Tuesday, 28 January 2014

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Monday, 27 January 2014

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Sunday, 26 January 2014

Live from Chicogo: Widow Twanky's Saturday Night

 The self-styled Project Fear built up the anticipation. A "Mystery Sleb" would come out as a No supporter and deliver an Immortal Memory to the Bard, Robert, or rather Rabbie, Burns on Burns Night. I don't think I've heard the Bard referred to as Rabbie in Scotland for years, I can only thank God their mystery sleb didn't essay "Burns Nicht."

Come the night, apparently only a solitary, socially-challenged Puffin on Unst hadn't guessed that the "Mystery Sleb" was John Barrowman - quondam Dr Who, Captain Jack in something else Sci-Fi-ish that I've never watched and Panto Star. He'd actually come out as a No supporter ages ago, possibly on the advice of his Panto co-stars, The Krankies.


Appearing like some Jimmy Shand on acid in a tartan jacket (though he would probably have called it a Plaid Jacket), he proceeded to deliver his oration with all the sincerity of a Crossroads extra. The whole, cringeworthy experience was reminiscent of watching Acorn Antiques, though this wasn't meant to be a joke. Rather than an Immortal Memory, in the highest tradition of Camp Theatricals, he delivered an Immortal Mammary and made a right tit of himself.

You could see he was reading it off the idiot boards beside the camera. Presumably the toe-curlingly bad jokes were penned by Blair MacDougall, and Barrowman delivered them with the comic timing of a broken cuckoo clock.

Here's just the jokes, edited by Jack Foster:


Leaving aside that the precociously gay, 8 year old Barrowman apparently stalked the mid-West looking up men's kilts to ascertain what they were wearing underneath, the oration was laden with the Brigadoonery and nostalgia of the emigrant (Barrowman doesn't have a vote in the referendum).

All of which could have been forgiveable, had MacDougall not included a verse or two for Barrowman to recite. Perhaps because just about every artist in Scotland is signed up with National Collective, it seems MacDougall couldn't find a coach for Mr Barrowman, so he proceeded to shred the Bard. First up was half a verse from The Cotter's Saturday Night:
From scenes like these, old Scotia's grandeur springs,
That makes her lov'd at home, rever'd abroad:
Princes and lords are but the breath of kings,
"An honest man's the noblest work of God;"
I'm not sure if we're meant to be chuffed that Scotland is revvered [sic] abroad, whatever that means.

Thank the Lord that MacDougall only gave him 2 lines of Does Haughty Gaul Invasion Threat to recite:
O let us not, like snarling curs,
In wrangling be divided,
I dread to think how he might have shredded the next 2 lines:
Till, slap! come in an unco loun, 
And wi' a rung decide it!
Overall, the accent wisnae bad. However, I always prefer to hear people speaking as themselves. As his theme was the nostalgia of the emigrant, it might have come across as more sincere had he delivered it in his own accent. Where is Chicogo? Does it have City Boarders? In my day Boarders were boys at school and Borders were lines on a map between countries.

If you can stand it, here's the whole thing:


Cybernats commenting on the performance on Twitter encountered a new breed, the bizzare Celebrity Stalker. Some of them were less than enamoured that we weren't doling out paeons of praise comparing Barrowman's wit to that of Peter Ustinov, or his eloquence to that of Laurence Olivier. I also discovered that irony remains just a ferric adjective across the pond.


Apparently he took no fee (though he would say that, wouldn't he?). Probably very wise, I wouldn't want any of their dirty money in his position either. Wouldn't do for a Sleb to be likened to a Serbian war criminal, would it?

Anyhoo, the polls are up and, wearing my Yes badge in the pub last night, I was approached by a couple I'd never met before.  Their fears now allayed, the No camp has lost another 2 fearful souls. Wear your badge and convert folk out there in the real world. The website and Twitter was going mental yesterday and far from frightening off Cybernats, the Daily Hate jumping the shark and doorstepping and printing prurient details about ordinary decent Scots has recruited another battalion or two of Cybernats. So, in Cyberspace and beyond, be nice and convert folk!

See also:

WingsOver Scotland - Dropping the Lovebomb
For real Burns #indyref wit, see Wings Over Scotland - To a Grouse




Saturday, 25 January 2014

Cybernats Continue to Perform Valuable Public Service

Well, folks it's out. The result of the week-long, UK-wide, witch-hunt by the Scottish branch of the Daily Mail, the paedophiles' favourite paper.  While your friendly, neighbourhood Cybernats have taken it on the chin, celebrities' 6, 14 and 9 year old daughters have gone unmolested by their leering lenses and sexualised bodily comments. I've spent 69p so you don't have to.

First off we have a puff piece at attempted intimidation which actually refers to dealing largely with threats of violence, by far the great majority of which come from the Unionist side on Twitter and Facebook. Note none of the "Prosecutors" mention Cybernats at all.

