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The crucifixion of Kate Forbes She has been co-opted into a persecution fantasy

(Ken Jack/Getty Images)


February 24, 2023   6 mins

Lent began this week with a rehearsal for a crucifixion. On Tuesday, SNP leader hopeful and devout Presbyterian Kate Forbes was faced with something she must have known was coming: a challenge from journalists about her views on gay marriage, womanhood, and children being born out of wedlock. She did not flinch from spelling out what she thought. By Ash Wednesday, several of her backers within the SNP had publicly recanted, running scared from the ensuing furore, and Forbes was said to be taking “a break from media commitments”.

Accompanying Forbes’s profession of faith was an apparently sincere endorsement of existing equality law, reiterated on Twitter since. But this complication has been widely ignored in the denunciations that followed. Perhaps unaccustomed to the sight of a principled act of conscience from a Scottish politician, our modern-day Pharisees — otherwise known as newspaper columnists — swung into action to make sure it would not happen again.

As is their wont, several commentators pretended to be taking the room’s temperature while actually turning up the thermostat. In The Times, Alice Thomson warned that if Forbes “can’t step back from the pulpit, she’s in danger of becoming as polarising as Sturgeon”. Another Times correspondent declared that Forbes was now “fighting for her political career, not just the leadership” — as if there were no room in serious politics at all for someone with Forbes’s views.

The Guardian was yet more forthright. “Pass the idiot pills!” hooted John Crace, punning that the politician was on “a mission” (geddit) “to torpedo her own career”. Over in the New Statesman, progressive clergyman Michael Coren blathered that Forbes shouldn’t “receive a free pass” on her views “because they’re allegedly a product of her faith” — the “allegedly” vaguely implying that her membership of the Free Church of Scotland could be a front for something even worse.

Forbes has found her defenders, too: most notably, Kemi Badenoch, who referred to her duty as Equalities minister to protect religious freedom, arguing that Forbes should be allowed to have “freedom of conscience”.  As strategic as this defence from Badenoch is, though, I don’t think it quite works. Individual citizens of course have the right to freedom of conscience — including Forbes, who should be able to think and say whatever she likes within reason. The more pertinent question, though, is whether the religious or philosophical beliefs of a politician are relevant to their suitability for office, and especially when the office in question is leader.

Generally speaking, I don’t see why they aren’t — quite the contrary. The farming industry might reasonably be concerned if a vegan became Secretary of State at Defra. The Equality Act protects the philosophical beliefs of spiritualist psychics, but if a would-be prime minister claimed he could see into the future, voters might worry. And in both cases, the assurance that the beliefs in question were “personal” wouldn’t be much consolation — after all, they are still beliefs, involving a distinctive way of looking at the world that by definition can’t be switched off at will. Where a person appears to be able to leave his personal beliefs at home — as Forbes’ rival Humza Yousaf implies he can with Islam — then arguably, he doesn’t have very strong beliefs in the first place.

Equally, sometimes the personal beliefs of a politician can make them look a lot more attractive to voters. Speaking for myself, I think it’s a promising sign that Forbes is willing to say that the rapist Isla Bryson is a man. It makes her look a whole lot saner in that respect than many of her SNP colleagues. But if that’s the case, it can hardly be a problem in itself that, for others, the very same belief makes her seem like a liability. If legislation in a particular area is still a live question and stands a chance of being influenced by the views of a party leader — as is certainly the case for gender reform law in Scotland — then it’s reasonable to place any would-be leader’s background religious or philosophical beliefs about it under the microscope.

The reason it’s hard for anyone on the rational side of identity politics to admit all this, I suspect, is that many of those objecting vociferously to Forbes are clearly doing it for self-serving reasons. Perhaps refreshingly in Scottish politics, for once their objections are not really about gender-critical beliefs in particular, in any substantive sense — for if they were, fellow gender-critical candidate Ash Regan presumably would be getting the same sort of treatment. And nor is the fuss about conservative religious belief in Scottish politics, generally — for if it were, then Humza Yousaf should be getting flak too.

Nothing as rational as that is going on here. Rather, Forbes’s words have been seized upon because they help prop up adherence to a different sort of modern dogma: the rainbow religion promulgated in the name of the amorphous “LGBTQI+” people. Like Christianity, this centres on the figure of a sacred, innocent outsider, beset on all sides by hatred but turning the other cheek, and freeing people from their traditional ways of life by lived example.

Alongside the idea that you can reinvent yourself at any time, it’s one of the fundamental tenets of this value system that LGBTQI+ people are still actively persecuted across the board in modern Britain, with no room for further nuance about who exactly, or under what circumstances, or what the hell some of those letters even stand for anyway. Hundreds of public and third-sector organisations and enterprises are invested in this exceptionally simple story. Indeed, some of them make a lot of money from it. Thousands of employee hours have been spent in HR training sessions, listening to ropey statistics that represent perceptions of persecution among gay and trans people as fact. At this stage, there is such collective national investment in thinking of LGBTQI+ people as severely oppressed that one obscurely fears a lightning strike even to raise a question about it.

But there is also a problem here. To sell a good story about victimhood, you need a convincing-looking persecutor with sufficient power, and yet it’s increasingly hard to find a credible one. One problem is the increasing tolerance of UK society — including in Scotland where, in 2017, 69% of people polled said that same-sex relationships were “rarely wrong” or “not wrong at all”. While widespread in the past, genuine homophobia seems to be on the wane in the UK, which is presumably why Stonewall has recently had to extend its concept of “hate crime” to things like accurately identifying human biology or making jokes about asexual people. Another problem is that, in those sections of society where antipathy to gay and trans people is apparently higher than the national average — for instance, some immigrant or working-class ones — the additional factors of class, race, and nationality make it politically inexpedient for progressives to mention the fact.

None of those complications applies to Kate Forbes, though, which makes her a much more suitable baddie for activist purposes. Never mind that she also says you can “do what you want” in a free society, or that Scotland is mostly secular, or that there is currently no political will whatsoever to roll back gay marriage there (even if she personally wanted to, which she says she does not). The main thing is that she is white, Cambridge-educated, and Christian, and for bonus points a follower of an obscure Calvinist denomination historically associated with such killjoy practices as tying up children’s swings on a Sunday. And she refuses to toe the rainbow line. Even better, she’s a woman — so much easier to project intolerance and unkindness upon her, relative to the presumed baseline for her sex. By appealing to such gross characteristics, she nicely fits — more or less, if you squint a bit — into a fantasy of persecution that helps keep the whole show on the road for another year.

Of course, in practice, no-one criticising her has any idea whether Forbes is a genuine homophobe or not. Another facile equation made by those religiously invested in victimhood for LGBTQI+ people is that any objection to liberalisation must be rooted in some kind of “phobia”. In practice, like everyone else, Christians range from kind, tolerant, and generous people to bigoted nutcases, with many shades of grey in between.

But Forbes is unlikely to be given the benefit of the doubt. To do so would be to squander a rare chance to perpetuate the hysterical fantasy that LGBTQI+ people in Britain, generally, are permanently a hair’s breadth away from malicious destruction — even as the Equality Act explicitly protects both gay and trans people, the BBC hosts dozens of positive stories about trans youth, millions of pounds roll into charity coffers, gay men rule entertainment telly, lesbians rule women’s sport, and entire classrooms change their pronouns to the delight of their teachers.

As I say, what we have here is a clash of two religions. One of them is full of sanctimonious, swivel-eyed moral scolds, rooting out heresy and trying to indoctrinate everybody into their fantastic way of thinking. The other is a branch of Calvinism. One of them asks “what would Jesus do?” and the other “what would Owen Jones think?”. Faced with a choice between their representatives on earth, I know which kind I would prefer to see in high office.


Kathleen Stock is an UnHerd columnist and a co-director of The Lesbian Project.
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Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
1 year ago

“…what we have here is a clash of two religions. One of them is full of sanctimonious, swivel-eyed moral scolds, rooting out heresy and trying to indoctrinate everybody into their fantastic way of thinking. The other is a branch of Calvinism.” Brilliant, and worth the subscription for that alone. Thank you.

Richard Parker
Richard Parker
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Agree, though with the caveat that identity politics can be decidedly Calvinistic in form too. If you’re not of the elect, you’re condemned and lost forever – no amount of remorse, apology, recantation nor good works can bring you absolution.

Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Parker

I thought that was the JW’s ?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

John Calvin got there first.

