was a clare Lally born in Dunbarton, but this one was in1975, so the ages don’t match, and also that there is no account for a Lally father and a mother called Rosaleen in scotland. there is account of a rosaleen Lally, taking into account of an unmarried mother. There is a peculiarity around this, could it be that she is not being upfront about her age only, why, maybe it was a misspell on a report and it stuck. 37 could be easily misread as 31, if that is the case that is enough to throw people of the scent and then assume. interestingly it puts her as the same age as Claire Fitzpatrick. Also note that her children are both registered as Steel and Lally, so there is no marriage between them both. Another scenario is the clare could have been born elsewhere in ireland, but i wouldn’t think so. But as i said without spending a day in register house, and i ain’t doing it, the evidence is all there and off course the census of 2011 will tell us exactly where she was born. but her mother called Rosaleen and ironically a Campbell as well, its that jigsaw piece that doesn’t fit. However in all it isn’t the worst thing has been said, like everything it gets blown out all proportion, this was just one of these exercises just to see what is what with the argument. inconclusive either way.
        I have also discovered that in postcode G44 from 2002 that the Derek Lally was living with a Claire Lally on the voters roll, if Derek Lally opened his gub all this could be settled, anyway exercise over. who to believe having dome genealogy for years and through the surnames being rare I thought this would be easy.

        • 1. Clare Lally self-evidently exists and lives in Jackie Baillie’s constituency.
          2. She’s no connection of Pat Lally, everyone accepts that, not that it makes too much difference if she was.

          The rest? Self-evidently none of your business. No wonder the Yes campaign has a gender gap: all these guys acting as if a woman’s possession of independent political views gives them a right to gang up on her.

  4. Claire Duncan

    This is the last blog I read from this site. Truly awful.

  5. D Weir

    *there is not an account of a rosaleen Lally, sorry

  6. Mr JJones

    Clare Lally was born in Scotland in 1980 in Dumbarton. From 192 you can see she lives with parent Seamus and Rosina back in 2002. This couple did marry but not until 1987. Scotlandspeople.gov.uk didn’t register unmarried children under both parents’ surnames until fairly recently.

    Therefore, Clare Frances Lally does not exist in Scotland’s birth index but a Clare Frances Carthew does!

    Wonder if Pat Lally had a brother named Seamus🙂

    • …and the relevance of all of this is…?

      • Mr JJones

        My mistake, I should have placed the above under D Weir suggestion that someone had alterd her age from 37 to 31 or that perhaps she wasn’t Scottish born. The last comment was meant to be ironic afer listening to the news on the radio this morning – conspiracy everywhere!

    • D Weir

      Mr Jones, thanks for clearing that up, I knew there was something amiss out of what i found, off course the logic that I was following is that parents marry first. theres no way though using scotlands people that you could discover anything else, without knowing more of the background. Seamus would have to be a very much younger brother lol. its a reminder that 2+2 sometimes doesn’t equal four. well done of your research.

  7. I don’t think you should put the Rev in quotation marks. He’s a genuine vicar. It’s long been a source of immature amusement to me that the “cybernats” are led by a vicar based in Bath. A little like PG Wodehouse’s fascist Spode turning out to be a designer of lingerie.

      • Well, I’m pushing it a little bit. He’s not exactly the “vicar” of my imagination but he is an ordained minister of some sort.

        • I’ve seen other people ask where and of what denomination he’s a “Rev” and get no answer: I assumed it was “Internet Nickname” rev, possibly a gamer name.

          • Yes, it could be a gamer name, but that would disappoint me. I’ve often wondered whether there was a wild episode in his youth full of clerical scandals. It’s unresearchable, however, as there are probably thousands of Reverend Stuart Campbell’s in the world and I could never be sure that I had nailed the right one.

            Sorry, this has nothing to do with your article. I’m bringing my own sandwiches to the party.

          • Well, since RevStu has actually shown up, perhaps he’ll clarify for us what the sitch is with the “Rev” business…

          • Come on Reverend. It will be an exclusive. I’m ready to put £50 on him being C of E.

      • Pretty much everything else you’ve written about me above is pish, so why wouldn’t that be too?

        • Thank you for sharing your views.

          Please understand that any abuse in comments will get you banned.

        • Can you clarify for us: Did you receive any information from Campbell Gunn on which you based your blogpost, or was your blogpost your own research?

