It’s taken me several hours to calm down before i felt composed enough to write this. It’s my fault, I should have seen this coming, but sometimes betrayal takes you by surprise and you miss the warning signs which were there.
This was the warning sign, Neil Mackay warming them up a few days before.
So, after two home made latté, a tuna wrap and a couple of hours killing zombies in Fallout76 to calm the anger. I’m ready to lay out my thoughts.
This is a public reply to Alyn Smith, Angus Robertson, Stewart MacDonald for what I consider to be a very foolish and misguided article in the Herald today. I’m not going to link to it and give the Herald the benefit of clicks and hence advertising revenue, so the tweet below details it, with screenshots.
“Interesting that senior SNP figures chose the weekend of the indy rally to cooperate with – surprise! – Neil Mackay on a massive witch-hunt/smear operation against Yes supporters in a Unionist newspaper” – @WIngsScotland
It’s very interesting that >90% of the article is attacking their own side, including using the extremely offensive, pejorative term ‘Cybernat’ and there is a tiny paragraph on the last page casually mentioning Unionist trolls, almost as an afterthought.
Let’s tackle these two first and establish why Twitter is so important.
“Cybernat is a term used in the media of the United Kingdom to refer pejoratively to online supporters of Scottish independence and the Scottish National Party.
The term was apparently coined by Lord Foulkes and was used by Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray in 2009. It gained greater prominence during 2013, after mainstream media sources reported that Sir Chris Hoy had been subject to online abuse for expressing his support for unionism in Scotland. ” – Wikipedia
It’s worth reading that Wikipedia article for one very important and fundemental fact about online social media abuse – Its overwhelmingly done by Unionists against Independanistas. Before the Referendum, Indy supporters were almost 3x more likely to experience abuse than Unionists and after it was merely double the rate.
“In March 2014 a Survation poll for the Scottish Sunday Express found that around 13% of Scots had been subject to abuse either online or face to face. The poll found that about 8% of those intending to vote No at the time had experienced such abuse with the figure for those intending to vote yes at 21%.
Post-referendum, a Panelbase poll for Wings over Scotland found that in terms of online abuse specifically, 11% of those who had voted No had experienced online abuse compared to 20% of those who had voted Yes.”
Way to go fellas! Giving credability and weight to a smear term, coined by your political and philosophical enemies who are already MORE guilty of online abuse and then use it against your own side and most loyal supporters rather than, you know, defending them! Are you insane?
No, seriously; Angus, Neil and Alyn … are you living in La La Land?
Twitter and the internet at large can be equally a delightful and a scary place, full of people with strong opinions, but Twitter and other forms of social media is incredibly important to the independence campaign.
Why? Simply put, it’s the only place where ordinary Scots get representation for their beliefs, feelings and thoughts about Scottish politics and get to talk about what they want as the future for themselves and their kin and to join together to campaign and plan.
We are not allowed to comment on BBC Scotland new articles. All of our papers, bar The National, are Unionist leaning (yes, so is The Herald) and Independence supporters get lied to and lied about by Journalists on those platforms. Lets look at a few recent examples.
Firstly, the BBC Scotland Business Editor, Douglas Fraser, choosing to belittle and mock a fair comment from an ordinary punter feeling misrepresented.
Then, Political Editor, Nick Eardly, outright lying about coverage during the SNP Spring conference, it wasn’t on every day and they even interrupted Nicola Sturgeon in favour of the Snooker. Read the comments as Nick is ripped a new arsehole.
Lastly, for the BBC, my open Q to Nick Eardley on why they blatently lied and misrepresented about the result of a key currency vote, which of course was ignored.
“Public Q for @BBCScotlandNews, @nickeardleybbc and @BBCScotland. Why did BBC blatently lie about the currency vote at SNP Conf when first published and why have you edited the story SIX times since? It’s all kept here – primary evidence” – Gavin Barrie
So, with no other platform to fight back against the immense power of the BBC and newspapers, of course people take to Social Media. Sometimes it gets heated, but if you don’t like what you see, then you block, mute or politelty engage, like adults.
Nobody from The SNP are visible on twitter refuting the lies from the BBC and the mainstream press. Their fact check team is a joke. It’s almost entirely @WingsScotland and people like myself.
Angus, Neil, Alyn, you don’t attack your own supporters and hand ammunition to your enemy, who will villify said people and smear them. Let’s remind ourselves how that goes, with this classic smear piece from the Daily Mail before #indyref1.
In case you’ve forgotten, this was one of the first times that the mainstream media tried to silence Wings Over Scotland.
So that’s my first point. They are attacking the wrong target and undermining their own supporters.
My second point, is that Alyn Smith, as much as I like him, is a massive, massive hypocrit. (I’ll come to Neil Mackay in a bit…)
There is growing and vocal movement of Women and their allies (including me) in Scotland, who don’t approve of, and are very concerned about measures that appear to be growing to change processes that allow trans people to re-assign gender and give them access to previously female only safe spaces.
[If you disagree with this short summation, I’d be more than happy to discuss it on Twitter and I apologise for the brevity, but the point here isn’t the arguements, but the genuine and shocking mysogeny, hate speech and abuse that’s going on towards women.]
Notably, this has been led recently by the very admirable Joan McAlpine, who has made a point of listening to and amplifying Womens’ and allies voices and concerns. This has made her the target of some horrific online abuse, most notably by a user going by the twitter handle @Montague90 .
You won’t find him active at the mo as he was reported to Twitter and Police Scotland for a lovely selection of tweets – examples below.
TERF is now recognised as hate speech by Twitter, never mind all the fucking off and the mysogeny … But you know the real kicker is who Jordon is exactly?
Jordon is Alyn Smith’s Long term partner. Yes really.
“OK that’s it, I don’t think I’ll be voting in the European elections. Alyn Smith’s boyfriend Jordon was one of the most abusive tweeters I’ve seen in awhile”.
“So, People like This Guy?”
“This would be Alyn Smith’s Partner “Jordon” who calls SNP members: “Ageing Nationalist Zombies” “
So, Hypocrisy. I think Alyn should focus closer to home, he’s not responsible for his partners opinions, but ignoring this and pointing the finger and Independence supporters is a very poor choice to make.
Lastly, my third point, is timing. Why did they write and release this the day after the papers should have been filled with joyous pictures of yesterday’s independence march?
Many think this has been timed deliberately, indeed, Neil MacKay tried to sabotage the march last year, when he was editor of the now defunt Sunday Herald. Remember this?
Indyref2 has a really good summary and reminder you can read through.
This was the catastrophic article and manipulated picture that saw the end of the Sunday Herald, UNder Neil Mackay’s editorship. Is he trying this as revenge against the Indy Movement?
In summary, I’m furious at the three of them for their stupidity, their misrepresentation and also, for aiming at the wrong targets. I’m not the only one thinking this.
They are NOT leading from the front. That’s the whole point. They are accusing their own supporters of being cybernats. Why have those 3 not called out the vicious abuse Joan McAlpine & Joanna Cherry got?Maybe cos Alyn’s partner was one?PS I’m now deciding whether or not 2vote
All of this whilst Joanna Cherry is trying to shine a light on the abuse Women get, they hijack a Unionist paper to smear the independence movement, as Joanna herself as commented on.
Hmm, go figure, eh? Almost like they had an Agenda.
P.S. The more I think about it, the more I think this is also a smear attempt against @WingsScotland and his followers.