William Warren
William Warren
1 year ago

Actually it was Augustine. Calvin discusses it briefly in his Institutes but largely because election was standard orthodox Christian teaching until the late nineteenth century (eg it is also the teaching of the CofE in Article 17)

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  William Warren

I thought the idea of predestination went back even further than AoH.?

William Warren
William Warren
1 year ago

Well I would say it goes all the way back to Genesis and God’s election of Israel, but I think Arminians might disagree!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  William Warren

I hoped you would say that.Thank you.

To my mind it perfectly justifies the opinion of the late Proconsul* of Pontus et Bithynia in his private correspondence to the Chief Executive.

(* Some say Legatus.)

John Webster
John Webster
1 year ago
Reply to  William Warren

I’m sensing a People’s Front of Judea moment on this.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Webster

Or even Judean People’s Front!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Webster

Or even Judean People’s Front!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  William Warren

I hoped you would say that.Thank you.

To my mind it perfectly justifies the opinion of the late Proconsul* of Pontus et Bithynia in his private correspondence to the Chief Executive.

(* Some say Legatus.)

John Webster
John Webster
1 year ago
Reply to  William Warren

I’m sensing a People’s Front of Judea moment on this.

William Warren
William Warren
1 year ago

Well I would say it goes all the way back to Genesis and God’s election of Israel, but I think Arminians might disagree!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  William Warren

I thought the idea of predestination went back even further than AoH.?

William Warren
William Warren
1 year ago

Actually it was Augustine. Calvin discusses it briefly in his Institutes but largely because election was standard orthodox Christian teaching until the late nineteenth century (eg it is also the teaching of the CofE in Article 17)

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

JWs believe even the ‘saved’ can be lost.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

John Calvin got there first.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

JWs believe even the ‘saved’ can be lost.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Parker

The difference, of course, is that the Calvinism of identity politics is of this earth whereas Calvinism merely involved a belief in what the Almighty might decide would happen to you in the hereafter. I certainly know which form of Calvinism requires tolerance and which intolerance.
I really only commented to add my delight at another superbly written eviceration of the modern day Pharisees. The aggressive intolerant identitarians of Sussex University did us an unintended favour in revealing one of the best thinkers and writers alive today to a wider public. I just love Kathleen- purely platonically (as an elderly married male that is as it should be on multiple levels).

Terry Davies
Terry Davies
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Several excellent points here, especially the fact that we now can read KS and love her platonically!

Terry Davies
Terry Davies
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Several excellent points here, especially the fact that we now can read KS and love her platonically!

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Parker

I believe KS was making that precise point.

Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Parker

I thought that was the JW’s ?

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Parker

The difference, of course, is that the Calvinism of identity politics is of this earth whereas Calvinism merely involved a belief in what the Almighty might decide would happen to you in the hereafter. I certainly know which form of Calvinism requires tolerance and which intolerance.
I really only commented to add my delight at another superbly written eviceration of the modern day Pharisees. The aggressive intolerant identitarians of Sussex University did us an unintended favour in revealing one of the best thinkers and writers alive today to a wider public. I just love Kathleen- purely platonically (as an elderly married male that is as it should be on multiple levels).

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Parker

I believe KS was making that precise point.

Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

I must be in the editors good books today, as it appears I’ve been accorded ‘special’ voting rights, either that or five other people gave a thumbs up at the exact moment I did 🙂

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

When you recommend, it refreshes and pulls in all the other recommends that happened while you’ve been reading.

Unlike Kate, sadly, you’re not part of the Elect, Tom 😉

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

When you recommend, it refreshes and pulls in all the other recommends that happened while you’ve been reading.

Unlike Kate, sadly, you’re not part of the Elect, Tom 😉

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

And “our modern-day Pharisees — otherwise known as newspaper columnists” !
An excellent article.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Well I’d vote for her.
It seems to me that this country started to go to the dogs when we began to ditch the values espoused by Ms Forbes in favour of a philosophy of my only obligation is to myself and my needs.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

if it all goes the wrong may, an independent Scotland run by an Islamist might soon have its air full of the acrid scent of Israeli air force jet engines?!!!!!

Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
1 year ago

But ‘Chosen’ means only my way to heaven and the rest to hell; does it not ?

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark M Breza

No it doesn’t. Not even close.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark M Breza

No it doesn’t. Not even close.

The Xpozer
The Xpozer
1 year ago

Great article, openly identifies what is going on against Ms Forbes, a rare-breed woman like no other in our times! And great comment – Well put! This is why immoralities and human perversions have exponentially surged over the last couple of decades. But hear this in the Words of Jesus Matt 15:14 – Forget them. They are blind men leading blind men. When a blind man leads a blind man, the Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” so ignore them. They are blind guides….Paul says this in Romans 1:32 about do-gooders and hench-men of these sinful acts & things: “…who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”
Judgement is coming ….soon. as Jesus said in Rev. 22:11 – “…He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.” “And behold, I am coming..”! Thank you Kate for standing for what you believe – our unnrgotiable Faith!

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

if it all goes the wrong may, an independent Scotland run by an Islamist might soon have its air full of the acrid scent of Israeli air force jet engines?!!!!!

Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
1 year ago

But ‘Chosen’ means only my way to heaven and the rest to hell; does it not ?

The Xpozer
The Xpozer
1 year ago

Great article, openly identifies what is going on against Ms Forbes, a rare-breed woman like no other in our times! And great comment – Well put! This is why immoralities and human perversions have exponentially surged over the last couple of decades. But hear this in the Words of Jesus Matt 15:14 – Forget them. They are blind men leading blind men. When a blind man leads a blind man, the Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” so ignore them. They are blind guides….Paul says this in Romans 1:32 about do-gooders and hench-men of these sinful acts & things: “…who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”
Judgement is coming ….soon. as Jesus said in Rev. 22:11 – “…He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.” “And behold, I am coming..”! Thank you Kate for standing for what you believe – our unnrgotiable Faith!

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Puritanism and Woke – both characterized by a fear that someone, somewhere, is having fun.

Last edited 1 year ago by Lennon Ó Náraigh
Michael Saxon
Michael Saxon
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

As an evangelical Christian I’m convinced Christians should stay out of secular politics. Forbes seems to be trying to stand on both sides of the secular-Christian divide. It doesn’t work. At the very least she should be saying she is opposed on religious grounds to the in-vogue sex/gender issues, but accepts that the existing policy/law is in place and has to be respected. But really, as a Christian how can she be associated with a party that uphold moral positions God hates? For the Christian morality is supposed to trump secular ideals. She is compromising her faith for a career in politics.

Peter Woodifield
Peter Woodifield
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael Saxon

Well Jesus was very political, not in a party sense obviously, so why can’t Christians get involved in politics today. Many Christians would argue it’s a duty to do so

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael Saxon

She’s very young and has much to learn. Perhaps she should read of Diogenes of Sinope. That should set her straight.

Peter Woodifield
Peter Woodifield
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael Saxon

Well Jesus was very political, not in a party sense obviously, so why can’t Christians get involved in politics today. Many Christians would argue it’s a duty to do so

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael Saxon

She’s very young and has much to learn. Perhaps she should read of Diogenes of Sinope. That should set her straight.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

And at least the tenets of Calvinism are pretty well settled. The problem with woke religion is that their 10 commandments get revised every two weeks.

David Ryan
David Ryan
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Agreed, excellent work Kathleen Stock

Richard Parker
Richard Parker
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Agree, though with the caveat that identity politics can be decidedly Calvinistic in form too. If you’re not of the elect, you’re condemned and lost forever – no amount of remorse, apology, recantation nor good works can bring you absolution.

Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

I must be in the editors good books today, as it appears I’ve been accorded ‘special’ voting rights, either that or five other people gave a thumbs up at the exact moment I did 🙂

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

And “our modern-day Pharisees — otherwise known as newspaper columnists” !
An excellent article.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Well I’d vote for her.
It seems to me that this country started to go to the dogs when we began to ditch the values espoused by Ms Forbes in favour of a philosophy of my only obligation is to myself and my needs.

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Puritanism and Woke – both characterized by a fear that someone, somewhere, is having fun.

Last edited 1 year ago by Lennon Ó Náraigh
Michael Saxon
Michael Saxon
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

As an evangelical Christian I’m convinced Christians should stay out of secular politics. Forbes seems to be trying to stand on both sides of the secular-Christian divide. It doesn’t work. At the very least she should be saying she is opposed on religious grounds to the in-vogue sex/gender issues, but accepts that the existing policy/law is in place and has to be respected. But really, as a Christian how can she be associated with a party that uphold moral positions God hates? For the Christian morality is supposed to trump secular ideals. She is compromising her faith for a career in politics.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

And at least the tenets of Calvinism are pretty well settled. The problem with woke religion is that their 10 commandments get revised every two weeks.

