Joanna Cherry's cancelled Stand event: Culture Secretary Angus Robertson is a moral coward for dodging question on specious legal grounds – Brian Wilson

Joanna Cherry’s Fringe event should not have been cancelled

The Stand comedy club should hire Angus Robertson as a turn in his own right. Certainly, his reduction to bumbling incoherence when asked if he backed the cancellation of an event involving Joanna Cherry by the venue, which is in his constituency, was comedy gold. Or maybe not.

Mr Robertson is our Secretary for Culture and also External Affairs. Days earlier, he was insisting on his right to travel the world expounding “core Scottish values”, whatever these may be. Surely, at a minimum, they must include freedom of speech.

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There is, of course, history. Mr Robertson would not be Lord High Everything if that font of “core Scottish values”, the national executive committee of the SNP, had not changed the rules to prevent Ms Cherry from seeking the Holyrood candidacy in Edinburgh Central, now his seat. But surely that should not blind him to the difference between right and wrong?

I happen to think Ms Cherry is 100 per cent wrong on independence and 100 per cent right on the Gender Reform Recognition Bill. So what? Banning her views on either, or indeed anything else she might be asked about, is repugnant and only a moral coward would evade the question, while invoking specious legal grounds for doing so.

Wearing his cultural hat, Mr Robertson should consult the wisdom of our national poet: “Here’s freedom to them that wad read/ Here’s freedom to them that wad write/ There’s nane ever fear’d that the truth should be heard/ But they whom the truth would indite."



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