Debeaking Wings



How readers of Wings see its editor – halting the fire power of state propaganda

“An hubristic journalist seeking revenge for some perceived hurt is a minor annoyance compared to the power of mega-wealthy media owners, harvesters of lonely Internet souls. Facebook and Twitter have become Purgatory, the place where you must wait indefinitely until judged innocent or guilty, or agree to purification.”    

Grouse Beater ‘Clipped Wings’ September 2016

Deja vu – again

I wrote those words almost exactly a year ago, at the time of the last attack on Wings’ integrity. The essay holds up well.

This latest attempt to teach Wings a lesson is an exercise in debeaking the site to stop it pecking unionists to death. This time the editor Stuart Campbell was arrested, released on bail. The ultra-sensitive Metropolitan Police travelled to Bath for a chat at his home, and who knows, perhaps a sandwich and pint in the King Williams, followed by a punt in a painted barge around that beautiful city. Campbell did meet bears on his walk.

No press tickets available

To the press’s shame but independence watcher’s ennui, journalists stayed spectacularly aloof. Then again, that’s no surprise. To many, Wings is their nemesis.

The British press and media presenters remain socially distant from ordinary people and their problems while purporting to be their voice. They have become part of the unaccountable elite. Whether graduates of Oxbridge universities or rough hewn celebrity chasers they preach orthodoxy and intolerance.

Wings is ordinary people talking about politics with ordinary people, plus a few trolls.

 Perfect timing

The moment of this new attack on Wings is significant. Is his accuser boasting: “Well, Ah’m no afraid of the bastirt! Ah’m gonnae nail him”? There is no merit in his accuser’s wrath, and I can’t see the case ever reaching court, but it’s well timed. That gives the BBC the excuse to announce him in bulletins as controversial.

Who? What? Why?

A few weeks back Campbell decided to sue Kezia Dugdale for libel, she [was] the muddle-headed leader of Scotland’s branch of the Labour Party. She’s an MSP rejected by the electorate who could not tell you which way a lift was going if you gave her two guesses. She refused to retract the denunciation. Campbell gave her an honourable exit. She didn’t take it. She did not apologise, but instead doubled the offence.

Killing with spammers

Campbell calls himself ‘Rev. Campbell’. How do you deal with a troublesome priest?

You do it subtly, with malice aforethought. You accuse him of some misdemeanour that will keep him occupied dealing with it. It can be financial impropriety but that was tried months back. Wings mis-read a deadline for an  Electoral Commission spending return.

If you’re devious, you manipulate the system against the innocent. One reason the ASBO system lost adherents was the nefarious knew how to exploit ASBOs. They lied about their neighbour to the police and local authority. Their neighbour got a visit from the council’s well-dressed ASBO boys. The result was the neighbour you’d been harassing was now the guilty party. Job done. Taxpayer money wasted.

Politicians have a duty to act responsibly

No matter what Dugdale assimilates in the way of knowledge she can’t translate it into gravitas or wisdom. Without a moment’s thought, she made the reckless accusation in Parliament that Campbell is homophobic.

I can testify here and now, I have never seen him espouse homophobic opinion, ever. Moreover, at least two journalists he promotes are openly gay.

He is right to go to law, no matter how much others feel it ought to be water off a duck’s back. Either you care about your reputation as an honest journalist, it has a value, worth something, or you go and work for the Daily Mail or Record and forego a conscience.

Hidden in plain sight

The article makes plain the grievance described in press reports as ‘harassment’ is one of being ‘mocked’, [and told she is ‘a disgrace’ by Campbell].

Here it is almost in its entirety lifted from the public domain:

“A WRITER accused of malicious reporting on Scottish politics has continued to threaten criminal action over the response she received online.

Siobhan McFadyen, who has submitted various controversial articles to the Daily Express, was criticised by pro-independence website Wings Over Scotland for misrepresenting the 2014 referendum as containing “widespread outbreaks of violence”. McFadyen was mocked online in a wave of messages – at which point she began reporting critics to the police.

“People hate it when I incite violence. They’re a nasty hate mob. So unfair!”, joked Twitter user Jack Deeth. McFadyen copied the message to the Metropolitan Police, and said she would make a police report.

Another user ‘Commonly Neil’ added, “Siobhan, with respect and putting all enmity aside, I strongly advise you to consider backing away for a while. I think perhaps we all should, out of respect for the enormous hole that is being dug here. Meant kindly.”

Why are you threatening me? Or are you about to? You’re tell[ing] me to do what exactly? I am reporting both these accounts to police. And I mean it this time,” McFadyen replied.

McFadyen described Campbell as a “cult leader”.