David Ryan
David Ryan
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Agreed, excellent work Kathleen Stock

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
1 year ago

“…what we have here is a clash of two religions. One of them is full of sanctimonious, swivel-eyed moral scolds, rooting out heresy and trying to indoctrinate everybody into their fantastic way of thinking. The other is a branch of Calvinism.” Brilliant, and worth the subscription for that alone. Thank you.

Albireo Double
Albireo Double
1 year ago

The monarch of this country carries the title of Defender of the Faith. These days I am seeing precious little defense of the faith of Christianity in our country by monarch, politicians, or even by its own clergy – most of whom seem desperate to drink the woke kool-aid.

I carry no torch for any religion, including Christianity. But there is clearly a massive imbalance here, when, in a country which used to regard itself as broadly a Christian one, Christianity is allowed to effectively wither on the vine, while other faiths are promoted by almost everybody in our self-appointed ruling classes.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Albireo Double

This is the result of what Eric Kaufmann describes as ‘asymmetric multiculturalism’ – the promotion of minority cultural interests, while disadvantaging the majority ones. It also doesn’t help that the majority culture has by and large dumped Christianity without much outside help.

Cassander Antipatru
Cassander Antipatru
1 year ago
Reply to  Albireo Double

As Peter Hitchens (I think) pointed out, you can now get arrested and prosecuted for supporting the official beliefs of the legally-established state religion.

D Glover
D Glover
1 year ago
Reply to  Albireo Double

As it says in the excellent article;

And nor is the fuss about conservative religious belief in Scottish politics, generally — for if it were, then Humza Yousaf should be getting flak too.

One of the strange features of our times is the enthusiasm of the liberal left for Islam, a religion not associated with women’s rights, or tolerance of gays, or religious pluralism. Maybe lefties see Muslims as more ‘ethnic’, authentic, or oppressed.

The Xpozer
The Xpozer
1 year ago
Reply to  Albireo Double

Amazing point! The Heads [dead & living]of the Church are in-name only!, all too willing to roll over and be….shafted! Other illegitimate faiths gets the Untouchable status while the Meek & mild faith, is viciously attacked and continuously being marginalised with the ultimate purpose of starvation to its death! The cone-heads and the dog-collared wearers just sit idly by, swallow the Woke-pill and deny the one who matter – Jesus Christ and His Word!!! To who much is given , much is expected…!

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Albireo Double

This is the result of what Eric Kaufmann describes as ‘asymmetric multiculturalism’ – the promotion of minority cultural interests, while disadvantaging the majority ones. It also doesn’t help that the majority culture has by and large dumped Christianity without much outside help.

Cassander Antipatru
Cassander Antipatru
1 year ago
Reply to  Albireo Double

As Peter Hitchens (I think) pointed out, you can now get arrested and prosecuted for supporting the official beliefs of the legally-established state religion.

D Glover
D Glover
1 year ago
Reply to  Albireo Double

As it says in the excellent article;

And nor is the fuss about conservative religious belief in Scottish politics, generally — for if it were, then Humza Yousaf should be getting flak too.

One of the strange features of our times is the enthusiasm of the liberal left for Islam, a religion not associated with women’s rights, or tolerance of gays, or religious pluralism. Maybe lefties see Muslims as more ‘ethnic’, authentic, or oppressed.

The Xpozer
The Xpozer
1 year ago
Reply to  Albireo Double

Amazing point! The Heads [dead & living]of the Church are in-name only!, all too willing to roll over and be….shafted! Other illegitimate faiths gets the Untouchable status while the Meek & mild faith, is viciously attacked and continuously being marginalised with the ultimate purpose of starvation to its death! The cone-heads and the dog-collared wearers just sit idly by, swallow the Woke-pill and deny the one who matter – Jesus Christ and His Word!!! To who much is given , much is expected…!

Albireo Double
Albireo Double
1 year ago

The monarch of this country carries the title of Defender of the Faith. These days I am seeing precious little defense of the faith of Christianity in our country by monarch, politicians, or even by its own clergy – most of whom seem desperate to drink the woke kool-aid.

I carry no torch for any religion, including Christianity. But there is clearly a massive imbalance here, when, in a country which used to regard itself as broadly a Christian one, Christianity is allowed to effectively wither on the vine, while other faiths are promoted by almost everybody in our self-appointed ruling classes.

Peter Quasi-Modo
Peter Quasi-Modo
1 year ago

Wonderful article, yet again. Thank you so much. Just one nano-quibble. You say “Where a person appears to be able to leave his personal beliefs at home — as Forbes’ rival Humza Yousaf implies he can with Islam — then arguably, he doesn’t have very strong beliefs in the first place.” In 2014, Mr. Yousaf was a Member of the Scottish Parliament and the vote on gay marriage occurred. Mr Yousaf did not vote. He had a meeting with the Pakistan Consul that could not be delayed, apparently.
Also, have you seen the details of Mr. Yousaf’s Hate Crime legislation? It is rather too close to an Islamic blasphemy law for my liking.
You do not have to take Mr Yousaf’s utterances at face value. He has learnt how to talk the talk, but he is not so good at concealing the fact that he doesn’t walk the walk.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Quasi-Modo
Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

What’s most dangerous about Humza is not his barely suppressed perma-rage or his hideous authoritarianism, but his abject stupidity.

Somewhere on YouTube there’s a video of an angry rant in which he fulminates that more than ninety percent of Scottish office holders are white. Of course no-one has the temerity to point out that this is hardly surprising or inequitable in a country where ninety six percent of the population is also white.

God help the poor bloody Scots if he gets the job.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

There’s also a video on YouTube where he falls off a scooter, if you want a laugh.

Last edited 1 year ago by Derek Smith
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

Was that perhaps in Rochdale?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

Was that perhaps in Rochdale?

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Are you kidding? I was thinking if getting a “Humza for FM” banner. With him the union is in a safe pair of hands.

Peter Quasi-Modo
Peter Quasi-Modo
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Humza Youseless’ cheerleaders come from two camps: (1) The Nicola Sturgeon inner circle who regard him as a patsy who can be controlled to continue with Nicola’s agenda and (2) People who want to thwart Scottish nationalism and consider Mr. Youseless as the FM who will inadvertently poison that well. Their combined forces may just win the day. Poor old Scotland.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Poor old England.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Poor old England.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Careful what you wish for. That almost blew up in many peoples faces when like minded people paid the £3.00 to the Labour Party to elect Corbyn.

Peter Quasi-Modo
Peter Quasi-Modo
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Humza Youseless’ cheerleaders come from two camps: (1) The Nicola Sturgeon inner circle who regard him as a patsy who can be controlled to continue with Nicola’s agenda and (2) People who want to thwart Scottish nationalism and consider Mr. Youseless as the FM who will inadvertently poison that well. Their combined forces may just win the day. Poor old Scotland.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Careful what you wish for. That almost blew up in many peoples faces when like minded people paid the £3.00 to the Labour Party to elect Corbyn.

Michael James
Michael James
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Let him get the job and show the Scots what they could expect from an independent Scotland.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Well said!

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Derek Smith
Derek Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

There’s also a video on YouTube where he falls off a scooter, if you want a laugh.

Last edited 1 year ago by Derek Smith
Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Are you kidding? I was thinking if getting a “Humza for FM” banner. With him the union is in a safe pair of hands.

Michael James
Michael James
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Let him get the job and show the Scots what they could expect from an independent Scotland.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Well said!

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Davy Humerme
Davy Humerme
1 year ago

Useless didn’t need to be there. As Craig Murray (A jailed anti Sturgeon dissident) points out he fiddled this date with the consul to avoid the vote. Even then the choice of consul in Glasgow which is basically the housekeeping and admin part of diplomacy would not have served his alleged mission of saving someone from death row. Murray is a retired senior diplomat so should know.

Peter Woodifield
Peter Woodifield
1 year ago

A meeting that was arranged 19 days before the vote, but after the date of the vote was known. It could have been arranged for a much earlier date had it been so urgent. The minister responsible for the legislation has repeated today his assertion that Hamza Yousaf deliberately arranged for it to clash with the vote. Under the Hate Crime Act you can be imprisoned for things you say in the privacy of your own home – Orwellian to put it mildly.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

That is modern Scotland for you, an Orwellian cesspit!

