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Friday, 10 March, 2000, 21:57 GMT
Brian Souter interview: Full transcript
Brian Souter
Brian Souter was questioned on BBC Reporting Scotland
Millionaire Scottish businessman Brian Souter speaks publicly for the first time about why he is backing the Keep the Clause campaign. Here, BBC News Online publishes the full transcript of the interview on Reporting Scotland.

Sally Magnusson, presenter: Mr Souter, what was it that so rattled you about what the prime minister had to say today which made you decided to break your public silence at last?

Brian Souter, Keep the Clause campaign: Well I don't think we need a lecture on new Labour morality from Tony Blair. Scottish parents are featured in these adverts and they are expressing concerns that Scottish parents have and I don't think he should try to demean that.

Presenter: But his position is that they are expressing concerns which are wrong, that you are peddling misinformation. He says no child is going to be given sex education classes in schools?

Mr Souter: Well we don't accept that - for instance the homosexual role playing which is in one of the posters. Maybe we would like to give the prime minister another fact that 180 of these packs have already been bought by schools, presumably waiting for Section 28 to be repealed.

We actually believe that the posters are expressing very genuine concerns. We are asking another question about whether homosexual relationships have the same moral values as marriage. I consider that a very important issue and I would like to hear what the prime minister thinks and not just to say trust "Labour on this".

Presenter: On the business of what is taught in schools, the new clause to be passed by the parliament actually prohibits all inappropriate teaching material - now does that not arguably give children better all-round protection against all sorts of material parents don¿t want to have their children seeing in schools then Section 28 does?

Mr Souter: Perhaps if we knew what the Scottish Executive means by protecting against inappropriate material then it would be helpful.

But the problem with this is it is local authorities who are left to decide that definition so while we trust our teachers implicitly we have local authorities which are often driven by political correct politicians enforcing on us these rules.

And Tony Blair says we have a right to take our children out of schools. Why should we take our children out of school when we are the majority? It just does not make sense.

Presenter: Do you worry about some of the ugly emotions that your campaign has unleashed on Scotland - gay people report feeling alienated and vulnerable, with increased attacks on them - does that bother you?

Mr Souter: Most of these reports are anecdotal. We certainly don't condone violence in any form at all and we don't believe that the campaign is responsible for that. The campaign has been focused on parenting issues. The object of the campaign is to protect our children and some of these issues have actually come about.... there are other things happening just now like the North Wales inquiry. There are other issues that may have raised awareness in the community and we don't believe Keep the Clause has caused the problem.

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See also:

10 Mar 00 | Scotland
Blair told 'stop lecturing'
24 Feb 00 | Scotland
Executive stance in gay law row
29 Oct 99 | Scotland
Schools' gay ban to be lifted
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