In their urgency to foist Sturgeon’s nominated devolutionist successor on Scotland, the media are going all out against Kate Forbes for saying she could never vote for gay marriage. But they have not noted that Humza Yousaf also did not vote for gay marriage, he absented himself.
It is absolutely plain that he did this on a totally false pretext. He claims he had an urgent meeting with the Pakistani Consul General to discuss the case of a man on death row in Pakistan for blasphemy.
How can anybody argue with such a crucial mercy dash?
Except that the appointment was arranged, deliberately to coincide with the gay marriage vote, almost three weeks in advance. The chap could have been executed in the intervening period, if that was genuinely the concern.
The evidence that it was a deliberate ruse is cast iron solid.
The Equal Marriage vote took place on 4 February 2014. On 14 January 2014, three weeks in advance, the Minister for Parliamentary Business had entered it into Humza Yousaf’s ministerial diary (as all other ministers).
Just two days later, on 16 January 2014, Humza arranged his “urgent” meeting with the Pakistani Consul General for 19 days later, to miss the gay marriage vote.
This could not be an accident. The conflict would instantly have been highlighted in the ministerial diary – that is what they are for.
At 19 days’ notice it plainly was not an urgent dash to save somebody’s life. The awful cynicism of using such an excuse and sheltering behind the suffering is breathtaking.
Everybody at the time knew that Humza had deliberately dodged the vote, after criticism from the Muslim community in Glasgow (on which he depended electorally) for supporting the earlier stage of the Bill.
That is why this parliamentary question was asked, establishing beyond doubt these inconvenient facts.
All the Scottish media at the time knew that Humza had dodged the vote. Now he is the anointed one, they have conveniently forgotten it.
I might add something from my perspective as a former senior diplomat. The Pakistani Consulate in Glasgow deals with assisting the interests of Pakistani nationals in Scotland, and with visas. You might as well discuss a death row case with a Pakistani train driver as the Pakistani consul.
Consuls are low status diplomats. The Pakistani Consul General’s diary would not need 19 days’ notice to see the Scottish Justice Minister: he would be delighted to get the meeting.
Here is a photo from the Facebook page of the mighty Pakistani Consul General in Glasgow this month, showcasing his important meeting with… a Scot who shoots goats.
The notion that a meeting with the Pakistani Consul General needed 19 days’ notice and could only be scheduled to coincide with the gay marriage vote – is such obvious nonsense it insults our intelligence and damages the moral stature of all those who parrot the lie.
Humza bottled the gay marriage vote and came up with a really unpleasant ruse to justify it, profiting from the suffering of someone on death row.
For him then to attack Kate Forbes for her views on gay marriage – which are at least honest – is sickening.
I fully support equal marriage and I was very saddened at the time to have a slightly bitter disagreement with my old friend and mentor, Gordon Wilson, over it. Scotland has a legacy of social conservatism. Moving on from that is painful for some people.
I support Ash Regan. A breath of fresh air. Left wing economics and urgent on Independence.
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