As the never-ending agitation to unravel the result of the ‘once in a generation’ referendum of 2014 continues, I’ve taken to recording each year’s most-read posts on the ‘No Thanks!’ blog. Here are the top ten most-read of 2018, in traditional Top Of The Pops ascending order, with some added comments. Not all were posted in 2018 which, if nothing else, shows that interest in some subjects is more than ephemeral.
This was from 2016, so I guess there are enough people out there still curious to know what ‘yoon’ means. Despite the protestations of online nationalists, it’s not pleasant and I wish they’d avoid it for the same reason I avoid using ‘nat, ‘Snat’, or ‘Natsi’ i.e. it’s a deliberate insult. Our political debate is challenging enough without them. That didn’t seem to worry hanging-on-by-a-thread SNP MP Pete Wishart, who played a part in popularising the word. [See also No. 4]
I’m surprised this is the only mention of Catalonia in my 2018 Top Ten, as it’s a subject I’ve returned to a number of times. This piece was a detailed examination of the abuse of the English language (and much else) by nationalist George Kerevan in an article he had in ‘The National’ newspaper. It contained much nonsense, not least the bizarre claim that the properly-conducted arrest of a limited number of ex-Catalan politicians who conducted an illegal ‘referendum’ ‘is a coup [sic] that affects Scotland directly’. Hogwash George, hogwash.
A small and ongoing compendium of claims of conversions from ‘No’ to ‘Yes’ of former unionists, not least nineteen unfortunates allegedly buttonholed at a wedding reception by sad sack Jamie ‘MacAlba’. Quite amusing in a ‘Will-they-never-learn’ way. [See also No. 6]
A few examples of nationalist ‘food activists’, people who object to how food is labelled. The affliction comes in various forms but essentially if a package doesn’t say ‘Produce of Bonny Scotland’ in large letters and sport a saltire for the functionally-illiterate, they dinnae like it. No-one seemed to pick up on the perhaps slightly unkind allusion in the title of the article. Perhaps they never will.
The first ‘mass conversion to Yes’ story I noticed, back in 2017, given a new lease of life by No. 8 above. Its perpetrator went all shy and blocked me on Twitter when I asked for some proof of his claim.
I don’t know if there’s any overlap between the food activists recorded in No. 7 above and the ‘bridgivists’ who drape bridges over main roads with tatty nationalist flags and slogans but they’re certainly from the same dark, demented corner of nationalism. This article was about a group who claimed to have a supportive e-mail from Police Scotland about their activities. I doubted the document’s veracity. I was being cautious. I’ll lay money on it being a forgery. Again, blocked on Twitter for my troubles.
No. 4 ‘Hunt the yoon’
Posted a year ago today, this recorded attempts by online nationalists to ‘out’ a number of anonymous pro-GB accounts on social media. I’d say their efforts were sub-Clouseau at best, although Agatha Christie would never have had Clouseau say as one contributor to the discussion did, ‘The sooner they all f*** off to Englandshire the better’. Charming.
A seafood processing plant closed in South West Scotland during the year. Guess what? It was all part of a plot by Westminster to manage the decline of Scotland’s economy. It has to be true because hundreds of people liked tweets that said so. A curious coincidence from a long-ago job I had allowed me to show the claim was, to be polite, hokum.
If you don’t like what a book says, try to get it withdrawn from sale. Not the view of some solitary extremist, but of an official SNP branch, and the attempt at censorship worked. Not good.
Finally, at No. 1 is the most-read post on the ‘No Thanks!’ blog this year.
Much that was infelicitous surrounded the development and launch of the SNP government’s baby boxes. After several Freedom of Information requests I got as much as I thought I would from the government on the subject. This was the result. A follow-up, Scottish government baby boxes – more information, more concerns, after a new minister sanctioned the release of more information on the subject, did not make this year’s Top Ten posts. You’d have to read both posts to reach your own conclusion but I still have my doubts about a number of aspects of the scheme, and not only the safety of the boxes. Previous comment was treated as tantamount to a confession that I wished the new-born harm, so I await with interest to see if this reminder of the subject elicits the same response.
A Happy New Year to all my readers, of whatever political stripe.