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Businessman who supported Section 28 pledges £500,000 to the SNP

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  1. This isn’t gay news.

  2. Mmmmm – I think it is. What exactly is Souter expecting in return?

  3. “SNP leader Alex Salmond welcomed Mr Souter’s pledge, calling him “one of the outstanding entrepreneurs of his generation”

    Mr Salmond forgot to say . . .

    “one of the outstanding homophobic entrepreneurs of his generation”

  4. Riondo

    Not much for only £500,000, I should imagine.

    As much as you all like to believe there is an anti-gay agenda behind everything, he is probably far more interested in Scottish independence than he is about a few gays.

  5. Mr Salmond and the SNP’s sympathy for Catholics to discriminates agianst gays is well known.

    Mr Salmond famously announced that he wanted to try and keep Catholic adoption agencies open, even if it meant them expressing a right to refuse gays . . .

  6. de Villiers 16 Feb 2011, 6:51am

    Imagine what would be the response here on the board if he had given that money to the Conservatives.

  7. mmmmmmmm-

    You say he would not expect much for only £500K, but this is a vast amount of money by Scottish election standards. If the SNP reach their £1M target, then it will be considerably more than any of the other parties.

    Also, you say he is probably more interested in independence than ‘a few gays’, but he hasn’t spent a penny on campaigns for a referendum on independence, but managed to spare £1M of his own money on a campaign to keep Clause 2A (Scotland’s equivalent of Section 28) in place.

    He’s also shown to have influence on SNP policy before – the last time he made a donation to the party, policies concerning restructuring of the bus network were dropped from the party’s manifesto.

    So I think this is why some LGBT people are worried about him, yet again, being the main source of funding for one of our biggest parties.

  8. I’d really like to hear from Brian Souter himself what his current views on homosexuality are.

    He has met my same-sex partner and I in a social context a number of times and as been very friendly and pleasant towards us both. I know that how people treat others and how they feel about them is not always the same, but I would like to know what he is thinking.

  9. mmmmmmmmmmm
    “As much as you all like to believe there is an anti-gay agenda behind everything, he is probably far more interested in Scottish independence than he is about a few gays.”

    He is £500,000 more interested in being anti gay than in being pro independence. According to the article.

    That’s 50% more anti-gay agenda in my book.

  10. Mmmmmmmm – don’t make silly generalisations and attribute views to me that I don’t hold. I personally believe no such thing.
    But it is entirely reasonable to believe that someone donating half a million to a political party is expecting some kind of pay-off.

  11. Of course this is gay news! A prominant anti-gay activist has bank rolled the SNP’s election campaign. If that isn’t an important issue I don’t know what is.

  12. Remember that the SNP dropped it’s policy on bus re-regulation after Souter gave them £500,000 in 2007, so they have already shown they are prepared to form policy to suit him. Also the SNP did help a Catholic adoption agency in Glasgow to by-pass the Sexual Orientation Regulations so that is now the only adoption agency in Britain that can legally refuse gay people. Then take into account that more than one SNP government minister has publicy spoken out against gay rights – Fergus Ewing and Roseanna Cunningham, for example. They have never been disciplined by the party despite it’s code of conduct for members prohibiting discrimination of sexual orientation. Strathclyde Fire & Rescue awarded damages to one of the fire-fighters who refused to go to Gay Pride after Fergus Ewing (who supported them at the time) took over as Minister of Community Safety with responsilbiilty for the fire services. There was the case of the Borders Councillor who made homophobic remarks on BBC radio and the SNP said his remarks were “personal” until a gay MSP in the SNP stepped in to demand action was taken – even then he was just given a 6-month ban and is back as a full member again. Also, the Scottish Government announced the other day that they would not support gay marrige in Scotland. So ask yourself if the SNP are really gay-friendly before you vote for them in May. By the way, I’m NOT a Labour stooge, I actually used to support the SNP until I realised how homophobic they were.

  13. Dan Filson 17 Feb 2011, 1:59am

    Folk in Scotland should draw attention to this use of Souter’s money instead of Stagecoach reducing trains and bus fares. They may consider the latter is more important than being anti-gay.

    Incidentally I wonder if the SNP is interested in breaking up the obvious conflict of interests in one person having interests in both rail and coach travel. Or maybe with this money they won’t consider doing so. The Beatles once sang “Money can’t buy you love…” Except in Scotland, clearly.

  14. Andy Robertson 17 Feb 2011, 8:03am

    As a gay man and n SNP activist I am so pleased this money will help us to fight the election against Labour.

    I personally know the First Minister of Scotland and he has no place for homophobia – several of his closest assistant are openly gay and nobody bats an eyelid about it – just not an issue.

