Sometimes the minutiae of Twitter tells you a bigger story.
As with all my posts, the most recent, How the SNP colonises the third sector – the case of the Scottish Book Trust and the First Minister’s Reading Challenge, appeared on my Twitter timeline with a link for anyone wanting to read it. Quite a few did and after a few hours this tweet popped up:
Mr McLean, as his Twitter profile confirms, turns out to be an SNP councillor for Partick West in Glasgow.
I thought ‘barking mad conspiracy theory’ was a little strong for a 1,000-word piece in which I laid out the detailed evidence leading to my claim in respect of the Scottish Book Trust and the First Minister’s Reading Challenge, so I replied with this:
which I trust you will agree is neither intemperate nor abusive. Still, I was just mildly irritated by the implication of ‘barking mad’ and the idea that I was a conspiracy theorist. So a quick check of Kenny’s timeline revealed him retweeting this:
and when I gently pointed this out to him:
I was blocked.
Of course. Meantime, some proportion of his 2,364 followers will conclude I’m a barking mad conspiracy theorist.
That causes me no pain. Anyone taking a position opposing Scottish nationalism and the SNP is used to it and it’s how some SNP politicians use social media – pile in, insinuate, retreat, then cut off communication.
What very few of these people will do is actually leave a comment on the blog arguing a counter-case or refuting evidenced claims. Some just don’t want to engage beyond the flippant ‘barking mad’ level of debate. Some wouldn’t be seen dead contributing to debate on an opponent’s blog because that might give it credence. Some won’t even read what they’re condemning. And some, I guess, know that a particular post is irrefutable and prefer to stay away.
As I always say, comments on this blog are open to any point of view that isn’t abusive and should Mr McLean wish to add his thoughts on the post that so concerns him I will publish them.
But to return to G A Ponsonby, a man who thinks that if someone breaks wind in the BBC’s Pacific Quay premises it’s a unionist plot to pollute the atmosphere of the dear green place. His Twitter ‘poll’ (inverted commas because in no way scientific) found 70% of his nearly 1,600 respondents believed a technical hitch the BBC had with broadcasting part of Nicola Sturgeon’s visit to Dublin was due to ‘corruption.’ And Councillor McLean has the brass neck to imply I’m a conspiracy theorist.
That’s the great thing for conspiracy theorists. It’s not about evidence, it’s about belief. Moon landings, anyone?
Footnote. Having blocked me, Mr McLean tweets about me behind my back:
I’m still not sure if he’s read the original post but I’m happy to donate a modest sum to the charity of his choice if he can find the words ‘sinister conspiracy’ in the piece. As for ‘zoomer’ he clearly doesn’t know what the word means. Oh well, second time he’s given the post free publicity.