Frothing Cybernats

I’ve watched parts of the heated arguments among Yes ‘alt media’ and various pundits drifting past for weeks. And I’m now seeing some posts, (which quite rightly call for cutting out any abuse), but do so in a way that, imo, seems most unlikely to resolve anything.

The intensity of the language, the raking back over years by some and the focus on individuals - neither ‘side’ is covering itself in any glory.

Amidst all this it’s very easy for misunderstandings to arise. For example, here the ‘blind-eyed’ members of the SNP leadership aren’t named and it’s not clear if they’ve been asked to comment? . . .

The SNP leadership knows the damage this fringe does to independence itself and to their party but they have, with a few honourable exceptions, steadfastly turned a blind eye to it for years. Although frustration with this behaviour is widespread, only their party leadership have the political strength and credibility with the zoomers themselves to sort it. So why aren’t they.
— Glasgow Herald

Nor is it clear how a series of repeat statements would help when the First Minster has very publicly condemned abuse in the Scottish parliament.

Ms Sturgeon said she “unequivocally” condemned abuse of any kind
— iNews

So there doesn’t seem to be a practical or substantive solution on offer in the ‘turned a blind eye’ statement, which seems to me to be, well, kind of turning a blind eye?

To add that, “only their party leadership have the political strength and credibility with the zoomers,” while not saying how this 'strength' is actually meant to work . . . where are the practical steps . . . it’s just not good enough to dis and go given the gold-plated salaries handed out to politicians.

The simple fact is Twitter controls Twitter accounts, not the Scottish Government. Realistically, if we wish to reduce online abuse we need to educate kids to use the Internet constructively and press Twitter to wire basic civility into their platform.

The same article goes on to note that:

“The Yes movement needs a hard reset. If we’re to be a movement which can take most of a nation with us, it’s time to show the door to those who think misogyny, homophobia, transphobia and vicious attacks are a price worth paying if they come from ‘one of ours’. Bigots and bullies aren’t my people and they shouldn’t be yours if you believe in a better Scotland.”

Does that include showing the door to politicians who routinely use terms like ‘robots’, ‘bayoneting’, ‘that wuman’? As for other commonly used terms like ‘cult’, sorry but unless you’re a psychologist or a psychiatrist what makes you in the slightest way trained to make such a judgement?

(This from people who wearing badges and rosettes, while going round in gangs endlessly banging on about how things should all be done their special way?).

Some random guy on Twitter or running a blog isn’t a public servant, but politicians are and I’m afraid it’s very clear that some of those protesting about the behaviour of others certainly don't come across as shining beacons when it comes to standards in public life. However much they may themselves think so.

In addition, those who perhaps don’t appear to keep their own house in order might bear in mind that the subject of the most persistent and hateful abuse around is Scotland’s First Minister.

In other words, I for one could get the impression some politicians go round complaining about abuse while far from discouraging it through some of their own actions? The remarks and sneers may be less up-front than those of the online bloodhounds, but surely politicians should be completely distancing themselves from anything that might have any chance of triggering or endorsing abuse.

Meanwhile, a “Micky Watt” (@mickywatt), who appears in a group photo, on June 9, 2016, stated: “A f**king hate Nicola Sturgeon, wish someone would shoot the daft jock b*****d”. An “Ashley Wager” (@ashwager93) from Birmingham, who is pictured with a woman, tweets, on June 6, 2016 that: “Nicola Sturgeon needs a kick up the c**t”.

There is more violent intent expressed towards the First Minister from a “Steph Drysdale” (@stephdrysdale), whose account also features her picture. She said on April 20, 2015: “If Nicola Sturgeon was in front of me I’d kick her f**king head in and probably really enjoy myself doing so.”

A tweet from an “RCH” @WoodsyOfficial, who identified himself as an entrepreneur from Leicester, on May 6, 2016 stated: “Nicole Sturgeon Does my nut in bring us some haggis u ugly s**g”. A man pictured with a young child, who calls himself “Brad” (@bradslife81), on June 9, 2016, says: “Feel sorry for the poor husband of Nicola Sturgeon. She don’t shut up and f**k me she’s proper pig ugly. Annoying f**king troll.
— Glasgow Herald

And that’s far from the worst of the hate in that article alone.

Options

How does Yes get out of a cycle of political and media abuse . . . imo reject it and go round it.

If some politicians and alt media associated with Yes in 2014 aren't offering an agenda for constructive change maybe just lose them. To be honest I already largely have. A whole lot more gets done by putting some work in instead of wading through looping debates about topics that have little or nothing to do with actually gaining independence.

Certainly the SNP can be seen going to some lengths to keep themselves out of the bunfights; and any notion they can somehow call up Wings Over Scotland and censor someone doesn't seem to me to be taking the whole issue at all seriously.

Equally, it is not difficult to see the effort put in on Scotland's behalf by many among the SNP. Others, well if you've nothing to show for the last three years in terms of delivering for Scotland, why would anyone place any faith in you suddenly changing and adopting a constructive or productive approach?

Right now in Scotland from an update I received recently:

People need to be very aware the far right have decided to try and infiltrate the Indy movement, groups like National Action and Scottish Dawn, Generation Identity Europe/ Alba (who use a bit of Gaelic in their slogans as a way of hiding their fascist beliefs). It’s all part of a global push towards the far right. Scots need to pull the finger out and face these scumbags head on.
— Yes Activist

Put simply, there's no more time for politicians who go round calling people robots or cults to get a hearing. Either keep out of the sneer and smear or don't try telling me you're doing the job you're paid for.

As for Yes media . . . time to politely make it clear where you stand on Yes. If you're essentially lined up with Labour for Independence then just say. I don't see anyone getting in a flap about Labour for Independence, because the stall is clearly set out and areas of agreement on Yes can be distinguished from areas of party political disagreement. Equally, if you're a Green fan who doesn't get involved in direct participation in environmental activism, or a 'Left' fan who doesn't actively face up to the far right - that's fine, but maybe don't lecture to those who do.

Links

Meanwhile, still the only outline plan anyone seems to have put forward so far to try to resolve any of this.

Glasgow Herald - Time to Show the Door to the Lunatic Fringe . . .

iNews - Kezai Dugdale, Nicola Sturgeon Clash . . .

Glasgow Herald - Catalogue of Threats and Abuse Against Nicola Sturgeon

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