As Mail un­masks cy­ber­nat trolls and Stur­geon con­demns in­ter­net abuse, pros­e­cu­tors warn:

FIVE YEARS IN JAIL FOR THE ONLINE BULLIES

Scottish Daily Mail 25 Jan 2014 By Graham Grant, Home Affairs Editor.
INTERNET trolls who spread hate online face being locked up for five years, prosecutors warned last night. The intervention by the Crown Office comes amid growing concern over online activists allying themselves with the proindependence movement. 
The Scottish Daily Mail today unmasks some of the worst ‘cybernats’ to highlight the way they have poisoned the national debate ahead of September’s referendum. In a wide-ranging investigation, the Mail found some of the most prominent cybernats are not even based in Scotland and have no right to vote in the historic poll on its future. 
Last night, as calls escalated for the SNP to intervene to curb the wave of online abuse, it emerged that the Crown Office is planning a shake-up of prosecution guidelines to ‘get tough’ on the trolls. The Crown [sic] said anyone found guilty after being prosecuted before a sheriff and jury for offensive or abusive tweets or online comments faces being imprisoned for up to five years. 
Meanwhile, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has made her first comments on the growing controversy. Asked directly about the increasing problem of cybernats, Miss Sturgeon said: ‘I deplore abuse on the internet and social media, wherever it comes from. ‘It doesn’t just come from one side, though, I could show you some of the abuse I get on Twitter. ‘You get people on Twitter who are not associated with either side of the argument.’ Miss Sturgeon added: ‘Everybody in politics has to lead by example and I am absolutely clear that Twitter and Facebook are a place for positive debate. I would condemn anyone who falls short of that.’ 
A Crown Office source confirmed the shake-up. The source said: ‘ We are currently working on plans to publish further prosecution guidance relating to offensive comments made on social media and are in the process of consulting with stakeholders. ‘We have been considering it [the shake-up] for a while as social media and the evidence obtained from it plays an in­creasingly important part in the prosecution of cases.’ A Crown Office spokesman said: ‘We presently have offence - specific guidance which deals with these types of offences. ‘Each case is considered on its own facts and circumstances and we take a robust approach to such comments if they are criminal in content regardless of source.’ 
The tougher stance comes after Scotland’s top law officer, Frank Mulholland, QC, last year warned that people who post offensive comments online about the Clutha bar tragedy could be jailed for up to five years. Mr Mulholland told prosecutors there is to be ‘a strong presumption in favour of criminal proceedings’ wherever it appears postings were motivated by ‘a hateful reaction to the events at the Clutha bar’. 
The guidance meant such cases will be heard before a sheriff and jury, giving sheriffs the power to hand out sentences of up to five years, compared with one year if cases were heard without a jury. The planned changes to social media guidelines could lead to a tougher stance on cybernats in the run-up to September’s referendum. 
Among the cybernats un­masked by the Mail are a blogger based in Bath, Somerset, whose wages are funded by supporters, who has no right to vote in the referendum, and a US businesswoman based in Edinburgh who believes Unionists ‘hate’ Scotland. 
The cybernats are responsible for a growing wave of online hate and abuse, which critics say has turned online discussion forums such as Twitter into toxic ‘no-go zones’ for ordinary members of the public. 
A Yes Scotland spokesman said: ‘We condemn all forms of online bullying and intimidation, regardless of which side of the debate it comes from. ‘The referendum campaign can do without the vitriol and as such, we instruct all staff and volunteers not to interact with Twitter or Facebook trolls.’ 


Next we have the regular Cybernat Watch feature. Make sure your maiden aunt doesn't drop her tea and scones if she catches sight of this, erm, "vile abuse".
CYBERNAT WATCH
Scottish Daily Mail 25 Jan 2014 
THE latest volley of online abuse from the cybernats directed at anyone in the pro-Union camp: 
Andrew Abel tweeted: ‘Ah yes, the “proud Scot” racist nationalist types. Vote # Yes to leave racist Unionism behind. #indyref’ 
In response to Labour MP Jim Murphy criticising cybernats, Gordon Ross ADI tweeted: ‘That London sellout Jim (shipyard killer) Murphy trying to silence free speech on internet. Well he can sod off. We won’t be silenced.’ 
SNP member Hugh Barclay tweeted: ‘@UK_Together No thanks, I’m no good at lying to my fellow Scots in the hope they vote No, I’m no good at fear bombing or smearing either.’ 
Tony McAllister tweeted: ‘@UK_ Together Sure, tell lies and spread misinformation from the comfort of ur home... easier not doing it face face.’
Then the Cybernats are unmasked, none of whom were masked in the first place. It seems quite a few of us "don't fit the stereotype". Perhaps because there is no stereotype - we're just ordinary Scots countering the flood of Unionist propaganda in the mainstream media. It's interesting to see the verbal contortions the chimp Grant goes through to try and make these folk seem sinister. One is on benefits (shock-horror!), one is even a Yank and not even Scottish - an appalling prospect to the racist chimp. Best of all, Wings Over Scotland is apparently a cult (I don't think it was a typo).  All I can say (as a humble acolyte) is that Stuart Campbell has never demanded cyber-sex of me.

CYBERNATS UNMASKED

A retired oil executive, a jobless man of 41 who lives with his mum and a Bath-based video games writer. Meet just some of the agitators whose online poison is shaming the Nationalists

Scottish Daily Mail 25 Jan 2014 Graham Grant Special Investigation
HUNCHED in front of the flickering computer screen, Brendan Hynes is hard at work, despite the late hour. The divorced father of three has a look of intense concentration as his fingers race across the keyboard. Like a lot of retirees, the internet has provided him with a hobby, a useful way of keeping in touch with relatives. But the former oil industry executive isn’t tapping out friendly messages: from his flat in a housing complex in a sleepy Aberdeenshire village, he is spilling endless bile and vitriol onto Twitter, the ‘micro-blogging’ website.
Hynes has quickly established himself as a ‘cybernat’ – the army of online supporters of Scottish independence notorious for their provocative and often abusive comments and now at the centre of a growing political row.
Last week, Hynes, 64, tweeted prominent Unionist commentator John McTernan: ‘You are an outright collaborator, conspiring to put Scotland in subjection.’
Defending his comment later, Hynes tweeted: ‘So what would you call a person who seeks to give his country to another country to be lorded over – friend of the people?’ He has even posted altered pictures of David Cameron in a Nazi uniform alongside quotes from Auschwitz’s Angel of Death, the Nazi medic Josef Mengele.
When the Scot­tish Daily Mail tracked him down to his home in Peterculter, Hynes, responsible for nearly 11,000 tweets, many of them hate-filled, was unrepentant. ‘I send as many tweets as I want,’ he said. ‘I can put out as many as I like – that’s what it’s for. I’m retired, that’s what I do.’

