I won’t be using The Official Wings Over Scotland Universal Twitter Enhancer. Not only because I instinctively recoil from the idea of allowing someone else to make prescriptive judgements on my behalf. There is an inherent contradiction in claiming to be able to think for oneself while delegating to some external agency the task of assessing the worth of even something so trivial as a Twitter comment – or the individual making it.
On a more practical note, while I fully concur with Stu Campbell’s conclusion that there are some (many?) unionists with whom it is totally pointless to engage, I take the view that limited exchanges with even the worst of British nationalist ‘zoomers’ can serve a useful purpose. I believe it is right that the distortions and lies promulgated by these bigots should be challenged. I am persuaded that, because it is not only zoomers who see these challenges, there is always the possibility that some lesser zoomer might be prompted to revisit their prejudices.
I am convinced that the way to convert No voters to Yes voters is to first provoke them to question the assumptions and preconceptions which make them No voters. In the main, unionists are people who have never seriously reflected on the nature of the political union or considered its implications for Scotland. Anything that might prompt such reflection has to benefit the independence cause.
For this reason, I try to abide by a self-imposed ordinance limiting myself to a maximum of three responses to those unionist zoomers. The first questioning the basis of whatever claim it is they are making. The second seeking to refute that claim with facts. The last pointing out their unwillingness to accept the facts. The zoomer will invariably have descended into incoherent abuse almost immediately upon being challenged. But this is all to the good. Bigots can generally be relied upon to condemn themselves by their own words if you just let them speak.
I cannot claim to always adhere strictly to my own rules. But I do try. And this Wings Over Scotland article has made me resolve to try harder in the coming year. But I will decide for myself when I’m done with any particular unionist zoomer. I will decide for myself at what point they cease to serve my purpose.
I should point out that my feelings about Stu Campbell’s personal Twitter block list, as described above, are in no way influenced by the fact that I am on that list. I got over being perplexed about that a long time ago. Helped by the realisation that it IS a personal list. It reflects one person’s attitudes and preference – not to mention their temperament and ‘idiosyncrasies’. I am simply not prepared to embrace somebody else’s personal attitudes and prejudices as my own.Views: 2621
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