Paid for by ENGLAND.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

That is modern Scotland for you, an Orwellian cesspit!

Paid for by ENGLAND.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

What’s most dangerous about Humza is not his barely suppressed perma-rage or his hideous authoritarianism, but his abject stupidity.

Somewhere on YouTube there’s a video of an angry rant in which he fulminates that more than ninety percent of Scottish office holders are white. Of course no-one has the temerity to point out that this is hardly surprising or inequitable in a country where ninety six percent of the population is also white.

God help the poor bloody Scots if he gets the job.

Davy Humerme
Davy Humerme
1 year ago

Useless didn’t need to be there. As Craig Murray (A jailed anti Sturgeon dissident) points out he fiddled this date with the consul to avoid the vote. Even then the choice of consul in Glasgow which is basically the housekeeping and admin part of diplomacy would not have served his alleged mission of saving someone from death row. Murray is a retired senior diplomat so should know.

Peter Woodifield
Peter Woodifield
1 year ago

A meeting that was arranged 19 days before the vote, but after the date of the vote was known. It could have been arranged for a much earlier date had it been so urgent. The minister responsible for the legislation has repeated today his assertion that Hamza Yousaf deliberately arranged for it to clash with the vote. Under the Hate Crime Act you can be imprisoned for things you say in the privacy of your own home – Orwellian to put it mildly.

Peter Quasi-Modo
Peter Quasi-Modo
1 year ago

Wonderful article, yet again. Thank you so much. Just one nano-quibble. You say “Where a person appears to be able to leave his personal beliefs at home — as Forbes’ rival Humza Yousaf implies he can with Islam — then arguably, he doesn’t have very strong beliefs in the first place.” In 2014, Mr. Yousaf was a Member of the Scottish Parliament and the vote on gay marriage occurred. Mr Yousaf did not vote. He had a meeting with the Pakistan Consul that could not be delayed, apparently.
Also, have you seen the details of Mr. Yousaf’s Hate Crime legislation? It is rather too close to an Islamic blasphemy law for my liking.
You do not have to take Mr Yousaf’s utterances at face value. He has learnt how to talk the talk, but he is not so good at concealing the fact that he doesn’t walk the walk.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Quasi-Modo
Jim Jam
Jim Jam
1 year ago

Great peice, cheers.

What the screeching progressive commentariat don’t seem to grasp is that by denouncing Forbes for holding certain views, they are by extension doing the same to millions of the public, who, whilst being handed their deplorable badges are also able to see clearly the hoped for fate that awaits anybody who dares to voice even the slightest opposition to the new orthodoxy.

As a slight aside – this, I believe is precisely the reason why Lee Anderson was apopointed to such prominent position – its was a rare canny move from Conservative HQ; a trap designed to alienate the public from the lefty loudmouth establishment who, it was calculated, wouldn’t be able resist reacting to appointment with hysterical scorn. The Guardian, when it launched the dozen or so attacks on Anderson – complete with the predictable reems of spiteful and vitriolic comments – fell straight into the trap, leaving no bloke in the street with any doubt that he will be utterly hated if he holds even a single non-‘progressive’ opinion.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jim Jam
Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Jam

Yes, if Rishi really wants to win in 2024 he should give Nigel Farage a knighthood in the New Year honours. The Guardian and BBC will then do the job for him.

Imagine the meltdown from James O’Brien.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Jam

Yes, if Rishi really wants to win in 2024 he should give Nigel Farage a knighthood in the New Year honours. The Guardian and BBC will then do the job for him.

Imagine the meltdown from James O’Brien.

Jim Jam
Jim Jam
1 year ago

Great peice, cheers.

What the screeching progressive commentariat don’t seem to grasp is that by denouncing Forbes for holding certain views, they are by extension doing the same to millions of the public, who, whilst being handed their deplorable badges are also able to see clearly the hoped for fate that awaits anybody who dares to voice even the slightest opposition to the new orthodoxy.

As a slight aside – this, I believe is precisely the reason why Lee Anderson was apopointed to such prominent position – its was a rare canny move from Conservative HQ; a trap designed to alienate the public from the lefty loudmouth establishment who, it was calculated, wouldn’t be able resist reacting to appointment with hysterical scorn. The Guardian, when it launched the dozen or so attacks on Anderson – complete with the predictable reems of spiteful and vitriolic comments – fell straight into the trap, leaving no bloke in the street with any doubt that he will be utterly hated if he holds even a single non-‘progressive’ opinion.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jim Jam
Kathleen Burnett
Kathleen Burnett
1 year ago

Brilliant, Kathleen. Thank you for this piece.

Kathleen Burnett
Kathleen Burnett
1 year ago

Brilliant, Kathleen. Thank you for this piece.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

Are we really supposed to believe that Humza’s beliefs are not infinitely more extreme and authoritarian?

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

You mean the one he (allegedly) has that men can turn into women? I am not sure what other beliefs he does have.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

The belief that Scots are racist because they occasionally vote for politicians who are white, for example.

I’m sure he doesn’t really believe that men can become women. No-one does. It’s just a way of winding people up.

Anna Knowles
Anna Knowles
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

It’s more than just ‘winding people up’: forcing people to say something they don’t believe on pain of punishment is straight out of the totalitarian handbook, the exercising of brutal power – that’s the buzz.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Anna Knowles

2 + 2 = 5.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Anna Knowles

2 + 2 = 5.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Hahahaha, very true;)

Anna Knowles
Anna Knowles
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

It’s more than just ‘winding people up’: forcing people to say something they don’t believe on pain of punishment is straight out of the totalitarian handbook, the exercising of brutal power – that’s the buzz.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Hahahaha, very true;)

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

The belief that men can turn into women is profoundly homophobic and often used in fundamentalist Muslim countries such as Iran to ‘normalise’ gay men. The alternative is being thrown off a crane.
There is not as much cognitive dissonance in his beliefs as you think.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

The belief that Scots are racist because they occasionally vote for politicians who are white, for example.

I’m sure he doesn’t really believe that men can become women. No-one does. It’s just a way of winding people up.

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

The belief that men can turn into women is profoundly homophobic and often used in fundamentalist Muslim countries such as Iran to ‘normalise’ gay men. The alternative is being thrown off a crane.
There is not as much cognitive dissonance in his beliefs as you think.

Kevin Hansen
Kevin Hansen
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Apologies I accidentally down voted you and dont know how to remedy it! I completely agree with you. Isnt there a get out clause in his religion where ‘being economical with the truth’ is justified if it furthers your cause?

Anna Knowles
Anna Knowles
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin Hansen

To remove a downvote (or an upvote) just click again on the hand icon and your vote will disappear.

Kevin Hansen
Kevin Hansen
1 year ago
Reply to  Anna Knowles

Thank you

Kevin Hansen
Kevin Hansen
1 year ago
Reply to  Anna Knowles

Thank you

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin Hansen

ISTR that is was announced by some Ayatolah that it is not a sin for a Moslem to lie to a Christian. At about the same time “They” announced that it was OK for a Moslem man to hasve sex with a Christian woman as long as he didn’t enjoy it. Both announcements made, I believe, before Saddam H’s demise.

Anna Knowles
Anna Knowles
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin Hansen

To remove a downvote (or an upvote) just click again on the hand icon and your vote will disappear.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin Hansen

ISTR that is was announced by some Ayatolah that it is not a sin for a Moslem to lie to a Christian. At about the same time “They” announced that it was OK for a Moslem man to hasve sex with a Christian woman as long as he didn’t enjoy it. Both announcements made, I believe, before Saddam H’s demise.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

You mean the one he (allegedly) has that men can turn into women? I am not sure what other beliefs he does have.

Kevin Hansen
Kevin Hansen
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Apologies I accidentally down voted you and dont know how to remedy it! I completely agree with you. Isnt there a get out clause in his religion where ‘being economical with the truth’ is justified if it furthers your cause?

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

Are we really supposed to believe that Humza’s beliefs are not infinitely more extreme and authoritarian?

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
1 year ago

If Kate Forbes can get past the cowards and hypocrites in her party’s leadership and the media, I should think she has a good chance of getting chosen as leader. She is clearly a sincere, serious and intelligent politician and streets ahead of her rivals. Unfortunately she is a nationalist, and I’m a unionist.