          • Sure, if you’ll clarify something for me first: if I tell you to fuck off, will that be “misogynist” because you happen to be a woman, or would it merely signify that I disliked you as a person, rather than because of your gender?

          • Under the circumstances, I’d give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you dislike me because I decline to worship at the WingsScotland shrine, and because I have publicly identified you as a bigot, and that you would be equally rude to me were I a man exercising the same freedom of opinion.

            I have a very narrow definition of what constitutes abuse on this blog. Though were you to address the same comment to someone else, I might not give you the same benefit of the doubt: still, I am aware of how irritating this blogpost must be to you.

          • Oh dear, that doesn’t sound very C of E. I’d still put a fiver on him being a Methodist.

          • I don’t dislike you because you fail to worship me. You can call me a fuckwit or an arsehole or whatever and that’s just aces with me. I dislike you because you’re an idiot who has WRONGLY “identified” me as a bigot despite having never met me or had a conversation with me, and because I dislike all intolerant fundamentalists whether they’re on the same side of the argument as me or the opposite side.

            But you’re exactly right that I’d dislike you the precise same amount whichever sex you were. It dismays me that you’ll still go ahead and call me a misogynist anyway.

            I have, to the very best of my recollection, never had any contact of any kind with Campbell Gunn. I’ve certainly never met or spoken to him, or emailed him or had an email from him, and if we’ve exchanged a tweet or anything else I don’t remember it and it certainly wasn’t this month.

          • I have, to the very best of my recollection, never had any contact of any kind with Campbell Gunn. I’ve certainly never met or spoken to him, or emailed him or had an email from him, and if we’ve exchanged a tweet or anything else I don’t remember it and it certainly wasn’t this month.

            Thank you for responding to my question.

            I dislike you because you’re an idiot who has WRONGLY “identified” me as a bigot despite having never met me or had a conversation with me, and because I dislike all intolerant fundamentalists whether they’re on the same side of the argument as me or the opposite side.

            It is a frequent reaction of bigots to claim that those who correctly identify them as bigots are being “intolerant”. You are, as you recently proved with your misgendering Chelsea Manning, a transphobic bigot. You have made homophobic and misogynistic comments in the past. Your objections to being correctly identified as a bigot do not concern me.

            You’d make Tychy very happy if you clarified of which sect you are a “Reverend”, or if this is a gamer’s nickname. But don’t feel obliged: I merely mention it.

  8. So abuse is only allowed above the line? Righto.

    • You’re in the habit of making misogynistic, homophobic, and transphobic comments to and about people. I ban people who do that here.

      • Wild Rodent

        Don’t forget disablist comments as well. How very “Christian” for a “Reverend.”

      • I’m not in any such habit, of course. Nobody who says that ever produces an example, because there are none. But I’ll leave you to continue to lie to your readers about me, because it doesn’t look like many of them are buying your despicable smears.

        • Nobody who says that ever produces an example, because there are none.

          Most recent example of your making a transphobic comment about Chelsea Manning.

          But I’ll leave you to continue to lie to your readers about me

          Haven’t told any lies about you. Don’t need to.

          But I’m still interested: did Campbell Gunn find out the distorted “facts” from you, or did he email you about Clare Lally and you based your blogpost from his email?

          • That comment is about grammar. It displays neither fear nor hatred of transgender people. What it displays is someone who won’t think what you order them to think, which to an intolerant fundamentalist like yourself counts as “bigotry”.

            Happy to answer your other question when you answer mine.

          • I see you are the kind of transphobic bigot who thinks that calling a trans woman “he” is “about grammar”.

            Your belief that misgendering a trans women isn’t transphobic but about “grammar” doesn’t make it less bigoted.

            What question of yours have I left unanswered?

          • I have better things to do with my time than bang my head against the wall of an arrogant, intolerant, closed-minded fundamentalist like you so far as Chelsea Manning goes.

            The question is at 12.40 above.

          • Thank you for acknowledging Chelsea Manning’s name and not misgendering her in your comment. I appreciate that small effort.

            I have answered your question at 12:40.

  9. Malcolm

    This thread contains everything that is wrong with the whole debate. Childish name calling from both sides is simply depressing. Clare Lally has a right to her opinion but calling her a “normal housewife” was stretching things a little as she is a member of the Labour Shadow Cabinet. So no glory for either side here. Lets get back to real issues, please, guys!

    • Malcolm: Clare Lally is a campaigner for carers and for children with disabilities who is widely respected by all parties and who was well-chosen by Labour to provide their Shadow Cabinet with input from a carer’s perspective.