    Most important thing about this story is the SNP winning against the Labour party which when last in powerin Scotland (with the Lib Dems) did nothing for the country apart from mess things up.

    Thanks Mr Souter

  15. Andy Robertson, you say that Alex Salmond has no place for homophobia. Then why doesn’t he support gay marriage, why does he allow ministers in his government to discriminate against gay people, why are so many SNP candidates conservatively religous, why did the Salmond’s government help a Catholic adoption agency to get around the Sexual Orentation Regulations, why was the Strathclyde fire-fighter given damages, and why does he take money from someone who is openly homphobic? As I said before, I used to vote SNP until I realised just how homophobic they are. I don’t support Labour, either, there are other parties you can vote for, you know.

  16. BennieM has nailed this issue time and time again on PinkNews.

    Also, only a man from Scotland could grasp the situation there as well as he does, and I for one would be interested in hearing the answers to his questions.

  17. BennieM, you forget the divisive divisions within the Lab-Lib Executive, SNP and Scottish Conservatives pre-SNP Government when Wendy Alexander attempted to abolish Sec28 (Clause 2A). This was a multi-party opposition and certainly not limited to the SNP. Re Strathclyde Fire and Rescue at Pride the individual settled out of court at an Employment Tribunal and had nothing to do with anyone in Government. Re Gay Marriage, First Minister Alex Salmond is on record for supporting gay marriage as are many MSP’s across the political spectrum. Individual instances of politicians making homophobic remarks is most certainly not confined to any one political party, they are all guilty! However these are individual cases and not reflective of the vast majority of MSP’s or any political party in the Scottish Parliament.
    Your generalisations and misinterpretation of the facts are not exactly helpful.
    As for Souter, is he really the only donator to a political party who might be homophobic? Wake up!

    1. So why didn’t Alex Salmond’s government ever try to introduce gay marriage? Any time he was questioned about it he said they couldn’t because it mean having different tax in England and Scotland, or something. Since when have the SNP EVER cared about doing something different than England? Never!

    2. How do you know the Strathclyde Fire settlement had nothing to do with anyone in government? Fergus Ewing spoke out in support of the fire-fighters at the time and he was later made Minister for Community Safety, with responsibility for the fire service. How do you know that he had nothing to do with it, given his views on the matter?

    3. As for what you say about Section 28 (Clause 2a), I never mentioned anything about the other parties stances on it, or even the SNP’s stance on it. I only said they accept money from Brian Souter who campaigned very hard (and very expensively) to keep it in place. The SNP have already dropped a policy which favours his business interests just after he donated to them in 2007, so what other policies might they drop or even form in future to suit their donors?

      As for homophobic individuals from other parties, I’m sure there are some, but there just seem to be an awful lot in the SNP who don’t get disciplined by the party and in fact get plums jobs in government.

  18. the Catholic Adoption Agency in Glasgow changed it’s constitution in a legal loop-hole which allowed them to circumvent the SOR. This matter is not devolved and will probably take a legal case to tighten up the legislation (bearing in mind Glasgow are not the only agency to defy the regulations…..some in England such as Leeds have also done so…)
    Fiona Hyslop was inundated by lobbying from Catholic Care and the RC Church and, like any minister would, met to discuss their issues. She also met with UK Gov representatives. That in itself does not equate to homophobia but ministerial responsibility. Again, the Equality Act and SOR are not a devolved issue.

    1. As you say, this was a reserved matter, so why did the SNP try to intervene at all by asking for an exemption for all catholic adoption agencies? They must have actively wanted to get involved in this matter otherwise they’d just have let the law come into being. When their request for all catholic adoption agencies to be exempt was refused by the UK government(who were responsible for this matter remember!), Fiona Hyslop specifically advised St. Margaret’s on how to get around the Sexual Orientation Regualtions. Just because a minister gets lobbied on a particular issue doesn’t mean they need to do what is asked of them. If that were the case, a minister would have to inrtroduce racist legislation if enough people lobbied them to do so. The SNP must have wanted to get around the SORs, legislation designed for gay equality. What does that say about the SNP? Also, the SNP government subsequently gave St. Margaret’s £20,000 to help them adapt to the SORs! Unbelieveable!

  19. OMG, anyone who’s seen/heard Brian Souter will know that he’s a closet case, and hiding his sexuality has turned him into a Tory loving sociopath. And I suppose, the Tartan Tories (SNP) look like a good punt for him.

  20. Violets49 5 Jul 2011, 5:10pm

    Soutar’s doination had little to do with gays but probably more to do with the Edinburg tram project and the SNP’s continuing lack of support! I doubt if he has all that much intrest in Scottish independence! AS a life-time SNP supporter,I am appaled at the party accepting donations from this man! it IS gay news,mmmmmmm! The man is an out and out homophobe!

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