Comment posted SNP need to back off the ‘Anti-Scottish’ tactic by newsroom.
For ratzo: No one comment gave us cause to decide that it was important to call attention to a direction of travel that is potentially dangerous and should be left behind.
And this is no facile argument.
Supporting the charging of fees for tertiary education – for example – may be short or long sighted, it may be capitalist, it may be elitist, it may damage the economy, it may fuel growth – but it is not ‘Anti-Scottish’. It is entirely feasible than an independent Scotland might have to charge such fees – and how would that square with the tag of being ‘Anti Scottish’?
As soon as you start labelling anything negatively as ‘Anti-Scottish’, you are also creating a positive category of ‘Scottish’ – and that binary distinction in these terms is essentially racist and yes, it is incipiently fascist.
Fascism is not hurling people into concentration camps and murdering opponents at will.
That is the end result of fascism.
Fascism is the insistence on and the imposition of a single perspective, a single purpose, a single rightness – and an inability to tolerate the contrary view.
This is why the Blair regime became essentially fascist and why much of the legislation enacted – badly - in a hurry, by David Blunkett was fascist in spirit.
Maya Evans, standing at the Cenotaph in London in October 2005, refusing to stop reading (not shouting) aloud the names of British soldiers who had been killed in the 2003 Iraq war was neither a terrorist nor did she represent a terrorist threat. But she was arrested and charged under anti-terrorism legislation – simply because what she was doing was politically uncomfortable for the Blair regime that had taken us into that war. That regime could not tolerate that contrary view. Evans became the first person in the UK to be convicted under Blunkett’s 2005 Serious Organised Crime and Police Act.
newsroom also commented
- For kenmcdonald: We do not intend to comment further on this matter – but the essence of extremism is unreason.
- For the cybernats:
Everyone is aware of the existence and operation of the so-called ‘cybernats’ – the SNP’s internet attack dogs, sent out to howl at the quiver of criticism on the horizon.
It is not difficult to discriminate between the, sometimes angry, responses of wounded nationalists and the vicious rants of the cybernats.
I have been watching the comments to this article and its clarifying comment with interest, amusement and serious concern.
The interest is purely academic, in the sense of observing and analysing behavioural phenomena. In the extremist comments I have seen an all but absolute absence of reason; a shrill and dark abuse of anyone with contrary views; and an unthinking dismissal of an issue that begs reflection.
The amusement relates to the rural Irish wisdom that: ‘If you throw a stone amongst a pack of dogs, it’s the one that gets hit that squeals’.
So I know that our very real anxiety about the underlying fascist attitude in the emergence of the ‘Anti-Scottish’ tag has been received as damaging.
The real damage is in the attitude rather than in the criticism. The cybernats and their masters might better reflect on the damage done by their own conduct in the face of reasoned criticism.
For Argyll has been well disposed to independence – and equally well disposed to a federalist solution.
In the light of what I have seen in the extremist strain amongst the comments above, I now have very real reservations about an SNP led independence, if this is evidence of what is to come.
What I am seeing is the habit – the deliberate habit – of the truly fascist. This will not tolerate criticism in the pursuit of a totalitarian, authoritarian nationalism. This will not stop to discriminate between legitimate and illegitimate criticism. ALL criticism is regarded as illegitimate.
If the SNP attack dogs can be licensed to behave in this way at a time when their party is working hard to court favour for an independence vote in 2014, what will this sort of administration be like when, if successful, it no longer needs to worry whether people like it or not?
Will I personally vote for independence if this is the true proposition to contemplate? If this is where we are headed, I would no longer consider it for one second.
I have been horrified to live through the Blair regime that saw folk arrested in Brighton – by police – during a Labour party conference, simply for wearing anti-Blair T-shirts; and at the same conference saw an octogenarian physically hauled out of the conference chamber for shouting ‘Rubbish’ during a speech by Jack Straw.
That is starting to look pretty tame against the incipient fascism here in Scotland.
What the cybernat behaviour has done in the extremist comments above is to reinforce in large the initial concerns we had at the ‘Anti-Scottish’ adventures – that there is a genuine fascism being consciously loosed to shout criticism of any kind into silence – and that is cause for all our concern.
Anyone who imagines that For Argyll is likely to be cowed by anything, never mind brutishly irrational screeching, has profoundly misread who we are and what we are for.
- For David McCann: See our reply to ratzo.
We were trying to treat this lightly, although we do see it as a phenomenon that is worrying.
We’re happy to accept that this may not have been the best approach and rest our case on what we have said to ratzo.
And, for the recored, we do see this manifestation as having all the hallmarks of juvenile spin doctoring.
- For ratzo: We cannot see anything amusing in pointing to creeping fascism. That this will be unintentional does not neutralise its fascist impact.
Scots who do not want independence are no less Scottish than those who do.