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
1 year ago

If Kate Forbes can get past the cowards and hypocrites in her party’s leadership and the media, I should think she has a good chance of getting chosen as leader. She is clearly a sincere, serious and intelligent politician and streets ahead of her rivals. Unfortunately she is a nationalist, and I’m a unionist.

Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
1 year ago

While I broadly agree with Kathleen’s opinions, actually the article is very good, the one point I disagree with, and this might well be because I’m a bloke (of a certain age, if that’s relevant ( what isn’t ! Which interestingly, is what the article is all about), but the notion that women don’t occasionally get a free pass, as do some, with regard to sexuality/ race/ religion/ class, is pure bunkum. It might well be patronising paternalism (what once used to be called ‘manners’ (very much out of fashion), but they do still, if imperfectly, exist, it’s just that being a woman has dropped well down the ‘pandering’ list (more so in Scottish political minds given, evidently, that anybody, and everybody, can be one), compared to other characteristics, such as race and ‘non-native’ religions, so Humza (what a pity he isn’t also gay, although, obviously, in a non gay way, which doesn’t interfere with his religious views) can’t be asked anything ‘serious’ at all.

Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
1 year ago

While I broadly agree with Kathleen’s opinions, actually the article is very good, the one point I disagree with, and this might well be because I’m a bloke (of a certain age, if that’s relevant ( what isn’t ! Which interestingly, is what the article is all about), but the notion that women don’t occasionally get a free pass, as do some, with regard to sexuality/ race/ religion/ class, is pure bunkum. It might well be patronising paternalism (what once used to be called ‘manners’ (very much out of fashion), but they do still, if imperfectly, exist, it’s just that being a woman has dropped well down the ‘pandering’ list (more so in Scottish political minds given, evidently, that anybody, and everybody, can be one), compared to other characteristics, such as race and ‘non-native’ religions, so Humza (what a pity he isn’t also gay, although, obviously, in a non gay way, which doesn’t interfere with his religious views) can’t be asked anything ‘serious’ at all.

William Shaw
William Shaw
1 year ago

A candidate with strong beliefs who is willing to admit to them and isn’t likely to change them for personal gain… basically what most of us want in a leader.

William Shaw
William Shaw
1 year ago

A candidate with strong beliefs who is willing to admit to them and isn’t likely to change them for personal gain… basically what most of us want in a leader.

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
1 year ago

Best first sentence in the history of Unherd.
Stock and Harrington are simply essential reading these days.

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston
1 year ago

Best first sentence in the history of Unherd.
Stock and Harrington are simply essential reading these days.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

Another very well-argued piece by Kathleen Stock, with her usual quota of memorable phrases.

I also feel there’s a personal touch to this one: a woman being hounded by the media for specific personal views which don’t match the liberal left worldview. An interesting intervention by Kemi Badenoch too, which i hadn’t heard about, along the “freedom of conscience” lines.

Ultimately, what Scotland desperately needs right now is straightforward competence in its political leadership. If this is another example of the SNP shooting itself in the foot, it’ll deserve to see hopes of independence recede ever further from view, at least for another generation.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

What’s depressing, is that I can see no way out of the decline. If Yousaf gets the job, the choice at the next Holyrood election will be which Muslim man who outwardly claims to believe that men can become women do you want to run the country (unless there’s a remarkable resurgence by the Scottish Tories). Anas Sarwar is little better; Scottish Labour would be deeply incompetent and almost certainly have to form a coalition with the SNP, LDs or Greens.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

What’s depressing, is that I can see no way out of the decline. If Yousaf gets the job, the choice at the next Holyrood election will be which Muslim man who outwardly claims to believe that men can become women do you want to run the country (unless there’s a remarkable resurgence by the Scottish Tories). Anas Sarwar is little better; Scottish Labour would be deeply incompetent and almost certainly have to form a coalition with the SNP, LDs or Greens.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

Another very well-argued piece by Kathleen Stock, with her usual quota of memorable phrases.

I also feel there’s a personal touch to this one: a woman being hounded by the media for specific personal views which don’t match the liberal left worldview. An interesting intervention by Kemi Badenoch too, which i hadn’t heard about, along the “freedom of conscience” lines.

Ultimately, what Scotland desperately needs right now is straightforward competence in its political leadership. If this is another example of the SNP shooting itself in the foot, it’ll deserve to see hopes of independence recede ever further from view, at least for another generation.

Jonny Stud
Jonny Stud
1 year ago

Always amazes me how the loudest proponents of free speech and anti-bullying are the very same people who are all for restriction of free speech and pro-bullying when someone has a different view.
The point about the ‘charities’ is well made, after all if your job is to be paid to fight homophobia you’re going to damn well make sure there’s plenty of homophobia around. Why exactly do we now have an LGBT&$%*= history month? Is this on top of pride month? does it replace it? does it replace black history month? genuine question if anyone knows

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonny Stud

It’s all about the Queering of Society so that it becomes socially acceptable to do things that were formerly considered taboo.

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonny Stud

Clearly there is a month shortage.
🙂

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonny Stud

It’s all about the Queering of Society so that it becomes socially acceptable to do things that were formerly considered taboo.

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonny Stud

Clearly there is a month shortage.
🙂

Jonny Stud
Jonny Stud
1 year ago

Always amazes me how the loudest proponents of free speech and anti-bullying are the very same people who are all for restriction of free speech and pro-bullying when someone has a different view.
The point about the ‘charities’ is well made, after all if your job is to be paid to fight homophobia you’re going to damn well make sure there’s plenty of homophobia around. Why exactly do we now have an LGBT&$%*= history month? Is this on top of pride month? does it replace it? does it replace black history month? genuine question if anyone knows

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago

An excellent essay. I suspect that the economics of the media (and particular charities) is currently based of presenting interesting stories to its readership and these are based on ‘finding’ rough edges to pick at.
As a consequence all the interesting principled politicians end up cast aside for their ‘imperfections’ or sanded down to a smooth bland dullard.
I’ve complained before about machine politics. Well the weeding out of principled politicians is part of that process, denying the electorate any real choice.

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago

An excellent essay. I suspect that the economics of the media (and particular charities) is currently based of presenting interesting stories to its readership and these are based on ‘finding’ rough edges to pick at.
As a consequence all the interesting principled politicians end up cast aside for their ‘imperfections’ or sanded down to a smooth bland dullard.
I’ve complained before about machine politics. Well the weeding out of principled politicians is part of that process, denying the electorate any real choice.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago

Does any sane person really think that the UK or USA actually face a serious risk of right-wing, Christian, authoritarianism? Look around, people! Liberalism controls essentially every major cultural, media, educational, and artistic institution in the Western world.
While you liberals have been ferreting out every possible hint of serious Christianity among the ruling class, you’ve built a theocracy of secular liberalism every bit as repressive as the right-wing bogeyman you’re so afraid of. And even today, you can’t see it.

Robert Eagle
Robert Eagle
1 year ago

Shouldn’t “liberal” be an epithet which all readers of Unherd would happily ascribe to themselves? Instead it has become a term of abuse, signifying the very opposite of its true meaning. Who will save our once lovely language?

Robert Eagle
Robert Eagle
1 year ago

Shouldn’t “liberal” be an epithet which all readers of Unherd would happily ascribe to themselves? Instead it has become a term of abuse, signifying the very opposite of its true meaning. Who will save our once lovely language?

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago

Does any sane person really think that the UK or USA actually face a serious risk of right-wing, Christian, authoritarianism? Look around, people! Liberalism controls essentially every major cultural, media, educational, and artistic institution in the Western world.
While you liberals have been ferreting out every possible hint of serious Christianity among the ruling class, you’ve built a theocracy of secular liberalism every bit as repressive as the right-wing bogeyman you’re so afraid of. And even today, you can’t see it.

Jeremy Eves
Jeremy Eves
1 year ago

The official guidance to religious discrimination under the Equality Act includes Christianity as a religion which must also affect how a person lives their life. Kate Forbes is living as a person of great personal integrity by showing how her beliefs influence and form her life. She has clearly stated that, if FM, she would not force those beliefs onto others, so she is not supporting theocratic ambition.
If she was to be refused employment by the SNP, she would have strong grounds for a religious discrimination case. Election is a different from employment but the principle is the same. None of those shouting at her for being a Christian are criticising Rishi Sunak for being Hindu, or Yussaf for being Muslim. Clearly Christians are fair game for discrimination. But the hippocracy of those who trumpet equality being the leading proponents of discrimination is nothing but blind arrogance.

