The less-deserving pro-independence website

Wings Over Scotland


Louder than you can possibly imagine

Posted on August 28, 2013 by

We’ve recently been documenting the No campaign’s increasingly-panicked attempts to avoid, or entirely shut down, the Scottish independence debate by various means.

We were on the sharp end of it again last night, as the usual small group of frothing extremist BritNats and psychopathic stalkers (accompanied this time by a tiny handful of “useful idiots” from the SNP’s youth wing) tried to smear and discredit this site by crudely misrepresenting things I’ve said in a personal capacity over a number of years.

silenced1

But it’s not just us the anti-independence camp is trying to muzzle.

The data represented in the graphs on this page was compiled thanks to painstaking work by the staff of the “Silenced By Better Together” Facebook page. Set up a few weeks ago to chronicle in measurable terms the enormous amount of censorship that takes place on the official No site, it has since recorded literally thousands of instances of “Better Together” deleting and banning comments from users seeking to conduct entirely civil and factual debate.

The site’s proprietor, John Smith, had this to say of its findings:

“What is immediately clear from the results is that the Better Together online campaign has significantly higher rates of censorship compared to Yes Scotland. This result is reflected in a large amount complaints being made against Better Together for stifling the debate.

We have identified a number of methods being used by Better Together in order to censor comments. One method is to “Hide” comments made by individuals. This means that to the general public these comments are not visible, but remain visible to the original creator. Another more abrupt method is to simply delete comments so that nobody is able to read them. This is typically followed up with banning the person who has posted the comments.

The effects of banning a member of the public are a complete removal of their ability to respond to further debates or challenge any ruling made by the page administrators.

In order to fully understand why Better Together has adopted a high censorship policy we would need to hear directly from their online campaign team. However, the circumstantial evidence would point to an unwillingness to offer a fair and open debate on their page. Far too often it can be evidenced that Better Together are censoring comments without just cause.”

silenced2

A recent change in the way Facebook displays comments has meant that SBBT’s methodology no longer works, and June 2013 (above) is the most recent month for which figures are available. But that single month showed a staggering 1,648 comments – a whopping 30% of the total – deemed “unacceptable” on the “Better Together” Facebook page, many of them demonstrably not objectionable in any way, except in that they embarrassed the No campaign or disproved its claims.

Offensive comments are a problem for any website open to the public. But their extent is often greatly exaggerated, particularly by traditional media. Wings Over Scotland has censored fewer than 0.03% of the 80,000+ comments posted here since the site launched at the end of 2011, publishing the other 99.97% unmoderated.

Despite the No side claiming the referendum is already won, “Better Together” has deployed every possible means at its disposal to shut down Yes campaigners, including bullying, legal threats, physical intimidation, smearing, petty complaints to local authorities and spurious, time-wasting calls dragging the police out pointlessly to perfectly legal street leafleting. It regularly declines invitations to debates, and indeed now even hides the locations of its “public meetings” from the public.

But the voice of the Scottish people, suppressed on the subject of the Union for 300 years and finally set free by the SNP’s landslide victory in 2011, will not be silenced. This site, certainly, will not cower in the face of intimidation and defamation. The likes of “Silenced By Better Together” will also continue to record the No camp’s cowardly censorship of dissent and civil discussion. We and others will continue to challenge the lies and distortion of the media, all the way to 18 September 2014.

The attacks and manufactured outrages will only get nastier during that time. There will be more dirty tricks. There will be more smears. There will be more lies. We’re ready.

Print Friendly

162 to “Louder than you can possibly imagine”

  1. Colin Cameron says:

    The censoring stats for here are impressive – somehow you’ve managed to draw almost nothing but sensible debate with the occasional numpty.
     
    I would assume that the ~2 dozen deleted comments here are excluding spam? How much spam do you have to deal with here? I know that on a popular Facebook page you can end up with a lot of it, especially the “post this comment on 5 pages and something amazing will pop up on screen” type of nonsense, which would almost certainly make up a non-zero proportion of the deleted comments on both Yes Scotland and Better Together’s pages.

  2. fizzinghumanbomb says:

    the better together facebook page is a deeply unpleasant place. dissent is not tolerated, and so the paid sock puppets (reuben webbe, sneff sneff mitch, nicola surgeon and probably a couple of others) have a free hand to whip up increasingly hateful comments from the regulars.
     
    and the regulars are an interesting bunch. i’m in the distasteful habit (it’s like reading the daily mail – vile but compelling) of checking out their ‘likes’, and almost all of them have at least one, sometimes all, of the following types of pages –
     
    rangers (the majority!)
    orange order
    armed forces (serving and worshipping)
    christian
    anti-muslim
    ukip
    english/scottish defence league
    large dog breeds
    scottish expat
    they’re a very predictable bunch, and they are growing ever more shrill as the sock puppets crank up the manipulation. the sock puppets are interesting. right at the beginning i googled ‘reuben webbe’, and there is a guy with the same name working in digital communications in london. his linkdin page was open back then (might still be, i’ve not checked since), and he described himself as a freelance online pr expert and a ‘guerrilla ideasmith’ (!). i’m amazed at the contempt bt show to their followers. their stories have a patina of credibility, but the comments section is degenerating into a safe place for hate speech, encouraged by the staffers and freelancers at bt hq.
     
    curious

  3. Morag says:

    I’d quite like to see a small representative sample of the deleted comments.  Not the spam and the tinfoil hat brigade or the abusive rants of course, but samples of the most reasonable and temperate comments deleted by both sides.

  4. rabb says:

    I was about to write a colossal post on this but all I can say really is that it’s pathetic.

    The facts are now being propagated by the ever growing Yes grass roots campaigners. They’re almost everywhere now. It’s certainly already being noticed amongst my friends, family & colleagues. The wider public will be noticing too I’m sure.
     
    It will bite the unionists on the arse quite soon and by then it will already be too late for them.

  5. Arajag says:

    Morag says:
    28 August, 2013 at 10:28 am


    I’d quite like to see a small representative sample of the deleted comments.  Not the spam and the tinfoil hat brigade or the abusive rants of course, but samples of the most reasonable and temperate comments deleted by both sides.

     
    Indeed – By itself, the number of deleted comments is fairly meaningless. I tcould just mean that Cybernats are in general more abusive than Unionists. Making comparisons to the Number of abusive comments removed by this site is not really proving anything.
     
    What you would need is moderation of both sides being carried out by an independent moderator, but since thats not going to happen, I don’t think you will ever conclusively prove one way or the other as to why the No camps has more deleted/hidden comments.

  6. Luigi says:

    It’s all part of maintaining the lie.  BT aren’t duly concerned – as far as they are concerned, censorship is the tool of choice to swat away those pesty swarms of cybernats.  BritNats are highly allergic to cybernats – one small bite is enough to make the face go red and puff up.
     
    It’s exhausting work, you know, maintaining a lie. Another year to go and BT are already showing signs of negative story fatigue.
     
    Keep biting, cybernats!

  7. naebd says:

    Colin Cameron
    The stats are for the Yes Scotland facebook page, not this website.

  8. Murray McCallum says:

    fizzinghumanbomb
    I hope the nature of the bt facebook page and the comments shines through to undecided voters looking for information and comment.
    I’ve only looked at this cesspit once or twice.

  9. raineach says:

    In this, and the secret public meeting, and in the tone used, and in other matters, the No campaign fail to display the body language of a winning campaign, which is odd given the apparent levels in the published opinion polls

  10. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I would assume that the ~2 dozen deleted comments here are excluding spam?”

    Yes, excluding spam that’s automatically filtered out by Akismet before I ever get to see it. That makes up about 20-25% of the total, actually surprisingly low.

  11. NorthBrit says:

    Last night’s twitter assault was pretty shocking.
     
    First they came for RevStu.  And Pat Kane was not RevStu, so he sanctimoniously spoke out against RevStu’s heretical opinions and bravely ran away.
     
    Finding it very hard to be enthusiastic about the prospects for Scotland post independence based on the evidence of last night.  There seems to be no interest in free speech or logical argument and a totalitarian determination to demonise and ostracise anyone who deviates from mainstream prejudices.

  12. Morag says:

    As Arajag pointed out, a unionist interpretation of these stats would simply be that cybernats are foul-mouthed loonies who can’t post a civil argument on a web site, while britnats are polite and reasonable.
     
    We know different of course, but without any information about the content of the deleted posts, we’re not on a secure wicket.

  13. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

    @Arajag
     
    “Indeed – By itself, the number of deleted comments is fairly meaningless. I tcould just mean that Cybernats are in general more abusive than Unionists.”
     
    EXCEPT that those same ‘cybernats’ are the ones posting on Yes Scotland and Wings without any need for censorship. It somewhat undermines the theory of them being generally abusive of the opposition.

