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.
Brexit is an existential threat to Scotland. The “wait and see” philosophy of those who would rather wait until the terms are clearer or until we have left the EU and the consequences have hit the tarmac has run its course. We may not know the exact terms of the Brexit deal or the true significance of a British walkout, but it’s all academic. We know exactly where this is heading – and we had better not still have our head on the block when that axe comes down.
When the British media turns its attention to the “nationalists,” nothing can appear worse. Everything the Scottish government – “the SNP government” – has done to make rail travel in Scotland the best performing rail network in the United Kingdom, well that’s a “crisis.” There’s an NHS crisis in Scotland too, an oil crisis, and an employment crisis, and any other flavour of crisis you may care to imagine. Scotland, thanks to the SNP, has become one big crisis.
If we fail to address that printed media imbalance we may well lose out again in the next referendum. The best time to start preparing for this is last year, but seeing as that has come and gone, the next best time is right now. Every day iScot is struggling to stay in business. It needs an awful lot more people to subscribe either online or to its print edition and have it sent to their door. Of course, there’s no point spending money on any old crap. It and whatever else we produce has to be quality.
We can be as gentle, as meek, as fair, and as mild-mannered as we like. We do not have the luxury of mass media to get our point across. We can be civil and well spoken, reasonable, and well behaved. Their cameras and microphone booms will come nowhere near us. No one will hear how nice we are. All the while the airwaves and the news reports and column inches will be jammers with vile BritNat manipulation and half-truths, and we will “lose the argument.”
No one can deny, not after the crowds chanting his name at the Glastonbury festival, that Jeremy Corbyn – the Chippenham commissar – is a sensation. As Britain’s answer to Bernie Sanders he has rocked the small world of British politics. So powerful was his unexpected surge during the last general election he even had movers and shakers in the Scottish independence movement fawning after him. So when his stage management team declared he would be coming to Scotland we were right to be nervous.
Comrade Corbyn is marching north to Scotland with his wee pokey army to “win back” seats from the SNP because he wants to be Prime Minister of a united Britain. He appears to have gotten it into his head, no doubt emboldened by Cat Boyd and her like, that Scotland is right on the verge of turning back to Labour and embracing Corbynism; this wonderful new brand of socialism.