It would be easy to dismiss these outpourings as irrelevant to the national debate on the independence referendum. But Hynes – and many like him – are turning Twitter and other online forums into ‘no-go zones’ for those who want to engage in a rational debate on the country’s future.
Many commentators, including some of the Mail’s own writers, have found themselves facing a tidal wave of abuse from cybernats who seek to poison political debate in this country.  Unlike Hynes, many cybernats are more cowardly and hide behind aliases.
Some Nationalists have rightly pointed out that there are offensive tweeters, or online activists, on both sides; and there will always be those who pour out abuse unthinkingly, solely to cause offence.
But what marks out the cybernats is their modus operandi: from their disparate locations around the country, on smart­phones, lap­tops and desktop computers in lonely bedrooms, they operate almost as one homogenous body.
There are central figures who spur on or co-ordinate this activity, binding them together and providing inspiration and moral support. In a show of defiance, they have even produced their own ‘cybernat’ logo for on­line use.  The Scottish Daily Mail set out to un-­mask some of them, with surprising results.
Some don’t live here and can’t vote in September’s crucial referendum, or aren’t even Scottish; some are outwardly respectable, professional people, reserving their bile for the internet.
And some, like Jason Dolan, rail against the UK Government, while openly admitting they depend on its benefits system.  When the Mail visited his small terraced house in Cumbernauld, Dunbartonshire, he had been asleep for most of the day, only waking at around 6pm.
Dolan, 41, lives on state hand­outs (he has bad circulation and claims he cannot work) with his 73 year old mother. It is here that he crafts some of his sickening tweets, such as: ‘Be prepared for the Scottish Revolution if you #UK loving c**** try to stop the real Scots from getting independence. #SNP’ In another broadside, he says: ‘@anti­tory­party Great tweets! And so true about #Tory scum bags! #IndyRef they are like the #NAZI party. Cameron won’t get in on 2015.’
Dolan is rather more reasoned in person, saying he would be ‘disappointed if people didn’t vote Yes, but I wouldn’t go all Braveheart about it’. His advice for victims of online trolling is simply to ‘ move on’.  Other cybernats don’t fit this profile of the bitter, lonely blogger, spewing bile in the small hours.
Melissa Murray is a director of a management consultancy – Dark­star Resources – living in the affluent Bruntsfield area of Edinburgh. More surprisingly, the 45 year old mother of one is from the United States. In her Twitter biography – which also contains a picture of Edinburgh Castle – she describes herself as a ‘Yank living in Edinburgh [who] supports Scottish independence’. Among her tweets, read by more than 1,200 followers, is this observation: ‘ sorry but anyone who professes Scotland is #better­together truly must hate Scotland’.
In another tweet, she claims to be ‘ undecided’ about her political beliefs, saying: ‘I didn’t realise so many Better Together folk hated Mandela. As an undecided, I’m shocked by this fact.’ ‘Let’s hear it for the cybernats!’ she tweeted this week amid a growing political row over the way the phenomenon is poisoning political debate.
When the Mail visited her home the day before, she was rather less keen to back the cause, saying only: ‘I’m not an SNP person, so I don’t know what a cybernat is.’  Rather gleefully, she also referred to herself, after our visit, as a ‘famous cybernat’.
One of those she corresponded with this week on Twitter – the favoured medium of the cybernat – was a blogger called Wings Over Scotland.
Wings is in fact ‘Reverend’ Stuart Campbell, 46, a former video games journalist from Denny, Stirlingshire, who has built up a following of around 7,000 subscribers on the micro-blogging site after nearly 50,000 tweets.
‘Followers’ is an apposite term, as Wings has grown into something of a cult – so much so that many of them willingly donate cash to the blog to fund ventures such as opinion polls – and some of Camp­bell’s ‘wages’. But nothing is quite as it seems with the ‘Reverend’ (a claim no one has yet verified; last night, the Church of Scotland told the Mail it had no record of Campbell as a Kirk minister).
Campbell lives in Bath, Somerset (with his pet rats), which means he cannot even vote in the independence referendum.
‘Wings’ sees himself as a rallying point for the independence cause, urging his readers to try to convert as many ‘undecideds’ as possible.
On his website, he tells his acolytes: ‘they’ll [undecided voters] be hungry for more truth, and then you can send them our way.’ The self-aggrandising ‘ our’, of course, is slightly misleading, as Wings is more or less a one-man outfit, though he does sometimes commission and publish pro-independence submissions.
A self-publicist of the first order, Wings often boasts about his growing profile and Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham is one of his Twitter correspondents. Yes Scotland chief executive Blair Jenkins has previously replied to Campbell on Twitter and accepted an invitation from him to take part in a public debate, though the Yes camp has since distanced itself from him.
