Two days ago, a well-known separatist who styles himself as a ‘wee ginger dug’ wrote an article on his blog entitled ‘Why the indy movement needs to crowdfund.’
It was a curiously defensive piece that can be summarised as ‘Pro-independence voices on social media need to solicit funds because they are just ordinary grassroots folk whereas unionist voices have got “loadsamoney”.’
If you suspect my prècis is a parody too far, this is the point at which I grit my teeth and in the spirit of openness that characterises cyberspace, provide you with a link to the article concerned. If you venture through to look at it (don’t feel you have to), you’ll also find the claim, on the basis of what one individual wrote in an independence-supporting magazine, that an anonymous group approached a number of people in 2014 to write pro-union blogs for cash.
The dug’s hackles had been raised by two tweets earlier that day:
The person sending those tweets is a nationalist but her comments seem reasonable to me, and since she cites me in evidence, I feel justified in reproducing her thoughts here. She’s correct about me, by the way. You’ll see no ‘Donate’ button (as is self-evident) and no shady backer – or anyone – has ever offered me money to write this blog, which I do in my own time. It was born of frustration during the 2014 referendum campaign and it continues because those who promised a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity lied, and continue to lie, about separation.
Anyhow, I don’t expect you want to know all this. The point, and it’s obvious, is that I didn’t agree with the dug’s conclusions so I ventured a lengthy comment on his blog:
Reasonable? I hope so. And in fairness to the dug he published it.
Meantime, his article was gathering a lot of comment, some of it from nationalists also concerned about aspects of fundraising. One thanked me for my comments (‘Nice to hear an opposing view’), I assume not ironically. One doughty individual had a go for a while at reinforcing my comments but, like me, was received frostily. The discussion veered off, as these things tend to, into scarcely-related territory and what passes for banter.
However, someone along the way challenged me on a few words I’d used in my comment:
“the bad and plain ugly categories”. Really, Mr White, really?
and it seemed reasonable to answer the question, which I sought to do with the following comment:
I expect the last thing WGD wants is for me to publicise my blog here but there’s really no other way to respond to a couple of comments already made, especially about my use of the words ‘bad’ and ‘ugly’ (I also used ‘good’ – geddit?). I wrote two posts on the subject, linked at the end of this comment and if it doesn’t offend your sense of propriety, I’d urge you to glance at both. The first deals with some general points, the second with some examples. If you get to the second, you will see I start with what I regard as an example of good practice, Common Weal. As for an example of something that seemed distinctly dodgy at the time, you’ll have to read to the end, where you’ll see Messrs. Clegg (David) and Macwhirter seem to agree with me. Part 1 Part 2
The comment didn’t appear although a number of other people’s contributions popped up. What the dug may not know is that I use the same blogging software as him, so I could see that it was ‘Waiting in moderation’, the jargon WordPress use for comments a blogger has yet to approve. After about twelve hours it disappeared, never to be seen on the dug blog. Luckily I saved a draft.
A further brief contribution was also zapped. In response to my original comments, the dug had replied ‘I didn’t see the original tweet as I no longer engage with twitter.’ I had tried to chide him about his claim since his Twitter account is still there, although he’s blocked me from viewing it. A sneak peek revealed he’s tweeted several times already in February.
Meantime, and irritatingly, another commentator has challenged me on the dug’s blog. Thanks ‘Ian’ but I won’t be able to respond since the mutt doesn’t seem to want me around.
You see, the dug bottled it. He let a yoon in, presumably in the hope of some canine-inspired sport, but wouldn’t let the yoon defend himself when he was asked a direct question. I can only assume that like many pets who are made hygienic for modern living, the dug has had his op and is no longer in possession of his cojones.
Oh well, I tried.
PS – more important than any of this is the dodgy behaviour of some online separatists around fundraising (see links above to previous posts on this blog). To purloin a phrase used by the dug I’m ‘not pointing any fingers at any individuals’ but I wonder how many donations he gets on his blog and how he accounts for that money.