A curious tale in the Scotsman this morning, with complaints that Scotland for Marriage's petition agin same-sex marriage (presently numbering some 9,000 signatures) lists a small number of "bogus" names, apparently including those of folk who actively support same-sex marriage. Improbably enough, the tale seems to be largely predicated on the assumption that there is only one person in Scotland called Paul Gray, which doesn't strike me as immediately plausible. As usual, however, the bigger titles miss the real story and the bigger scandal. Happily, Ecclefechan Mackay of the Kinlochbervie Chronicle has applied himself more throughly to the petition, and has unearthed some truly scandalous revelations...
Bogus names on gay marriage petition?
by Ecclefechan Mackay (MA), Political Correspondent.
The names of "dozens" of C-list Scottish celebrities were "falsely added" to a controversial online petition against gay marriage, the Kinlochbervie Chronicle can confirm. Wee Bessie McTavish, who once had a walk-on part in Take the High Road in the early 1990s and who hasn't stopped talking about it since, was "shocked" to discover her name on the petition while obsessively googling herself last night. "The only explanation is that one of these people saw a rerun of my episode, and maliciously added my name to their so-called petition. I'm horrified. I mean, its not as if Bessie McTavish is a common name, is it?" Other public figures with half-remembered faces you can't quite place whose names appear on the petition include Wee Jimmy Krankie, Chief Inspector Taggart and that-other-skelf-skinny-guy-that-might-have-won-the-X-Factor-a-while-back.Further investigations conducted by the Chronicle have shockingly revealed that the entire cast of Scottish soap River City have also been listed as supporters of the marriage campaign, including the "Shieldinch Strangler", who terrorised the tight-knit Glasgow community throughout 2003. It is now understood "at least half" of the names appearing on the Scotland for Marriage petition belong to “clichéd fictional characters and washed-up ex-celebrities reduced to humiliating Christmas panto appearances”, a spokesman for Strathclyde Police's Fraud Unit has confirmed.However, a prominent fictional supporter of the Scotland for Marriage group has hit back, arguing that the views of fictional Scots on the SNP government's same-sex proposals ought to be treated "with the same respect and seriousness" afforded to the submissions of the rest of the population. Take the High Road's Mrs Mack is one of the campaign's most vocal supporters, organising a series of tea and tablet rallies against gay marriage in church halls across the country. The judgemental harridan and oppressive busybody told the Chronicle. "I was blunt with Gordon [Wilson]. The group should be called Save Scotland from Sodomy but nobody ever listens to me". The fictional shrew admitted that she had signed the petition at least fifteen times herself, "to show just how much I and the whole community of Glendarroch support this admirable campaign".Whig MSP for Kinlochbervie West, Hector McPollick, has written to the Scottish Government, urging Ministers not to take the views of faded pantomime stars into account. Wee Jimmy Krankie continues vigorously to deny having signed the petition. "Oh no I didn't!" the pint-sized schoolboy insisted at a press conference yesterday, adding that a complaint has been lodged with Christopher Biggins, who has been contracted to "track down and wreak terrible, intestine-tearing vengeance against any bastard who dares to use my name in vain. Fandabidosi."A spokesman for Scotland for Marriage suggested that supporters of gay marriage had placed the names on the site in an “underhand tactic” to make it appear that Scotland for Marriage was run by people with a taste for mediocre Scottish drama and excruciatingly unfunny transvestites. He said: “This appears to be a malicious attempt to undermine the campaign. A police investigation would be welcome.”