  14. If the No camp are a swarm of wasps, then we are a vast cloud of midges. Our bites may be smaller and less painful but there are way more of us and we’re everywhere. And we will win.

  15. Morag says:

    Finding it very hard to be enthusiastic about the prospects for Scotland post independence based on the evidence of last night.
     
    Oh for goodness sake, it was a handful of people getting worked up on Twitter.  That’s no sort of barometer for society in an independent Scotland.
     
    Read Ian Bell’s excellent article in the Herald today.  Post independence we’ll be much the same as everywhere else, in our own inimitable way of course.  Numpties will still have pointless arguments on the internet, but at least we won’t be holding our collective heads in our hands and bewailing that independence has brought us to this terrible state.  We’ll ignore them, or argue back, or whatever we do, and get on with our normal lives.
     
    Perfection isn’t a prerequisite for independence.  Perfection will not be attained on independence either.  But hopefully people will stop pointing to every stupid spat involving at best half a dozen people and declaring it shows we are not worthy.

  16. Doug Daniel says:

    “The attacks and manufactured outrages will only get nastier during that time.”
     
    Oh please no, I’m losing the will to live already, and that’s just the pious pish coming from fellow indy supporters who seem to think the key to winning the referendum is proving to the world how wonderfully right-on they are by going “urgh, look at this person’s views! I hate them! Everyone look at this person’s views and join me in telling them how utterly vile they are! Don’t bother to actually read what they say – just trust me that they’re vile and remember: subtlety is rubbish.”
     
    We were doing so well by just giving BetterTogether enough rope to hang themselves without needing to wade in ourselves. Why have all these well-meaning numpties decided that BetterTogether were actually onto a winner and started copying them?

  17. Rod says:

    I have been banned from Better Together and Vote NO page 14 times now, they simply do not like folk with a strong argument, I call them bullies, as most of the good debaters have been banned, if you read their threads you can see many of them attacking the one or two nationalist they have left, but I am always impressed even with one or two Nationalist they still have problems, I suppose because YES voters are far more likely to challenge the NO voter, if they did not trim the numbers they would be over run LOL

  18. Gillie says:

    Unionists fear engagement because it is likely to create momentum that benefits the Yes campaign. 
     
    Better Together knows the No vote is soft, and it is clearly in their own interests to keep this body of NOs in the dark and to feed them shyte. 

  19. frankieboy says:

    I witnessed the online abuse RevStu had last night. It was self-righteous indignation whipped up to hysterical levels. I might not always agree with a person’s point of view but I draw the line at those speaking from a moral hilltop.

  20. Derick Tulloch says:

    Glad I dont twitter 

  21. Angus says:

    If I ever had a chance to ask a question on an Independence debate forum on radio or tv it would be about the practice of censorship to public commentary by better together, I myself was banned for linking to proof that some load of rubbish they had cited was indeed rubbish, so two comments six months ago then banned forever.
    The only reason i noticed was because the smug old man who was supposedly countering my proof with his banal innuendo was able to act smug as he continued to comment smugly with no means for even a basic retort.
     
    My comments, all two of them, were clean, to the point and precise, not bad language or any such thing that I imagine would lead to being banned, but it seems ‘project fear’ has become a big feartie too scared to have members of the public out them and content to talk only to themselves.
     
    A disgrace, it should be on the front page of news media that better together are scared to be challenged at all over anything. I have never been banned from any news site or facebook page…….ever!

  22. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Oh for goodness sake, it was a handful of people getting worked up on Twitter. That’s no sort of barometer for society in an independent Scotland.”

    Aye. This was the biggest assault ever, Labour and Tories and media hacks and idiot bitter Yes types all ganging up and mounting the most concerted, sustained and hysterical attack they could summon, even with a couple of celebrities on board, and it reduced our Twitter following by less than 0.5% – barely over a dozen people out of over 4,300. Normal folk see right through it, or just don’t give a toss.

    Dunc and his Tory/Orange lynch mob’ll scream and scream and scream, but what they WANT is for me to panic and start deleting stuff and trigger the Streisand Effect. Unfortunately for them I’m not the least bit ashamed of anything I’ve written, so it’s not going anywhere.

    Always, always, always, the way to deal with bullies is the same: face them down. I’m disappointed in Pat Kane’s hypocrisy, shouting about how we need to be “Gandhiesque” even as he rushed to judge someone without even speaking to them – fairly sure Gandhi wasn’t big on that, Pat – but not all that surprised. He’s always been pretty hardcore PC, and I genuinely think his intentions were honourable if misguided. The shrill wee junior twerps from the SNP kindergarten and the pathetic, cowardly arsewipe that is Dan Paris from (sadly) National Collective, not so much.

  23. les wilson says:

    As far as I am concerned all this is just another attack on democracy in Scotland. To stifle honest opinion just because you cannot handle it, is hardly a democratic policy for fair discussion. Truth is the West spouts democracy at every turn, then when it goes against their interests, stuff like this is allowed.

    As I closely  follow the real events in Scotland, much of what is suppressed, I come to the conclusion, sadly, that there is no  democracy for Scotland.

    We have once chance to  resolve this,let us not blow it.

    We need to object loudly in anyway  we can, particularly online with all we have available, we need to avalanche them with complaints including the heads of Westminster, and on International forums.

  24. Angus says:

    Morag says:
    28 August, 2013 at 10:50 am

    As Arajag pointed out, a unionist interpretation of these stats would simply be that cybernats are foul-mouthed loonies who can’t post a civil argument on a web site, while britnats are polite and reasonable.”
     
    Ah but people are taking screenshots of their comments prior to deletion so they can easily prove that there is no ‘foul mouth’ rather more like ‘foul play’ by better together………they can’t hope to prop up their negativity on lies forever, it is up to us to catch them out as this article has done.

  25. ianbrotherhood says:

    This piece is 14+ years old, but worth a look. No idea where and when AS is speaking today, but he’ll surely make reference to what’s happening.
     
    Change some of the names in this – we may well see something very similar appearing tomorrow:
     
    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/1999/04/snp-a01.html

  26. Training Day says:

    Jeez, just looked at the Twitter exchanges.
     
    Is there anything more ludicrous than someone boasting about their tolerance and liberality while simultaneously trying to shut down free speech?
     
    The ongoing success of this site – where readers make their own judgements about the quality of the analysis and the writing by returning again and again – is more than enough to counter silly smears and irrelevant background noise.
     
     

  27. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Oh please no, I’m losing the will to live already, and that’s just the pious pish coming from fellow indy supporters who seem to think the key to winning the referendum is proving to the world how wonderfully right-on they are”

    In fairness, I’m not sure where they can escalate it to from here. This week alone I’m a transphobic, homophobic, misogynist, rape-apologist, disablist, ageist, racist, fascist, sectarian hate-preaching bigot. What’s left? That’s surely the whole set?

  28. NorthBrit says:

    @RevStu
    I don’t think Ghandi would have lived up to Pat Kane’s Ghandi-esque standards.  

    The letter to Hitler, praise of Mussolini and views on the Bihar earthquake would probably have resulted in an immediate Twitter unfollow…

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/07/the-real-mahatma-gandhi/308550/1/

    In terms of missing offences, I believe you may have used the subjunctive incorrectly at some point last week.

  29. Ron says:

    @Northbrit
    “Finding it very hard to be enthusiastic about the prospects for Scotland post independence based on the evidence of last night”
     
    Quite. I’ve said a few times over the last year or so, I do sometimes wonder if we deserve the right to make our own decisions. So many of us in Scotland are fucking pathetic.
     
    But the counter argument is of course that we likely have just the same proportion of idiots as anywhere else, so let’s ignore them and achieve independence. Having the 5million people who live in Scotland making our decisions, even bad ones, will be more democratic than 65million making bad decisions for us.

  30. Mosstrooper says:

    @ The Rev 11.24
    Yeah, but it doesn’t make you a bad person! Big smiley thing

  31. Murray McCallum says:

    Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
    What’s left?
     
    Unionist?

  32. Arajag says:

    Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:
    28 August, 2013 at 10:51 am

    EXCEPT that those same ‘cybernats’ are the ones posting on Yes Scotland and Wings without any need for censorship. It somewhat undermines the theory of them being generally abusive of the opposition.

    Of course it doesn’t. I can be as nice as pie, but put me on a “Bigots R Us” forum I’ll be rather less nice.

  33. Morag says:

    Arajag’s right of course.  There are a number of such screenshots on the SBBT Facebook page.
     
    What I often find (though not necessarily so much with these posts) is that the person holding the unwelcome view is being taunted with nasty sneers and flat-out lies, and finally snaps and posts something a bit tetchy.  That is then seized on as an excuse to delete all his posts and ban him.
     
