Wednesday, 24 June 2015

"Abuse" and delegitimisation

First things first: it's unacceptable to send threats to people. It's unacceptable to intimidate people. Misogyny and sexism is wrong, and reflects badly on those who perpetrate it. If you do it, stop it.

Since time immemorial, the Unionists have had complete control over the dissemination of information in Scotland. Every single daily newspaper, every single Sunday newspaper, was written from a Unionist point of view, by Unionists. Sure, they've got the odd column by independence supporters (for instance, Joan McAlpine gets one page of the struggling Daily Record's more than 300 weekly pages) for "balance". Both Scottish broadcasters, STV and BBC Scotland, operate from the point of view that Unionism is the status quo est, erat, et erit, with Unionist viewpoints going unchallenged, and the ingrained, institutional view that it is the Yes side which must justify every mundane pronouncement and answer even the stupidest queries.

The rise, therefore, of direct dissemination, has caused consternation in the ranks of the Unionist media/political complex in Scotland. Unable to counter the flow of ideas and information directly to voters, instead they try to delegitimise its source. 

To pick one example at random, Margaret Curran said that if Alex Salmond was to be murdered, there should be no inquiry, and she - at the time a Labour MP and the Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland - would not be interested in seeking the identity of the murderer. This was an example of top bantz, and not a matter for castigation. 

Imagine, just for one moment, the hysteria of the Daily Mail and Daily Record if this had been, say, Mhairi Black laughing about the murder of, say, Jim Murphy? Imagine the Scotland 2015 and Scotland Tonight specials? The grim, stern-faced interrogations of Nicola Sturgeon? The inevitable Alex Massie article in the Spectator. Imagine the planted question from a Labour supporter on Question Time, and the rush from Labour, Liberal and Tory politicians to condemn the vile remarks as a shocked David Dimbleby looks on, disgusted at the latest appalling outburst from the SNP.

And imagine the blame game. A steaming Ian Smart would rant on Twitter that it was all the fault of Nicola Sturgeon, and that Murphy was picked for abuse solely because he's half-English (the fact he isn't being neither here nor there), and then the analysis would start. Former News of the World journalist Stephen Daisley on the STV website would be telling the nation that this is but a new manifestation of the "dark impulse..harboured in the hearts" of SNP members (that's actually a genuine quote). It would be a "cybernat problem". Why, oh why, they would wail, won't Sturgeon act?

The fauxrage would be magnificent, the anger palpable - and behind it all, the crushing terror that lies like a lead weight in their souls: that it's over for them. That regardless of how much they rail against the dying of the light, the days of Scots being told what to think and how to vote by the Daily Record, the Sunday Post, and some weirdo in a black suit behind a pulpit are well and truly over. Stories that are inconvenient to the Unionist cause will no longer be covered up. 

Scottish Labour can no longer pretend they voted against the Bedroom Tax at every opportunity - because if they do so in rags like the favoured Record, or the formerly Hitler-supporting, now Scottish Labour-sympathising Mail, the lie will immediately be shot down by Scotland's popular new media - sites like Newsnet, Wings over Scotland, Bella Caledonia, or Scott Goes Pop. On Twitter, and on Facebook, and on the other thing that children and soccer players post photographs on, direct empirical evidence will be posted to prove that it's an outright lie. 

Don't doubt this for a second: they hate it. They fear it. And they know that their loss of control of the dissemination of information is going to cost them the one thing they hold dear; the one thing they're in politics to defend and maintain: the Union. 

The control of the dissemination of information is everything. That's why in every military coup you see, the first thing the rebels do is take control of the television station. Why in every dictatorship, samizdat publications are banned. Why in totalitarian states, governments are so scared of information they don't control reaching the populace that typewriters are licensed and foreign radio signals artificially jammed.

So if you're wondering why the "cybernat" hysteria is happening, that's why. They are genuinely terrified.

And so, unable to control the source, or flow, of information, they seek to delegitimise it. Just as Stalin called reasonable criticism "American agents", or "sabotage"; "treason" or "counter-revolution", so the Unionists counter any criticism, of any Unionist public figure with "cybernat" or "abusive". 

So it comes to be that we're in a position where someone observing that Scottish Labour did not - as they insist - vote at every opportunity to remove the Bedroom Tax is transformed to "abuse". (Partly, also, it's because the professional classes are affronted that normal, everyday citizens have the temerity to question the order and worldview of things that they set out for us). 

It's why, if you observe that Margaret Curran and Jim Murphy gleefully voted to slaughter tens of thousands of people in Iraq, and thus deserve the loss of their seats and to play no further part in the discourse and governance of our nation, you're called a "cybernat". (If, on the other hand, your contribution to political discussion is to make jibes about Margaret Curran's looks, then you're an arsehole. No quotation marks necessary. I can assure you that Yes-supporting women receive daily, vile, misogynistic abuse from Unionists far in excess of anything the Unionists get - this is never reported in the media. Because it doesn't suit the "Unionists=victims/Yes supporters=abusive" narrative that the media has set itself, and is now set on proving).

Make no mistake about it - the chattering classes, the Unionist establishment, and the Unionists' media/political conjugate is running scared. They hate that they don't control what Scotland thinks any more. They are terrified. They know the only thing they won in September was time. They are railing, Luddite-like, against progress because they know that technological progress and the sea-change in how people exchange, solicit, transmit and receive information can only ever do them immense harm. 

And all they've got left is to conduct a "cybernats under the bed" witch-hunt to try and bully ordinary citizens into letting the clique control Scotland again. It's not happening. It doesn't matter how often the Daily Record prints photos of Kezia Dugdale wearing her Very Sad Face because someone called her an arse on Twitter, or how often Margaret Curran writes articles for Nazi-supporting papers demanding that Scottish politics goes back to 1997 again where everyone read the Daily Record, voted Labour, and lived in good old-fashioned poverty and didn't have any of those naughty old internets - those days are over. 

We are in control now. There's no need for a middle-man to filter information. The middle-men hate it. But the people who were doing the filtering hate it even more. 

As Voltaire used to say down the pub: "to determine the true rulers of any society, all you must do is ask yourself this question: Who is it that I am not allowed to criticise?". And you don't even need to go to the effort of asking yourself. Just ask the Daily Mail. And while you're at it, ask Margaret Curran, MP demeritus.

13 comments:

  1. Excellent. They can't seem to grasp the fact that we have as much information about things as they do, and don't need them telling us what to think about it anymore. We can make our own decisions and choices, and don't have to use their decisions and choices nowadays.

    Until they accept the fact that information is as freely available to the rest of us as it is to the media, we will continue to be treated to much hilarity from stuff like #memogate and #clypegate.

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  2. Excellent. Spot on identification of fear being unionist driver.

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  3. Excellent - best summation of subject I have read to date!

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. A good way to get a person to question what they support is to show them what Unionist supporters say online.
    Not make claims but to show what Unionist claim and how much of a lie it is.
    I didn't take much of an interest in things until I was told something by someone reading a newspaper. He thought it would win me over to Unionism, but it was such a lie about a subject I know really well it totally discredited anything Unionist said afterwards.

    Of course that's how Wings over Scotland works so I didn't discover anything new.

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  6. A good way to get a person to question what they support is to show them what Unionist supporters say online.
    Not make claims but to show what Unionist claim and how much of a lie it is.
    I didn't take much of an interest in things until I was told something by someone reading a newspaper. He thought it would win me over to Unionism, but it was such a lie about a subject I know really well it totally discredited anything Unionist said afterwards.

    Of course that's how Wings over Scotland works so I didn't discover anything new.

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