As a result of last night's bizarre episode, I was left with little option but to block another batch of 'trendy Yessers' on Twitter, so perhaps now I have even less to lose by saying what I think about the latest controversy related to Wings. I am, to put it mildly, a bit bemused by the suggestion that Stuart Campbell is causing a "schism" in the Yes movement simply by seeking legal redress. If a schism occurs over this (and I don't think it will), it'll happen because some people have lost their sense of perspective about Stuart to such an extent that they feel he shouldn't be able to exercise his basic legal rights. In the first instance, this is a private matter between Stuart and Kezia Dugdale as individuals. But, in order to bring a legal action against Ms Dugdale, Stuart requires funds. Some people have sufficient private means to go to court, but those that don't have to seek alternative methods. There is nothing illegitimate in the method Stuart has selected. On the face of it, it's very hard to see why anyone thinks they have a right to be angry about what he's done so far.
It seems to me the subtext of the complaints (and for the most part it is only a subtext) is that Stuart is 'obviously' guilty of homophobia, and that the court action is compounding it - in other words that taking Ms Dugdale to court is in itself a form of homophobia. That's getting into very dangerous territory, and it will come back to bite people if a judge decides that Stuart is not homophobic and was defamed. It may be a different story if the opposite verdict is reached, but that's a very big 'if', and at the moment too many people are putting the cart before the horse.
My own personal view is that what Stuart said about David Mundell was extremely hurtful but not homophobic. The comment would have been particularly wounding because it went to the heart of the experience of gay men in a society that doesn't accept them - ie. not being able to be true to themselves to such an extent that they might find a life partner of the opposite sex and start a family with them. It also arguably implied that any children that result from such a relationship 'shouldn't have happened', which is profoundly insulting for the individuals involved. But that's the point - it was insulting and hurtful for the individuals. To have crossed the boundary and actually become homophobic, I believe the comment would have had to say that society is/was right not to be accepting of gay relationships, and in fact it did the complete opposite.
The other justification for the "schism" argument is that Stuart is demanding support for his case as a "test of loyalty". As far as I can see, that's wholly untrue. He was irritated by attacks on him from the direction of CommonSpace, largely because he had strongly backed that website's editor in her dispute with the Sunday Herald and felt he deserved better as a result. But 'deserving better' does not necessarily mean active support - it could have just meant the absence of a rather gratuitous savaging. The idea that Stuart is trying to set himself up as some kind of overlord of the Yes movement is...well, it's a pretty obvious straw man.