    I’ve seen this time and time again on the homoeopathy forums.  On one occasion about ten years ago I took all sorts of flak from an idiot by the name of Xanta, who was perpetually misrepresenting scientific data.  She had a nice line in spamming the same comment (an erroneous summary of research she’d got from a web site) again and again.  I explained repeatedly and patiently that the actual paper didn’t say what she was saying it said, I explained what it did actually say, I quoted the passage in question and linked to the original article.  She simply posted the original erroneous summary again.  I said something like, “why do you go on repeating the same lie?”  I got banned.
     
    I recognise the same sanctimonious tones of the moderators at H’pathy Home in the BT moderators.  People on the “right” side can be as abusive as they like, people who challenge them are constantly lectured about their “attitude” and incivility and represented as out-of-control fanatics.  Then they’re banned.

  34. Ron says:

    Question Stu: have any of the ranters on twitter *asked* you what your opinion of Bradley Manning actually is? I seem to remember you said something very complementary about him early on last night, but it was buried in smear and second-hand rage.
     
    You’d think someone would actually ask.

  35. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

    “What’s left? That’s surely the whole set?”
     
    Not so… I’ve also found evidence you are intolerant to Wheat (and are edging that way with dairy too!)

  36. Gillie says:

    Rev says: This week alone I’m a transphobic, homophobic, misogynist, rape-apologist, disablist, racist, fascist, sectarian hate-preaching bigot. What’s left? 
     
    They forgot to add “swivel-eyed” – bunch of slackers. 

  37. Michael says:

    Honestly, as far as twitter goes some people are probably feeling a bit silly after getting themselves worked up last week about some manufactured nonsense from the No side. They need to attack someone else because they feel embarrassed and it’s a good way of making themselves feel better. Keep up the good work.

  38. Mosstrooper says:

    Re the nutters on Twitter I’m sure I read somewhere that in every population at least 4% are psycho’s. . Perhaps they all have Twitter? 
    Just thinkin’ like

  39. Ron says:

    What’s left?
     
    Salt-and-vinegar-phobic. You disgust me.

  40. Morag says:

    I’ve said a few times over the last year or so, I do sometimes wonder if we deserve the right to make our own decisions. So many of us in Scotland are fucking pathetic.
     
    I realise you countered that point yourself in your next paragraph, but this bears repeating.
     
    There is no requirement for everyone in a country (or even 99% of them) to be perfect, in order to “deserve” independence.  It’s not something that’s given out by the UN as a good-conduct prize.  Particularly not for good conduct on Twitter I might add.
     
    We’ve got the same ratio of numpties to sensible blokes as most other places.  And is the quality of discourse BTL on the Daily Mail or the Telegraph so uplifting that we should feel our best route to salvation is to remain in a union with these angelic beings?

  41. Albalha says:

    I come to this site precisely because it is a collection of a wide range of people; age, background, location, opinion etc.

    I know we would have a different point of view on a range of subjects but that’s what a country is made up of. Let’s get over the line then get down to the shaping of Scotland. What fun we have in store!
    Thankfully twitter is usually the same bunch of people saying pretty much the same type of things that most of the voting public are not party to.

    Had a gander at the twitter outrage and sadly it smacks of the ‘my YES is purer and better than your YES’ bollocks that is associated with so called left wing politics. All prompted by an agitator, you couldnae make it up.

  42. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    They forgot to add “swivel-eyed” – bunch of slackers.”

    I actually did forget “ageist”. (Kate Higgins last night.)

  43. Murray McCallum says:

     I do sometimes wonder if we deserve the right to make our own decisions
     
    If people want to reflect on an historic decision of a country to move to full independence from the UK I think Malta is a good example. It counters a lot of the Unionist nostalgia.
    – Malta was of strategic importance in WW2 and incurred sustained horrific attack
    – Malta is the only colony ever to be offered representation in the Westminster Parliament
    – Malta opted for independence despite all the promises and pressure put on its citizens

  44. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Salt-and-vinegar-phobic. You disgust me.”

    Actually I love salt-and-vinegar too. I blend my own vinegars. It’s tomato ketchup that can FUCK OFF.

  45. Alasdair Stirling says:

    ‘Cowardly arsewipe’
    Come on Stuart, don’t beat about the bush; spit it out and say what you mean 🙂

  46. Kenny Campbell says:

    “In fairness, I’m not sure where they can escalate it to from here. This week alone I’m a transphobic, homophobic, misogynist, rape-apologist, disablist, racist, fascist, sectarian hate-preaching bigot. What’s left? That’s surely the whole set?”

    Rangers fan 🙂

  47. Ron says:

    @Morag
     
    absolutely agree

  48. Doug Daniel says:

    Stu: “In fairness, I’m not sure where they can escalate it to from here. This week alone I’m a transphobic, homophobic, misogynist, rape-apologist, disablist, racist, fascist, sectarian hate-preaching bigot. What’s left? That’s surely the whole set?”
     
    As I said on Twitter, surely it would be far more accurate to simply say “misanthrope”? I mean, how many -isms does one have to be supposedly prejudiced against, and how many separate interest groups does one have to apply the exact same tone with, before people realise “oh, they’re actually just like that with everyone“?
     
    Murray: “Unionist?”
     
    That’s the day I join the baying mob in shouting to all my followers to ignore his vile filth.

  49. Taranaich says:

    I’ve always maintained that the high ground is always the best ground, and one of the Yes side’s biggest strengths is to not engage in such bigoted hatred. Naturally not every pro-Indy person is a nice person, just as not every anti-Indy person is a nasty person: we’re all just people. So in my dealings with the No side, I’ve always tried to be cordial and genial as possible: I come from the opinion that an informed No voter only votes that way because they truly believe this is the best for the people of Scotland, and until proven otherwise, that’s how I’ll treat them. We both want the same thing, we just have different opinions on how to achieve it.
     
    There’s this phenomenon on the internet called “Social Justice Warrior,” who make a point of trying to improve equal opportunities and representation for minorities. And it’s a good cause at its core: you need only look at the despicable actions of ATOS to see that we really need to make a stand.
     
    The Twitter stushie from last night was not an example of that. The problem with a very vocal minority of SJW is that they tend to lose focus: instead of trying to make things better for the disadvantaged, they try to make things worse for those they perceive to be “the problem,” be they genuinely causing harm, or simply misguided/misinformed. So what you end up with is a “circle jerk of Justice” where no good is being done whatsoever, but these people get immense satisfaction in “putting bigots in their place.” Have they actually furthered their cause? Have they actually made things better? Doesn’t matter, what matters is they feel better.
     
    At its very worst, it’s a perversion of its core goals used as a cover for bullying, marginalisation and abuse – the very things they purport to oppose. All the time some of the people spent on Twitter accusing Rev of transphobia could have been spent doing some actual good. Protest against anti-transgender legislation, highlight positive and negative news, offer support to trans people in difficulty even if it’s just moral support. Anything would be better than arguing with someone on Twitter based on the language used.
     
    I will happily subscribe to the Ghandi approach, but it isn’t a case of “this is what you SHOULD do”: it’s what works or doesn’t work for you. Rev favours the Malcolm X approach, I favour the Martin Luther King approach. Both are valid ways to make your point, so why argue?

  50. Ron says:

    It’s tomato ketchup that can FUCK OFF.
     
    Actually, that’s fair enough.

  51. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Question Stu: have any of the ranters on twitter *asked* you what your opinion of Bradley Manning actually is? I seem to remember you said something very complementary about him early on last night, but it was buried in smear and second-hand rage.”

    No. I even invited some, including Pat Kane, to say what they THOUGHT I’d actually said, but nobody took up the offer. Might as well put it here for the record:

    As far as I’m concerned Bradley Manning is an incredibly brave and principled man. I’d go so far as to say “hero”. He sacrificed his own life for what he thought was right, and was treated abysmally and disgracefully by a country that should have given him a medal.

    In so far as it’s any of my business (ie not at all) he can call himself whatever he wants (if I should ever meet him and he wants to be called Chelsea, I’ll call him Chelsea), he can dress however he wants, fall in love with whoever he wants, have sex with whoever he wants, marry whoever he wants and live however he wants.

    (All the above notwithstanding the fact that he’s going to be in prison for the next 35 years.)

    I have no interest whatsoever in laying down rules about how anyone lives their life, unless it directly affects me. All I ask, and it doesn’t seem all that controversial to me, is that people don’t get to dictate whether *I* think he’s a man or a woman. Because I’m with biology on that one, and I will NOT be made to feel by some sanctimonious little wankhole that that’s an outrageous position. 

  52. Murray McCallum says:

    Sorry, finally and maybe most noteworthy about Maltese independence from the UK:
     
    – Malta remains a good ally to the UK and a friendly place, based on my experience, for us to visit.

  53. Doug Daniel says:

    Albaha: “Had a gander at the twitter outrage and sadly it smacks of the ‘my YES is purer and better than your YES’ bollocks that is associated with so called left wing politics. All prompted by an agitator, you couldnae make it up.”
     
