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back to article Anti-gay bus baron rages at being stuffed in Google closet

The founder of Stagecoach is accusing Google of censoring him by dumping his personal website from their search engine results. Sir Brian Souter is a Scottish businessman who controversially funded a campaign in 2000 to keep the anti-gay legislation of Section 28 in the Local Government and Finance Act. Could it be Sir Brian's …

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A monopoly with an agenda

Sounds like Souter is getting a taste of his own medicine.

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why?

Because he campaigned for something? It isnt like he shoots people in the knee caps or forces gay people off his bus. It isnt googles business to block "different" views. I suppose google also blocks swedish neo nazi searches? No apparantly not.

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Missing the point

The man aggressively chased other bus providers out of markets across the country.

Doesn't sound to me like Google has done any such thing by the way, he simply sounds like a paranoid headcase.

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Megaphone

actually...

...-istr that 2 gay lads were forced of a stagecoach public bus.

what stinks is that for some out-of-town gay folk, we don't have a choice but to fund his hate.

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Sir Brian has in now way, shape or form ever been accused of censorship - what on earth does your bizarre comment allude to?

We all have a right to our opinions, and although the gay lobby might not like it, most of the world now and for most of its history has always been aware of the fact that homosexuality is a deviation, not the norm.

Censorship against the truth is amongst the last signs of totalitarianism.

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@ Dr Paul Taylor

"Sounds like Souter is getting a taste of his own medicine."

Aye, and he doesn't like it up 'im, or so he keeps saying...... ad inf.

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I assess websites for quality according to the criteria that Google uses. The reason that Souter's site has dropped in ranking is because Souter's site is low quality along several dimensions and Google's algos demote it. Google's search results aren't perfect but their crap detector has gotten much better.

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Anonymous Coward

> Souter's site is low quality

Being a personal site, that would seem to be an accurate reflection of him. That makes it high quality.

/search engine recursively imploding in the absence of an icon

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Exactly my sentiment when I took a look at the site. Which is weird as one would expect a fella like this have enough money to hire competent people to handle his publicity.

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Anonymous Coward

Self importance

Familliar. Often get jumped up big fish in a small pond types kicking up a fuss because their company isn't number one in the google rankings.

Had a few companies with <GENERIC COMMON USED ENGLISH LANGUAGE WORD> as their name wondering why they weren't number 1 on google.

On the plus side, his URL is now on the BBCs website so that'll improve things.

Nothing like free advertising!

AC because of opening paragraph - I still need to make a living ;)

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Hateful man

That is all.

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Anonymous Coward

Until now...

I'd never heard of the chap. National Express from now on it is then!

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I was at a Repeal Section 28 rally outside Manchester Town Hall 10+ years ago. Lots of Stagecoach buses drive around there. Suddenly one of them was leapt upon by a load of activists who proceeded to spray water-soluble pink paint all over the front, take a few pics, then just as quickly hose it down so they couldn't be accused of criminal damage. Beautifully executed and extremely funny.

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Childcatcher

tit for tat

looks like he's fine when he's the one behind censorship, but he's happy to cry foul when he thinks it's happening to him.

Given the Google (and other search engines) seem to rely on a number of factors including page rank to weight the order of the search results I can only assume very few people link to his personal site but lots do refer to his actions

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Holmes

Even more funny

Searching for BrianSouter.com results in the poor knight's site coming in second behind this article.

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Society doesn't need this...

There's no room in society today for people who insist on peddling ideas contrary to those of the masses.

The sooner people abandon their reliance on old-fashioned ideals to tell them what to think and start thinking like the rest of us, the better this country will be able to be free of thought controlling organisations that are pushing their distasteful ideas on the rest of us.

Some of us actually want to be free to think for ourselves, not having people like this telling us what to think. Free speech is one thing, but when people use it to try and stop us from agreeing with the majority, we're in trouble.

We need to re-educate people like this into being able to think freely, unrestricted by dogma, prejudice or bigotry. They need to understand that thinking freely will cause them to naturally arrive at the same conclusions as the rest of the free.

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Anonymous Coward

"There's no room in society today for people who insist on peddling ideas contrary to those of the masses."

Wow. Just... Wow.

"The sooner people ... start thinking like the rest of us, the better this country will be able to be free of thought controlling organisations ..."

Irony, thy name is _RCH_.

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WTF?

You really should read what you wrote there.

Let's begin with "There's no room in society today for people who insist on peddling ideas contrary to those of the masses."

So no dissenting opinions? Whatever we hear on the tube as being the most popular theory today is hereafter the only thing we can think? You sound exactly like the powers that were in the 50s and 60s. "Everything is as it should be, put down your anti-war signs!" As a matter of fact, you sound just like pretty much anyone who has been in the majority (or at least thinks they were) in the whole of written human history.

I just ran out of care to continue to debunk your thinking. Suffice it to say I value the right to disagree with the majority when it appears right to *me*. You can stuff your sheep herding.

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Big Brother

Creepy...

