Social media is the problem. I don’t blame ‘Politicalicious,’ ‘A Douglas,’ ‘Mel,’ or any of the other Twitter users who, without knowing anything about me, have made it their business to discredit me and manufacture an image of me as a child abusing woman hater — these are not intelligent people. There is no shortage of useful idiots on the internet. They believe, as bad thinkers, that they are achieving something. They’re not. They are merely adding to the conditions in which they too can be so easily dismissed — and always the advantage is to the bad actors...
Yesterday I received a message from an amazing women, 'A.,' who reached out to me, concerned that my recent battles on social media were maybe getting me down. She is perceptive. Yes, this past few weeks have taken their toll on me - and I can only imagine this comes as good news to those who made it their mission to make things tough for me. I have taken a position on the so-called gender debate many people really do not like. While I have my reservations about some of the content of gender theory, I am unwilling to stay quiet while perfectly innocent transgender people are subjected to the most appalling abuse from people who believe they are defending women's rights.
The anti-gender movement has by innovation and borrowing manufactured its own in-speak, a language and vocabulary that at once fosters among its members a sense of belonging and provides them with a particular phraseology by which to communicate and articulate the ideas of the movement. This, of course, is useful to the observer in that it permits us to identify strands of thought which are native to the group, inherited from the wider group or groups from which it emerged, and those that it borrows or shares with other groups which are influencing it.
Its quixotic readiness to go on crusade against every perceived wrong, hampered at every turn by its lack of maturity and inability to systematically think through some of the most basic tenets of civilisation — the presumption of innocence, for example — has turned it into a mob and created an environment in which unaccomplished yet entitled youths are readily masking their personal failures and inadequacies behind complex webs of manufactured and appropriated grievances.
This theatre of the culture war is global, but in Scotland it poses a unique and particular problem within the political discourse of the independence movement. As an internal dialectic of radical feminism, the opposing factions of the debate — the conversation in toto — constitutes, albeit fractured, a discourse or a Weltanschauung of its own; the worldview of modern radical feminism. This conversation, however, is happening largely within one constituent element of the Scottish independence movement (which is in itself a discrete Weltanschauung).
‘Someone on the internet said something mean about me,’ joked Paul Kavanagh a couple of years ago as he recounted to me his experience of negative comments online. And this is true; no matter what we do or say, there will always be someone lurking somewhere online — invariably hiding behind an anonymous profile — who will go out of their way to say something biting and nasty. Here we’re not talking about trolls. We have come to expect them and when we realise this is what they are up to we can dismiss them without much thought.
Yes, there are serious issues affecting the independence movement, and independence politics is a passionate politics touching so many of us right at the heart of our identities. In an instant, arguments and insults are accelerated to accusations of treason and unionism. It was when I saw one prominent antagonist describe his fellow independentistas as ‘former indy supports’ that it really struck me that things have gone too far. We cannot continue to be this rigid and unforgiving. Independence demands the hard work and dedication of hundreds of thousands of people.
Any Assembly representing the entire spectrum of pro-independence sentiment – the majority opinion in Scotland today – is sovereign by its very nature. Its establishment furnishes us immediately with a powerful instrument with which we can challenge both the British administration in Scotland qua the Scottish government and the British colonial hegemon in London. Without reference to Westminster and unencumbered by any obligation to negotiate with the British government, a truly independent Scottish National Assembly representing all...