Of the other kind of courageous editor

Here’s an oddity. BBC Scotland announced Campbell’s arrest on their tiddly news show, but viewers unfamiliar with Wings must be wondering what it’s all about. The BBC never feature what Wings is debating or criticising. They steadfastly ignore it.

The press is saying little. The Herald calls him a provocateur, another way of saying, until the independence debate, life in Scotland was tranquil, full of sylvan pleasures.

Much as our enemies try to divert us, it isn’t about Wings. Our struggle is about what we believe in, and what we are fighting for.



Post script: The case against Wings was dropped. Wings continues to thrive.

This is the sister essay to ‘Clipped Wings’:

This entry was posted in Scottish Independence Referendum, Scottish Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to Debeaking Wings

  1. Itchybiscuit says:

    Of course it had to happen. Establishment journos are fragile wee souls – how very dare we, the great unwashed, question their superior knowledge on all things Scotland.

    As for the ‘alleged’ complainant in the ongoing ‘case’ well, judging purely by their newspaper and Twitter output, ‘not quite the full shilling’ sums them up.

    Thanks GB, always appreciate your output.

  2. Grouse Beater says:

    No problem … so far! 🙂

  3. Haha Grouse enjoyed the read. Sales should have read sails though 🙂

  4. Grouse Beater says:

    Many thanks! I’m still making corrections 15 minutes after publishing it. An odd habit, I know, but I find it easier to fine tune published. Anyhow, hope you’re keeping well, and still fighting fit.

  5. Marconatrix says:

    Well that has helped fill in a bit more background, though quite how much really is conspiracy and how much just perfectly normal SLAB cockup only time will tell.
    BTW “con+piracy”, why did I never see that one before? Full marks! 🙂

  6. Great piece GB,
    time to circle the wagons i think,
    the gangs all here I see,
    hiya Alex.

  7. Well, done, Gb, a timely and excellent piece. It would appear that our enemies have now come to fight us.
    How terrified of us the British Nationalist Establishment must be…

  8. diabloandco says:

    I had a notion of the complainant and have read some of her ‘work’ – which should condemn her in the eyes of any thinking sheriff.
    What a foolish young woman.

  9. Grouse Beater says:

    Thank you. I’ve been careful not to name names …for in time we will know who it is, but all the evidence says one person.

  10. Machrihanish lad says:

    Correct. ‘How readers of Wings see its editor – halting the fire power of state propaganda’.

    Therefore, as you say, this is where the latest battle is taking place.

    Right ‘now’ and in the imminent days ahead this battle (and it is a real battle) is an attempt to mortally wound Wings – and also ensure that when the final blow comes no hero exists to galvanise future public opinion.

    Their intention is to create the circumstances where state propaganda can (resume to) hit its target at will and in abundance without retort. Where the message and intention of the no surrender mentality compliantly holds sway.

    To defend Stuart Campbell and protect what Wings represents we must use the Law. Why? – because the Law (and citizens taking recourse to the Law) is the one ‘unintended consequence’ the agents of state propaganda really fear. They already control the media, they already control key institutions but the State Do Not control the Law or our National (or International) Judiciary.

    Acting on our behalf, because that is what he is doing – Stuart Campbell deserves the best Legal protection available – regardless of cost to us. Not necessarily the most expensive – but for this battle – we definitely need the best.

  11. xsticks says:

    Spot on GB. The establishment is out to shut us up. What I do wonder is how concerted this effort is and who is orchestrating the attack.

  12. Grouse Beater says:

    It requires a lot of ready cash to pay lawyer’s fees, so if the litigant doesn’t have it, only the motivation, someone pays, usually the individual or group who support the attack and have the money.

  13. xsticks says:

    That would suggest that the person raising this litigation has the backing of their employer or perhaps an even more shady source of funding. This could get interesting,

  14. Grouse Beater says:


  15. hettyforindy says:

    Great article Grouse. Thanks.

    Certainly the establishment are terrified of losing Scotland, or rather, Scotland’s resources and a store for their disgusting, evil nukes. The people working for the establishment must know that it’s their kids and grandkids who will face the consequnces of this destructive, dangerous regime in place right now in London.

    It is the elite who will inherit the earth, if we let them. Scotland is in peril. Brexit will ruin Scotland, or rather the extremes of the extreme right wing so called government at WM, will ruin Scotland, especially if they think for one moment that the sceptical of 2014, just might have realised they are not ‘better together’ at all, and vote to be an independent country.

    It could be amicable, which would be the sensible, grown up, forward looking, civilised way to conduct thenselves. I hope the unionists can manage that, at least.

