Who is the victim?

Kevin McKenna makes no attempt to consider the actual reason for David Torrance flouncing off Twitter in such comically melodramatic fashion. No doubt it had ceased to be “fun” for him. But if one is less inclined than Mr McKenna to simply accept the superficial excuses, one might pause to reflect upon why it had stopped being the amusing diversion that Torrance seems to think he had a right to expect. If one was familiar with Torrance’s pompous pretentiousness, this reflection would surely lead one to consider the possibility that engaging on Twitter had stopped being fun for him because it is a medium in which he has no advantage. A medium in which he must engage with others on equal terms. A medium that provides a level playing field where his pontifications can be challenged by those not so ready to accept his assumed expertise.

If it was only David Torrance it wouldn’t matter much. Torrance made greater mock of himself by his petulant tantrum than any of the supposed “vile abusers” who had brought him to such a nadir of despair and compelled the life-changing decision to quit Twitter. There is a bigger issue at stake here than the tender sensibilities of some mercenary hack who pads out his meagre talent for prejudice-soaked political analysis with a cringe-making propensity for contrived name-dropping. Torrance is trivia. The bigger question relates to the status of political journalism itself.

Kevin McKenna acknowledges the despicably dishonest nature of the British establishment’s anti-independence propaganda effort during the first referendum campaign. He recognises echoes of this hysterical viciousness and contempt for basic honesty in the Blairite assault on Jeremy Corbyn. What he fails to appreciate is that Better Together/Project Fear never went away. It’s still doing its insidious work of deceiving and intimidating and misinforming and defaming on behalf of a British state under threat from a surge of democratic dissent risen in Scotland and bearing down on its structures of power, privilege and patronage. And he fails to realise that part of this effort is the manufactured myth about extreme intolerance of any criticism of the SNP.

It is no coincidence that recent weeks have seen a flurry of efforts to revive the threadbare “vile cybernat” line of attack. The lies and scaremongering of the anti-independence campaign are being exposed as never before. The journalists who colluded in the smears and fears are more vulnerable than ever to having their part in the whole appalling exercise commented upon through social media. There is no way they can now pretend that all the stuff they spouted about a No vote offering a golden age of certainty and security was anything other than a heap of malicious lies. Their only recourse is to try and discredit those who would use social media to point out just what a load of utter pish it was.

Journalists don’t want to be held to account for their part in one of the most virulent propaganda campaigns ever mounted by the British state in peacetime. They don’t want to be answerable for their abysmal failure to challenge the claims and assertions made by Better Together/Project Fear, the British parties, and the UK Government. And so they try to make out that anyone who seeks to hold them to account is unreasonable. That anyone who so much as suggests that they should be answerable for their conduct is a mindless zealot.

David Torrance quit Twitter because he wants to spout whatever malicious drivel suits his agenda and do so with complete impunity. In this he differs from the generality of political journalists only in the extent of his infantile pettiness with which stomped out of the playground in a cloud of self-righteous indignation.

The whole thing about journalists supposedly not being able to criticise the SNP for fear of being the target of “vile abuse” is a complete myth. It is a device by which it is hoped to divert attention from the fact that the supposed “reasonable criticism” is invariably no more than a sensationalised parroting of attacks from the party’s opponents published without so much as a token effort at fact-checking.

The irony is that the most nefarious purpose of this myth is to silence those who would ask the awkward questions about this “criticism”. It is an attempt to induce that most pernicious form of censorship – self-censorship. It is hoped that, by portraying those who question the perspective peddled by the unionist media as some kind of extremists, we will all be deterred from asking those awkward questions.

The entire notion of journalists as “victims” because the rest of us now have an effective means of challenging them has come to be a very convenient part of a cosy consensus formed around a smugly ill-informed London-centric perspective, the dominance of which is aided by large measures unquestioning complacency and intellectual indolence, as well as a lack of resources. It is a cosy consensus which Kevin McKenna, for all his undoubted redeeming qualities, has an unfortunate tendency to buy into.

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20 thoughts on “Who is the victim?

  1. Jeanette McCrimmon

    Right on the money Peter!

    Today in the Guardian, Mckenna opines ” No other Scot has ever made me more proud to be Scottish.”

    Someone should inform him of James Clerk Maxwell’s contribution to modern society.

  2. Dan Huil

    Don’t buy britnat newspapers. Don’t visit britnat newspapers’ websites. You’ll feel a lot better and probably live a lot longer.

    1. Iain Barker

      I agree, life is so much more relaxing and tolerable without the daily input of their anti Scottish poison, hate and general drivel. The same applies to the off switch when it comes to the EBC or even ITV.

      I can honestly say that when I am not being force fed Brit Nat saps I am smoking less due to less rabid foaming at the mouth and then reaching for the roll up baccy and papers. I should applaud them for making me switch of and thus extending my life until the next Ref!

    2. Heidstaethefire

      If you do yhat, Dan, you also let their arguments – very broad interpretation of the word, I admit – go by default. The only way to win more support is to know what the opposition are saying and engage with the rest of the electorate with both cogent reasoning and respect. Not easy, but necessary.

      1. Dan Huil

        I know what you’re saying, Heidstaethefire, but it’s uncertain just how influencial these newspaper website comments are, although it’s a certainty that cogent reasoning won’t stop the britnat newspapers from continuing their anti-Scottish agenda. I refuse to rise to britnat click-bait because I refuse to aid these papers with their advertizing revenue which is, I believe, reliant on the number of website visitors.

