How gullible can you be and still expect respect?
There are two ways to treat the electorate: intelligent people, a few uninformed, or badly behaved infants wanting constant discipline. The SNP chose the latter.
There’s a certain kind of naivety that is forgivable, the innocent of malice kind that ends in embarrassment for the unwary and unworldly. Then there is the naivety born of plain ignorance, emphatic statements and opinions made in the face of opposing and overwhelming evidence to the contrary, facts easily checked. Lastly, there is the crass naivety that comes out of the mouth of banal pundits and wannabee politicians who overlook the statesmanship part of the job.
Who could have predicted three SNP grandees would err on the side of calumny, Angus Robertson, Stewart McDonald and Alyn Smith? Castigating unnamed independence supporters is a category over-and-above those I mention. The paper is alleged to be open-minded but isn’t since it switched from the Sunday Herald to the Herald on Sunday, (neat Orwellian move) a rag that doesn’t know the meaning of a free press.
Their condemnation of Internet ‘cybernats’ as if one lumpen group is a totalitarian pronouncement made by people we assume are street smart.
The infamous diatribe was published a day after one of the largest and most audacious marches for democracy seen in Scotland this side of Votes for Women. It landed in the lap of hope like a turd.
The (old) Sunday Herald’s acrimoniously inclined, foul tempered former editor, Neil Mackay, has a track-record of suckering guileless SNP politicians, usually at the moment of their triumph. One can suppose there’s more mischief planned.
The endless article was his instigation, wrapped around a brick and chucked at the SNP’s good name. Convincing the Three Stooges to take part in the Herald’s chicanery was an easy sting. Cue jaunty Scott Joplin melody played on the piano.
Report? What Report?
The excuse of the Three Stooges was the existence of an SNP commissioned Report on Internet social sites. The Report unseen and not scrutinised by the public or debated in Paliament – its findings about as distant from everyday life as a homeless person is for a good bed – asserts some people who use the Internet are impolite, antagonistic, or damn well abusive.
The fear is, the persistent could be harming the SNP. If so, and to what degree, none are as destructive as a politicians. When nationalist MPs damn and accuse their voters you know Calvinism is alive and well in the pulpit of the SNP.
The SNP is not a body unto itself, separate from the people. It was born out of the electorate to represent the electorate. When a political party feels the electorate are the problem we should all shudder. Not to keep its fire power trained on the imperialism of the British state that harms Scotland every day, every week, is another indication of a weakness in its current fitness to lead by example.
Who reads Twitter?
Two things: very few people use the Internet for news or discourse, and those that do invariably swear they were swayed to support full self-governance by the very arguments and evidence placed in public arena by so-called cybernats.
Secondly, the Report was one that ought to have been discussed within the SNP rank and file not tossed out into the public sphere, thrown against a wailing wall like a plate of spaghetti in the hope something sticks on the face of a cybernat.
By turning the Report into J’accuse the SNP showed yet again that it is more interested in protecting its image – whatever that is – than in attaining self-governance by the simple means of informing the populace of the benefits of political liberty.
What is a cybernat?
Allegedly a cybernat is a person who uses the Internet almost exclusively to promote their opinion or to inform, or in extreme cases, to harass. (There is a ‘block’ mechanism to stop the malignant, but let’s lay that aside for now.) Apparently, but not exclusively, called a cybernat is to be tarred not a nice person.
As in everyday life, wherever there is human activity their exist bottom feeders; the Internet is not without its share of cockroaches. How they manage to block Scotland’s political and economic independence better than the British state, we are not told.
There is no firm definition of the pejorative term. It keeps company with ‘gook’, ‘Paddy’, chinky, ‘yoon’ included, and other xenophobic vilification.
Reducing people to evil ‘things’
To naivety: Labour’s Scottish branch joining with Scotland’s lords and masters, the Tory party, to halt Scotland’s democratic process is a case in point. When Labour will recover from that monumental public relations disaster is a ‘known unknown’. They caused a huge portion of the population to distrust them to such an extent Labour might never gain power in Scotland in my lifetime.
Johann Lamont set the tone and seal on Labour’s betrayal by smearing as low-life people who want ‘something for nothing’, the poor and the vulnerable, a warning Labour will not reinstate social security rights or repeal the worst of anti-union laws.
This is the party, remember, that has burdened Scotland with massive investment debts, paying way over the odds for new buildings for years to come, quite deliberately to hobble Scotland’s economic choices and keep it a mendicant grateful to the British state.
Angus Robertson is extremely foolish to trust a British owned newspaper, and foolish still to try and justify his actions. When you find yourself forced to explain not once, not twice, but three times, the people you were really rebuking was not nice, right-thinking people, you know you screwed up big time.
Robertson – and one must suppose the SNP hierarchy approved his master plan – was speaking about people who use the Internet and Twitter, people who want to think freely because they had been enslaved by ideologies fed to them by politicians for generations. The web gives them a voice. And yes, the Internet has opened the door to every sociopath with a grudge … and some of them are politicians.
In the tradition of tired men, the SNP forgot their role, seeking out the root cause of social malaise and address that, not condemning it in wild general terms. In telling people to stay positive, the Three Stooges were infinitely negative.
If there are people reciting unhealthy mass rhetoric it most likely our elected leaders and media encouraging demagogues to have their say.
The new totalitarianism
Intolerant politicians the world over are creating a new form of totalitarianism, one that is much more dangerous than a few Internet obsessives not keen on the light of day.
Whatever the SNP does to look radiant and bountiful, newspapers will besmirch one way or another. They ought to be used to it by now, and shrug it off. The public are not interested in cybernattery. People want to know what tangible things will be better after independence: produce in shops; job creation; land reform; our justice system; benefits issuing from being a member of the United Nations; and what will Scotland do if England goes to war and demands Scotland join it?
Get involved in chasing minnows, sacrifing passionate friends, concentrating on keeping a virtuous public image, and no Freudian cliché will be left unstroked.