  16. Is there any way to find out who is financially backing the complainant or do we have to wait for Stu to get back in his seat and figure it out?
    Great read by the way!

  17. Grouse Beater says:

    I’d like to think whoever defends him is smart enough to ask the litigant that awkward question because they already know the answer.

  18. If I were a someone from the betting fraternity, which I am not I hasten to add, I would be laying down £500 on a win for the Rev.

  19. daibhidhdeux says:

    Thank you for this, Grouse.

    The jackals and other carrion are circling hoping for a tasty corpse.

    The selected pasty of a complainant will do as a morsel if the main dish eludes them as I trust and believe he will.

    The jurisdiction for this fit up is English, no?

    Trust this judiciary there will maintain their shining record of independence apropos the good Reverend as will their cousins on the Scots bench vis a vis the action concerning Ms Dugdale.

    Most interesting developments, indeed.

  20. Grouse Beater says:

    Yes, it if reaches the court it will be under English Law – and I’m as convinced as I can be that that move was to keep it away from sympathetic Scottish courts.

  21. Grouse Beater says:

    You bet!

  22. Great read, as always .
    30 yo from South London – had me going for about 30 seconds.
    This whole thing is completely bonkers, surely? …….on the other hand, where Scotland is concerned there should never be any surprises. (Albeit, all happening in England)

  23. Grouse Beater says:

    When next time comes, and it will as night follows day, we dare not feel we lack confidence to run Scotland and solve our own problems – to step back will delay it eons.

  24. Grouse Beater says:

    Thank you . There’s more where that came from:

  25. Grouse Beater says:

    Keep the good fight!

  26. Whatever the Rev needs by way of financing to fight this insidious action he will get from the people of Scotland. This scum are sorely mistaken if they think they can silence the voice of independence.

  27. gtcri says:

    Nicely done, GB.

    As you clearly state; “all the evidence says one person”. I think there may be a sizeable outcry (including from those who have been critical of Wings & The Rev in the meeja), were the verdict to fall against him for the published tweets & WoS articles. They are condemning and scornful and perfectly aimed but in no way threatening to anyone.

    Now that the msm have broken the story, they will no doubt be at court and will continue their coverage, bringing WoS some nice, free advertising and bring more to the “bright” side…ahh, the law of unintended consequences!

  28. Grouse Beater says:

    My concern – and its been a concern ever since I came upon Wings – is that its editor does not become the news story.

    That’s a classic state (or vested interests) tactic, a diversion. You isolate and smear. Campbell is justified in arguing he never planned for it, but by his belligerent approach on his Twitter site it was only a matter of time before an avenger exploited it. My hope is that if not the investigating police, then the presiding Sheriff tosses the charge out of court on its initial hearing.

  29. broadbield says:

    Another incisive (and amusing) piece. I have to confess I am a Twitter sceptic. Would the world come to an end if people stopped using a clearly idiotic medium to trade insults in haste and repent at leisure?

  30. Grouse Beater says:

    Aye, true, but it has its benefits if used with care and practice.

  31. Muscleguy says:

    Before reading this I had no idea the complainant was the fragrant Siobhan but I was highly suspicious that was in fact the case. So why am I not surprised in the least when learning of it. I believe the epithet ‘snowflake’ is apposite for her.

  32. Macart says:

    Many thanks for the concise catch up Grouse. I don’t really do twitter and I’ve been a bit out of it recently. I suspect the Rev may have plenty to add as and when.

  33. Grouse Beater says:

    Hi Macart
    I think the information I impart closes the circle. She warned Campbell what she would do and duly made the complaint. I saw the spat. Her intention and method was obvious; artificially whipping up hysteria to boost her cause.
    Some women are truly detrimental to the women’s cause.

  34. bettyboopwp says:

    Thank you. You have eloquently and amusingly described the situation in which Stu finds himself. That others rather than just the complainant are involved in this sorry and devious set up seems obvious. They will not stop. The State and its sponsors feel threatened and fear losing their grip on their last colony, becoming, by their own reckoning, a non-entity on the world stage, a small, insignificant country.

    There is no decent press. I have no idea what I would have read in the past 4 years if intelligent and talented individuals of integrity like yourself, Stu Campbell and some other notable commentators were not keeping us informed

    Oh, and you are right. Some women are truly detrimental to the women’s cause (whatever that might be at any given time!). We have been exposed to a plethora of idiots in recent times.

  35. Grouse Beater says:

    I appreciate your response. Thank you.

