Saturday, 11 October 2008

The Poison of the SNP

Welcome to the blogosphere - soon to be renamed 'The SNP chatroom'.

The CyberNats must have had a merry dance when Kezia Dugdale announced her blogging days were at an end, though I cannot see it as anything more than pathetic that this should be seen as a victory for the SNP.

There is a slight concern at Political Dissuasion HQ, that the SNP, when faced with someone capable, will turn into the News of the World in their relentless, irrelevant pursuit of someone just to break them. There are so, so many SNP/pro-independence blogs out here in blogland, and who can argue against it? If Independence is on the up, and people are feeling passionate enough about it to blog and write and debate, then that's just bloody lovely.

If the SNP/pro-independence supporters are just out to crush anyone else's suggestion that independence might not be the shining light for this country, then in that case what's the point?

Like her or hate her, Kezia Dugdale was one of very, very few Scottish Labour blogs out there, and as a result, offering a different opinion to the backslapping, thigh-rubbing SNP blogs, created GENUINE DEBATE. Like her or hate her, she was voted by the blogosphere to be one of the most popular blogs to read, voted for by folks from across the spectrum (yes, even some SNP supporters voted for her!).

She came in for stick, but she'll have expected that being one of very few prominent Labour blogs around. She'll have expected it, because although she defends him to the hilt, Kezia knows that Lord Foulkes is a walking ridicule of Scottish politics and like community art, is a waste of taxpayers money.

But why would the SNP be pleased that she's a goner? If she was just one girl, pushing 'nothing more than the party-line', then why would the SNP give a shit?

Well, I've realised, as much as the SNP talk about consensus politics and listening to the people and working together, that is not their end game. They want to ridicule and politically crucify anyone who stands in their way, especially in the blogosphere. The amount of abuse some anti-independence blogs have received has been ridiculous.
I've always had a sense that the SNP since winning in 2007, had a bit of 'gallas swagger' to them, which I kind of liked, felt Scotland needed. I always thought that Salmond seemed a wee bit too smug, a bit of a 'wee shit' sense about him, which after WetWipeMcConnell, we definitely needed.

But now, to me, there are strong elements within the SNP, both in Parliament and outside in the blogosphere, the street, wherever you find these Nats, that are just a bunch of nasty shits. Really, there are so many reasons I should support the SNP, and if you go through the archives, you'll see me applauding them and Salmond time and time again.

But they've just sort of gone back to being angry, sort of like Labour are now. They've obvioulsy realised that even if they get their independence referendum, they'll probably lose it. Which worries me. I've always worried about the SNP's 'Independence or bust' philosophy and I'm worried they're only willing to play nice if they get independence - if not, they'll just be an angry bunch of wanna-be freedomites, who just walk about in a bad fucking mood, looking for someone to take it out on.
This doesn't help when we have an opposition who is too angry at the SNP for winning.

Government - ANGRY with no easy fix.
Opposition - ANGRY with no easy fix.

Not a good set up for political harmony, methinks.

So this nasty edge to the SNP is eeking out. Disagree with us in an effective way, and we'll come after you, spend hours trying pick a hole in a mere suggestion, and generally, not being nice.

The arrogance of winning combined with the frustration of (probably) not getting independence is a Nationalist brew, as they had all these plans and dreams for an independent Scotland that their motivation, and their intentions have been hampered, leaving an impotent SNP.

As winter draws nearer, the skies, like the SNP are turning darker by the day.


Jeff said...

What on earth are you banging on about?

(1) Show me any SNP blog that has celebrated Kezia's retirement. I didn't spot one "merry dance" or anyone claiming a "victory".

(2) What's all this "nasty shits" nonsense? There is nothing tangible in your post to base it upon so what exactly are you referring to?

(3) Show evidence of anyone being "ridiculed and politically crucified"

This has been the silliest post I think I've ever read. Are you a heavy drinker?

Political Dissuasion said...

Jeff, "silliest post I've ever read"? That's quite a big statement, especially when all I was saying is that, there is a feeling of nastiness around just now within the SNP.

First of all, go to the Evening News article about Kez and read the comments section, sheer abuse.

Also, have a look at J Arthur MacNumpty's latest post. He obviously agrees that there is A SECTION of the SNP Brigade (I, at no point, said all Nats) that have this pathetic nasty streak.

"SNP member to supposed SNP supporters: you are the ones who should be packing up the keyboards. You're doing the party, its cause and its image no good at all. you're making the rest of us, the rational non-headbanging majority, look oafish. Step aside."

So I'm not the only one who thinks there is EVEN JUST A WEE BIT of bad in the SNP ranks.

I would show you full evidence but seeing as almost every point of reference was in Kez's comments section (as she was the SNP's only capable opposition blog), then it's not exactly possible right now.

But all in all, it's a sense I've been getting, not much specific, generally, but it's slowly, IN MY VIEW, been turning just that wee bit darker over in NatLand.