"We need to re-educate people like this into being able to think freely, unrestricted by dogma, prejudice or bigotry. They need to understand that thinking freely will cause them to naturally arrive at the same conclusions as the rest of the free."

And if they don't arrive at the same conclusions presumably it's back to room 101?

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@ _RCH_

"They need to understand that thinking freely will cause them to naturally arrive at the same conclusions as the rest of the free."

Was that meant to be satirical? (sorry if it was; having a fluffy brain moment and really couldn't tell)

Free thinking may well lead you to think the same as others, but not necessarily. And that can be a good thing, as most advances start by being rejected by the masses. Not that I think whats his face is right, just that he has the right to be a git if he chooses to be.

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Dangerous words

"when people use it to try and stop us from agreeing with the majority, we're in trouble"

"We need to re-educate people like this into being able to think freely"

From the sound of the article he is trying to censor the education of young people but not saying that homosexuality it's self is wrong, only that it is wrong to promote it. I am sure in reality his opinion is that it is wrong but that he realizes that such a stance will not get his cause anywhere.

50 years ago most people probably viewed homosexuality as wrong and without the minority who were using their free speech to say that it was OK we would not tolerate it today. You cannot choose who you grant free speech too and must accept that along with what you want & like to hear you will also get plenty of things you will not like.

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Did you forget the Joke Alert icon?

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Re: Society doesn't need this...

"There's no room in society today for people who insist on peddling ideas contrary to those of the masses."

Such people would be guilty of thought crime and wrong speak.

"We need to re-educate people like this..."

...in Room 101.

Luckily, Articles 9 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights give us all rights to freedom of thought and freedom of expression.

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Meh

Bingo

I only had to get 'Common Sense!' and I'd have got a full house. damn

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Pint

"Was that meant to be satirical?"

Thank you for spotting it. I thought I'd put enough clues in there to be honest but you're the only one who noticed... everyone else was too busy getting angry...

I thought the re-education bit would have given it away, along with the long stream of contradictions.

Have a pint on me y'all and apologies for the distress caused ;)

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Anonymous Coward

FFS

Is everyone so hell bent on being outraged they can't detect satire any more?

As title!

_RCH_, nice one.

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the only bit I don't get...

...is exactly who you were satirizing.

Unless it was a twofer, in which case, well played indeed.

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Anonymous Coward

I think...

He is bi-directionally taking the piss or I've completely misunderstood his stream of conciousness...

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Anonymous Coward

@ _RCH_

"There's no room in society today for people who insist on peddling ideas contrary to those of the masses.

The sooner people abandon their reliance on old-fashioned ideals to tell them what to think and start thinking like the rest of us, the better this country will be able to be free of thought controlling organisations that are pushing their distasteful ideas on the rest of us."

Don't I recall hearing a shortish gentleman with a natty moustache but too much hair cream saying the same thing a while ago? Chap called Adolf, IIRC - made a few million people disappear, too? Or was it someone from a bit further east called Joseph who did all that excellent work collectivising farms and disappearing a few million people? Or more recently that Cambodian chappie who had everyone with glasses massacred as being 'intellectual' - another couple of million disappeared?

I do so hope that my irony detector has suffered a temporary malfunction and I've just missed the joke: I fear not. But just in case, I'm not going to downvote the post.

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Anonymous Coward

Re:

To be honest I thought that was rubbish satire.

The main problem with it is that it's misplaced, since neither the article itself nor most other comments questioned the right of the person concerned to voice his views. They all had a go at what they considered to be a pompous, ill-advised, and technically challenged complaint about not being at the top of a Google search.

Thank you for posting it anyway, since the subsequent replies give an interesting insight into the mindset, reading, and analytical skills of what appears to be a fair number of readers of this site.

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ho hum

that's quite funny, but I think you'll get a few people not quite understanding the joke ;)

nevertheless; burn all the pedo's (yes, burn all the children, all of them).

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Alert

???!!!!

I can't believe the number of people who took RCH's post at face value and blindly downvoted it or rose to the bait. It's so obviously meant ironically, and at several levels, it's one of the best comments I've seen on the Register for a while, especially once you see how people responded to it. Sadly it seems RCH is right and most people are totally unable to think for themselves.

What do such a disparate group as Jews in Nazi Germany, people labelled as paedophiles, MPs filing their expenses, and Brian Souter all have in common? Hint: it has nothing to do what if anything they are guilty of. The interesting question is how uniformly the populace responds. It seems that most people like nothing better than to see a good lynch mob! Doesn't matter who the target is, just as long as there's someone one to vent one's anger and frustration at and you've got the crowd on your side.

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Anonymous Coward

35 people

just got trolled hard.

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Holmes

Doesn't seem too difficult.

I notice with some mirth, that this article has made the first page in the offending Google search, but no sighting of Brian's own page before my interest flagged around page 6.

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They do say

that those with homophobia are more likely to turn to the other side.

No I do not have the reference to hand but it was probably on the BBC so it must be accurate.