    Exactly. It’s the oldest trick in the book, and folk are falling for it hook, line and sinker. The most galling thing is, many of those who are doing so probably see themselves as some form of public intellectual, or leaders of the debate, or whatever.
     
    Whatever happened to “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything”? Oh yeah, Twitter was created and gave everyone a soap box to show the world how frightfully excellent their views on everything were. “OMG, SOMETHING IS HAPPENING, I MUST TAKE TO TWITTER TO RELEASE A PUBLIC STATEMENT SO EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT MY OPINIONS ARE!!!”

  54. Beth Watt says:

    Just noticed that Better Together Glasgow FB page allows me to comment – however my comment doesn’t actually appear on the page….in fact there are no public comments on the page (other than those which appear under BT Glasgow’s posts). Why have the option left open when they have no intention of your comment (or in this case it was actually a question I had for them re their ‘public meeting’) being shown? Btw they didn’t answer my question, in case you were wondering.

  55. Morag says:

    I don’t understand the problem with disagreeing with particular views held by someone you basically like, and/or basically agree with.
     
    I don’t agree with Stu about Hillsborough, but my reasons for disagreeing with him are clearly articulated by someone else on his comments thread, and he’s read that post and it hasn’t changed his mind, so really, what’s the point.  It’s a pretty esoteric argument anyway, getting close to angels dancing on pinheads.  What’s wrong with saying “I disagree with you” and simply moving on?

  56. NorthBrit says:

    @Ron
    Sorry to see you support known racist RevStu’s vile views on this sensitive subject.
    http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/glasgow-man-says-edinburgh-ketchup-charge-racist-1-3062264
    This is typical of the sort of belittling idiotophobic comments from RevStu that show complete ignorance of liberation theory and intersectionality issues.

  57. Kenny Campbell says:

    a full house indeed

  58. Vronsky says:

    I don’t use Twitter and have no intention of beginning, so I don’t know what happened there and will be making no attempt to find out.  The occasional bulletins that appear here read (to me) like accounts of drunken exchanges in the pub the night before.  I really couldn’t care less, except that if you’re not careful in that environment you can upset friends and find it difficult to win them back.  Been there.

    Having said that, I’m astonished that the Rev is accused of any sin greater than the occasional typo.  I’m a bitter old bugger, always inclined to see the worst in everyone, but if I wanted to attack the Rev for some dishonourable position or nasty remark, even with my wonderful gift of the most negative mind on the planet, I can’t find anything.  I suppose that would be my criticism, Rev – you’re so polite, damn you.

    Oh wait – you sometimes talk about football and that bores the arse off me.  Is that what they’re on about?  If so, I’m right behind them.  Scoundrel.

  59. Taranaich says:

    All I ask, and it doesn’t seem all that controversial to me, is that people don’t get to dictate whether *I* think he’s a man or a woman. Because I’m with biology on that one, and I will NOT be made to feel by some sanctimonious little wankhole that that’s an outrageous position.

     
    Transgender identity is already a highly confusing mess where nobody seems able to define what sex and gender is. I will say that, according to this way of thinking, Manning’s sex (anatomy) is male, but gender (personality) is female. Hence someone born a male who “feels” like a male is cisgender, whereas (for example) someone born a male who “feels” like a female is transgender. The question is whether someone’s gender or sex should have precedence over pronouns or names, and it’s far from cut-and-dried even among lefty liberal circles. Your position, Rev, is that the sex takes precedent over gender, whereas I suppose most of your critics take the opposite approach. Hence, they’re viewing your use of male pronouns as implying you think all transgender individuals should be referred to by their sex rather than gender, and more importantly, they’re viewing that personal choice as a direct attack on his very identity.
     
    I could go on and on about my problems with gender identity (mostly that what is defined as “masculine” and “feminine” in terms of personality is entirely a social construct and thus problematic from the outset, whereas with chromosomes at least you can count them), but I do think it’s exceedingly bothersome to concentrate on that as opposed to what Manning went to jail for. There are bigger fish to fry, and I think Manning would agree.

  60. Robert says:

    “NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A SMALL GROUP OF COMMITTED PEOPLE TO CHANGE THE WORLD. IN FACT, IT IS THE ONLY THING THAT EVER HAS.”

  61. Marcia says:

    This week alone I’m a transphobic, homophobic, misogynist, rape-apologist, disablist, ageist, racist, fascist, sectarian hate-preaching bigot. What’s left?
     
    – a football fan 🙁

  62. Taranaich says:

    *Edit: I should say your position appears to be that sex takes precedence over gender.

  63. Albalha says:

    Talking of Manning, I just have to share a naughty thought (trying to get into right on speak) ……..Pete Murray really seemed to tie himself in knots on the Shereen programme, Saturday, trying at all times to say Chelsea and she but seeming in the end to resort to Manning. The other guests talked about Bradley Manning, I wonder what the self-appointed thought police make of them
    Sometimes it’s all rather a tad contrived.

  64. scotchwoman says:

    We should get back to the task in hand and stop being diverted by this. Seems to me that Rev Stu is becoming the story, which is exactly the outcome some would like to achieve.
    Can we refocus directly on the referendum?

  65. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

    “Seems to me that Rev Stu is becoming the story, which is exactly the outcome some would like to achieve.
    Can we refocus directly on the referendum?”
     
    X1000
     
    This is classic play the man, not the ball territory.
     
    Lets get back to arguing the facts of Independence

  66. HoraceSaysYes says:

    @Rev. Stuart Campbell – I have no interest whatsoever in laying down rules about how anyone lives their life, unless it directly affects me. All I ask, and it doesn’t seem all that controversial to me, is that people don’t get to dictate whether *I* think he’s a man or a woman. Because I’m with biology on that one, and I will NOT be made to feel by some sanctimonious little wankhole that that’s an outrageous position.

    Can I ask, Rev, if someone asks to be refered to as ‘she’, what is the problem with doing that, regardless of whether you think they are a man or a woman? Its basically just politeness, isn’t it?

  67. les wilson says:

    I do not know about the sane ones on here but I am beginning to realize we have our share of “plants “

  68. Albalha says:

    @HoraceSaysYes
    I know you’re not asking me but imo if people don’t get up to speed and use she etc right away then somehow they’re being impolite to a person they’ve never even met.
     
     

  69. Albalha says:

    Edit….accused of being impolite….

  70. MochaChoca says:

    I’ve been banned the BT and Vote NO facebook pages several times and had litterally hundreds of reasoned and polite facebook comments deleted for countering their posts.
    It is frustrating, but one grain of comfort is that there will be a number of less vocal followers who must see rational arguments being made, and then see these being censored as they can’t be disputed, and that must strike a chord.
    Facebook has an activity log which lets you refer back to any comments you’ve made, with the date, time and page details. It’s easily accessed on your facebook ‘home’ page.
     

  71. Murray McCallum says:

    Twitter is not a good place to get across complex, or emotional, topics. Sound bites work there.
     
    I would not use Twitter, for example, to inform fellow science enthusiasts on my work teaching my dog the concept of time. It’s all about dogs for courses as they would say on Twitter.

  72. Rusty Shackleford says:

    he described himself as a freelance online pr expert and a ‘guerrilla ideasmith’ (!).
    Sounds like someone familiar…
    http://www.trashbat.co.ck
     
     

  73. eva says:

    With you all the way because you are not losing sight of the big prize, unlike certain others.

  74. gordoz says:

    Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy)says:
    28 August, 2013 at 12:27 pm
    Lets get back to arguing the facts of Independence
    I concur Scott – this is all very good pointing out these aspects of website take up and surreptitious moderation, however the major obstacle to the prospect of independence is still the ‘lies and inaccuracies’ being perpetrated and nurtured within broadcasting and the press.
    No matter what seems to arise, no matter the situation or sound-bite, BT always seem to get better press than YES camp. This has to be addressed from here on in. I don’t know how to address the obvious bias, only feel it in my gut, this will still be crucial towards the actual vote. We need to get a grip on infighting between strands of the campaign (distasteful or recalcitrant as that may be). We on all sides, need to be more focussed on who the enemy really is and on strategies to address the strangled hold the state has on the popular media.
     

  75. It amazes me we have people from the indy side joining in with the obvious smear campaign launched against Wings and Stu, have these people never heard of divide and conquer ffs, some people need to open their eyes and stop dancing to the Unionists tune, you are being sucked in, used and laughed at from the Unionist side.
    From what I have noticed this all ramped up after the poll was published, great, and we have another one coming very soon that they will find hard to ignore, Super, can’t wait, lets do that thing again 🙂
    Meant to say, glad you have thick skin Stu, keep up the good work.   

  76. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Hence someone born a male who “feels” like a male is cisgender”

    As far as I got, sorry.