Perhaps it’s no wonder, as Campbell is prone to the kind of intemperate rants that have helped to turn Twitter into such a toxic environment. Straying from the topic of independence, he once sparred with the sister of Hillsborough victim Thomas Fox, telling her: ‘If people stop when they get to a wall of human beings instead of ramming it, nobody dies.’ He accused those he holds responsible for the crushing of being ‘c***s’.
This week, he tweeted pro-Union campaigner Andrew Skinner on Twitter: ‘I’d just like you to f*** off to Ireland’ (and then shamelessly revelled in the fact his tweet had been highlighted as an example of cybernat trolling).
In December, Campbell asked an SNP councillor: ‘Is there anyone you don’t like? Fred West? Harold Shipman? Anas Sarwar [Scottish Labour deputy leader]?’
Yet Campbell brazenly told the Mail: ‘The term “cybernat” is an attempted smear intended to denigrate anyone who supports independence and can operate a computer.’ He added: ‘The notion of a Great Cyber Control HQ where thousands of internet users are marshalled, coordinated and deployed in the service of dastardly separatist overlords is a paranoid fantasy worthy of Joe McCarthy.’
Campbell set out to raise £1,500 from his backers for one poll but took in £6,025 and claimed in an interview this week that he had to ask people to stop sending money. For the second poll, he asked for £2,500 but received £5,797, hitting his target in 70 minutes. Camp­bell also raised just over £33,000 to pay himself a wage and plans to run a second major funding appeal to secure that salary and to pay for further projects.
Last night, a Yes Scotland spokesman said: ‘Stuart Campbell is not part of Yes Scotland and we do not have any direct contact with him.’ But he conceded that ‘as the country becomes more engaged with the independence debate, it is likely that speaking events and debates will be proposed by a variety of groups and individuals’. He added: ‘We will continue to assess those offers on an individual basis.’
In Campbell’s orbit are lesser – but no less vociferous – cybernats.
One of them is Tommy Ball, 29, who recently called a Unionist commentator ‘Uncle Tam’ and has branded the British Army ‘scum’. Rejecting accusations from other angry Twitter users that British soldiers had died ‘fighting for the likes of you’ in 2012, he wrote: ‘There’s no British soldier fighting for anything I believe in. Bunch of child killers.’
Ball claimed to have been an SNP organiser in Nicola Sturgeon’s former Glasgow Govan seat – but after a row over his Twitter comments, he quit the party.
Yet Ball hardly conforms, at first glance, to the stereotype of the cybernat – he’s a lab technician who lives alone in Govan. Speaking at the door of his red­brick top-floor flat, he said he, too, has had had threats ‘levelled against me; people making threats on the internet’.
But Ball then undermined his point by claiming, implausibly, that ‘if someone is threatening on a social network, they’re not likely to pose a threat in real life’.
Andy Inglis, 53, is also an unlikely cybernat. A tweet from his account this week to a journalist said: ‘U have won “scaring & confusing my mother wi lies & propaganda” award. ‘Uras*** of the lowest order & a disgrace 2 journalism.’
Despite his foul-mouthed remarks, Inglis, the Edinburgh-based divorced father of a teenage daughter, describes himself online as a ‘former UN & UK government official’ who has worked in more than 50 independent countries.
He seemed uncharacteristically unwilling to air his views this week, however; Inglis tweeted that he knew the Mail wanted to contact him but he failed to get in touch.
Andrew Ellis, 52, on the other hand, is proud to be called a ‘cybernat’. He is helping to promote Scottish independence – from the unlikely location of his home in Chichester, West Sussex.
Mr Ellis, a commercial manager for computing firm Hewlett Packard since November, moved from Yorkshire to his present home in 1992 with his English wife, 51 year old Debbie. The Edinburgh born former politics student appears to be one of the more temperate cybernats, though at times he is a near-­fanatical supporter of Wings, in many of his near-17,000 tweets to about 800 followers.
He told the Mail: ‘I am not a member of the SNP or a supporter, even though I find some of what they say and do quite attractive. ‘I am not a slave to the SNP – there are 800,000 Scots living in England and I’m sure plenty of them would also want independence.’ But he conceded: ‘I appreciate some of the people on Twitter can be quite extreme and unpleasant in what they say – but that is the same from both sides.
‘There is a lot of negativity from the No camp too, which could easily be reined in as well.’
Meanwhile, back in Cumbernauld, cybernat Dolan is in reflective mood. ‘Maybe I shouldn’t have written it,’ he admits, talking about one of his more abusive tweets. ‘But you can’t go back and change it.’
It can only be hoped that other cybernats take note of that self­awareness and contrition – however belated. But many of those who have fallen victim to their vicious broadsides are unlikely to be holding their breath.
And finally, to hammer the point home, The leader comment:


Shame of cybernats
Scottish Daily Mail 25 Jan 2014 Probably by Alan Roden (pictured).
TO­DAY, we un­mask some of the so-called cy­ber­nats whose hate­ful on­line in­sults have soured the independence de­bate. We make no apol­ogy for do­ing so. Many hold down re­spon­si­ble jobs but fill their spare time by re­treat­ing be­hind their com­puter screens to un­leash their poisonous out­pour­ings on those who dare to dis­agree with their pro-in­de­pen­dence stance.
We ac­cept there are cul­prits on both sides of the po­lit­i­cal di­vide but, con­sis­tently, it is the cybernats who shout the loud­est and of­fend the most.
The Crown Of­fice should be ap­plauded for or­der­ing a re­view of prosecution guide­lines which would see internet trolls jailed for up to five years. Now it is time the Na­tion­al­ists took a pos­i­tive stance too – by censuring the odi­ous ac­tivists who abuse peo­ple in their name.

Yawn! However, at least we Cybernats know how both current and historical Romanians feel: When Rothermere urged Hitler to invade Romania. Hat tip to Joe Kane.

And Finally, A postscript from 31st January

Blair MacDougall soars the heady heights of hypocrisy once more:

See also

Wings Over Scotland: The Bully Pulpit
Edited Highlights
Wee Ginger Dug: Witch Hunts and Who's afraid of Who?

Friday, 24 January 2014

Jim Sillars - 15 Hours of Popular Sovereignty

Jim Sillars poses the key question. On 18th September 2014 we shall taste the power of 15 hours of the Popular Sovereignty Scots Law and ancient tradition have granted us, without the Union and its tyranny of Parliamentary Sovereignty.

Whether at one minute past ten on 18th September 2014 we have spat that ancient wine out again, or shall continue to savour it till the end of time, is entirely up to you.


Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Get Your Proud Cybernat Badges as Recommended by the Scottish Daily Mail

It's been a bitch of a couple of days at work, so it was really nice to come home to a life-affirming message from a friend, and messages don't come much more life-affirming than "Congrats! You're hated by the Scottish Daily Mail" (again)! Not just ordinary Daily-Hated either - an article and a feature box on page 2 no less and a leading article to boot! 

It's a great testament to how far we've moved on that being a Cybernat is more Daily-Hateworthy now than being a Military Poof was in the mid-90s. Happy days!

Readers are, of course, free to look for themselves both on this blog and at my @logicsrock Twitter account for any evidence of material that is "vile behaviour", "online football hooliganism" (I like that one as a gay chap who wouldn't know one end of a football from another), "aggressive", "anonymous", "bile", "gratuitous insults" or "crass".

I like that they are particularly upset that Brendan Hynes likened Alistair Carmichael to Goebbels. I once likened Blair MacDougall to Goebbels, but reconsidered it within the body of the same article as an insult to Dr Goebbels' undoubted skills as a propagandist. They also seem to be rather upset that someone called someone else a Nazi.  This from the paper that published this on 20 Aug 1938:



So Anas "Can't be arsed to vote against the Bedroom Tax" Sarwar is going to write to the First Minister? Whoop-diddly-doo-dah! I also wonder if the Noble Lord Foulkes of Glenfiddich finds slagging off Cybernats as satisfying as drunkenly twatting Police officers?

Anyhoo, thank you for the free advertising, Scottish Daily Mail and, dear reader, if you promise to give your eyeballs a good rinse afterwards, you can read it all below.


AlanRoden
Tell the pro-independence bullies to end online abuse 

Salmond under pressure to curb attacks of anonymous ‘Cybernats’

Scottish Daily Mail 21 Jan 2014 By Alan Roden Scottish Political Editor 

ALEX Salmond was last night under growing pressure to publicly condemn the on-line army of ‘Cybernats’ who abuse Scots for speaking out against independence. 

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael has intervened to urge the First Minister to take action against the online bullies and demand that all voices are ‘respected’ in the run-up to September’s vote. 

Scottish Labour deputy leader Anas Sarwar will also write to Mr Salmond today to warn him that ‘staying silent on the issue gives it an air of acceptability’. 

In the latest example of vile behaviour, Mr Carmichael was yesterday compared to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels on social networking site Twitter. In recent weeks, Mr Sarwar has been linked with serial killers Fred West and Harold Shipman. 

The latest row comes after the Mail revealed on Saturday how a writer was described as ‘akin to a Nazi’, a ‘racist’ and a ‘ bitter traitor’ after penning an article on the ‘moral case’ for the Union. 

Unrepentant nationalists have this week even produced a new badge for ‘Proud Cybernats’ to honour the ‘excellent contribution of the proud squadrons of Cybernats’. 

Mr Carmichael said last night: ‘It’s important everyone’s voice is not only heard but also respected in this debate on our future. It would be a great shame to see people turned off from the debate because of an aggressive, and often anonymous, small minority which shouts down those with views different from their own – whichever side they are on. 


‘I certainly condemn that sort of negative online behaviour and I would expect Alex Salmond and his ministers to do the same.’ 

Mr Sarwar will today send a letter to Mr Salmond, in which he explains that he has ‘become increasingly concerned at the tone of the debate’. 

He writes: ‘While both sides will no doubt argue with great passion and fervour and while we will certainly divide by our politics, we must not divide the nation. 

‘Some of the language of the debate has descended to a level which, I hope you would agree, is unacceptable. ‘As political leaders we have an obligation to represent the best of our politics. I would have no hesitation in condemning anyone, from any party, on either side of the debate, who has indulged in any form of personally abusive comment. I do hope you feel the same. 

'Against that background I would hope you would feel it appropriate to publicly condemn the negative and personal comments from your side, which have attracted media attention in recent weeks. Staying silent on the issue gives it an air of acceptability.’ 

Mr Sarwar has offered to meet with Mr Salmond to ‘tackle this behaviour’. Only yesterday, Twitter user Brendan Hynes said Mr Carmichael is ‘now head of the Ministry of Enlightenment, Joseph Gobbles [sic] would be proud of him’. 

In December, the pro-independence campaign blog Wings Over Scotland asked an SNP councillor: ‘Is there anyone you don’t like? Fred West? Harold Shipman? Anas Sarwar?’ 

