Re: Cybernats Have No Place in Referendum Debate

In Yesterday’s Daily Record’s “Record View” section, a piece was published drawing attention to the “lunatic fringe” of the Yes campaign, telling us that the Yes side was riddled with lunatics lowering the tone of the debate and who should not be given a voice.

Cybernats Under the Bed. Image Credit- Leithal Yak

It follows the online abuse received by Clare Lally following an email by Campbell Gunn, special adviser to the First Minister, to the Daily Telegraph. The email told the Telegraph, quite correctly, that Lally was a member of Labour’s shadow cabinet and, incorrectly, that she was a relation of former Glasgow Lord Provost Pat Lally. Clare Lally, who came out in support of the Union as “an ordinary working mother” received a torrent of abuse via the social media website Twitter.

The Record, and indeed many other media outlets, have addressed this incident as the latest of many “Cybernat” attacks on individuals, following, most notably, the attacks on the author J. K. Rowling for her £1m contribution to Better Together. The Record, in it’s article, refers to these angry Twitter users as being part of the “lunatic fringe of nationalist opinion”.

The Record View states that “we cannot stand aside and allow such language and behaviour to become permissible”. Quite right, indeed we cannot.

But the Record, true to the stunning form of the British mainstream media, has completely neglected to address the other side of the debate. After all it’s not only the Yes side that has access to social media and let’s not for a moment pretend that the Better Together campaign is made up entirely of saints. However, toeing the line to exceptional standards, the Record wilfully ignores any hint of such misconduct on the part of the Pro-Unionist.

Let’s also not forget that the pro-Union attacks come thick and fast too with those on the other side of the border wanting to pitch their offensive remarks in too!

Two examples of such attacks appeared on my feed the other day, these are direct quotes:

@OfficialConny – “I want to punch Alex Salmond square on in the nose! Fuckin cretin of a man!!! #BetterTogether #FuckTheSNP”

@stevierfc – “I would gladly set that fat jumbo cunt salmond on fire & his shemale mate sturgeon”

The latter of these two could, quite easily, be viewed as a death threat. In the Record View’s own words; “Is this really where we have got to in the debate over independence?” Well, yes it is. Whilst I am under no illusions as to the vile comments made on the part of the Yes campaign, the mainstream media have to accept that this is, by no means, a one sided affair. The so-called “BritNats” are pouring out their poisonous filth and abuse onto social media too. Naturally, however, these people are standing up for what’s good and proper, so we needn’t worry about them.

The mainstream media, as I pointed out in an earlier post, are doing their level best to pain the Unionists as saints standing up for all that is great and righteous in the world, whilst the Yes side are made up of vile scum and villains to be chased away.

I agree with the sentiment that is being put across to an extent. We need to make sure that those who are campaigning for independence, or for the Union for that matter, are doing so professionally and that this kind of abuse is not allowed to lower the tone of the debate. It does, quite frankly, upset me whenever I see such remarks being made on either side of any debate; it lowers the tone of the whole debate and turns quite a few people off.

However, we can’t stop these people from voicing their opinions; to do so would be censorship and would undermine freedom of speech and political expression and hence the very core of the debate on independence. So what, then, can we actually do to stop this soiling of such a great political process?

It’s simple: Ignore them! I know that I sound like a mother talking to her bullied son at school “ignore them and they’ll go away, they just want attention.” Well, it works in this case and we know this from experience, don’t we? You’ve already proved it by ignoring the scum and bullies posting pro-Union hatred online. For all intents and purposes, nobody actually knows about the shite being slung around on the BT side of things.

But, of course, you have to ask why should you pay it no mind? Because it’s a non-story. People have been getting angry on the internet since it came about and they will continue to be angry online for the rest of time. It’s not like you have to pass a special test to be allowed onto the internet, anyone can get online and vent their ill-informed anger and stupidity via social media at anything and everything they see fit.

To the Record, and indeed the rest of the mainstream media, if there is one establishment lowering the tone of this historic debate, it is you! By giving these cretins – who in no way represent the views of the majority – the limelight, and thereby drawing attention to their vile and ignorant commentary, you are lowering the tone of this debate.

You, who sit up on your high horses, the mainstream media devoid of any kind of corruption or ulterior motives, have brought this “scandal” about.

So, if you want a fair debate you have two options: Broadcast the abuse from cretinous creatures on the No side in equal measure to that of the Yes side, or leave these comments and their writers where they belong – in the “lunatic fringes”, to be ignored as they should be.

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