Monday, November 30, 2009

Stealth Unmasked from Within and Without

If you go down to the 'Rood# today, you'd better go not in disguise
If you go down to the 'Rood today, you'll not get a big surprise
For every Nat* that ever there was
Is gathered there this morning because
Today's the day the SNP launch their stealth bomb.

I say stealth bomb as this is basically what Independent Nationalist MSP Margo MacDonald called the SNP's tactics with the Referendum Bill, launched today on St. Andrew's Day. Indeed from someone who has supported independence for Scotland all her political career, she was quite scathing in Saturday's Times about the whole scenario, calling it 'half-baked' and saying she would only vote for it through gritted teeth.

She went further by saying:

"I will hate the Referendum Bill because the strategy and tactics which have gone along with it have been so wrong.

"The SNP have failed to make the case for independence; they thought we would get there by stealth. What we are asking the Scottish people to do is not a stealthy thing, it is a big bold brave thing."

Of course getting on the bus this morning, there is news breaking that another Nat blogger has been exposed, this time Universality of Cheese.It is not often that the Blogosphere dominates the front page of any newspaper and then has a two page spread inside. But as the blogger in question, was apparently working for Mike Russell, the veil of anonymity to launch potentially libellous slurs is similar to the Draper-Gate scenario that hit Labour earlier this year. However, I don't think there is going to be anyway to totally control all cyber contributors to the political debate.

As Jeff was quoted as saying across the MSM:

"My personal belief is, as mentioned in my previous post, blogs and new media are overall a good thing, potentially a great thing, and if you believe what you’re writing is true, fair and can be backed up then go for it but if you’re indulging in rants and venting untapped rage behind a pseudonym, then maybe you should think about another hobby."

There is a certain grain of truth and commonsense about that. Looking across the main Lib Dem blogs not only in Scotland but also the whole UK, there are less
pseudonym's in use. There is less hiding and the words are easily traceable to an individual. There are still rants on such blogs but they do tend to be more carefully structured. The anger that is expressed from being a known entity is still there on occasion but is grounded in fact, stating your case through argument of the case rather than creating fictitious attacks. The end result of course is that people who comment also realise they have to win the argument in such a way rather than creating a rant.

The question is are the SNP attempted to rule by stealth? A strange position for a ruling party to take. Surely stealth is more a position for the losing side, Guerrilla warfare etc. Labour were losing the argument so thought that Draper and McBride's stealth in the cyber-war would work. The SNP may have kept up their cyber stealth campaign since taking office, but also seem to be doing it in Government. Margo MacDonald doesn't like the tactics employed, indeed she is echoing the sentiments of Tavish Scott about this Bill being a backdoor stealthy approach to Independence.

Is Alex Salmond really running scared? Surely Bute House isn't some cave in Tora Bora?

# Truncation of Holyrood.
*Not Cyber.


subrosa said...

The pseudonym business is an fallacy. Bruce Newlands (Wardog) used one but he was perhaps too open about his identity. I use one and am happy to say who I am should anyone care to email me (well maybe not anyone). I really didn't think it would be interesting to name my blog Janet McTavish's blog.

In my first blog post I told people about me and think that's enough, plus of course various details over the months have been said, usually to support a viewpoint.

I decided some time ago not to read blogs which conveyed nothing of the writer's personality and those which use excessive expletives.

One thing though Stephen, the internet can be a dangerous place. I won't go into detail but I learned that long before I started blogging. Being 'semi'-anonymous gives me a sense of some security, perhaps falsely.

Like the poem btw.

Hate to tell you but we'll all be NATs when Europe gets round to defining us as the North Atlantic Tranche. :)

Anonymous said...


Stephen Glenn said...

You may think it is a fallacy but too often hiding behind a pseudonym people sometimes think they can get away with saying anything. When your name is attached to something you often think, and at least give a second take before blogging or commenting in a certain way.


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