So fair enough, you disagree, but I could point out that, out of nowhere, I post a negative post about the SNP, and even the mild-mannered SNP Tactical Voting goes on the defensive. All I wrote was how I saw it (didn't say I was correct and my word should be taken as gospel) and suddenly a CyberNat is throwing a hissyfit and punches in my comments section.

Now imagine Kez had posted this, and try and tell me that she wouldn't have suffered ridiculously nasty comments. Thing is, I don't think you can honestly say that.

Indy said...

What are you banging on about indeed?

If you are accusing members of the SNP of being poisonous shouldn't you at least say who they are?

Or if you are talking about people posting comments on the Evening News website should you not acknowledge that in fact you have no idea who they are?

You don't know if they are SNP members or supporters. You don't know if they are nationalists at all.

Don't you think it would be a bit more honest if you made that plain?

Because anyone reading your post would think that you were accusing the SNP of organising a cyber-bullying campaign.

Political Dissuasion said...


You guys just don't get what I'm saying.

If I had a proof positive example, I'd have written it up. In fact, if I had one, this post would have been very different.

What I'm saying is that I BELIEVE that there is a negative aspect to the SNP party/supporters/bloggers and that slowly, I just get a SENSE, that this is eeking out.

It's like getting a SENSE that Scotland are going to beat France one nil, again. I can't prove it, I just believe it's what was going to happen. It's like SENSING there's something wrong in your relationship with your girlfriend, but not being able to pinpoint what it is.

I also BELIEVE that the majority of bloggers who posted enraged on Kez's blog were SNP supporters, and while most of them will have been doing so for the purposes of genuine debate, some will have been having a go for the sake of it.

I also BELIEVE that the comments on the Evening News article were very similar in tone to those regularly posted on her blog's comments and therefore BELIEVE that they were SNP-esque.

So if you want hard facts on this, I've got none. I could probably traipse through the blogs and find one blogger who says "Good Riddance" and turn round and go "Ha! I fucking told you!", but that's not what I'm on about. I'm saying I just have a SENSE of a slightly negative shift in recent weeks within the SNP and it's not something I like, and not something I THINK is going to dissipate any time soon.

So if you want to have a go at me for having an opinion, go ahead, but please remember that it's just something I've been sensing of late. I'm not saying that the SNP have moved into the murky world of organised-cyber-attack, but I do believe, with more than just a few SNP blogs, supporters, MSPs, that there is a general negative approach to it all, which may not be organised, but is, IN MY VIEW, spreading.

Indy said...

In that case should your headline not be 'What I BELIEVE to be The poison of the SNP'?

Should you not say that ‘People who I BELIEVE support the SNP, when faced with someone capable, will turn into the News of the World in their relentless, irrelevant pursuit of someone just to break them.’

Because when you say that ‘the SNP’ is this that or the next thing it makes it sound as though you are accusing the SNP – as in the Scottish National Party and its members.

If it’s just a feeling that some people who post as nats – and may or may not be SNP members or supporters - are nasty and vicious that’s not quite the same thing is it?

Or you could just say jeezo there are a lot of nutters out there in the blogosphere.

No argument from me - but that has hee haw to do with the SNP.

Richard Thomson said...

I have to say, as someone who's been on the end of attentions from the loopier fringes of unionist cyber activists from time to time, if you're looking for bile, you don't need to go much further than the CyberBrit trolls who hang around the Scotsman.

Now, I hope this doesn't become a 'your trolls are worse than our trolls' debate, because that would cheapen everybody. However, to claim, even if only by omission, that the only bad behaviour in comments sections comes from those who may support independence, deserves nothing more a robust dismissal. To aim your criticisms at the SNP as a whole, or even at 'SNP bloggers' is simply a hideous generalisation, and one on which after reflection, I hope you may wish to either retract or refine.

I've no idea what sort of comments Kezia Dugdale was getting. However, like Jeff, I know of no-one who was happy at her cessation. In fact, being honest, I was rather taken aback by the expressions of regret from SNP aligned bloggers at her decision.

However, if you stick your head above the parapet, you're going to get shot at. It's something we all face as bloggers, and it's how you react to it - either with patient courtesy, aggression, bluster, careful argument, declining to publish comments or some combination of the above - which becomes in large part the mark of your blog.

It's a sad day if the civil, straightforward contrary opinion offered by the overwhelming number of bloggers in the name of debate, whether they be unionist or nationalist in outlook, is to be presented as nothing more that out and out attack. Propagating that view is simply itself a form of trying to de-legtigimise alternative standpoints.

You're clearly more than capable of differentiating between the two - why don't you?



Stevie said...

Hmm.. as posts go, this is by far your worst effort yet.
Most of the comments I came across were genuinely sorry to see her go. She even had nationalist wellwishers prior to her sham Glenrothes candidate bid.
Never bothered much with Kezias page myself as I thought she spoke a load of mince, but at least she had a sense of humour. What happened to yours?