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Monday, 10 November 2008

Homophobic bus man sinks hate money into city academy

Brian Souter, that evil sod who was so hell-bent on keeping Scotland’s version of Section 28 (the clause in the Local Government Act that sought to prevent the “promotion” of homosexuality by local authorities) has now sunk half a million into a city academy in England – and of course it will be pumping religion into impressionable kids’ minds.

And why is he sinking so much money into this project? Because its policy is not to “promote” homosexuality – although quite how you promote something that a kid either has or doesn’t is beyond me. It’s a bit like “promoting” the idea of having lungs.

“The city academy scheme, a flagship education policy of the [UK] Labour government, allows firms and entrepreneurs to take charge of schools in exchange for a fee,” says Scotland’s Herald newspaper. (Yes, and then they can force-feed their charges with as much superstitous nonsense as they like.)

It says that Souter’s Stagecoach, the bus company he owns, has “ploughed £500,000 into a city academy in Grimsby – the firm is unable to make a similar investment in a Scottish school as city academies have been blocked north of the Border”.

Scotland has some sense, it seems.

These city academies are notorious for being run by religious nutcases. Souter himself is a religious nutcase. It was his Christianity that informed his opposition to Section 28 (it was abolished eventually, anyway, so he wasted his money, thank goodness!) and is informing his “philanthropy” now.

Stagecoach’s accounts reveal that the transport company is funding the Oasis Academy Wintringham, a school catering for 1,100 pupils.

The school – which opened in September last year, replacing Wintringham School and is due to move into new buildings in January – is run by Christian group Oasis Community Learning (OCL) as a city academy.

Then we get to the nub:

A clue as to why Souter is offering financial support to the Wintringham academy is found in the school board’s sex and relationships policy, which states: “The Oasis Community Learning Board will not permit the promotion of homosexuality.”

Surprise, surprise!

The money will be paid out via the Souter Charitable Trust, his “personal vehicle for good causes” (and evil ones, too, if his opposition to human rights is anything to go by).

Souter is also a huge backer of the Scottish National Party (SNP), which is the majority party in the Scottish Parliament. This has prompted Labour MSP (Member of the Scottish Parliament) George Foulkes to say, “This shows there is a whole load of paradoxes about Souter’s support for the SNP. He is supporting a Scottish Nationalist party, but backing this sort of school in England.

“I just don’t understand how ordinary SNP members can support having him as their principal backer.”

Garry Otton, who for years wrote “Scottish Media Monitor” for ScotsGay magazine, and is the author of Sexual Fascism (about which I wrote an article in the print version of G&LH in 2001) is one of those leaving comments below the story. “[H]ow about getting religion out of schools altogether!” he says. “And what is a charity doing funding a school that is openly breaking international law by imposing on the human rights of young gay or bisexual kids in accessing appropriate support and education?”

Good question. But the nuttier Christians, who are fuelled by hate rather than love, are like that.

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