David Simpson
David Simpson
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Eves

“hippocracy” – rule by horses. Love it

D Glover
D Glover
1 year ago
Reply to  David Simpson

Jonathan Swift got there ahead of you.
The Yahoos were ruled by the equine Houyhnhnms.

D Glover
D Glover
1 year ago
Reply to  David Simpson

Jonathan Swift got there ahead of you.
The Yahoos were ruled by the equine Houyhnhnms.

David Simpson
David Simpson
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Eves

“hippocracy” – rule by horses. Love it

Jeremy Eves
Jeremy Eves
1 year ago

The official guidance to religious discrimination under the Equality Act includes Christianity as a religion which must also affect how a person lives their life. Kate Forbes is living as a person of great personal integrity by showing how her beliefs influence and form her life. She has clearly stated that, if FM, she would not force those beliefs onto others, so she is not supporting theocratic ambition.
If she was to be refused employment by the SNP, she would have strong grounds for a religious discrimination case. Election is a different from employment but the principle is the same. None of those shouting at her for being a Christian are criticising Rishi Sunak for being Hindu, or Yussaf for being Muslim. Clearly Christians are fair game for discrimination. But the hippocracy of those who trumpet equality being the leading proponents of discrimination is nothing but blind arrogance.

Paul T
Paul T
1 year ago

Very, very good article, but copybook blotted in the last couple of paragraphs. ‘Of course, in practice, no-one criticising her has any idea whether Forbes is a genuine homophobe or not.’ Even the author, then, assumes there is an objective standard for being a ‘genuine homophobe’ and a set of criteria to pass or fail the test. Trouble is, everyone has a different set of standards and ‘homophobe’ is always a slur. Similarly for Christians who are ‘bigoted nutcases’.

Paul T
Paul T
1 year ago

Very, very good article, but copybook blotted in the last couple of paragraphs. ‘Of course, in practice, no-one criticising her has any idea whether Forbes is a genuine homophobe or not.’ Even the author, then, assumes there is an objective standard for being a ‘genuine homophobe’ and a set of criteria to pass or fail the test. Trouble is, everyone has a different set of standards and ‘homophobe’ is always a slur. Similarly for Christians who are ‘bigoted nutcases’.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 year ago

Good article – but why does the author give credence to the term “gender critical”. It is easily used as a slur by her opponents, so how about using “biologically affirming” instead ….

S Wilkinson
S Wilkinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Does she? I can’t find ‘gender critical’ in this article.
Though I broadly agree with you, we are rather stuck with the terminology via the Maya Forstater ruling.

S Wilkinson
S Wilkinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Does she? I can’t find ‘gender critical’ in this article.
Though I broadly agree with you, we are rather stuck with the terminology via the Maya Forstater ruling.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 year ago

Good article – but why does the author give credence to the term “gender critical”. It is easily used as a slur by her opponents, so how about using “biologically affirming” instead ….

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

The normal English description of a Scotch Presbyterian is:

‘Someone who has a very uncomfortable feeling that somebody, somewhere is really enjoying themselves’.

D Glover
D Glover
1 year ago

I’m afraid it’s a bit late now for the old sport of Anglo/Scots mutual mickey taking. It is five minutes to midnight and the Saracens are at the gate.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  D Glover

Another time.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  D Glover

Another time.

William Warren
William Warren
1 year ago

Actually that was HL Mencken (humorously but inaccurately) describing Puritanism

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  William Warren

As modified by John Cleese I think.

ps. As you probably know H.L. Mencken would have an excellent Nazi HAD he lived in the right place.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  William Warren

As modified by John Cleese I think.

ps. As you probably know H.L. Mencken would have an excellent Nazi HAD he lived in the right place.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago

or as my Scottish father liked to joke, ‘let’s find out what the children are doing and tell them to stop’.

D Glover
D Glover
1 year ago

I’m afraid it’s a bit late now for the old sport of Anglo/Scots mutual mickey taking. It is five minutes to midnight and the Saracens are at the gate.

William Warren
William Warren
1 year ago

Actually that was HL Mencken (humorously but inaccurately) describing Puritanism

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago

or as my Scottish father liked to joke, ‘let’s find out what the children are doing and tell them to stop’.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

The normal English description of a Scotch Presbyterian is:

‘Someone who has a very uncomfortable feeling that somebody, somewhere is really enjoying themselves’.

John Callender
John Callender
1 year ago

I spent many years leading our local gender identity service. Although our service was a small one, we probably assessed nearly all of the transgender people in our locality who were seeking gender re-assignment.

In my experience, it was very unusual for hostility and ostracism to be directed at trans-gender people. This sometimes arose for understandable reasons e.g. from a spouse who had gone into marriage without knowing that his/her partner was transgender.  

I was much more struck by the acceptance and tolerance shown to most of my patients. The reactions of friends, employers and work colleagues generally ranged from positive help and support to polite indifference. (Perhaps polite indifference is the reaction most feared by trans ‘activists’?) 

My patients were mainly reasonable people trying to cope with a tragic predicament. They were not strident or confrontational. They did not see ‘trans’ as an identity. They generally wished to move to their preferred gender, fade into the background and get on with their lives.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  John Callender

I have a colleague who is like that, since 2005. Not strident or confrontational, just getting on with their lives (although the debris of a wrecked marriage should also be mentioned)
Unfortunately these days, or perhaps eternally, wherever there is a reservoir of acceptance, tolerance and goodwill towards a particular predicament, the self-elected sufferers, the exploiters – and as we see now, the predators – are never far away.

Last edited 1 year ago by Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  John Callender

I have a colleague who is like that, since 2005. Not strident or confrontational, just getting on with their lives (although the debris of a wrecked marriage should also be mentioned)
Unfortunately these days, or perhaps eternally, wherever there is a reservoir of acceptance, tolerance and goodwill towards a particular predicament, the self-elected sufferers, the exploiters – and as we see now, the predators – are never far away.

Last edited 1 year ago by Brendan O'Leary
John Callender
John Callender
1 year ago

I spent many years leading our local gender identity service. Although our service was a small one, we probably assessed nearly all of the transgender people in our locality who were seeking gender re-assignment.

In my experience, it was very unusual for hostility and ostracism to be directed at trans-gender people. This sometimes arose for understandable reasons e.g. from a spouse who had gone into marriage without knowing that his/her partner was transgender.  

I was much more struck by the acceptance and tolerance shown to most of my patients. The reactions of friends, employers and work colleagues generally ranged from positive help and support to polite indifference. (Perhaps polite indifference is the reaction most feared by trans ‘activists’?) 

My patients were mainly reasonable people trying to cope with a tragic predicament. They were not strident or confrontational. They did not see ‘trans’ as an identity. They generally wished to move to their preferred gender, fade into the background and get on with their lives.

Niall James
Niall James
1 year ago

Very witty last paragraph. Kathleen Stock has turned from a philosophy academic into a superb journalist (which is a hugely impressive writing-style pivot).

Niall James
Niall James
1 year ago

Very witty last paragraph. Kathleen Stock has turned from a philosophy academic into a superb journalist (which is a hugely impressive writing-style pivot).

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
1 year ago

I agree with Stock that gays do not face much persecution in the UK today… but it is possible that their persecution fantasies are nonetheless not imaginary. The explanation is that the voices they hear, telling them they are doing wrong – are coming from within, not without.
When the gay rights movement first achieved prominence in the public sphere in the 1980’s, the narrative was “what happens in the bedroom is private.” And yet, once that had been achieved, they pushed further and demanded not just “tolerance” but affirmation from all of society. They wanted not just to be left alone, but to be universally applauded. Why?
The answer is simple. The shame and guilt they thought were caused by “being in the closet” echoed just as loudly in their ears when they were alone in the bedroom – because it’s coming from within. And to drown it out, they must trumpet their normalcy in Pride Marches… plaster their banner on every corporate logo… assert drastic over-representation in movies, films and books… monitor every public word for any hint of disapproval… even recast historical figures as hidden gay heroes of the past. All trying to shout down the still, small voice within.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
1 year ago

I agree with Stock that gays do not face much persecution in the UK today… but it is possible that their persecution fantasies are nonetheless not imaginary. The explanation is that the voices they hear, telling them they are doing wrong – are coming from within, not without.
When the gay rights movement first achieved prominence in the public sphere in the 1980’s, the narrative was “what happens in the bedroom is private.” And yet, once that had been achieved, they pushed further and demanded not just “tolerance” but affirmation from all of society. They wanted not just to be left alone, but to be universally applauded. Why?
The answer is simple. The shame and guilt they thought were caused by “being in the closet” echoed just as loudly in their ears when they were alone in the bedroom – because it’s coming from within. And to drown it out, they must trumpet their normalcy in Pride Marches… plaster their banner on every corporate logo… assert drastic over-representation in movies, films and books… monitor every public word for any hint of disapproval… even recast historical figures as hidden gay heroes of the past. All trying to shout down the still, small voice within.