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I believe it was Quentin Crisp whilst being gay-bashed: "Why don't you fuck off back home before they find out you're queer?"

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£500k?

What a waste of money; he could have used that to sponsor several kids in inner city areas with mentors so they can attempt to keep away from crime and make something of their lives.

... but oh no, let's dig-up the middle ages dogma and force our blinkered views on people than need support and understanding.

What a choad!

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Anonymous Coward

If you believe the Private Eye

A lot of his money came out of the tax-payer via subsidies for his various transport ventures.

eg South West trains, Virgin (49%) , East Midlands

and the plethora of bus companies

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Anonymous Coward

Damn right!

like so many of these 'private enterprise' enthusiasts nowadays.

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Anonymous Coward

Stance

He states he is not homophobic but that we shouldn't actively promote homosexuality, especially in schools.

I totally agree on that one point.

Does that mean I am homophobic? No, it does not.

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Trollface

And sure enough...

... when I type "Anonymous Coward" into Google, there's absolutely no link to your personal website. *Censorship*, I say!

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Well actually you probably are

As I suspect your (and his) definition of "promote" us the same as most reasonable people's "discuss homosexuality in the context covering most major aspects of sexuality".

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Have a promotion

No one has ever suggested anything should be 'actively promoted', it's not like there's discount rent boys behind the bike sheds or bonus payments for girls who swear off men.

All that anyone does is mention that some people are gay and that this is perfectly okay.

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Don't be too quick to jump on his bandwagon. Specifically, parts of that section included things like:

"promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship"

which HE wanted kept in and others wanted removed (and it was). The impact of such things? "a number of lesbian, gay and bisexual student support groups in schools and colleges across Britain were closed owing to fears by council legal staff that they could breach the Act".

So while no-one is claiming that schools should put the idea of everyone "trying" a homosexual relationships into kid's heads, they are being lumped with people who didn't want schools telling little Johnny that it's okay that he has two dads/mums (specifically, that would be "unacceptable" as a family relationship), or that his gay sister is somehow "unacceptable". To the extent that support groups were shut down for fear of somehow portraying being gay as "acceptable".

I'm not gay but (as the line goes) I have gay friends, and have friends whose family includes gay people. I think you'll find that in school they suffered enough without the teachers being told BY LAW that they can't view a second daddy as an acceptable family member, or that they can only help a student who comes to them with issues about their sexuality by, basically, saying they can only be straight.

It's almost funny (if it wasn't so serious) to see a law worded, on a legal text, in a way that actively breaks much stronger laws on discrimination.

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Section 28 was a vile, and badly drawn piece of education, that forbade the suggesting in state maintained schools that a 'pretend family relationship' was acceptable. Honestly, I don't understand why it should be so shocking to say to people that, you know, it's ok if little Johnny has two mummies, so you shouldn't beat the crap out of him for it.

Worse, being so vaguely drawn, it ushered in an era of horrendous self censorship, and people using the vague "promoting homosexuality" notion as an excuse to refuse to do things, because no one wanted to be a test case (no prosecutions were ever brought). It lead to such nonsenses as Lothian Regional Transport refusing to allow a simple advert on their buses for the local gay switchboard - as a council run service, they worried it might be "promoting" homosexuality.

As others have pointed out, the idea of "promotion" is risible. Could you honestly suddenly become gay if I tell you it's really wonderful, and you'll have a great time? I rather doubt it, any more than telling me how great it is to be married to a woman is likely to turn me from a big fat poof into an adoring husband eager to make babies with a wife.

Oddly, these ideas about promotion seem to go with two somewhat incompatible world views; firstly, that homosexuality is so horrible and disgusting that everyone must be protected from it, while secondly also believing it to be so fabulous that the merest mention of it in anything other than the most disapproving tones will have all the local teenage boys banging away at each others' arses like steam hammers.

Needless to say, the real world's not quite like that. Telling people it's ok to be gay, or for someone to have gay parents, isn't going to suddenly turn the whole classroom queer. But refusing to acknowledge it, or to allow people to say it's ok, can and does have real consequences in terms of bullying and upset.

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Coffee/keyboard

funny as fcuk.

Aw, shite, I need a cloth now!

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@AC

You tell me how we can discuss homosexuality without "promoting" it any more that we promote heterosexuality by talking about it, and then you might find some agreement.

Otherwise you do actually sound like a bit of a bigot.

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Anonymous Coward

Acceptability

Mix together homophobes and people against activist social engineering and you get the following legislation:

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(1)A local authority shall not—

(a)intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality;

(b)promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.

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It's the (b) wot dunnit. It made it illegal for local government to say to children that a gay couple with children is OK.

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what else might be promoted

I don't want homosexuality promoted at school any more than I want religion or coca-cola or the BNP promoted at school. It's just not the right place to do it.

School is not supposed to be a propaganda station or marketing sink for whoever has the most money or political clout at the time.

Homosexuality may be an equal lifestyle in this culture but it's not a special one and it doesn't need special consideration.

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