  36. Morag Kerr says:

    We need to be clear about this. There is no “litigant” in the contretemps relating to Siobhan McFadyen (let’s say it’s her for the purposes of argument – I note no denials have been forthcoming). She made a complaint to the police, the Met as it happens, presumably because she resides in London. The police have decided to follow up that complaint. Therefore she isn’t paying a penny, nor is anyone connected with her. The police (and thus the taxpayer) are footing the bill.

    This is all happening in England because it’s all happening in England. Siobhan appears to live in London and Stuart lives in Bath. There is no conceivable reason why it should impinge on Scottish jurisdiction in any way

    Stuart does need a good lawyer, and specifically he needs a human rights lawyer, skilled in defending people who have become the victims of state oppression under English law. An ordinary criminal defence lawyer won’t cut it. He needs someone who can turn this around, use the press against the bully-state, and make the story about how a political dissident has been targeted on the basis of a complaint so baseless it should have been dismissed as vexatious.

    I hope he gets her.

  37. Well said GB, as mentioned already, if Stu needs funding to defend this bogus charge I’m sure he will get it in plentiful fashion, he is a very necessary mouth piece/blogger for us real Scots with dreams of independence.


  38. Grouse Beater says:

    Morag Kerr

    Nowhere in my essay do I suggest the case will be heard in Scotland; so I’m unsure as to what person you are addressing that remark. I may give equivalents to commentators who ask.

    Nor do I suggest the individual in question is forking out money to give a statement to the MET other than, most likely, an UBER taxi. But the plaintiff will need a good council if its decided that it is a court matter and she has to give evidence and be cross-examined. That will cost.

    “Litigant” is here used as the plaintiff, strictly used in a law suit, for the person making the accusation.

    Wings has a first rate legal adviser. That firm will guide him accordingly. How do you think he’s managed to win past legal issues?

    Finally, an affair is ‘vexatious’ if the plaintiff continually makes the same accusations, demanding greater and greater sanctions be placed on the accused, even after the police have adjudged the matter.

  39. Morag Kerr says:

    I was referring to some of the other comments, not to the article itself. Some people were talking as Siobhan had done something that would cost money and thus implying someone must be bankrolling her. It’s certainly possible she has people either urging her on or exploiting her or both, but the route this is following doesn’t require the complainant to spend any money. (I’m not au fait with technical legalese, especially in England, but I think plaintiff usually refers to the person bringing a civil suit, as in Wings being the plaintiff against Kezia Dugdale). Siobhan made a complaint to the police and the police have chosen to take action on it (or been told to take action on it, I suspect), so it isn’t costing her (or her employers) a penny.

    Also, someone was hinting that there was some nefarious reason for the case to be heard in England rather than “sympathetic Scottish courts” (if such a beast actually exists and in this case I’m not so sure). Since the complainant and the person being complained about both live in England and were both in England at the time of the contretemps (so far as I know) there really isn’t a Scottish connection at all so there would be no argument for it to come under Scots law.

    Of couse it will cost money to defend a criminal allegation of this nature, and that’s where crowdfunding might need to come in. The point I was making is that this isn’t an ordinary petty criminal matter, or a civil suit. This is the abuse of state power against a political dissident, in an attempt to frighten him into silence and/or smear him so comprehensively that his work is rendered impotent. This needs a particluar legal speciality, a human rights lawyer. It needs someone who sees it for what it is – not just another Robin Hood Airport over-zealous cock-up, but a deliberate targeting of someone for political ends. It nees someone who can turn the press back on the police, highlighting the human rights abuse that has taken place, and work not just to avoid a conviction but to prevent the smears sticking.

    This will not end in a conviction anyway. It won’t even get to court – the CPS wouldn’t wear it. The object is to generate damaging headlines about Stuart being arrested and accused and so on. The police might go so far as to charge him though, to generate further adverse headlines.

    What a human rights lawyer can do is fight the press and publicity effort at its own game, dissuade the police from charging Stuart, prevent them from leaking damaging material to the press, and making sure that they don’t over-step their authority when dealing with his computers, such as going on a fishing trip for material unrelated to the original complaint. There aren’t many lawyers of this nature in the country – it’s a very different field even from civil litigation for defamation/libel/slander.

    I do hope Stuart decides to get the right person here, and meet them head on, rather than just playing a reactive game and waiting for it all to go away – which of course it will, but like Harvey, a lot of mud will be left behind when the waters have receded unless strenuous precautions are taken at an early stage.

  40. Grouse Beater says:

    It would be surprising if Wings’ Scottish lawyers had not prepared him for this sort of action, and had no contingency plan if it was solely English based.

    And on the crowd funding aspect, I’ve received communications from the concerned about a crowd funded scheme. If that’s needed I’m sure Wings will advertise it.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s