Gordon Arta
Gordon Arta
1 year ago

A great column, but there’s an important principle lurking just below it. The UK drew the teeth of organised religion, mainly the C of E, over recent generations, by subjecting it to hard questioning and criticism. Under such scrutiny, it was forced to lose much of its dogmatism, and morph into a do-gooder organisation, paying lip service to its god and his texts. This way, it lost its grip of fear, but held on to deference. But we came to think of the CofE being religion, and religion being the CofE. Under that misapprehension, we have deferred to ‘religion’, all religions, as basically well meaning and more or less harmless, despite the fact that many of them are as dogmatic, repressive, and backward as Christianity was centuries ago. Far from subjecting these alien religions to the sorts of examination which neutered our home-grown ones, we have actually given them ‘protected’ status, and give them money to impose their beliefs on children in ‘faith’ schools. Religion not only fosters division and conflict, it cements it in place. It’s a recipe for the Balkanisation of the UK.

Gordon Arta
Gordon Arta
1 year ago

A great column, but there’s an important principle lurking just below it. The UK drew the teeth of organised religion, mainly the C of E, over recent generations, by subjecting it to hard questioning and criticism. Under such scrutiny, it was forced to lose much of its dogmatism, and morph into a do-gooder organisation, paying lip service to its god and his texts. This way, it lost its grip of fear, but held on to deference. But we came to think of the CofE being religion, and religion being the CofE. Under that misapprehension, we have deferred to ‘religion’, all religions, as basically well meaning and more or less harmless, despite the fact that many of them are as dogmatic, repressive, and backward as Christianity was centuries ago. Far from subjecting these alien religions to the sorts of examination which neutered our home-grown ones, we have actually given them ‘protected’ status, and give them money to impose their beliefs on children in ‘faith’ schools. Religion not only fosters division and conflict, it cements it in place. It’s a recipe for the Balkanisation of the UK.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
1 year ago

“Christians range from kind, tolerant, and generous people to bigoted nutcases”
The innuendo there being that ‘kind, tolerant, and generous’ are *always* better than ‘bigoted’. But I’m a proud bigot in preference to being kind, tolerant and generous to the pedophiles who are now about to step out of the closet. We need more Bigots.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
1 year ago

“Christians range from kind, tolerant, and generous people to bigoted nutcases”
The innuendo there being that ‘kind, tolerant, and generous’ are *always* better than ‘bigoted’. But I’m a proud bigot in preference to being kind, tolerant and generous to the pedophiles who are now about to step out of the closet. We need more Bigots.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

With Sunak in London and Hamza in Edinburgh we may well achieve what Robert Burns described as “Such a Parcel of Rogues in a Nation“.

Jeremy Poynton
Jeremy Poynton
1 year ago

And one may add fellow Scot Adam Smith’s “There is a great deal of ruin in a nation”.
If Forbes is for independence, I am sure she will conduct herself far better than the appalling Sturgeon, one of a number petty little demagogues infesting Anglosphere at the moment – think Trudeau, Ardern (rat. sinking. ship cf Sturgeon), Khan in London for starters. How one would love to lock them up all together, and throw away the key.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Poynton

I couldn’t agree more, she graduated from the “other place” and qualified as a Chartered Accountant, so can presumably ‘do the maths’.

However I do hope she realises she may have to sacrifice herself and her child/children on the Altar of Nationalism.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Poynton

I couldn’t agree more, she graduated from the “other place” and qualified as a Chartered Accountant, so can presumably ‘do the maths’.

However I do hope she realises she may have to sacrifice herself and her child/children on the Altar of Nationalism.

Jeremy Poynton
Jeremy Poynton
1 year ago

Replied to this yesterday. Moderators – why did you delete me beyond inoffensive reply? Simply noted that a fellow Scot, Adam Smith noted that there is a “great deal of ruin in a Nation”.

Why deleted that? Not worth posting if my posts are just deleted regardless,.

Jeremy Poynton
Jeremy Poynton
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Poynton

Screen Shotted this time

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Poynton

Well done for persevering!

Jeremy Poynton
Jeremy Poynton
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Poynton

Screen Shotted this time

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Poynton

Well done for persevering!

Jeremy Poynton
Jeremy Poynton
1 year ago

And one may add fellow Scot Adam Smith’s “There is a great deal of ruin in a nation”.
If Forbes is for independence, I am sure she will conduct herself far better than the appalling Sturgeon, one of a number petty little demagogues infesting Anglosphere at the moment – think Trudeau, Ardern (rat. sinking. ship cf Sturgeon), Khan in London for starters. How one would love to lock them up all together, and throw away the key.

Jeremy Poynton
Jeremy Poynton
1 year ago

Replied to this yesterday. Moderators – why did you delete me beyond inoffensive reply? Simply noted that a fellow Scot, Adam Smith noted that there is a “great deal of ruin in a Nation”.

Why deleted that? Not worth posting if my posts are just deleted regardless,.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

With Sunak in London and Hamza in Edinburgh we may well achieve what Robert Burns described as “Such a Parcel of Rogues in a Nation“.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

I find it fascinating that no one on this medium has pointed out that the Presbyterian and Orange element in Northern Ireland, came from Scotland, and has attitudes towards Catholics that have been a major factor in the troubles of yore, and still exist in parts of Scotland, and yet Catholics and Presbyterians worship the same God and use the same bible? Not quite Sunni and Shia, but equally problematic?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

I find it fascinating that no one on this medium has pointed out that the Presbyterian and Orange element in Northern Ireland, came from Scotland, and has attitudes towards Catholics that have been a major factor in the troubles of yore, and still exist in parts of Scotland, and yet Catholics and Presbyterians worship the same God and use the same bible? Not quite Sunni and Shia, but equally problematic?

Edward Seymour
Edward Seymour
1 year ago

This could be a “deplorables” moment. I would guess that Forbes more consistently reflects the views of Scots than Sturgeon does with her gender woo-woo.

Edward Seymour
Edward Seymour
1 year ago

This could be a “deplorables” moment. I would guess that Forbes more consistently reflects the views of Scots than Sturgeon does with her gender woo-woo.

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
1 year ago

I wonder what Anthony Trollope’s Mrs. Proudie, wife of the Bishop of Barchester, would think about all this.

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
1 year ago

I wonder what Anthony Trollope’s Mrs. Proudie, wife of the Bishop of Barchester, would think about all this.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago

Isn’t it interesting how things change without really changing at all. About 1900 or so years ago, the Romans attempted to eradicate Christianity by hounding them and hunting them and making public spectacles of them in their coliseums. About six hundred years later the Muslims waged a jihad and conquered most of the Middle East, North Africa, and much of Europe in a quest to spread Islam to all infidels. A few hundred more years, the Inquisition tried to stamp out the Reformation by once again persecuting, hounding, and torturing those who wouldn’t tow the papal line. Not long at all after that, the Protestants were giving as well as they had taken by hunting witches, publicly harassing anyone suspected of witchcraft, and inventing ludicrous stories about human sacrifice and summoning the devil to justify their utter disregard for their fellow man. And now today, we have self-righteous social justice warriors ‘cancelling’ anyone who doesn’t subscribe to their nebulous, ever-shifting dogma, and the wheels on the bus go round…. One day the shoe will switch feet again and today’s righteous true believers will be tied to the whipping post while somebody else, maybe somebody who isn’t highly regarded today or maybe somebody we’ve not even heard of yet, will be doing the whipping instead. Forgive me but my barely social Asperger’s mind sees this entire parade as incomprehensible, pointless stupidity, a form of madness I can only attribute to that human component which I lack, sociability.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Jolly
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Persecution is in the human DNA as you so rightly say, always has been, always will be.
Your only choice is either to be a persecutor or be persecuted.
As Clint Eastwood so perfectly put it some years ago now:- “There are two types of people in this world, those with loaded guns and those who dig!”