      If you think about it without the Wings Scotland nastiness and distortion, though, what should she have said in describing herself? Should she have said “Wow, I’m this terrific person, me, it turns out that I’ve got all of these talents for campaigning and I’m really good at speaking for carers”?

      She isn’t related to anyone important. She’s not an elected politician. She hasn’t got a high-powered job. The place she holds in Labour’s Shadow Cabinet isn’t ministerial: she’s there to be the carer’s champion, just as the SNP appointed people to be the carer’s champion to local councillors.

      The poison Wings Scotland dropped has distorted this debate, and yes, avoids real issues – and may yet cost Campbell Gunn his political career, though as Brian Taylor correctly noted Gunn seems to have been thinking like a journalist, not a political advisor, when he sent that stupid email.

      The consequence that would be good to come out of this, since RevStu himself seems unrepentant, would be for Yes Scotland campaigners to stop linking to his awful blog.

      • Malcolm

        I do not dispute she has campaigned strongly for good causes and I give her all respect for that. But I feel her position at the Better Together presentation was misrepresented. Also for the record I have no interest in who she is, or is not, related to. She may not be a high powered politician but, to any neutral observer, she has significant links to the SLP. A simple declaration of these links would have, in no way, diminished her right to her opinion, but it would have put it in context.

        • Why? Most Yes Scotland campaigners have significant links to the SNP: I don’t notice them making a point of coming out with them.

          Do you know of any video record of BT’s launch ceremony, btw? I was looking for one the other day, and couldn’t find it.

          • Malcolm

            Personally I feel there is a bit of a difference from being a supporter of either camp (and almost everyone is, that is the basis democratic argument after all) and being an active member of a campaign. Can I ask is a junior member if the Scottish Cabinet had been portrayed as a ordinary mother or father without mention of his or her political position would that have been challenged? I feel it would, quite correctly, been strongly challenged. So the strong indignation is being a little overdone, in my opinion.

          • How far exactly can Clare Lally be said to be even a junior member of Labour’s Shadow Cabinet?

            I have to admit, I tend to check things like cabinet membership on wikipedia because they organise their site’s search engine much better, but obviously for important questions you go back to source material.

            Clare Lally isn’t listed as a member of Scottish Labour’s Shadow Cabinet on wikipedia or the Scottish Labour website or on the Scottish Parliament website.

            She is listed as one of several “Non MSP Individuals” on two cross-party groups, for Carers and for Children and Young People. Sitting on a cross-party group as a non-MSP is not a ministerial role, not even a junior ministerial role.

            For the SNP and Yes Scotland, it is now to their advantage to present Clare Lally’s role as formally as possible. But I can find no reference to Clare Lally on the Scottish Parliament website except as a name in the non-MSPs section of two cross-party groups – until this blew up.

            It seems to me that RevStu has, with malice aforethought, made a great deal of angry fuss over Clare Lally’s describing herself as an “ordinary housewife”. All he has accomplished by so doing is to give the media and the Better Together team an easy sympathy story and possibly to get Campbell Gunn sacked.

            Why does anyone in the Yes Scotland side pay any attention to the angry whinging of a former games designer in Bath?

  10. Jk’s announcement was a a small part in a brilliant strategy to hold back the massive online swell of support for YES.
    I want the 450 nuclear warheads moved from Scotland.
    Is that cybernat abuse?
    I want to see the resources of Scotland address the 1 in 4 Scottish children born into poverty.
    Now that really is abuse.

    • Malcolm

      The Daily Record Aug 28th 2012 has an article about Clare Lally becoming a member of the SLP shadow cabinet and includes a direct quote from Ms Lamont about the structure of said cabinet. If the Scottish Labour Leader refers to CL as being in the Shadow Cabinet then that is good enough for me. The article I mention took 5 seconds to find on Google so I am surprised your research did not turn this up.

      • Having found the Daily Record article and the article on Jackie Baillie’s website (you’re right, this took about 5 seconds to find on Google, and both are linked to in this blogpost) I then spent rather more than five seconds trying to find some confirmation on an official Labour website or on the Scottish Parliament website, if Clare Lally was listed as a member of the Scottish Labour shadow Cabinet.

        But she isn’t.