However, pro-independence campaigners insist there is also abuse from so-called ‘CyberBrits’. Last night, a spokesman for the First Minister said: ‘Denigration of people has absolutely no place in the referendum debate, it doesn’t matter whether those doing it support Yes or No. 

‘It’s a matter of public record that Nicola Sturgeon has been sent death threats on Twitter, a posting on the No campaign’s Facebook page talked about firing bullets into SNP leaders, and appalling remarks about Alex Salmond’s dad were made on a Labour Party website. 

‘All of it must stop.’ 

Comment – Page 14 

THEIR BADGE OF DISHONOUR 

Scottish Daily Mail 21 Jan 2014 

THEY have caused widespread offence and anger with their vile online outpourings against those who oppose Scottish independence. 

But unrepentant ‘Cybernats’ have now launched their own online badges with the logo ‘Proud Cybernat’.

The idea is the brainchild of pro-independence blogger Roddy Macdonald, who has offered to produce pin badges if there is a demand. 

He has also adopted Kenneth McKellar [sic] famous song The Midges as the Cybernats’ unofficial anthem.

Both the new badge and the song play on the similarity between the words Nat – short for Nationalist – and gnat, which is another name f or the infamous Highland midge. 

In an online post yesterday he wrote: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, please feel free to join the squadron and download your “Proud Cybernat” badge.’ The term ‘Cybernat’ was first coined by Labour peer Lord George Foulkes, who is a regular target for online abuse. 

The word entered the Collins dictionary last year, and is defined as: ‘An informal name for a Scottish National Party supporter who uses social media and online forums to put forward the cause of Scottish independence.’ 


SNP’s Cyber Shame 

Scottish Daily Mail 21 Jan 2014 

THEY are reviled for their bile and gratuitous insults for anyone who does not share their views on independence, but are the Cybernats repentant? 

Not in the slightest, of course, and the latest crass stunt by these online equivalents of football hooligans is to adopt a logo displaying Scotland’s most unpopular wildlife species – the midge – and the slogan ‘Proud Cybernat’. that is an oxymoron to anyone who values civilised democratic debate. 

Yesterday we reported that senior Labour, Tory and Lib Dems figures were calling on Alex Salmond to staunch the rabid torrent of abuse from his digital foot-soldiers. Today Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael joins the growing clamour for action from Mr Salmond, who is not just the leader of the SNP but also the head of the Scottish Government. By failing to disown Cybernats whose idea of debate is to liken those who disagree with them to such monsters as Fred West, Harold shipman and Joseph Goebbels, the First Minister is neglecting his duty to safeguard civility in political conversation. Mr Salmond should make a personal statement unreservedly condemning Cybernat offensiveness. He was vocal in condemning online sectarianism: he must break his silence on this cyber-abuse which demeans scottish public discourse.


To bring you back to the real world, enjoy The Daily Mail Song from Dan & Dan (Hat tip to Grant Simpson).




You can view the article that caused all this hypertension here: Get your Proud Cybernat badges here.

Project Fear Indyref Strategy in One Cartoon


Hat tip to Wings over Scotland commenter ukp42.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Get Your Proud Cybernat Badges Here

Following a suggestion by Dick Gaughan in a comments conversation over at Wings Over Scotland in which we were lamenting the fact that the humble, but voracious Midgie had not been given due  recognition in our National iconography along with the Lion Rampant and the Unicorn, and given the lamentable performance of the mainstream media in the independence referendum debate and the excellent contribution of the proud squadrons of Cybernats, I approached a local artist to design a suitable artistic tribute to the Midgie and the Cybernat.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please feel free to join the Squadron and right click and download your Proud Cybernat badge.


I also give you the Cybernat Battle Anthem, courtesy of Kenneth McKellar:



The Midgie Song

Chorus:
The midgies, the midgies, I’m no gonnae kid ye’s,
The midgies is really the limit,
Wi teeth like pirhanas, they drive ye bananas,
If ye let them get under yer simmit! 

The Lord put the Garden of Eden on earth,
And it’s north of the Tweed, we believe,
Ay, Scotland’s the place, and the whole human race,
Started off with MacAdam and Eve!
In six days or under, he finished this wonder,
Except for the Forth and Tay Bridges,
Then always a bloke for a practical joke,
He made Scotland the home of the midgies!

Chorus

Back in 1314, the proud Edward was keen,
To take Scotland into his care,
But he made a U-turn when he reached Bannockburn,
Just a few weeks before Glasgow Fair!
For the midgies let loose by King Robert the Bruce,
Straight into the English they tore,
So they ran off in tears, and for six hundred years,
They’ve been blocking the A74!

Chorus

Now never forget, when the sun’s going to set,
And the midgies arise on Loch Eck,
Like the vampires you see, played by Christopher Lee,
They will give you a pain in the neck!
You can smack them and whack them; in vain you’ll attack them,
For they know every move that you make,
If you manage to kill yin, another half million,
Are ready tae come tae the wake!

Chorus

Now Torquil the piper’s a giant of a man,
With a sporran as long as your arm,
And in Oban he’s known, for the sound of his drone,
And a pibroch of real highland charm!
But they’re sighing and sobbing, the ladies of Oban,
For Torquil is not what he was,
Since a midge in Glenbranter got hold of his chanter,
And carried it off in its jaws!

Chorus.


If there's enough interest, we can get proper badges made. Please register your interest in the comments section below if you'd like one.