Incidentally there were NOT Colosseums, but Amphitheatres, the term Colosseum dates to the Venerable Bede circa 8th century Northumbria.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago

Ah so the generic term coliseum did not originate directly from the original Collosseum. Rather it evolved later, probably in tribute to said structure. Since I did use the generic term rather than the specific, you are technically correct, the best kind of correct.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Some say that the huge adjacent statue of Nero may have the been the original source of the name, just to complicate matters!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Some say that the huge adjacent statue of Nero may have the been the original source of the name, just to complicate matters!

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago

Ah so the generic term coliseum did not originate directly from the original Collosseum. Rather it evolved later, probably in tribute to said structure. Since I did use the generic term rather than the specific, you are technically correct, the best kind of correct.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Persecution is in the human DNA as you so rightly say, always has been, always will be.
Your only choice is either to be a persecutor or be persecuted.
As Clint Eastwood so perfectly put it some years ago now:- “There are two types of people in this world, those with loaded guns and those who dig!”

Incidentally there were NOT Colosseums, but Amphitheatres, the term Colosseum dates to the Venerable Bede circa 8th century Northumbria.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago

Isn’t it interesting how things change without really changing at all. About 1900 or so years ago, the Romans attempted to eradicate Christianity by hounding them and hunting them and making public spectacles of them in their coliseums. About six hundred years later the Muslims waged a jihad and conquered most of the Middle East, North Africa, and much of Europe in a quest to spread Islam to all infidels. A few hundred more years, the Inquisition tried to stamp out the Reformation by once again persecuting, hounding, and torturing those who wouldn’t tow the papal line. Not long at all after that, the Protestants were giving as well as they had taken by hunting witches, publicly harassing anyone suspected of witchcraft, and inventing ludicrous stories about human sacrifice and summoning the devil to justify their utter disregard for their fellow man. And now today, we have self-righteous social justice warriors ‘cancelling’ anyone who doesn’t subscribe to their nebulous, ever-shifting dogma, and the wheels on the bus go round…. One day the shoe will switch feet again and today’s righteous true believers will be tied to the whipping post while somebody else, maybe somebody who isn’t highly regarded today or maybe somebody we’ve not even heard of yet, will be doing the whipping instead. Forgive me but my barely social Asperger’s mind sees this entire parade as incomprehensible, pointless stupidity, a form of madness I can only attribute to that human component which I lack, sociability.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Jolly
Claire Lessore
Claire Lessore
1 year ago

Great article. My only quibble is Prof. Stock’s mention of the rainbow religion’s adherents being ‘beset on all sides by hatred but turning the other cheek’.
Can anyone point me in the direction of an example of the LGBTQI’s doing such an explicitly Christian thing?

Claire Lessore
Claire Lessore
1 year ago

Great article. My only quibble is Prof. Stock’s mention of the rainbow religion’s adherents being ‘beset on all sides by hatred but turning the other cheek’.
Can anyone point me in the direction of an example of the LGBTQI’s doing such an explicitly Christian thing?

Robert Eagle
Robert Eagle
1 year ago

It’s reassuring to see that Kate Forbes is now edging ahead in the opinion polls. May that trend continue. But isn’t there another element in this matter that no one seems to be mentioning: that Kate Forbes is stunningly beautiful. Far more beautiful even than her hirsute main rival. I wonder if Scots, pondering who the next face of their country should be, will be moved more by this than by any ideology.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert Eagle

Certainly far more attractive than say Priyamvada Gopal, of the ‘other place’ for example.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert Eagle

Certainly far more attractive than say Priyamvada Gopal, of the ‘other place’ for example.

Robert Eagle
Robert Eagle
1 year ago

It’s reassuring to see that Kate Forbes is now edging ahead in the opinion polls. May that trend continue. But isn’t there another element in this matter that no one seems to be mentioning: that Kate Forbes is stunningly beautiful. Far more beautiful even than her hirsute main rival. I wonder if Scots, pondering who the next face of their country should be, will be moved more by this than by any ideology.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

Suspect some of the reaction to Forbes will backfire and in fact her honesty may gain her more than she loses. We’ll see.
More crucially perhaps is her age and experience. She’s v young and not a great deal of outside politics work experience. In that regard she is perhaps v much in line with the modern politician.
As regards her views – I think we should try to differentiate between those where she’s probably pretty mainstream now and those perhaps that might cause her more difficulty, even if just on an inter-personal level. All the candidates appear to be moving away from Sturgeon’s GRN stance, and her definition of a woman much more likely aligned with the general populations.
But remember she may have to work with colleagues who she is then on the record indicating they committed a serious sin in the nature of their personal relationships. I think vast majority defend her right to hold her views. Whether always sensible to show your full cards perhaps a sign of inexperience?

Andy White
Andy White
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

“remember she may have to work with colleagues who she is then on the record indicating they committed a serious sin in the nature of their personal relationships” – absolutely!

Kathleen Stock’s knockabout piece has made those commenting here so giddy, they are blind to the practical difficulties of putting someone whose personal beliefs are incredibly judgemental and narrow-minded in charge of a party and a country. Then there is the question of whether it would be a smart move tactically – do the SNP really want endless culture war? Some commenting here would undoubtedly be happy with that, and they would be more than happy to see the SNP shoot itself in the foot as well!

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy White

Sorry, but at the moment it is the LGBQT-mob that is being incredibly narrow-minded and judgmental.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy White

Sorry, but at the moment it is the LGBQT-mob that is being incredibly narrow-minded and judgmental.

Andy White
Andy White
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

“remember she may have to work with colleagues who she is then on the record indicating they committed a serious sin in the nature of their personal relationships” – absolutely!

Kathleen Stock’s knockabout piece has made those commenting here so giddy, they are blind to the practical difficulties of putting someone whose personal beliefs are incredibly judgemental and narrow-minded in charge of a party and a country. Then there is the question of whether it would be a smart move tactically – do the SNP really want endless culture war? Some commenting here would undoubtedly be happy with that, and they would be more than happy to see the SNP shoot itself in the foot as well!

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

Suspect some of the reaction to Forbes will backfire and in fact her honesty may gain her more than she loses. We’ll see.
More crucially perhaps is her age and experience. She’s v young and not a great deal of outside politics work experience. In that regard she is perhaps v much in line with the modern politician.
As regards her views – I think we should try to differentiate between those where she’s probably pretty mainstream now and those perhaps that might cause her more difficulty, even if just on an inter-personal level. All the candidates appear to be moving away from Sturgeon’s GRN stance, and her definition of a woman much more likely aligned with the general populations.
But remember she may have to work with colleagues who she is then on the record indicating they committed a serious sin in the nature of their personal relationships. I think vast majority defend her right to hold her views. Whether always sensible to show your full cards perhaps a sign of inexperience?

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
1 year ago

Excellent, thank you.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
1 year ago

Excellent, thank you.

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
1 year ago

Reading about the Wee Frees reminded me of the fate of James Mackay, formerly Lord Chancellor, who was expelled from the Church following his attendance at the Catholic funeral masses of two of his colleagues. Just in case you thought the Free Church was suffused with Christian kindness.

I liked this story from Mackay’s wikipedia entry:

“As a Presbyterian, Mackay was a firm believer in moderation. At a gathering for the Faculty of Advocates, Mackay had laid on a spread of tea and toast, complete with a tiny pot of honey. One of the lawyers in attendance contemplated the pot and remarked, “I see your Lordship keeps a bee.””

Dee Fraser
Dee Fraser
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

That’s the Free Presbyterians not the Free Church. A different branch altogether (tho given all the secessions I’m not surprised at the mix up!!)

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
1 year ago
Reply to  Dee Fraser

Oh dear – schoolboy error! Thanks for the correction.

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
1 year ago
Reply to  Dee Fraser

Oh dear – schoolboy error! Thanks for the correction.

Dee Fraser
Dee Fraser
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

That’s the Free Presbyterians not the Free Church. A different branch altogether (tho given all the secessions I’m not surprised at the mix up!!)

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
1 year ago

Reading about the Wee Frees reminded me of the fate of James Mackay, formerly Lord Chancellor, who was expelled from the Church following his attendance at the Catholic funeral masses of two of his colleagues. Just in case you thought the Free Church was suffused with Christian kindness.

I liked this story from Mackay’s wikipedia entry:

“As a Presbyterian, Mackay was a firm believer in moderation. At a gathering for the Faculty of Advocates, Mackay had laid on a spread of tea and toast, complete with a tiny pot of honey. One of the lawyers in attendance contemplated the pot and remarked, “I see your Lordship keeps a bee.””

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago

pretended to be taking the room’s temperature while actually turning up the thermostat

That is also very good.