I understand why some nationalists are offended at the word ‘cybernat.’ It’s a term that can be used too glibly. But my goodness, some of them deserve the name and all the implications of nastiness it’s come to symbolise.
One such is ‘Claire’ Robertson, an online persona who is … well, you don’t need me to explain if you’ve not heard of ‘her.’ Just have a look at the exposé of her/him that appeared on the web two days ago. And do read it to the end before you accuse me of throwing the term cybernat around too loosely.
Claire, or Mark is it turns out, Robertson lobbed a relatively innocuous grenade in my direction a while ago. The phrase ‘old fart flapping his gums’ featured but you’ll see from the exposé that that’s the least of his creative use of language.
The interesting thing for me is the number of nationalists, both bog standard cyber-warriors and more prominent names, who not only fell for Robertson, but also corresponded approvingly with him, for example
- SNP MP Paul Monaghan – who wrote ‘We all have different roles in this. You fulfil yours spectacularly well. I mean that. Keep it up’ (if you read the exposé you’ll realise that’s an unfortunate phrase in the circumstances)
- Hardeep comedian-and-once-upon-a-time-Glasgow-landlord Singh Kohli – Claire [after an apparent pause in their conversation]: … please resume, was just getting coffee. Hardeep: Milk. Nae sugar. Thanks baby doll
- Singer Eddi Reader [and I quote verbatim]: I think we should question the political deal between our countries. ‘NAH u’re a shite sing-uhr’ ‘buh ESSNPEEZ ruh-bish’ Level of NAW debate. Claire: well eddie that’s why we have laws about brothers and sisters f*****g as it produces naws.
(I have screen shots of all these interactions)
Robertson has also attracted Campbell Gunn, our current first minister’s special adviser, as a follower:
although I’ve not seen any exchange between them.
Mark’s future as Claire is being played out on Twitter (and maybe elsewhere) as many of his former ‘friends’ realise how they’ve been duped. He sports an SNP logo on his Twitter profile but of course anyone can do that and I have no evidence that he’s a member. But the personalities (and numpties) he’s attracted do make you wonder about the calibre and competence of those who would rule us in a separate Scotland.
Anyhow, that’s enough about yesterday’s man/woman. You might have noticed the title of this post refers to the now venerable game of whack-a-mole. I expect you remember it. Nasty moles lurk in dark holes underground and pop up at random when the skilled operator can whack them with a big stick and send them back underground.
Cybernats are a bit like moles and I coincidentally discovered a new one who’s just popped up on Twitter, this guy, who calls himself Ian Watson:
although of course he isn’t really. He, or at least the photo, seems to be an ex-CIA operative who appears on the web doing other stuff in far-off places in 2010 and 2013 (the invaluable Google reverse image search confirms this: try it). More impersonation. ‘Watson’ styles himself
@Cyberbritwatch … exposing the real identities of Cyber Brits everywhere. Former DC turned private investigator.
Aye, that’ll be right. His first efforts seem to be (shock, horror) directed at ‘Conservatives’ who allegedly amend or are paid to amend Wikipedia entries on un-named politicians. Ooh, that’ll have them quaking in Downing Street. If he can’t do better than that he might as well close up shop before he’s even started. If you want to see how air-brushing a Wikipedia entry is really done check that site’s article on the SNP which is remarkably bland, not to say approving.
Doubtless there’ll be lots of faff and fuss about Watson and whatever antics he/she/they choose(s) to perform. I’m not expecting much. Just another fantasist, probably stuck in a bedroom in his mum’s house somewhere near Glasgow. I look forward to someone whacking this particular mole down in the not too distant future. But I also wonder about the role of the many other moles in the wider cause of nationalism and the followers they attract so approvingly. Not nice people, not a nice cause.
Footnote: for the avoidance of doubt I don’t know who carried out the exposé of Mark Robertson. It wasn’t me but it is an excellent forensic investigation into a very unpleasant character.