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The last hurrah

JUST when you think the embers of the Section 2A controversy have finally breathed their last, another stray spark gives them new life. It is a measure of the unexpected sight nowadays of the Church of Scotland occupying the high moral ground that there will probably be surprise that the ignition should have come from its General Assembly (page five).

The route that took the Rev Ian Watson to upset the Church's apple cart has been a remarkable one. The heady rhetoric during the Section 2A campaign about the risk of schools promoting homosexuality eventually gave way to an emphasis on the superiority of marriage in human frailty, which was then folowed by a debate on the merits of sex education. The assembly's debate was a classic one of biblical morality versus human reality, the age old preoccupation with whether young people nowadays see any difference between right and wrong.

In a sense, this is the last hurrah of the Section 2A campaign. Jack McConnell, the Education Minister, has taken the sting out of the debate by making sure the importance of marriage is embedded within the new guidelines. If Mr Watson now wants to take on what he believes to be the real enemy - manipulators of young people in the media - good luck to him. We suspect it will be a rather unequal contest.

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