Scottish Unionist calls it a day

I was sorry to read that Scottish Unionist has decided to stop updating his blog.

I know from email correspondence that he has, from time to time, thought about the future of his blog. Now he appears to have decided to call it a day for good.

What a great shame that is. Scottish Unionist did a fine job of exposing the rotten nature of nationalism. His eviscerations of the borderline illiterate Cybernats who pollute the Scottish blogosphere were excellent.

This may have led to the blog been a bit one-note and too negative. Plus, the knuckle-dragging nature of Cybernats is somewhat self-evident. But the case cannot be made too often.

The personal experience that Scottish Unionist has gone through while facing up to the aggressive nationalists has been truly shocking in some cases. It spoke volumes of Scottish Unionist as a person that he always conducted his debates with dignity, treating his opponents with respect — much more than a Cybernat could ever achieve.

I echo the sentiments of Jeff. I doubt that the Cybernats really need to be tackled — they discredit their ideology enough with their own words.

But Scottish Unionist was more or less the only person who frequently visited the constitutional issue, at a time when we could be facing a fundamental referendum in the next couple of years. Perhaps the rest of us should step up to the plate.

I was delighted when Scottish Unionist asked if I would write a guest piece for his blog earlier this year. You can still read my piece about a vision of a federalism in the UK.

12 comments

  1. I don’t think it did visit the constitutional issue particularly frequently. Its title was something of a misnomer – it wasn’t so much unionist as anti-SNP. A lot of the time was spent attacking the SNP on other subjects, such as prisoner abscond rates. I asked him a couple of times what this had to do with the union, but these questions didn’t survive his moderation (though he did generally publish my comments).

    I prefer sm357’s blog, whose URL temporarily escapes me. He focusses much more tightly on the union, and presents a rigorous defence of it with stats to back up his case.

    Incidentally, did SU’s site get hacked in its dying days? The last time I visited it, it kept spawning new Firefox windows, forcing me to reset my machine. A bit awkward, since I was trying to look at it at work without anyone noticing.

  2. “Scottish Unionist as a person that he always conducted his debates with dignity, treating his opponents with respect — much more than a Cybernat could ever achieve.”

    Er, you’re rapidly losing respect with that kind of statement, DoctorVee. It is nothing more than “the people I disagree with also happen to be of unsound character and incapable of beign nice, so there”. Which is a crazed statement and rather knuckle-dragging of you, I must say.

  3. What is it with this very allof attitude amongst some bloggers, there seems to be some form of weird snobbery going on, a classifying of bloggers.

    Would you care to name these ‘borderline illiterate Cybernats’, a term I find personally insulting and astonishingly deorgatory.

    Who are these ‘Cybernats’ that the wholier than thou amongst cast into the pit?

    “did a fine job of exposing the rotten nature of nationalism”

    Dear oh dear, getting a bit dramatic aren’t we love.

  4. Colin, I think you’re right that it became more of an anti-SNP blog than a pro-Union blog. I think that may have been one of the reasons why he lost motivations. I’m not sure if his site was hacked — I didn’t notice that.

    BC, It is not about whether I agree or disagree with them. There are countless people with whom I disagree intensely, but I at least respect them for their analytical rigour. Will Patterson and Richard Thomson are nationalists with whom I disagree, but they are not Cybernats. It is no secret that there is a significant element of the online nationalist fraternity that lacks rigour and deals primarily in personal attacks.

    Wardog, I won’t name any because — unlike Cybernats — I don’t go personal when debating.

  5. It sounds like a definition thing then. I was taking CyberNat to mean something like “Someone of the nationalist persuasion who posts online” whereas you mean something like “someone of the nationalist persuasion who posts online and is also an arsehole” which is fair enough I suppose.

  6. BC – the latter has always been my understanding of the term, coined, I think, by George Foulkes. I have detected a recent movement to reclaim it, though, with online posters sometimes referring to themselves as Cybernats.

  7. Duncan, I find your attitude disturbing. Making insinuations about “illiterate Cybernats who pollute the Scottish blogosphere”, without substantiating your accusation, is cowardly.

    Yes I had one argument with SU and that was when I considered he had stepped well over the line into the personal, but our private communications were courteous.

    It’s most unfortunate a fool adopted his name and spammed any blog which supported independence but I was certain it wasn’t SU.

    It would appear you are unaware that some bloggers are trying hard to create debate regarding the constitutional question.

    The Scottish blogosphere is small and it really isn’t necessary to insult your fellow bloggers in this way. Personally I don’t care what you think of my blog and its content, I write what interests me and luckily it also interests others.

    Would you be courageous enough to inform me if I’m classed in your little book as a Cybernat?

  8. I’m confused Subrosa. I didn’t say anything about bloggers — commenters are by far the biggest contributor of pollution.

    It’s interesting that you might be worried that you might be classed as a Cybernat (just one sentence after proclaiming that you don’t care). Do you think your blog is inflammatory? As I said, I am not naming names. I do not keep a “little booK”, and who is or is not a Cybernat is irrelevant.

    I am quite surprised this has got such attention actually. I am hardly the first person to comment on the Cybernat phenomenon, and the reason I mentioned it in this case was because of the experience Scottish Unionist has had from these dregs of the internet.

  9. I can’t understand why you’re surprised at the attention Stephen, especially when the word commenters isn’t used in your post. Thanks for clarifying that.

    Stephen, as far as I can gather (perhaps naively) a cybernat is anyone who supports Scottish independence, hence my question.

    I’m certainly not worried by some name-calling, I was just interested to see if you would be more open.

    My blog is certainly not inflammatory imo and I should think many of my readers would agree. If you can’t have an argument/discussion without being personal or insulting, then don’t visit my blog. My success is due to my readers. They develop and maintain high quality debates.

    These people who get their kicks from verbally abusing people online are sad souls who operate under complete anonymity. How can it be proved they are true supporters of independence (ie cybernats)? I’ve no idea.

  10. Subrosa, The question of whether the word Cybernat refers to all supporters of independence is dealt with above in my comment #4:

    It is not about whether I agree or disagree with them. There are countless people with whom I disagree intensely, but I at least respect them for their analytical rigour. Will Patterson and Richard Thomson are nationalists with whom I disagree, but they are not Cybernats. It is no secret that there is a significant element of the online nationalist fraternity that lacks rigour and deals primarily in personal attacks.

    Normally when the word Cybernat is used, I think it is generally taken to mean the sorts of people who post inflammatory and aggressive comments anonymously on websites like The Scotsman and on established blogs, but not established bloggers.

    You are right that due to the anonymous nature of these people, it cannot be proved that they are all supporters of independence, but I would be amazed if the vast majority are not.