        1. Heidstaethefire

          I agree and disagree with you. Wewon’t influence the newspapers, but we might change the minds of some readers. I take your point about clickbait, but I regard it as the price of engaging with those whose minds we need to change. One further point, if we just talk to each other, we run the risk of groupthink.

  3. Mark Rowantree

    Well said Peter the fact that your comments would be seen as revolutionary in SMSM circles only speaks to the lack of objectivity from that source. Indeed your comments are entirely self evident!

  4. Lisa Robertson

    Torrance knew what he was doing, flounced off so he could come back “poor me, bad Cybernats” in enters al lthe Britnat papers to do stories on the vile Cybernats without actually investigating the whole story. McKenna is the kind of Labour members I revile, fairweather Yes supporter who no matter how bad Labour gets, has this deep rooted, brainwashed obsessive hatred of SNP. I was Labour well before he was and I went through the mind control of Labour after Blair, the “don’t ask why Labour tells me SNP are bad, just trust blindly what Labour say” how dare he think there are Cyber lite ex Labour, does he thing we’re all going to return as the Labour pied piper marches back towards Labour. He, like Labour branch in Scotland think Labour ex voters/members are thick, we will follow Labour once we’ve had our “rebellion” stance. I once thought he was a journalist but he is just a Britnat Labour hack.

  5. Jt1

    No-one should ever forget that McKenna used to be Executive Editor of the Daily Mail in Scotland . His current persona as a pro.indy Guardian columnist is about as mercenary as it gets…

  6. Jack Collatin

    I’ve just read WoS take on this man Torrance’s latest dig at Scotland on the Rev’s site.
    What age is Torrance? Does he have a 15 year old ghost writer churning out this vapid pish?
    He really hates Scotland, doesn’t he? Did he get his degree in journalism by collecting 200 cigarette coupons?
    I have seldom read such poor scribbling ever. It beggars belief that this man actually spent time a Yoonie studying journalism.
    I recommend flitting over to Wings; this man Torrance is beyond satire. And dogged Stu rips his lungs out for this latest piece of shallow Scotland hating nonsense.
    I wonder what reception he’ll get from the thicky Pacific Quay BBC technicians and amateur journalists the next time (which seems daily) he pops up on the Beeb telling us that he hates Scotland and that the SNP are shite?

    Perhaps a FOI should be submitted to Pacific Quay to establish how much this unfortunate Scotland Hater has received in appearance money on BBC TV and Radio over the past 12 months; and the wedges paid to a stream of Unionist Hacks who propagate Scotland the Too Thick diurnally in the Dead Tree Scrolls? How much of my licence money has been spent on subsidising the wages of the Unionist hacks atd BBC Jordanhill?
    I doubt that ‘1/2 million watch Jackie Bird’ every night.
    Even if this plucked out of the air Torrencestat were true, which I doubt very much, it therefore follows that 91% of Scots viewers have voted with their remote, and have something better to do with their time than have Middle Class Unionist Hacks telling them how crap Scotland is and that the SNP are very very BAD indeed, oh and there’s been another murder..
    This man is a bought and paid for court jester.
    Nobody’s laughing any more.

  7. Brian

    McKenna’s had some kind of transplant. His pieces now seem written to editorial order. I mean, I like Andy, I admire what he’s achieved, but who in his right mind would say ‘no Scot has made me more proud to be Scottish’. Unbelievable.

    1. Ian Foulds

      I empathise in regard to your comment on Mr Murray. Maybe the gentleman is pandering to the knowledge of his readership in regard to well-known Scots people, rather than Scots who have contributed to Society end the World at large.

  8. Robin Stevenson

    Well said Peter. Frankly I wish people would stop posting on his weekly dose of propaganda bullshit on the Herald’s forum. I know that he needs to be corrected each and every week, but by doing so, we’re still giving oxygen to this unaccountable hack.

  9. Oatcake

    The National should stop giving McKenna a column. Google his articles in the Guardian and Observer from around 2014. How can anyone who attacks the SNP as he has done be in favour of Independence.

    1. Dan Huil

      McKenna says he now supports independence; that’s the thing that matters, not what his views were two years ago.

  10. Scott Cameron

    Nail squarely hit on head!
    Torrance is a narcissist with a superiority complex. in fact an intellectual snob. I believe he once swallowed a dictionary and now vomits up big words, which he hopes has mere mortals Googling his diatribe to find out what he’s actually talking abouti
    Once his one man pity party/self imposed exile is over, I’m predicting a return to Twitter “by popular demand” or some such. Expect to read about it in his column.
    He claimed that his abusers were “the usual suspects”. Having experienced his trigger happy use of the Block button for the mildest of criticism and heard others express the same complaint, I find it hard to believe that there could possibly be any usual suspects!

  11. Mrs Hurtle

    DTorrance is inane and unamusing but is making plenty money by being the priG others kick against. He was SO easily demolished by Sergio Caschi on ‘Shereen’ on Radio Scotland yesterday, and punditry is not even Sergio’s day job.

  12. Clydebuilt

    To buy or not to buy the Herald etc. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Several strong YES folk keep abreast of the Herald and write to the editor. Their letters are then available to weak NO readers…… this is exactly what we need to do.

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