  77. les wilson says:

    O/T  Latest from Johnsone Press
     
    * Johnston Press swung to a large pre-tax loss for the first half of the year after incurring a one off charge of £252m, and said that results for 2013 are expected to be broadly in line with current market expectations

  78. gordoz says:

    Something to look forward to wooooohhh!!!
    BT activity will start on Wednesday 18th of September, when they will have activists across the country handing out materials as people go to or come back from work. +
    During the weekend of the 20th -22nd of September they will be holding leafleting sessions across the country.

    Expect there will be a rise in litter that follows.

  79. Morag says:

    As far as I got, sorry.
     
    It’s a joke.  You have to understand the terminology of organic chemistry to “get” it.  Well, it’s not a joke now because people actually use the terms and they seem to be useful, but I certainly laughed the first time I came across them.

  80. Marcia says:

    Gordoz,
    If they are leafleting on that weekend, will they be leafleting on Calton Hill?

  81. EdinScot says:

    Dont do twitter either and hearing this, kind of reinforces the point  that its right for me not to do so but i defend everyone elses right to tweet ’til the cows come home as it does have its uses. Its a big world out there with opinions galore, whats wrong with these people that they cant live and let live. It makes me wonder how they cut it at all from day to day.   It also reminds me of the saying ”These are my principles, and if you dont like them…well, i have others”.  In other words get over yourselves.  It would seem theyre jealous of the Revs’ success  with his brilliant Wings site and the upsurge in following its receiving as time goes on, hence their playing the man tactic as sure as hell it sticks out like a sore thumb that they cant get the better of his incisive analysis.  So be assured Rev when you piss off these types then you must be doing something right!

  82. Training Day says:

    “During the weekend of the 20th -22nd of September they will be holding leafleting sessions across the country.”
     
    Ah!  So this will be the pretext for the BBC and MSM to ignore the independence rally on the 21st.. cue Jackie Bird with big grin:
     
    ‘Better Together (yay!) continued their onslaught on Alex Salmond and the Salmond party as they declared this weekend ‘anti-Salmond’ weekend..’ 

  83. Tony Little says:

    Morag
     
    I have heard cisgender but obviously I missed the ‘joke’ bit.  My son is transgender (born a female) and has received enormous abuse all his life.  Happily he was able to undertake the surgery (although not without considerable pain, and an initial fuck up by the surgeon) and is now engaged to be married.  For those involved it is certainly no laughing matter.
     
    Advance apologies if I have misconstrued your post.

  84. Albalha says:

    @Taranaich
    I for one thank you for taking the trouble to outline the issues, language etc, interesting.
    I hadn’t been aware of the sex, gender distinction within the debate.
    IMO tolerance is needed on all sides which includes allowing disagreement, challenges etc without the closed minded resorting to polarised good people bad people labels.
     

  85. gordoz says:

    Marcia says:
    If they are leafleting on that weekend, will they be leafleting on Calton Hill?
    Oh I would count on it and they will try and disrupt in some way, Im sure.
     

  86. gordoz says:

    Marcia says:
    If they are leafleting on that weekend, will they be leafleting on Calton Hill?
    Oh I would count on it and they will try and disrupt in some way, Im sure.
    Training Day says:
     
    Jackie will be out leafleting with Sally & Gordy boy Brewar !!
     

  87. Morag says:

    Tony, you’ll understand from this wikipedia page.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cis%E2%80%93trans_isomerism
     
    If you’re used to the established chemistry terms, and familiar with the term transgender, hearing someone refer to “cisgender” the first time is amusing.

  88. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    LATEST: Apparently I’m also a “biological essentialist”.

  89. Ron says:

    “No. I even invited some, including Pat Kane, to say what they THOUGHT I’d actually said, but nobody took up the offer. Might as well put it here for the record:
    As far as I’m concerned Bradley Manning is an incredibly brave and principled man. I’d go so far as to say “hero”. He sacrificed his own life for what he thought was right, and was treated abysmally and disgracefully by a country that should have given him a medal.
    In so far as it’s any of my business (ie not at all) he can call himself whatever he wants (if I should ever meet him and he wants to be called Chelsea, I’ll call him Chelsea), he can dress however he wants, fall in love with whoever he wants, have sex with whoever he wants, marry whoever he wants and live however he wants.
    (All the above notwithstanding the fact that he’s going to be in prison for the next 35 years.)
    I have no interest whatsoever in laying down rules about how anyone lives their life, unless it directly affects me. All I ask, and it doesn’t seem all that controversial to me, is that people don’t get to dictate whether *I* think he’s a man or a woman. Because I’m with biology on that one, and I will NOT be made to feel by some sanctimonious little wankhole that that’s an outrageous position.”

     
    Maybe this is the comment people should link to when Stu is attacked over Bradley Manning (if it’s even worth responding to). It’s as far from the “transphobic” accusations as it’s possible to be, I think.

  90. Morag says:

    Far more interesting than the pile-on on Stu last night was the short exchange with Gary Gibson and Charlie Stross.  Charlie, who seems to be a fairly definite Yes, opined that we wouldn’t be “allowed” to be independent until the last drop of oil was sucked from the North Sea.  I don’t know how long he thought that was going to take, but I got the vague impression he thought it would be quite soon.

    Gary said he “wanted to vote Yes”, but was being told by nay-sayers he knew that the finances don’t add up and the country would fail economically.

    If two people with imaginations like those two can so singularly fail to comprehend the debate, and to imagine the reality of an independent Scotland, maybe we should all go shoot ourselves right now.

  91. Lets be honest here, it’s no surprise that BT will not engage in the debate, apart from the fact they don’t have a case to stay in the Union, they didn’t want the people to have a referendum in the first place and, are acting accordingly, It must have been horror time for them when the SNP won the election, spit the dummy out time, we will not take part in the referendum the way we should, we will just fear bomb, smear and discredit any threats we come across, with the full backing of the MSM of course, all this because they didn’t want the people of Scotland to have the choice in the first place, TOTAL DISGRACE and nothing democratic about it, I am ashamed that these people can even call themselves Scots.
    They are going to loose, then fade into history, oh what a glorious day the 18th will be next year, bye bye Unionists, the party is nearly over !

  92. gordoz says:

    Johnston Press swung to a large pre-tax loss for the first half of the year after incurring a one off charge of £252m, and said that results for 2013 are expected to be broadly in line with current market expectations
    Wee message for Johnton Press :
    See where political bias gets you …. down the pan in the long run ! Possible re-think ? naaahh same old, same old.

  93. Luigi says:

    If you think that certain members of the BT campaign are nasty right now, just wait until they realize they are losing, big time.  The penny will eventually drop, with a loud, painful clang.  Much blood will be spat.
     
    You ain’t seen nothing yet!

  94. rabb says:

    Murray McCallum says:
     

    Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
    What’s left?
     
    Unionist?
     
    That’s out of order McCallum
     
    “UP THE ROAD YOU!!”

  95. David Halliday says:

    Another trick that amounts to censorship – partly because if it works it will lead to self-censorship – is one increasingly used by Better Together supporters on Twitter. If someone tweets something and you reply, expressing disagreement, you’ll of course be called a cybernat but also, increasingly, a “troll”. Now, that’s clever because that word has connotations of harrassment, abuse (always “vile”), bullying and so on. Certainly, not serious, calm disagreement. The accusation is likely to close down, right away, any particualr disagreement or discussion. But much more damaging, it’s also likely to make anyone think twice before disagreeing again.

    Disagreeing is not “trolling”. “Trolling” is gatecrashing a group-think party and saying something you know will upset the participants, usually precisely just to upset them. It’s particularly NOT “trolling” to voice mere disagreement when the original tweeter is, say, a high-profile, powerful journalist who has expressed some view on something to the world at large. I saw Euan McColm complain about someone who’d disagreed with him (it was about the Labour for Indy picture, I think) and call them a “troll”. I didn’t want the same so asked him, I think really very politely and certainly entirely genuinely, if he welcomed contact and engagement from those who disagreed with him politically or if he classed it all as “trolling”. I said the reason I asked was that I didn’t want to trouble him if he didn’t want contact. He said he did welcome contact but that there was a difference between disagreeing and calling someone a liar, or biased, or incompetent. I said that I thought that disagreeing at all had to imply some criticism because if you thought someone truthful, even-handed and competent, why would you disagree with them? All of this was a genuine attempt to avoid any accusation of trolling, by disagreeing. In response to that, he called me a troll (to be fair , a “clever” troll), then blocked me. I’ve seen some of his tweets about his pals who can find things out and his calls to heads of council departments and it’s a worrying thing to happen, I can tell you.

    The most annoying thing about that episode was that I could kind of see what was going to happen but just kept being reasonable and ended up petty enough only to wish I’d been the one who finished it. Kind of like every girlfriend I had at university. Oh well.

  96. Taranaich says:

    As far as I got, sorry.
     
