In the light of recent events, and whilst the media is frantically trying to criminalise speaking your mind (only if it is a pro-independence mind that is), it is worth pointing out that a lot of the worst slanders on the other side are not coming from ordinary No supporters… although there is horrible stuff coming from them. Rather, in fact, they are coming from No politicians and journalists.
On the right is a list (by no means exhaustive) of some of the things Alex Salmond has been called by various journalists and politicians. I’m not an SNP member or even SNP voter but I think these are worth highlighting.
I think I’d rather be called a “pr*ck” or some such than any of the above.
That said, these people do and should have the right to say whatever they like about a man who, to my knowledge, has never invaded any country or sent people to do so, has never attempted to exterminate Jews, gays and Slavs, has never been falsely accredited with making the trains run on time, has never sent millions of people off to Siberian workcamps and has never been known to do bizarre things with horses.
I repeat, they should have the right to say it, and then we can ignore it, or make fun of it, whichever seems the best option.
The ridiculous construction of the “cybernat” is nothing more than an attempt to prevent people from doing that, and to hamstring one side in this debate. As my podcast colleague pointed out…
It is a tried and tested debating strategy, not to answer the arguments actually advanced, but to strive to undermine them using other tools.
In this debate the No side don’t have the facts on their side so they are “using other tools”. They are playing the man and not the ball.
In politics, as in sport, playing the man and not the ball is a strategy usually employed by a player that knows he is of inferior ability or in an inferior position to his opponent, and can’t win by normal methods.
That also means they are very very worried.
We’re going to win!