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« Homage to Catalonia | Main | More thoughts on blogging, the mainstream media and double standards »

November 29, 2009


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Sorry Joan, I know its bad manners to respond to the posts of others, but the comments of "Juan" are just too funny to leave alone.

The thought of the labour Party recruiting armies of bloggers to defame SNP politicians is just too funny.

Juan, the Labour Party can't organise a decent jumble sale let alone a coordinated cyber attack.
If you have evidence to the contrary - then let us all know.

Besides, I would be gutted to think I hadn't been invited to that party. I can smear with the best of them!

Now you notice someone going on about how horrible it is for nationalists to smear Labour and then states: "if she is right, then the SNP leadership is truly despicable, no need to mince words..."

And provides not even a smidgen of evidence. I believe the correct phrase for that is pot, meet kettle.

As an American with an intense interest in Scottish politics (a strange thing, but that's all right), I have been struck time after time after time by the intensity and viciousness of the attacks on-line against nationalists.

Do you see Alex Salmond going around whining and threatening lawsuits because bloggers (and I could point you to a LOT of them) call him a c*nt and worse? How many times have I seen NATIONALISTS called sewer scum, racists, etc., etc.

I would be REALLY interested in seeing NotW in attacking those bloggers. Do I EXPECT to see it happen? *snort snort*


a thoughtful post. I have never met Mark McLaughlin, but in my on line dealings with him I too have found him a very rounded person with the cultural interests you mention. To me though this only makes it more remarkable that he posted what he did and expected to get away with it.

I take you point about jounnos and former journos having a better grasp of media law etc than amature bloggers, but surely anyone can grasp calling someone( least of all the Secretary of State for Scotland or the political editor of NOTW) a "cunt" on a blog that can be read freely by millions online might bring some difficulties somewhere down the line....say it in a pub youd most likely get a sore face, in a newspaper a big fine and more. So why do bloggers somehow think if you say it online and sometimes anonymously its ok?

Hmm. Have mixed feelings on this. I first encountered wardog on the Steamie when he brusquely took me to task for doubting the wisdom of we Scots perceiving ourselves as having an innate tradition of 'compassion'; but afterwards, I decided to look up his blog and lo, he turns out to be an interesting guy with some interesting things to say.

I have to say I left off looking at his blog because of the language; life's too short for reading rants.

You give a spirited defence of your friend Mr MacLachlan, but the Sunday Herald has this to say today -

'Mr MacLachlan suggested some Labour politicians got a sexual thrill from bullying women, branded a prominent Tory “the biggest liar in the Scottish legal system”, and posted a picture of Gordon Brown in a noose with the headline “duplicitous lying bastards”.
He also alleged a married Labour MSP visited gay cruising spots, badmouthed the daughter of Lord David Steel, the former presiding officer at Holyrood, and described several opponents as “c***s”. Mr MacLachlan had been employed at public expense since 2007.'

Mr MacLachlan may be as nice a guy as you say in everyday life, but if what the Herald is saying is true he is totally out of order.

A couple of random thoughts:

Smears have always existed in politics but Scottish political life seems especially bad - you probably remember Margo MacDonald writing about her belief that the SNP leadership quietly briefed against her when she was diagnosed with her illness. I do believe that the heat needs to be taken out of Scottish political discourse and that we should all watch our language, and reserve our strong language for occasions such as the Margo example (if she is right, then the SNP leadership is truly despicable, no need to mince words).

Your reference to Private Eye is interesting, as many of us have traditionally looked there for stories that are not covered in Scotland. Indeed you should take some credit yourself on the matter of covering the Scottish ''dark' side - I think you were the only journalist writing about the Chirnsyde Comuunity Centre, for example, which should have been a massive story but somehow wasn't.

Bringing up Benjamin Franklin is also interesting, as it now seems he may have been a British as well as an American spy - he possibly got so involved in his personas that he sometimes forgot what his real individuality was. A lesson for many Scottish bloggers, perhaps.

Regarding the comment about Simon Cowell and his politics show, as the Eye pointed out a few weeks ago, this idea was previous carried out by ITV and one of Cowell's new collaborators. In that instance, the public decided to vote, repeatedly, for what the Eye called "A swivel-eyed fascist", who was described as being anti-immigrant, anti-gay and anti-everything.

I'm not sure what that says about the British public or about ITV's viewers, but I have a feeling that no good will come of this.

Indeed Joan the DTP have vested interest in slaughtering the Independence support. More often than not , the bloggers call into question the veracity of their output.

I note no mention of the Labour candidates who are also involved in smearing bloggers. They actually have an outsourced department to carry it out. How very new Labour.....

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