    Don’t shoot the messenger, Rev, I’m just going by my understanding of the situation. I think we’d all be a lot happier if we destroyed gender stereotypes altogether and just let men and women act however the hell they want to act without assigning politics to gendered pronouns.  I’m positive the only reason there’s even a discussion about “he” and “she” is because society is still in the stranglehold of what’s deemed to be “masculine” and “feminine” behaviour and personalities. It’s why we have that new Lego Friends range for girls despite Lego starting off explicitly as a toy for boys and girls.
     
    It’s a joke.  You have to understand the terminology of organic chemistry to “get” it.  Well, it’s not a joke now because people actually use the terms and they seem to be useful, but I certainly laughed the first time I came across them.
     
    I’m not a fan of the use of cisgender myself. I understand the reasons behind it (it’s the same reason the term heterosexual has gained ground), but it’s another form of identity politics that I think ends up dividing people rather than bringing them together. To me, it’s a bit like the term Gaijin (Japanese term for non-Asian) or Gentile (Jewish term for non-Jews): it’s virtually useless as a term since it describes far more people than its counterpart, when simply using “non-” would suffice.
     
    I for one thank you for taking the trouble to outline the issues, language etc, interesting.
    I hadn’t been aware of the sex, gender distinction within the debate.
    IMO tolerance is needed on all sides which includes allowing disagreement, challenges etc without the closed minded resorting to polarised good people bad people labels.
     
    Thanks, Albaha! I agree, obviously, that tolerance and inclusion is paramount. Transgender issues is particularly acute, however, because there is a truly appalling rate of violence and abuse against those individuals, so there’s a heightened awareness of their plight. But throwing Rev under the bus to the point of unfollowing because you disagree on one facet of a huge issue reminds me of one of my favourite anti-sectarian jokes:
     
    I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said, “Stop! Don’t do it!” “Why shouldn’t I?” he said. I said, “Well, there’s so much to live for!” He said, “Like what?” I said, “Well, are you religious or atheist?” He said, “Religious.” I said, “Me too! Are your Christian or Buddhist?” He said, “Christian.” I said, “Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?” He said, “Protestant.” I said, Me too! Are your Episcopalian or Baptist? He said, “Baptist!” I said, “Wow! Me too! Are your Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord? He said, Baptist Church of God!” I said, “Me too! Are your Original Baptist Church of God or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?” He said, “Reformed Baptist Church of God!” I said, “Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915?” He said, “Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915!” I said, “Die, heretic scum!” and pushed him off.
     
    It’s a really bad habit that even I am prone to fall to, but unfollowing or attacking someone you agree with 9 times out of 10 because of that 1 of 10 is silly.
     

    LATEST: Apparently I’m also a “biological essentialist”.

     
    THAT’S THE WORST OF THEM ALL

  97. Chic McGregor says:

    “In fairness, I’m not sure where they can escalate it to from here. This week alone I’m a transphobic, homophobic, misogynist, rape-apologist, disablist, ageist, racist, fascist, sectarian hate-preaching bigot. What’s left? That’s surely the whole set?”
     
    I think that leaves only three higher positions in the immorality pyramid.
     
    The two Arch positions, Eating babies and genocide and of course the pinnacle position, the vilest of all, closet unionist.
     

  98. The Rough Bounds says:

    I don’t have a Twitter account and neither do I have a Facebook account.
    I function perfectly well as a human being without them and see no reason for changing my mind on that score.

  99. dmw42 says:

    Stu, you think you’ve got problems?
     
    I enjoy fly fishing – do they call me DMW the fisherman? Naw
    I enjoy painting – do they call me DMW the artist? Naw
    I enjoy hill-walking – do they call me DMW the munro bagger? Naw
     
    One sheep though, one fucking sheep…

  100. scottish_skier says:

    Apropos of nothing but I guess another great British illegal war would be good for persuading female voters to go for Yes.

  101. Taranaich says:

    Far more interesting than the pile-on on Stu last night was the short exchange with Gary Gibson and Charlie Stross.  Charlie, who seems to be a fairly definite Yes, opined that we wouldn’t be “allowed” to be independent until the last drop of oil was sucked from the North Sea.  I don’t know how long he thought that was going to take, but I got the vague impression he thought it would be quite soon.
    Gary said he “wanted to vote Yes”, but was being told by nay-sayers he knew that the finances don’t add up and the country would fail economically.
    If two people with imaginations like those two can so singularly fail to comprehend the debate, and to imagine the reality of an independent Scotland, maybe we should all go shoot ourselves right now.

     
    I read that too! (maybe one day I’ll finally join Twitter instead of watch from the sidelines…) I’m a big fan of Stross, but even imaginative and intelligent folk can be completely wrong on some subjects – just look at Allan Massie. It isn’t a lack of imagination, it’s a lack of the right information – or too much misinformation.

  102. Chic McGregor says:

    @Murray Macallum
    Apologies, only noticed your post after I sent my last one.

  103. Jeannie says:

    @Rev Stu
    This week alone I’m a transphobic, homophobic, misogynist, rape-apologist, disablist, ageist, racist, fascist, sectarian hate-preaching bigot.
     
    All in the one week, too.  Gosh, you’ve been busy.  Anyway, I don’t care what all the rest of them say about you (:-))………you like cats and that’s good enough for me!

  104. HandandShrimp says:

    Agrajag
     
    All I can say is you can see the kind of comments I make here, the Guardian, James Randi etc., and Better Together banned me. I don’t think I got more than half a dozen points in before I was booted. No abuse, no long rants, no repetition  just a few succinct and, I thought, telling points.
     
    I have never been banned from any other site in my puff. Better Together are a complete and absolute shower. Go to Free Scotland or Yes Scotland and you will see the regular No bods like David, Keith, Michael etc., happily slagging people off, accusing Salmond etc., of being in league with Satan or whatever and their comments stand, even the Muppet who said we should all be shot.
    Obviously both sides are going to delete spam trying to sell us knock off iphones or whatever is being peddled but the disparity between the two sides is huge and cannot be explained by removing ubiquitous phishing. It is all very, very New Labour, something I think Walter will recall well.

  105. Chic McGregor says:

    @SS
    “Apropos of nothing but I guess another great British illegal war would be good for persuading female voters to go for Yes.”
     
    Indeed.  Third time lucky for DC isn’t it.  Doesn’t seem to have gotten much action on the Falklands or Gibralter attempts.

  106. naebd says:

    I know I’m probably being ‘vile’, but when it comes to gender politics at this rarified level, I can’t help feeling it’s all a bit “Emperor’s New Clothes”. (If the emperor chooses to ‘feel’ he is wearing a fur coat, who am I to rudely disagree). But the bottom line is, this is such a f***ing blind alley when it comes to debating the independence referendum. 
    The point is this: some people REALLY don’t like Stuart Campbell (he has that effect), those people are part of an extreme political clique that has a bunch of angels-dancing-on-a-pin purity-test beliefs that they hold dear. They need something to use to put the guy they don’t like beyond. Cue much overuse of the word vile.

  107. Erchie says:

    I disagree with the Rev to the extent that he can think what he likes, but if Bradley Manning feels he is a she called Chelsea then I’ll go along with that

  108. naebd says:

    “beyond” – “beyond the pale”.

  109. naebd says:

    Yes, as for Chelsea Manning – this is clearly a long-term thing that she has been grappling with so fuck it – she’s called Chelsea.

  110. les wilson says:

    Murray McCallum
    Ref your Malta comment, it is a place I have been to several times,  and YES the Maltese are in the main friendly towards the Uk, why would they not be, they get masses of tourists from here, it is in their interest to be friendly.
    However, you do not take into consideration the fact that they decided to become INDEPENDENT , and would they want to go back? er NO! That is what I gather having discussed this with quite a few of them!
    Just saying…….

  111. Chic McGregor says:

    Re pro-indy dissent, I think jealousy factors in quite a bit from some of the uber-egos involved, especially on the far left.

  112. HandandShrimp says:

    LATEST: Apparently I’m also a “biological essentialist”.
     
    I am certainly essential biological if that is the same thing
     
    Do you have it in for rocks or something Stu? Why have insults become so freaking complicated and contrived as illicit nothing but a sort of empty sadness for the person that thought it was clever in the first instance.

  113. Dramfineday says:

    This week alone I’m a transphobic, homophobic, misogynist, rape-apologist, disablist, ageist, racist, fascist, sectarian hate-preaching bigot. What’s left?
    The shrill wee junior twerps

    Arrrgh you can add heightist to the list now!
    That’s okay with me as people have been calling me a wee C for years (usually preceded by some other pleasantly descriptive word or two) but it might offend some folk, you never ken!
    As for the shrill wee twerps; stop sooking up to the enemy, you can crawl up their bahookies as much as you like after we win, I couldn’t care less. Right now the term “Useful Idiot” is being too kind to you.