Each, as they see it, has the interests of the country at heart; and each has anxieties over the independence referendum that lead them to do what they can to manipulate it towards the outcome they would prefer to see.
We are on the record as being opposed only to the status quo, which Scotland has clearly outgrown; finding equally acceptable an openly and well specified independence or an equally open and well specified federalist revision of the UK.
In our view, it is dangerous not to identify and be critical of bad practice, from wherever it comes.
The sort of blind or nervous affiliation that makes it possible for people to accept on condone wrong conduct because it comes from their own ‘side’ is what breeds monsters.
Who wants to live in a country, independent or not, where any criticism or opposition is hit upon as ‘Anti-Scottish’. If you cannot see where this can only lead, that too is of real concern.
Recent comments by newsroom
- Oban North Pier development – try this
Thank you, phill.You’ve always been a markedly fair contributor – and that includes when you are critical of us. We do learn lessons.
- Oban North Pier development – try this
Apologies for forgetting the Regent- which is something of a gem in its own right. We will add it at once to the article above.
And yes – we absolutely support the Macleod enterprise. Not many businesses invest so much of their own money into their own development. The norm is ‘other peoples money’. And these are attractive, high quality businesses that stoutly support the Oban experience for visitors and help to create the foundation for the repeat visits that benefit the town.
Also yes – when we support businesses, the free advertising this does give them is neither sought nor paid for. It is based on our independent judgment and, as such, is a considered endorsement of business initiative we judge to be exemplary and important for Argyll.
If any fell short of our expectations, we would be the first to challenge that negative slide.
Because there is real ability, real quality and real hope in a wide spectrum of Argyll businesses, one of the very positive contributions we can – and do – make, is to bring what they do to the attention of our substantial and lively audience. And, as with the Ninth Wave restaurant on Mull they don’t have to be big businesses.
As for the council, there is no value in gilding a decomposing organism.
As with our positive response yesterday to the Council’s initiative in developing air routes to Argyll and the Isles, we do look for signs of imagination and economic development attack – and support them. Here too we back our own judgment – and some have expressed their very different views on this particular development.
But this is a diseased council with no more trustworthy or any more capable alternative administration – and that is Argyll’s problem.
The best that we can do on anything is to use evidence to arrive at independent conclusions and positions on every issue we deal with – to make available the evidence for the conclusions at which we arrive and the positions we adopt.
There will be no-one and nothing we will not have both supported and offended – because no one and nothing is right all the time or wrong all of the time.
We are honest brokers, like us or detest us.
And. by the way – we were not suggesting putting a roof over McCaig’s tower – but roofing over a central area of it – well inside and below the height of the outer wall – and we did say that this is ‘blue skies thinking’.
We do not expect risk-averse and conservative Argyll to go for this [nor are we saying it should]. And we did not expect people to go for our sugestions of a road extension down to near Gallanach, a bridge there to Kerrera, with road development on the island, building a community there across the bay, with a twinkling night-time conversation going on – and stimulation for all sorts of new businesses.
We still see this as a more giving solution to the future of the bay communities of both Oban and Kerrera than is the frightful, heartless ghetto of the ‘Dunbeg corridor’ plan which will blight the signature deceptive approach to this surprising town, raking down and around its bay.
And at least these ideas, however dismissable, are thought propositions generating both debate and, we hope, new alternative solutions.
- Quarriers who put Easdale Island on the map may do so again
Congratulations on a dedicated and quite staggering volume of work well done – and on a voluntary basis.
We too look forward with excitement to new access to funding that will see this genuinely unique island heritage secured – and to access to expertise and promotional respurces that will see its value much more widely recognised.
Liaison with the Atlantic Islands Centre on Luing will be mutually beneficial.
With scheduling for Easdale and all that it can bring, the Atlantic Islands Centre will have a fabulous living museum, as well as the Slate Museum, on its doorstep to refer visitor to go and see.
- Analysis of Gourock-Dunoon ferry services confirms imperative for change
There is a technical problem with Argyll Flyer which amy account for this.
It is not expected to be prolonged and the company has said that it expects MV Coruisk to sail for her core duty on the Summer season run between Mallaig and Armadale on Skye, which starts on Friday 3rd April.
Coruisk has been acting as winter supplement on the Gourock-Dunoon service since December – as she did last year.
- When is Council going to replace the A814′s missing warning for HGVs?
As the article makes clear – large vehicles canot be prevented from using it because there will always be a genuine need for such vehicles to access a place or a property somewhere along that road.
But a clear ‘limitation of use’ notice puts the onus on drivers and gives Police Scotland’s traffic division reason to stop inquire and act accordingly.
Making the road one way for large vehicles, say south to north, would allow such access, deter casual convenience use by such vehicles and prevent stalemates when two meet.
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