Antisemitism – the hatred of Jews – is real. It is a real form of racism. As, arguably, Europe’s oldest racism, antisemitism is pervasive throughout western society. As it affects all of society it is unarguably true that there are anti-Semites and people who, for whatever reason, pass on anti-Semitic ideas, conspiracies, and opinions within the SNP and the wider independence movement – as these entities reflect broader society. But Fiona Robertson is right, we need a better definition than is to be found in the dictionary. How then do we define this particular racism?
All we have to combat this insidious beast are the tools at our own disposal. We have the internet; blogs and vlogs, social media platforms, video hosting sites, and so on. Behind these we have a small and growing army of dedicated writers, artists, content creators, and social media wizards. These are people with skills who are learning on their feet the tools needed to address the incessant propaganda of the unionist media and deliver effective and timely counterpunches.
Her depiction of the European Union as a new threat from the continent; as an existential battle against Euro-Nazism, is no exaggeration. The featured image of the blog post is nothing less than an updated version of the Dad’s Army map – the one with little union jack arrows being chased out of Europe by swastika arrows. In her map Great Britain (Mmm)TM is surrounded by the evil EU empire on all sides, forever dug-in in its perennially entrenched salient. Her monomaniacal representation of Europe, however, betrays her vast ignorance of history.
Thanks in large part to the way the internet and social media work we have been herded into tribes of opinion, rarely coming face-to-face – or “interfacing” – with people of radically differing opinions. Trends in the development of identity politics have perceptively homogenised our tribal opinions, making us less independent thinkers than subscribers to our chosen tribal groupthink. What this means is that people are increasingly finding themselves pressured into adopting a package of positions so as to conform to the expectations of the collective.
Haggerty’s answer to this, rather than simply facing up to the criticism, has been two-pronged; going full Brezhnev she has at once closed down the comments and invited readers to sign up to CommonSocial – yet another McRobin franchise; a fenced-in alternative to Facebook where all dissent can be (ahem) dealt with – or go proper old school and write a letter to the editor. Either way it amounts to the same thing, CommonSpace will control all discussion on its content.
In person the author of the Wee Ginger Dug is every bit as sharp and erudite as he is on his blog. His language is measured and precise. He uses words like surgical blades, always cutting right to the heart of whatever it is he has to say – and this is a rare quality in people. It’s impressive and intimidating in equal measure. What’s more is that he delivers this show, this oratorical performance, in the finest Glaswegian voice you’re likely to hear. This is something, given our horrible national inferiority complex, I had never thought possible.
Musing out loud Runnerlicious asked: “Why do most Yesser blogs have donate buttons [and] constantly beg for donations?” – adding that “unionists blog for free.” While the various attempts to answer this question – my own included – quickly descended into squabbling and personal attacks, Julie was asking a fair question; one I hope to answer a little better here than Twitter will allow.
A shark on the road is what it is. It’s a shark on a road. This is Ockham’s Razor 101. It didn’t happen. Yet it’s easy it grasp, it tickles the imagination, it allows us to be seen to be enraged or be one of the smarty pants who myth busted it. What it is, is bubble gum for the brain. But what we are missing is that this is precisely how the media – the “real” or “mainstream” media – has operated for decades. Now these techniques of mass anaesthesia are being used – thanks to the internet and social media – by people and organisations that have more sinister messages to spread than shark memes.