  114. sneddon says:

    Doug- you leave the anthropes alone.  Some of my best friends are anthropes you BEAST! 🙂

  115. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    Is this obtuse thinking? If I knew that my protagonist was about to originate a 2nd poll, already being aware the 1st poll results were damning to my own viewpoint, what could I do beforehand.
    Simple – Discredit the originator, throw the mud, accuse him of mistreating dogs, losing garage keys, hogging the bath and keeping the neighbours awake. So when the poll results come out, the damage can be reduced.
     

  116. HandandShrimp says:

    After a humorous quip in a Bidisha thread on the Guardian a few years ago I was put on moderation. I no longer do gender politics and the Guardian and I get on just fine. I have put a little sign on the map saying “Here be dragons” and stay away. That said Manning can call himself whatever he likes, I don’t think it is anyone’s business but his. Far too many people want to tell other people what they should think and be, sadly, on both sides of the argument in Dragonland. 

  117. Morag says:

    I second what HandandShrimp says.  I’ve interacted with him for far longer on the JREF forum (where he’s “Nogbad”) than here, and also read his posts a lot on the Guardian (where I seldom actually post).  I don’t think I’ve ever seen him get cross or abusive with anyone.  Have you even had an infraction on the JREF forum, H&S?  I’ve had a few now and again myself, but you even seem to manage to be calm and reasonable when funk de fino is getting hot under the collar with Nessie.
     
    So if BT banned H&S, and quickly, that says a very great deal about them.  That’s the sort of information that we need.  Lots of copies and screen-shots of reasonable disagreement being censored.

  118. Albalha says:

    @Taranaich
    The joke indeed gets to the heart of it. I have people in my life who have very different views to me on some issues, mainly as a result of different upbringing geographically, politically, socially etc.
    To surround ourselves only with the like minded, dear oh dear.
     

  119. Morag says:

    You know, another thing we could do with are copies of reasonable posts that didn’t make it past the Herald censors.  And that’s posts without digs and nasty quips, which I often see in re-posted material which someone is complaining didn’t get through.  It doesn’t matter that OBE and his mates can be as nasty as they like, these mods will use even the mildest little dig as an excuse for disallowing a post.
     
    Things like factual posts disagreeing witht he article, or pointing out errors in the article, that haven’t been passed.  That sort of thing.  I know they do that, and these posts don’t always have a dig at the journalist in them.

  120. HandandShrimp says:

    Hi Morag
     
    No I don’t think I have had an infraction on JREF, a couple of emails saying a mod slightly altered a post to comply with their very strict language rules but that is about it.  

  121. Murray McCallum says:

    les wilson says:

    Murray McCallum
    However, you do not take into consideration the fact that they decided to become INDEPENDENT.
    Les – exactly as I said at 11.47AM  Another key point I was trying to make was Malta’s highly publicised and heroic role in WW2 fighting with the British. A lot of unionist nostalgia linked to the independence referendum is meaningless.
    ……. I think Malta is a good example. It counters a lot of the Unionist nostalgia.
    – Malta was of strategic importance in WW2 and incurred sustained horrific attack
    – Malta is the only colony ever to be offered representation in the Westminster Parliament
    Malta opted for independence despite all the promises and pressure put on its citizens

  122. Weedeochandorris says:

    I agree Chic “Re pro-indy dissent, I think jealousy factors in quite a bit from some of the uber-egos involved, especially on the far left.”  but I think there could be more to these things.  One of the classic strategies is to work from the inside to bring you down.  
     

  123. AberdeenLoon says:

    I have been banned from the BT Facebook Page several times for making real and polite comments….as for the “gender” thingy I think I will keep out of it after saying only this: Does Manning go to a Male or Female prison?
     
    Oh Malta is a wonderful place….

  124. Chic McGregor says:

    Weedeochandorris
    “I agree Chic “Re pro-indy dissent, I think jealousy factors in quite a bit from some of the uber-egos involved, especially on the far left.”  but I think there could be more to these things.  One of the classic strategies is to work from the inside to bring you down.  ”
     
    Hey! Tell me something I don’t know.  🙂
     
    But the closet Us cleverest ploy is to manipulate a genuine pro-indy supporter into being the messenger.  Seen it many times.

  125. a supporter says:

    Doug Daniel at 11.59 28 aug
    Exactly. It’s the oldest trick in the book, and folk are falling for it hook, line and sinker.
     
    C’mon Doug! Not you too? Get the pecker back up. Very few people are falling for it at all. Only .5% of followers disengaged, ie 20 out of 4500.

  126. Ellie says:

    In fairness, I’m not sure where they can escalate it to from here.This week alone I’m a transphobic, homophobic, misogynist, rape-apologist, disablist, ageist, racist, fascist, sectarian hate-preaching bigot. What’s left? That’s surely the whole set?
     
    Well no accusations of animal cruelty yet….Give it time

  127. a supporter says:

    And Doug (Daniel) you and I and others are getting carried away by thinking the Inet and Twitter are super important just because we use them. They aren’t. Most of the voters have either never heard of or aren’t much interested in inet blogs, Twitter or the political sections of newspapers and the BBC. And they are not much interested in the Referendum either at the moment. It is too far away. The current slinging of mud and insults is amongst a group of political anoraks, like a number of cats and dogs fighting in a big sack.
    The bulk of the voters won’t become interested until near the actual Indyref date.

  128. M4rkyboy says:

    Is it just me or are the comments on Ian Bell’s excellent piece in The Herald today not there any more?

  129. Morag says:

    Well no accusations of animal cruelty yet…. Give it time.

    Can’t you SEE how that monster is terrorising this poor innocent little kitten (who I still think is a boy, but time will tell).

    http://wingsoverscotland.com/emergency-kitten/

  130. Gordon Bain says:

    I suppose you’ve all seen Alan Cochrane’s latest rant on the topic of offensive nationalists? He has particularly nasty dig at Nicola Sturgeon which leaves a very bad taste in the mouth.

  131. Tony Little says:

    @Morag
     
    Re; the Herald.  I have only had two posts removed since being allowed back on post-mod; both contained links, which IS against their rules.  I think they are daft rules, but there you go.  I have engaged in many ‘discussions’ with the usual Unionistas, and take a small glee in finding that Mr Kelly appears to be on pre-mod ;-).  His replies to me don’t always make it.
     
    I must confess to a childish satisfaction when I get him riled.  
     
    My removal from instant posting was my “flaming” attack on Jezza.  In retrospect it was IMHO a success as they don’t post there under that name anymore. And similar posts have not appeared.  

  132. Tony Little says:

    Re insults, they could accuse you of necrophilia, beastiality and sadism – or would that just be flogging a dead horse

  133. macdoc says:

    The whole twitter debate really is pathetic. You should have just been the bigger man Rev and left this debate well alone.
     
    Almost everyone on the planet has made a misogynistic, misandric, racist, homophobic comment sometime in their life almost always for comedic purposes. Approximately 90% of communication is non verbal therefore its especially easy to confuse a comment on twitter where we only have 140 characters. 

    I do think Rev is being overly aggressive and i can see why people aren’t agreeing with his point of view. However what i despise most is the extreme liberal intolerance of people being intolerant and confusing intolerance with logical opinion.

    These are the very same people that would condone homosexuals in Afghanistan being stoned to death, or female rape victims as a religous and cultural difference that we are being intolerant of. 

    What Rev is saying is strictly true although he could perhaps be more sensitive about the issue. I can only have great sympathies with people with gender identity disorder and the difficulties it must cause. I don’t think it hurts anyone to call someone a he/she if that person wants.  

  134. orkers says:

    I usually have a look in on on WOS Twitter.
    The Unionist gestapo are trying to wind you up Stu.
    It’s so obviously organized …………..hard not to rise to it though.
    Keep the heid.

  135. annie says:

    Orkers – Just been checking too another ” journalist”  taking up where they left off last night re Manning.  Lets face if the Rev. is fire fighting idiots then he isn’t writing articles for WoS and  they are all re tweeting everything trying to spread the poison.

  136. annie says:

    No one has suggested the fact that with people going to food banks and losing their homes or getting into rent arrears courtesy of the bedroom tax money spent on newspapers would be considered money wasted.

  137. BillyBigbaws says:

    Aye, Malta’s great, fantastic people and incredible history. Gozo as well.

    Interesting facts for ye’s.  Malta has the same number of MEPs representing it in the European Parliament as Scotland does (just six) despite Malta being a small island with few natural resources (they even have to import wood) and a population of ony 419,000.

    Scotland, by contrast, is a nation of around 5 millions which just happens to be the EU’s largest oil and gas producer, with some of the most extensive fishing grounds in the whole of Europe, and an exporter of food and electricity. 

    Yet we have the same number of MEPs to protect our interests.  If that seems right to anybody here, they are mental.

