It was as clear as day why the Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, and the youngest Westminster MP Mhairi Black were on the list. As prominent female members of the Scottish National Party – the party that threatens to tear Britain asunder – their intended function was to lose and so furnish the media with yet another handy stick with which to beat Scotland and the SNP.
It has been 1,266 days since the first independence referendum and every single day since then the independence movement in Scotland has been on its toes, standing in a campaign footing waiting for the second. The second referendum is coming. We have secured a mandate in our own parliament, we have secured a mandate at Westminster, and Holyrood has given its consent to put the question of independence back before the Scottish people.
When it comes to campaigning some fights are unavoidable, and it’s inevitable that we’ll gravitate towards others of a similar political outlook as ourselves. Cliques and factions in the movement are a natural consequence of being a movement so large. There’s not very much we can do about these fall outs, and so long as we are still working towards the same goal we can deal with the difficulties that arise as a result. But the other stuff is unnecessary and causes us more trouble than it’s worth.
Having a beard and expensive designer frames is hardly unique to David Torrance. Not even the name “Davey” is reserved in Scotland for the sole use of David Torrance. When I first saw the PPB in question I was tempted to think poor Davey bore a striking resemblance to that thundering numpty James McEnaney. At least McEnaney knows how to tie a tie, and he has been known to scrub up well – at least in the propaganda shots I’ve seen him in. Other than the beard and glasses Torrance bears as much resemblance to Davey as a polar bear does to a penguin.
Accounts of this type are not interested in discussion. They routinely insinuate themselves into ongoing conversations pretending to be ordinary people – giving no indication of their political position – and work, if given the chance, to derail the discussion and waste people’s time. When this tactic fails, or when they are discovered and called out, they resort to personal abuse and threats in an effort to drive people away from the conversation.
Social media – now very much “the world of trolls” – offers us what real life simply cannot, the ability to be all-sufficient. It offers us the possibility to find meaning in our undeveloped and un-self-become humanity. Behind the fiction of a social media profile we can be the men and women we want to be; the person we desire most to present to the world, without ever affecting any real change in the person who we actually are in the real world. This I will call the 'avatar,' the fictive person we create online...
Britain is governed, as it always has been, by a political establishment comprised of wealthy and entitled men who see those beneath them – both women and men – as nothing more than meat for their sexual enjoyment. This list gives us an assortment of men in power, including the Foreign and Defence Secretaries, who are invariably “inappropriate” with female and male researches. We read of those who have paid to be filmed being urinated on, impregnating employees, pressuring their victims to have abortions, and generally behaving like drunken barnyard animals.
Internet trolls – especially in the political sphere – have a number of functions. They are a distraction. Trolls will engage activists in petty arguments, and, of course, the activist, taking this as a teaching opportunity, will happily go down the rabbit hole. It’s pointless. No argument will convince them of the merits of independence. They don’t even have a vote. Most likely the person on the other side is in an office in Wolverhampton following the instructions pinned to their blue cubical wall.