Thursday 30 April 2015

This campaign of hatred must be turned off

As many of you will be aware I’ve been getting quite a lot of stick recently. It all started a couple of weeks ago. Firstly I said in a tweet something on the lines that I was one the more prominent Scottish bloggers. This is obviously true. I’m not as well-known as Wings and naturally people who only read Wings haven’t heard of me, but on our side I am one of the more prominent bloggers. I may not have as many readers as Wings does, but I get thousands every week, sometimes thousands every day. For their own peculiar reasons however the Nats went ballistic.

Secondly a Labour MP kindly tweeted one of my blogs where I argue that the UK is one nation and it’s indivisible. I made some comparisons with the USA and argued that the UK like that country was becoming a nation of immigrants and that this was a good thing. I made the point however, that any country requires those who choose to come to it to have a degree of loyalty and that I was always disappointed to find people, who would not like their own country to be broken up, to come here and try to break up mine.  This was twisted by my opponents who accused me of some sort of racism, when in fact there is not one racist sentence in my article. This once more set off a storm.

Finally I wrote an article that questioned the SNP’s assumptions and put forward a plan by which they could be contained. Everything I wrote was reasoned, logical and legal. But from that day a mass wave of attacks began.

It’s no good trying to relativise what is happening. Firstly it is a poor moral argument. Something is not less wrong because something else is wrong too. Secondly explaining to, for example, a rape victim that others have been raped too is not exactly sympathetic. Would you do that? I condemn all abuse and urge everyone to campaign politely and by using reason. I find it hard to believe that in the place where I was born and grew up such abuse occurs. I find it hard to believe that so many Scots are intending to vote for a party supported by people such as these. I don’t know where the responsibility lies. But this is clearly organised.  Here are some examples, with brief commentary. Judge for yourself!

This person is admitting to theft, but wants a refund. In fact he hasn’t read any of my books. He is simply criticising me because my politics differ to his. Would you want your children taught by someone who admits to being a thief? Of course he may just be joking. I’ve never met him. I have no idea why he is so offended by me. 

I have studied to post-doctoral level. I speak a number of foreign languages and can read a number of alphabets. Yet because I disagree with this person I am mentally subnormal. 

These people think I am either someone who has rabies or someone who indulges in glue sniffing. I would suggest that their tweets make them look rather worse than me. My arguments are abuse but their insults are not. This is odd logic.

This journalist thought it was funny to make a joke about me being a sock puppet to his cybernat friends. Odd that someone who is not prominent is mentioned by such a well-known journalist. 

Shortly afterwards I received this sort of abuse, that is similar in level and tone to that received by Ruth Davidson. The joke of the journalist obviously led to the tweet from his colleague.

For criticising the assumptions of this nationalist I am told to go first to England and secondly told that I a racist. There’s a contradiction here somewhere.

This nationalist thinks it’s fun to use mental health as a way to abuse people he doesn’t know. Many people in Scotland suffer from depression or other forms of mental illness. He doesn’t know if I do. But he and we’ll find others are happy to use mental illness as a way of abusing and insulting. This sort of abuse is such that it could cause mental illness. I’ve faced much worse in my life, but everyone has a breaking point. The abusers must realise that there is a person who they are attacking who may be damaged. It would be their responsibility. 

This nationalist likes to change my first name into a common swear word.

Despite having nothing against English people, many nationalists are desperate to find out if I am English. It seems anyone who criticises the SNP by definition must be English. Alternatively we must be mass murderers.

More insults about mental illness.

A common form of argument among nationalists is to make an assertion accompanied with a swear word. This is known in philosophy as the argument from the expletive.

This nationalist thinks that any criticism of the SNP is a criticism of Scotland and the Scots. She thinks I’m an enemy of the people. If Scotland became independent no doubt that’s just what I would be.

This nationalist is offensive in so many ways it is hard to count them.

More variations on the theme that I am insane.

This nationalist thinks I’m a crazed drug addict.

We’re back to the theme of mental illness. Anyone who disagrees with this nationalist is obviously insane.

This nationalist doesn’t think the abuse is orchestrated but that I did come onto their radar. There’s a contradiction here somewhere.

This nationalist wants to send some sort of threatening message from his friend. He apparently thinks there’s a problem with my grammar. I would call him a pot but I'm not sure he would get the reference.

This nationalist thinks that anyone who does not associate with nationalists is clearly a fascist and a lunatic.

Whenever a nationalist disagrees with me he immediately accuses me of being thick and my husband of not being a Scotsman. Sometimes I’m told that I’m not a Scotswoman.

This nationalist who appears unable to spell the word teacher claims to be educated, but his disagreement with me is not about literature it’s about politics. People like him think it is funny to leave negative reviews about my books just because they disagree with me. People who have actually read my books rather like them. This includes people rather more qualified than this teacher. 

This nationalist claims not to be abusing me while swearing at me.

This nationalist like so many others thinks I should leave. They’re friendly these civic nationalists, don’t you think?

This nationalist wants to proclaim that he is not a troll because he was swearing at me rather than someone else.

Here we have another nationalist desperate to prove that I am English. I wonder why.

This nationalist is quite original in in his insults. What does vinegar veined mean?

This nationalist does not appear to be able to ascertain that it was I that wrote this steaming pile of etc.

These nationalists think because I disagree with them I hate Scotland, that I am English and finally that I need re-educating. All the while they maintain their love of England. Yet it seems English is their worst insult. In fact lots of Scots support the UK. The majority of us voted No remember.

This nationalist thinks that because I criticise nationalism I am as bad as a prominent national socialist. 

This nationalist thinks I’m a witch. Perhaps he favours witch trials too. Again he criticises my books. How would he feel if I criticised his job because I disliked his politics?

This nationalist objects quite violently to the word prominent. But if I am so unknown how is that these people all fling abuse at me. There’s a contradiction here somewhere.

This nationalist again accuses me of the worst possible of crimes that of being English.

This nationalist may be more polite than the others but appears to  want a one party state. I lived in a one party state. I actually feel more offended by this one than all the others. Moreover, I begin to feel that I’m living in one again. 

This is what happens when you write articles criticising the SNP in modern Scotland. Waves and waves of nationalists attack in the vilest possible way. This is just a small sample. One evening I found hundreds of tweets from nationalists all saying exactly the same thing. They had filled up my timeline with their spam. It prevented me from campaigning. This is really an attack on democracy. To these people it is simply impermissible to criticise the SNP, but it is especially impermissible to do it well using argument.  These people think there is nothing worse than to do that. I am always as polite as it is possible to be on twitter. I write articles that are reasoned, that contain no foul language, that are praised by academics. I am followed by people I respect, journalists, politicians, academics. Some of these really are prominent well known people. Yet in Scotland even to dare to criticise the SNP is a dangerous thing. I have been subjected to abuse that could drive a weaker person than me to despair or worse. It is clearly orchestrated. It is turn on and turn-offable. Who controls the switch? This is a national disgrace and must stop. It shames Scotland. 

If you like my writing, you can find my books Scarlet on the Horizon, An Indyref Romance and Lily of St Leonards on Amazon. Please follow the links on the side. Thanks. I appreciate your support.