The Scottish Independence Convention launched a crowdfunding appeal last month.
It was spectacularly successful, raising over £50,000 in four weeks.
Yessers bought into the message of collaboration and togetherness from the revamped group. Well respected activists like Paul Kavanagh joined its board.
As things stand, the all-new SIC has a war-chest of £51,854.00. It’s ultimate goal is £180,000 – a huge amount. It will require a huge amount of goodwill if it is to attract a further £130,000 from the independence movement.
That goodwill might not be forthcoming if the actions of one of its most high-profile members is anything to go by. The individual is Mike Small.
Below is an extract of an article published on Mr Small’s Bella Caledonia website.
We have a problem within the Scottish Independence movement. It is a problem with bullying and harassment. This is not a problem peculiar to our movement, but neither is it one that we’ve been able to escape because we are exceptional in some way. If anything, this behaviour shows how similar we are to everyone else. Our group, if I can call it that given four years of increasing fragmentation, has succumbed to social media flu.
The same disease that courses through other movements in [sic] thriving in our own. Online, a spectrum of harassment, including but not limited to persistent dismissal, doxxing, reputation attacks, false profiles, slut-shaming and revenge porn has become a lingua franca for those who want to shut women up. However low-level, the effects are cumulative. They work to push women’s voices out of public discourse.
The problem I have with this article isn’t that it alleges that women, five in particular, have been subjected to abuse online. It’s the quite outrageous attempt to smear the whole independence movement by presenting it as somehow endorsing, or sharing culpability for, the abhorrent attacks that are being alleged.
The independence movement is one of the most welcoming social democratic movements anywhere on earth. It does not discriminate on the basis of creed, colour, gender, age, ethnicity or social standing. All are welcome.
Within it will reside people who disagree with one another. Some will passionately disagree. Some, sadly, will exhibit intolerant behaviour. But to suggest a ‘disease’ is coursing through our movement; that our movement is fragmenting and that young women are being systematically ‘slut-shamed’ is not a movement I recognise.
Mike Small decided to publish this article. That is his right. No-one would deny him that right. He may argue that he doesn’t share the sentiments of the article. That may be true.
However I would argue that by publishing such an outrageous article, Mike Small has forfeited another right – the right to remain on the board of the Scottish Independence Convention. The article has aimed outrageous and disgusting slurs at the movement SIC claims to represent.
The Scottish Independence Convention really needs to distance itself from Bella Caledonia and this article. If it doesn’t, it will implicitly endorse the views the article contains. SIC will be smearing the very people whose cash it needs.Views: 4917