Am I alone in being struck by the self-righteous arrogance of Angela Haggerty and others who not only insist that different people have different rights but claim for themselves the role of ultimate arbiter of what rights people should have, or be permitted to exercise? By Haggerty’s account, Kezia Dugdale – a British nationalist politician of no discernible merit who just happens to be gay – should be permitted to act with total impunity in pursuit of her political agenda, while Stuart Campbell – a highly effective pro-independence political journalist – should be denied access to the courts in order to defend himself against a politically motivated smear. Or forego his right to avail himself of such legal recourse under threat of ostracism by the Yes movement – which, of course, Haggerty presumes to speak for.
How is this differentiation of rights justified? Superficially, at least, Dugdale is privileged simply because she is homosexual. Being homosexual affords her superior rights relative to Stuart Campbell. Being merely male, white and straight, Campbell’s status is automatically and unthinkingly assumed to be inferior by those anxious to flaunt their righteous radical credentials.
It’s a given that Dugdale gets to decide what is homophobic and denounce someone against whom she holds a bitter political grudge. It’s unthinkable that Campbell should get to decide what is defamatory and seek to defend himself against a petty, malicious slur. And this from those whose wont it is to ascend the lofty pulpit of their own ego the better to assail the rude throng beneath with pompous sermons on ‘equality’.
Perhaps sensing the weakness of a case founded solely on the assumption that a gay woman’s views must be more legitimate than a straight man’s, Haggerty tacks on a couple of other arguments. Firstly, that suing politicians for defamation might deter politicians from saying things that might get them sued for defamation.
And, yes! It is just as daft as it sounds. So maybe we shouldn’t spend too much time on this particular bit of ill-thought nonsense. Other than to say that maybe it isn’t such a bad thing that politicians should be a little bit afraid. Perhaps it’s a good thing that they should be aware they might be challenged. Unlike Ms Haggerty, I have no problem at all with politicians being held to account for the things they say.
Then, of course, we get the now ubiquitous pant-splatter about how whatever someone is doing or saying that doesn’t meet with the approval of the Yes movement’s self-appointed priesthood is ‘damaging the independence campaign’. This may be the most troubling and pernicious notion of all. Now it’s my turn to be offended.
I find it offensive that the cause which I have pursued for over half a century is being usurped by an assortment of statistic-wielding technocrats, posturing pseudo-intellectuals and prating, hectoring self-righteous ‘radicals’ who seek to define the independence movement as an exclusive club entirely owned by whatever elitist clique they identify with.
I find it offensive that these people seem so utterly persuaded of the righteousness of their particular political agenda that they assume the authority to dictate the terms of the debate and police the language of our political discourse.
I find it offensive that, while claiming to be the legitimate voice of the independence movement, these people seem more concerned with controlling discussion, creating and excluding out-groups and condemning ‘heretical’ dissent from their dogma than with speaking out against those who would deny our fundamental democratic rights.
I also find Angela Haggerty’s vacuous condescension quite offensive, but that’s a trivial matter.Views: 14988
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