    So yeah, small island, small population, have to import nearly everything due to an almost total lack of natural resources, but they are happy and successful as an independent sovereign state, and are better run now than they ever were under the British (even during the war we let them down repeatedly).  They’re EU members, and in the eurozone (to the disgust of a taxi driver I met), but have remained outside NATO.  They’re a lot closer to the Middle East and Africa than we are, and don’t have much of a military at all, but somehow seem mysteriously unafraid of the ravaging terror hordes that haunt the UK’s slumbers.

    So why can’t we be like that?   Only with a much bigger tax base, a booming export industry, no euro, and more than double the number of MEPs?

    Oh, we can?  So long as we vote Yes?  Cool.

  138. Mosstrooper says:

    Don’t know anything about Bradly Cchelsea) Manning but I do know that he/she is in for a VERY interesting time in prison whether it be a male one or a female one.

  139. frankieboy says:

    Now, if you were an estate agent…

  140. BillyBigbaws says:

    Seems as though that “dossier” thing has had a wider circulation than one might have expected.  A useful idiot on one of my other forums brought up an allegation or two that I imagine are from it the other day.  Pretty sad that they have to stoop to these kind of tactics against a blogger, and even sadder (given Stu’s prolificness over many years, even decades) that the ammunition they’ve dug up is so weak and limited. 
    Does this strike anyone as the kind of thing a political campaign would do if it was confident of winning?

  141. Robert Dickson says:

    Tony Little:
    ” I have engaged in many ‘discussions’ with the usual Unionistas, and take a small glee in finding that Mr Kelly appears to be on pre-mod  .  His replies to me don’t always make it.”
     
    I left the forum due to the constant barrage of abusive posts from Kelly which never made it past moderation but I saw anyway. (60+ in one week)
    The mods are well aware that he is a monumental arsehole but he keeps the arguments going.
    Another reason for my departure was being put on Pre-mod temporarily for answering the other idiot Moseley in his own terms.
    I would not accept it.

  142. Faltdubh says:

    I would be classed as a left winger or left of centre, but I think some of the fanatics on the left are even worse than the rabbit right wingers that people talk of. Much like militant atheism is far louder and aggressive than the hardcore evangelicals.

  143. Robert Louis says:

    I really must agree with macdoc above @ 3:55pm;
     
    Firstly, I cannot fathom why anybody would indulge these childish ‘baiting’ tweets’, and secondly, if Chelsea manning wants to be called Chelsea Manning, then that is her name. People with gender issues typically suffer most of their lives, and what little comfort such a person derives from starting to change their gender, really should not be mocked by anybody.  It just isn’t a freaking joke, unless you are a pre-pubescent thirteen year old.
     
    I find it all very, very disappointing, and really I do hope people understand, that it is doing NOBODY any favours with such behaviour on EITHER side.
     
    Let’s focus on independence, instead of Chelsea manning or misogyny or whatever, FFS. 

  144. Craig P says:

    Rev, I reckon you could take being called anything, water off a duck’s back – except ‘humourless’. Now that would be a low blow 🙂

  145. I left a comment on their ‘Unity in the UK’ post but didn’t get blocked. I don’t think they understood it. Of course, if they’d understood the original graphic, the post wouldn’t have been there to begin with.

  146. Clydebuilt says:

    Gotta say it …..Move on folks this isn’t going to interest undecided’s.
     
    Frankieboy ……… is that you?
     

  147. Taranaich says:

    The joke indeed gets to the heart of it. I have people in my life who have very different views to me on some issues, mainly as a result of different upbringing geographically, politically, socially etc.
    To surround ourselves only with the like minded, dear oh dear.
     
    Hence why I hang out around here: I find myself (inwardly) disagreeing with the Rev on many matters except for Independence, which I think makes this site more valuable to read than somewhere that I find myself agreeing with more often like NatCol.
     
    You should have just been the bigger man Rev and left this debate well alone.
     
    If I had my tinfoil hat on, I’d say this concerted interest by certain parties (including “journalists”) was chaff to distract Rev from a bigger problem. But Hanlon’s razor suggests they just don’t have anything better to do than twitter. Hmm, what’s in the news today that could distract Rev…?

  148. Peter says:

        It might help if some people understood that 2 + 2 = 4 always has done and always will do.  
     You can go round living your life and demanding that for you 2 + 2 = 5  but why should anybody else take you seriously or humour your madness?  
       Remember when this happened?
       A surgeon in Scotland amputated the legs of two psychologically disturbed men who had nothing physically wrong with them but felt a “desperate” need to be amputees, it emerged this week.
    Both men, one from England and one from Germany, had a rare type of body dysmorphic disorder known as apotemnophilia, in which patients are convinced from childhood that they will be normal only once a limb has been removed. The obsession is always with the removal of a specific limb, and each patient had a leg amputated above the knee.
       Not a bolt of difference with a sick man hacking themselves to bits to make themselves into a freak show caricature of a real woman.  Or the “pregnant man” story.  Desperate right on PC lunatics fell over themselves to avoid telling the truth. 
      Thanks to the wonder of hormones you can be born with the wrong bits but you can never be born a different sex.    Life would be much simpler if people wouldn’t try to argue that black is really white, except when it isn’t.

  149. Morag says:

    2 + 2 = 5, for sufficiently large values of 2.

  150. Braco says:

    Robert Louis,
    Amen!

  151. G H Graham says:

    What is with people & their consideration of Euan McColm & his ilk? He is a bitter, angry man & unable to engage in anything meaningful, adult or mature. So I fail to understand why any reasonable person wastes their time trying to engage him in any capacity.

    He has nothing valuable to contribute & is not important or wise in anything. He has no authority, no power, no influence. But he does appear to enjoy trying to bully people on line. There’s a name for people who express this type of character behaviour; narcissist.

    And if Mr. McColm reads this message, he’s welcome to reprint it on line or in any newspaper that’s willing to publish it because he has no affect over me whatsoever. He’s a nobody that I have just spent 4 minutes of my own time wasted talking about him. So that’s the last time I expect to ever highlight his name in print ever again.

  152. Murray McCallum says:

    Morag says:
    2 + 2 = 5, for sufficiently large values of 2.
     
    Or 0 – 38,000,000,000 = 0 (if you work in the MOD accounts department)

  153. Morag says:

    That too….

  154. Patronsaintofcats says:

    You should have just been the bigger man Rev and left this debate well alone.
    If I had my tinfoil hat on, I’d say this concerted interest by certain parties (including “journalists”) was chaff to distract Rev from a bigger problem. But Hanlon’s razor suggests they just don’t have anything better to do than twitter. Hmm, what’s in the news today that could distract Rev …?

    ——————-
    it seems to still be going on fast and furious over on the twitter box – so what is so important these so called journos are spending so much of their free time gunning for the Rev? They’re like a gaggle of creepy stalkers.

  155. Taranaich says:

    Indeed.  Evidently the prospect of a war with Syria just isn’t interesting enough to Messrs McColm, Nicoll, Hutcheon, Gordon & co, not when they could hound a political blogger!

  156. old mikey says:

    What’s left?
    Just a crazy mixed up kid.

  157. Stevie says:

    Kate Higgins – BIG disappointment, a full-of-sh*tist I’m afraid.  The kindest comments about her suggest she is trying to develop a BBC news career.

    Anyway – I never speak to BritNats, don’t see the point.  But on the rare occasions I’ve wandered onto the bettertogether FB page, it’s just full of anti-Salmond commentry and pro-military might and flag-waving ex-empire tosh.  Tiring mob and it’s unfathomable that these people are ruling over Scotland.

  158. Doug Daniel says:

    a supporter – don’t worry, when I say “folk”, I mean the wannabe politicians on Twitter who think they know how to win this referendum. I realise the majority of the voting public don’t even see this stuff, and the VAST majority give exactly zero fucks about it either way.

  159. Vronsky says:

    “Apropos of nothing but I guess another great British illegal war would be good for persuading female voters to go for Yes.”
     
    Rather the opposite occurred to me.  I wonder if Cameron is hoping for a sort of Falkands Effect as spin-off from an illegal attack on Syria (bet he wishes he could persuade Obama to hold off until next year).  I note that the people I see at the supermarket entrance collecting for our “Heroes” are almost always women.

  160. Taranaich says:

    I wonder if Cameron is hoping for a sort of Falkands Effect as spin-off from an illegal attack on Syria
     
    That may be what he’s hoping for, but it sure won’t work. The Falklands were invaded by the Argentinians: unless the Syrians decide to send a dozen of their men to take Torquay, I sincerely doubt people will see at as anything other than just another Iraq.

  161. Jim says:

    I’ve just wasted ten minutes of my Guinness reading these comments.

    Vote YES!



Comment - new users please read this page first for commenting rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use the live preview box. Include paragraph breaks or I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.




↑ Top