And finally, while we're having fun, if you're a Twitterer you've got to have a look at @UKIPWeather with gems like this:

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Nicola Sturgeon to the (Still Baffling) William Hague

Following his sally North last week, despite in his boss's words the referendum being a matter "for the Scots" alone, the Deputy First Minister has written to the baffled William Hague.

Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities 

Nicola Sturgeon MSP 
Rt Hon William Hague MP
Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs Foreign & Commonwealth Office 
King Charles Street,
London,
SW1A 2AH

16 January 2014 

Dear Foreign Secretary, 


I understand you are in Scotland tomorrow to launch the latest paper in the UK Government’s Scotland Analysis series, which is designed to “inform the debate about Scotland’s constitutional future.” It is in the spirit of informing the debate about whether Scotland should be an independent country that I am writing this letter. Regardless of the outcome of the referendum on September 18, people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will always be Scotland’s closest friends and neighbours. I also have no doubt that, in the event of a Yes vote, governments of an independent Scotland will work extremely closely with future Westminster governments. In European, international, defence and a range of other matters, our interests will often coincide and we will be able to work together constructively. 


However, in relation to your government’s desire to “inform the debate” there are some important questions both about the role of the UK Government in that debate, and about what will happen in the event of a No vote, that people in Scotland deserve answers to. I would be grateful therefore if you could answer the following points to enable voters in Scotland to have as much information as possible about the two futures on offer on September 18. 

Firstly, in relation to the UK Government’s role, the Prime Minister has insisted he will not take part in a debate with the First Minister because, he says, it is a matter for voters in Scotland and not him or his government. This position is increasingly hard to sustain given the succession of Westminster ministers continuing to make day trips to Scotland to oppose independence. Therefore, do you accept that the UK Government has a duty to debate the issues rather than engage in a what the Secretary of State for Scotland has described as a "lecture tour”? 

Secondly, I have been alarmed and disappointed to read reports that the UK Government has approached other governments seeking their support in arguing against Scottish independence. You will be aware that the Memorandum of Understanding between our two governments commits them to “close co-operation […] with the objective of promoting the overseas interests of the United Kingdom and all its constituent parts”, and that the Edinburgh Agreement similarly commits our two governments to “working together on matters of mutual interest and to the principles of good communication and mutual respect”. If these reports are true and the UK government is seeking to encourage governments around the world to oppose Scottish independence, it would appear that the UK Government is acting in breach of these agreements. If these reports of the UK government seeking to encourage Governments around the world to oppose Scottish independence are true, it would appear that the UK Government is acting in direct contravention to the Edinburgh Agreement and against Scotland’s interests. In light of this I would be grateful if you would detail the extent of the UK Government’s efforts to enlist the support of foreign governments and will you, as Foreign Secretary, give an assurance that such activity will not continue? 

Thirdly, as you will know the Scottish Government has set out our approach to independence in Scotland’s Future, the most detailed and comprehensive proposals for a country’s independence that have been published. We have set out a clear and common sense approach to Europe in which Scotland will be an active and productive member of the European Union. That is overwhelmingly in Scotland’s best interests. By contrast, the Deputy Prime Minister has described the UK government’s position as flirting with an EU exit whilst the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has warned it is “unsettling investors and threatening jobs and growth”. It is clear that the agenda on Europe within your government and at Westminster as a whole is being driven by a fear of UKIP which does not exist in Scotland. Any discussion of Europe and foreign affairs by your government must acknowledge the impact of the in/out referendum on membership of the European Union that your government proposes. It seems to me that your paper - to have a shred of credibility - must make explicitly clear that very real risk to Scotland of remaining in the union. I would be grateful for your confirmation that an exit from the EU is a possible consequence of Scotland continuing to be governed by Westminster. 

Fourthly, there is an overwhelming public desire for those opposed to independence to set out in detail the consequences of a no vote and the future for Scotland in that event. The Scotland Analysis papers to date have not set out any information on the UK Government’s proposals for changes to the way Scotland is governed if the public choose to vote No In the absence of that information I have appended twelve questions for you to answer during your visit. I hope you will agree that answers to these questions about the implications for Scotland of continuing to be governed by Westminster are necessary to genuinely inform the debate: 

  1. Given your campaign for an In/Out referendum on the EU, what will be Scotland’s position if a majority across the UK vote to leave the EU but a majority within Scotland vote to stay in? 
  2. If you cannot renegotiate the UK’s terms of membership to your satisfaction will you recommend the UK’s withdrawal from the EU? 
  3. The Deputy Prime Minister says the Conservative Party is flirting with EU exit due to your Government’s plans to have an in/out referendum on the issue. Is he right? 
  4. Will Scotland continue to receive the lowest farm payments of any country in the EU? 
  5. By how much will support to exporters be cut as a result of the Chancellor’s call for a further £25 billion of cuts and a permanent cut in public spending?
  6. Does the fact that the UK has operated a trade deficit every year since 1997 suggest that the UK’s arrangements for supporting exports needs to be re-examined?
  7. The National Audit Office recently highlighted that: “UKTI and the FCO have not always worked together in a systematic manner, either centrally or at posts” and that this “could undermine close working, coordination of effort and prioritisation of work”. How damaging has this been for exporters and what steps are being taken to rectify it?
  8. Why is the Westminster government harming Scottish exports and tourism by imposing Air Passenger Duty at a level which makes it the highest tax of its kind in the world?
  9. What parliamentary or constitutional safeguards will be put in place to ensure Scotland is never again dragged into an illegal war?
  10. How much will people in Scotland be expected to contribute to the £100 billion cost of renewing Trident despite the fact that the Scottish Parliament has overwhelmingly opposed the renewal of these weapons? 
  11. Will the post-study visa be re-introduced in line with the wishes of Scottish universities
  12. What specific account is taken of the specific needs of the Scottish economy when UK immigration policy is being determined?

