The up-side of getting away from Scotland for a while is getting away from nationalist madness – if you can resist news and social media. The down-side is having to come back to it. Thus a recent relaxing and peaceful ten days in Spain (of which country more anon), together with the bump down to earth on return.
I knew I was back when I powered up my PC and clicked on to Twitter to find that the first minister had gone out of her way to share a London Fire Brigade tweet about the Parson’s Green bomb incident as it was happening. Why she (or whoever runs her Twitter account) chose that particular news to share is interesting enough. The madness however was the man – note the SNP logo – who replied:
Yes, it’s our old friend the semi-literate conspiracy theorist.
The jolt back to reality reminded me that I’d once charted a whole month of nationalist grievance, and there was more than a touch of madness in that. I didn’t have the energy to repeat that exercise, although interestingly many of the same old moans are still being trotted out two years later. But with SNP supporter Allan Currie pointing the way I thought I could muster enough energy to chart ten days of loopy, mostly online behaviour to counter the ten days of peace I’d had. Here goes.
Scarcely had I put the holiday smalls in the washing machine when I became aware of yet another hope over fear/bairns over bombs/Saturday-outing-for-hobbyists-over-slumped-in-front-of-TV rally, as always in Glasgow’s George Square and preceded this time by squawks about the ‘butcher’s apron’ flying over the City chambers. Many photos were posted of the event, which seemed to end with the assembled masses ‘taking over’ – their words – the adjoining Wetherspoons (FFS guys, it’s owned by an English company). The highlight of the celebratory snaps was one of an SNP member who styles himself modestly ‘Thinker. Listener. Talker. Reader. Writer’ with a simpering online troll called out a while back for soliciting free meals from gullible Yes supporters.
The rally had been preceded by a rousing plea on Facebook from someone who, glancing at his ‘Favourites’, must surely be another SNP member:
As to the event itself, Glasgow city council were wise enough to have a webcam on their roof as well as the union flag. Here’s the rally:
Draw your own conclusion.
Hard on the heels of the rally followed this judgement about Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie:
And here’s Mr Stuart’s Twitter profile:
Notice? SNP again, and even convener of a branch. He apologised, although only after he was called out for his slur, then deleted his tweet. Too late.
If that was unfortunate, Lesley Riddoch’s contribution to my days of madness was, as so often, joyous:
Batty. Her judgement unleashed a stream of humorous put-down replies, not to mention a few press cuttings about Glasgow bus drivers being assaulted. But do you get the underlying message? England unfriendly/bad, Scotland friendly/good. Tx Lesley. (Other examples of Ms Riddoch’s battiness can be found by searching her name on this blog)
I’m sometimes irritated by Mandy Rhodes, who often seems closer to one political philosophy than the editor of ‘a source of reliable information and political debate’ (Holyrood magazine) should be. But on this occasion she was being factual. It’s the response from an ex-member of the Scottish Resistance that qualifies the exchange for inclusion here:
Had Mr Doughty-Brown found a sense of humour? I’d like to think so although I have my doubts. Answers on a Tunnock’s tea cake wrapper please.
Ironically, given where I had spent my preceding ten days, much of my return to Scotland was occupied by increasingly frenetic and bizarre nationalist agitation about the situation in Spain and Catalonia. The Catalan separatist government, if you hadn’t noticed, has embarked on a course of attempting to hold an unconstitutional and illegal referendum. The whole thing is grist to our own nationalists’ mill and exemplifies what I’ve previously called their pinball wizadry, the issues they make most noise about like ‘pinballs fired out into the big wide world where they career dementedly off a series of bumpers before disappearing down a hole to be replaced by another random missile.’ Catalonia is this month’s random missile. You doubt me?
Here’s online nationalist ‘Jason Michael’, who writes about Scotland from his home in Dublin:
Dramatic. Then there was this:
Observe the soldier on the right. Jason’s ‘Uncle Rab,’ in reality a second world war SAS soldier. Jason’s tweet was an outright lie, although he tried to wriggle out of it, blaming an aunt in Australia for posting the image on Facebook, before being found out discussing the original on a ‘special forces forum’ (!) several years ago. He was rightly ridiculed relentlessly before falling silent on this subject although, sadly, not on other matters.
Jason claims to be a journalist, although of what sort and with which publications, is unknown. A more established and also nationalist-inclined hack, the veteran Joyce McMillan, was also caught out by events in Catalonia, tweeting first this:
No apologies, no explanation. What has happened to the noble art of checking your sources? Meantime, note the 53 retweets and 33 likes of the original (let’s be kind) misinformed message, compared with the 6 retweets and four likes for the correction. This is the ways lies come to be believed by those uninterested in the truth. Incidentally, note the ‘1000’s [sic] of armed police …’. News for Ms McMillan – every last Guardia Civil and Policia Local issuing parking tickets carries a revolver in Spain. It’s nothing to do with politics, let alone alleged repression.
It’s one small step from misinformation to hysteria and it’s a step the SNP’s Peter Bell (the ‘Thinker. Listener … etc’ mentioned above) doesn’t hesitate to take:
Madness? You decide.
Finally, in what is a far from complete round-up, and happily combining several strands of nationalist nonsense, old friends the egregious and phoney ‘English Scots for Yes’ have stumbled back into life to solicit funds (an endemic nationalist disease) for a ‘Scottish observer delegation’ to the illegal non-referendum in Catalonia that may or may not happen on 1 October:
International observation of elections and referendums, properly organised, has a long and honourable tradition. This bunch of partisan amateurs swanning off to Spain unsupervised and without affiliation to any international body, is not it. Still, the Costas are not far away. Sangria, anyone?
In giving this piece a title including the word ‘madness’ I was conscious that I lay myself open to all sorts of politically correct charges of inappropriate use of language … although not as inappropriate as SNP branch convener Andy Stuart. I also rely on the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition:
Anyhow, wasn’t there a band called Madness? I seem to remember their biggest hit was called ‘House of Fun.’ Hmm …