James Dornan – a foot in mouth politician whose outrageous utterances are beyond the pale Part 1

James Dornan, b1953 is a Scottish National Party (SNP) politician and is the Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Glasgow Cathcart.

He joined the Scottish National Party in 1996 and represented the Langside ward on Glasgow City Council between 2007-2012. SNP group leader on the council until June 2011. He was elected in the 2011 Parliamentary elections, having failed to be elected in the Ayr Constituency 2003 and the Glasgow South-West Constituency in the 2005 UK general election.

He was also selected to be the SNP candidate in the 2009 Glasgow North East by-election, but stood down after it was reported that he may have breached charity law by acting as an “unpaid” partner-director of Culture and Sport Glasgow while he was covered by a protected trust deed – an arrangement which avoids a court-ordered bankruptcy. He was appointed SNP Depute Whip in 2012.

25 February 2020: Dornan announced he would not be standing at the 2021 Scottish Parliament election. However, in July 2020, he reversed his decision and announced that he would put himself forward again for election.

Later in July 2020, the SNP National Executive Committee voted have an all-woman shortlist for the Glasgow Cathcart Scottish Parliamentary constituency, ending his bid of standing for the seat again. Dornan announced he would challenge it. The SNP National Secretary reversed the all-woman shortlist permitting Dornan to stand. Dornan elected as the MSP for Glasgow Cathcart Scottish Parliamentary constituency.

Dornan courts publicity and thrives on controversy. Listed below are a few of his more recent headlines

14 Apr 2023: James Dornan, one of the SNP’s most active MSPs on social media, has been called out for his ‘grotesque’ conflation of homophobia and parents concerned by the harms of gender beliefs.

Reader comment: This little gargoyle goes out of his way to be controversial. This alphabet of genderism is divisive and unhealthy, call yourself what you want but women need to be protected. Now an organisation has had to change venues at least twice because of threats, just because their beliefs don’t toe the line with this rabbles outlook. These clowns shout and bawl about Democracy, they wouldn’t recognise Democracy if it bit them in the arse. Dornan is a hater full stop and him and the rest of them think they are our betters. What a state our little country is in.

12 Oct 2022: Glasgow MSP James Dornan has come under fire from domestic violence activists for making a deeply insensitive analogy for backing a statement online that compared Scotland’s relationship with the UK, to someone attempting to end a relationship with an abusive family member.

25 Jun 2022: Controversial SNP MSP James Dornan caused a social media furore after he retweeted a ludicrous conspiracy theory tweet from arch nationalist Bill Cruickshank who tried to claim that an ongoing controversy surrounding sex pest MP Patrick Grady was just the “Brits” trying to smear top SNP figures.

Westminster leader Ian Blackford was urged to resign due to his handling of the situation and the fact that the party only suspended Mr Grady for two days.

Despite it being a very serious situation, with Grady’s victim revealing he was “traumatised” due to the lack of support from the SNP.

05 Mar 2022: James Dornan was accused of hypocrisy after slamming Scottish Labour for selecting a former senior Orange Order as a prospective councillor.

In a post on Twitter he raised the question: “How could Sarwar support Dunbar while also following Holyrood’s strict policy on challenging racial and religious prejudice.

A Twitter responder pointed out that Dornan had form when he promoted the exact same thing when he and fellow Glasgow councillor Feargal Dalton posed in front of a banned Irish Republican terrorist group’s flag.

22 Feb 2022: James Dornan has apologised for making it seem like he thought the abuse suffered by a female journalist was imaginary, when he said her woes were imaginary. He said he did not mean “woes” that were “imaginary”. Confused!!!

But Dornan is full of hot takes. Remember the time he was forced to apologise for using the word “fag” in relation to then Tory MP Ross Thomson?

He later clarified he was referring to the public school practice of “fagging”, not the modern understanding of the word. He said he’d “apologised for any misunderstanding of the use of the word”. Hmm.!!!

And Dornan was reported to the Ethical Standards Commissioner for warning Jacob Rees-Mogg that “if your god exists you will undoubtedly rot in hell”.

After that particular foot-in-mouth moment, Dornan was forced to set his Twitter account to private. If only he’d kept it that way.

23 Nov 2021: It’s been some months since the last report on the antics of James Dornan, the SNP MSP and amateur Hate-Finder General.

The gaffe-prone Glaswegian managed, in the space of just one week, to get himself embroiled in multiple minor scandals after accusing an Edinburgh bus company had stopped services on St Patrick’s Day because of ‘anti-Irish racism’ (an untrue claim for which he had no evidence) and then for refusing to apologise for claiming Rangers’ players had sung a sectarian tune (another untrue claim based on poorly-doctored footage).

Three weeks later he also told the Catholic leader of the Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg: ‘If your God exists you will undoubtedly rot in hell.’ Nice!

Undaunted by past controversies, the amateur sleuth is back on the detective trail again. The Sherlock Holmes of Holyrood has deduced that the perpetrators of an attack on his office – in which a sign was taken down and allegedly urinated upon – were none other than… Gers fans.

But is there any evidence that ‘Rangers supporters’ taking ‘out their anger and hatred’ were responsible for this act? More than 24 hours after naming and blaming the Ibrox club, Dornan is yet to corroborate his claims.

He has posted screenshots from a Rangers website in which anonymous users express their hopes that supporters were responsible – but crucially, nothing to show that they were in fact responsible. In light of Dornan’s habit of throwing around allegations without evidence, it seems only fair to ask: does he have any proof to back up his accusations?

As mentioned previously, it’s not the first time Dornan – the poor man’s Mike Russell – has had run-ins with Rangers. In March 2019, the Celtic-mad MSP was forced to apologise to Rangers fan group Club 1872 after complaining they ‘abuse him regularly’ on their website and that moderators fail to monitor their user content.

Amusingly, this is the same MSP who subsequently penned an article for the Times titled: “Keep politics out of football and we’ll all be winners.”’ A member of Scotland’s governing party using his position to repeatedly demonise one of his city’s biggest clubs? Even Poirot wouldn’t have trouble solving this one.

6 Jun 2021: Dornan was forced to apologise for falsely claiming a bus company was discriminating against Irish Catholics when he suggested that Lothian buses cancelled their services on St Patrick’s Day over fears ‘Irish Catholics were to blame for the rise in anti-social behaviour which was proven to be false

15 Feb 2018: Deputy Leader of the SNP: So far the only definite candidate is James Dornan.

Dornan, MSP for Glasgow Cathcart, is a scowl in search of a grievance.

It’s as if the Almighty decided to sculpt an entire person around the word ‘haw’.

He is the embodiment of Wee Man Syndrome and the strain of angry middle-aged man that Scottish nationalism is so adept at recruiting.

Dornan speaks in a furious garble of indictments. ‘Westminster! … [rolling grunt]…Tories! … [indistinct argle-bargle] … Unionists! … [unfortunate run-in with a vowel]’ Every now and then a plucky verb makes a break for it, like Steve McQueen in the Great Escape.

Choosing Dornan would be good for diversity. The SNP would have a deputy leader who speaks English as a third language. It would also be top comedy value.

Dornan once mounted a campaign for Scottish Athletics to pay staff the living wage, leaving the national sports body to explain gently that it already did.

In January, he declared that repeal of the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act – which sees football fans lifted for singing songs deemed offensive – would ‘take us back to the 1970s’. The Act was passed in 2012.


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