I look forward to receiving your answers to these questions and to the continuing debate over whether decisions about Scotland should be taken in Scotland or at Westminster. 


Nicola Sturgeon

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Welcome to the Project Fear Twilight Zone!

What a frankly bizarre week! After Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael's bizarre Top 20, the #indyrefski saga, HM Treasury's ludicrous "Separation Surcharge" spinning of its climb-down over (wait for it...) the UK's debt being the UK's debt, The Guardian lifting a bizarre piece by Chris Deering from the Daily Mail which, if it was meant to read as a Unionist "love bomb" to Scots, I hope he writes many more like it,  and the woeful Mystic Meg sequence on Monday's Newsnicht Scotland, I thought Project Fear and its supplicant mainstream media may have finally sobered up after the festive season.

However, this morning we have the Daily Record to thank  for keeping the theme of the most bizarre week of the self-styled Project Fear indyref campaign going. I came across this lunacy on seeing a back-slapping session from Severin Carrel of The Guardian congratulating the author, David Clegg on Twitter. 

The cause of this Unionist celebration? Well, here's the article: Alex Salmond admits Scotland could be forced to ditch pound if country votes Yes in September's referendum. The premise for this amazing admission? 

The intrepid author has found out from "top corporate lawyer" Andrew Sleigh, head of corporate and commercial law at law firm Levy & McRae, that "a very unusual clause" had been added to a standard contract back in October.

Let's have a look at this "very unusual clause". 

Among other amendments, Clause 34.3 on page 66 of the contract was amended from 
Manner of Payment 
34.3 All payments under this Agreement shall be made in pounds sterling by [electronic transfer of funds for value on the day in question] to the bank account of the recipient located in the United Kingdom) specified in the relevant invoice, quoting the invoice number against which payment is made. 
to read 
Manner of Payment 
34.3 All invoices under this Agreement shall be raised in Pounds Sterling and the money of account and money of payment in respect of all payments, liabilities and claims (including any accrued rights) under this Agreement at any time shall remain denominated in and be made in Pounds Sterling. All payments under this Agreement shall be made in Pounds Sterling by [electronic transfer of funds for value on the day in question] to the bank account of the recipient (located in the United Kingdom) specified in the relevant invoice, quoting the invoice number against which payment is made.
So instead of just having that payment would be made in £ Sterling, they added in that invoices are to be raised in £ Sterling. This is a major revelation to "top corporate lawyer" Andrew Sleigh of Levy MacRae? It looks like a bog standard clause for a major contract with international players to me.

In any event, how on earth is a Scottish Government contract specifying payment in Sterling somehow an admission that we may not be using Sterling? The article beggars belief! Had the contract been amended to say that all payments were to be made in Euros, then it might be construed as an admission that the Scottish Government may not be using Sterling.

It appears Project Fear and its media buddies will be occupying the Twilight Zone for the foreseeable future.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Stronger Together? Мы арсе!

Stronger together? My Russian arse! Last night the Twitter hastag #indyrefski was born as the Sunday Herald reported that the Prime Minister has been begging for the help in winning the independence referendum of not only Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, but also Vladimir Putin as Russian and G8 President.

Hang on. David "the referendum is a for Scots alone" Cameron, who would have us believe he strides the World Stage like a Colossus on our behalf as Prime Minister of the mighty "punching above its weight" United Kingdom needs the help of the Russians, and not just the Russians - he wants Putin as G8 President to influence the whole G8 against Scottish independence?

How feart can Cameron be? How puny can the UK Government be if it cannot deal with a peaceful Scottish independence movement without Russian, Spanish and others' help?


The self-styled Project Fear has succeeded not in scaring Scots into voting No, but has scared the living daylights out of Cameron and the UK Government because they know the case for independence is strong, so strong that they feel they needs the help of Spain, Russia and the whole G8 in putting down the Scottish independence movement.

They are right to be feart, the case for independence is far stronger than the puny United Kingdom. After all, it's made in Scotland from girders.


Undecided about the referendum? Cameron's own aide is quoted in the article: Cameron aide had warned Scottish independence could "send shockwaves across the whole of Europe"!

We can see now how puny the Wizard of Oz act of the UK State actually is. Stronger Together? They admit that even a sovereign, wee Senga McGlumpherty can "send shockwaves across Europe" simply by voting Yes. It's time to realise our own power and reclaim our sovereign rights as Scots.

Of course, it's only reported that Cameron has asked Putin, not that Putin has said Yes. Indeed the embarassing (for Cameron) leak through Tass may be as good as a No from Putin. Why Cameron thought Putin would sign up to any of his plans after Cameron's psychopathic delusions of grandeur in Russia in September escapes me.

David Cameron's aide meets the Russians:



Addendum 13:15 hrs. Here's a link to the BBC Scotland News website. Their churnalists have managed to churn a press release from Project Fear about their academics whining about student fees for rUK students in an independent Scotland, but still nothing on the biggest news story of the day. Scots are better informed by TASS.

Hat Tip to @Boglestone: "Great work comrades, internet meme production has increased 200%."