        It may be “good enough for you” to go with secondary report sources rather than to go to primary listings, but it wasn’t good enough for me. I looked at listings of the Scottish Labour Shadow Cabinet on scottishlabour.org.uk, LabourList.org, I looked up the list of Labour Party spokespersons. Clare Lally isn’t listed. Therefore, regardless of what the Daily Record reported or what Jackie Baillie or Johann Lamont may have said, it’s clear that Clare Lally is not a member of the Scottish Labour Shadow Cabinet. This took more than five seconds research, but I’m more than confident of the answer.

        I also searched for Clare Lally’s name on the Scottish Parliament website. She has been mentioned several times recently in the context of this current story, but prior to that the only reference to her at all is that she is listed as a non-MSP member of two cross-party groups. I discussed this in my next blogpost, which you appear to have commented on without reading….

        • Malcolm

          Thanks for your reply. let me try to explain my position. Ok, despite what the SLP leader was quoted as saying in the Daily Record (not usually known for printing quotes which differ far from the party line) I accept that, technically CL is listed as a Special Advisor to the SLP Shadow Cabinet, not a full member as JL suggested when it was politically expedient to do so. But, I come back to my original point, hopefully in full agreement with your interpretation of CL’s status. She was put forward as a normal housewife. The failure to mention she is a Special Advisor to the Scottish Shadow Cabinet (is this ok?) was somewhat disingenuous. There are lots of highly intelligent No minded people genuinely without any Political experience, even in an advisory role, who could have been used without giving the appearance (my opinion only!) that the SLP were a little economical with the truth. It left a bad taste with me, that’s all.

          • Where is Clare Lally listed as Special Advisor to the Scottish Labour Shadow Cabinet? Serious question: I wasn’t able to find any such reference on an official website. Being a SpAD is an official civil service/political appointment: I very much doubt Lally could hold down a full-time job of SpAD and be full-time carer to her daughter. So unless you have a listing for that…?

            Clare Lally herself said, in her speech, that she was just an ordinary housewife. I’d actually agree she’s no ordinary woman – she’s accomplished a lot. But in the sense of her being an ordinary person, without connections to a political family or a high-powered job or wealth, yes, she is.

            As for not “allowing” her to make a speech at Better Together launch, why on earth not? You could say that Labour “should have known” that Stuart Campbell would launch one of his venomous hackjobs, but though Wings Scotland’s commenters gave Clare Lally an unpleasant time, and Campbell Gunn’s stupid email was more nastiness, the main person to suffer from the whole thing long-term is going to be Campbell Gunn, who will have to quit his job for being silly enough to take Wings Scotland at face value and not do his own checking (nor think about whether he *should* be briefing the papers against a non-politician).

            In any case, it strikes me as being really stupid – I mean, gormlessly so, in political terms – to glom on to how Clare Lally describes herself briefly in a speech and make a big noisy fuss about it. What is the Yes Scotland campaign for – to attack Scots who hold opposing views, as Stuart Campbell seems to think, or to promote the idea of an independent Scotland?

            Do you really suppose people might vote Yes because of Stuart Campbell’s attack on Clare Lally?

          • Malcolm

            Oh Lordy. I would be the first to defend CL’s democratic right to express her opinion and her right of free speech. It was the misrepresentation of her links (can I use the word “links”??) to the SLP shadow cabinet. If these links had been clearly stated I would have no issue. By the way, I worry you are a little too focused on Stuart Campbell, you mention him rather a lot. Anyhow all opinions expressed have been solely my own, thanks for the comments, I have enjoyed it. Have a good day.

          • It was the misrepresentation of her links (can I use the word “links”??) to the SLP shadow cabinet. If these links had been clearly stated I would have no issue

            Sure, if everyone involved with both Yes and No campaign is required to state their exact level of involvement with any political party before making a speech. That’s fair. I don’t think they are, though…

            By the way, I worry you are a little too focused on Stuart Campbell, you mention him rather a lot.

            *facepalm* This and the other “invisible wings” blog are the only two blogposts I’ve ever written which (as far as I remember) even reference Stuart Campbell. I’ve published 695 blogposts. You really think that 0.287% of my total output since 2011 is being “a little too focussed”? The Clare Lally/Campbell Gunn/Wings Over Scotland thing has been all over the Scottish news: I write blogposts about current events a lot.

            But thanks for commenting. I appreciate having a discussion that stayed civil.

  11. Sad to report, 2 months later and there are still quite a few people on Twitter (being a tiny minority, but not tiny enough) attacking Clare Lally for daring to speak.

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