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Showing posts with label YouTube. Show all posts
Showing posts with label YouTube. Show all posts

Monday, 12 September 2011

A lack of moderation–and its results …

I pre-moderate comments on my blog, and only allow access to those with an online ID. I do this because I have some experience of what unmoderated comment produces.

On my YouTube channel – TAofMoridura – I can’t insist on an online ID but I do pre-moderate, and it involves a lot of work.

Once in a while, I forget to set the pre-moderate requirements. Here’s what happened, on one video alone Scotland's independence and the English - BBC1 clip posted on 5th July 2011.

Some say this is a price worth paying to hear the raw, unmoderated voice of the people. I’m not so sure, given the religious bigotry, historical uncertainty and general abuse that appears. Education, education education – and information, information, information … But there is some good stuff, and some reasoned voices in among it all.



  • It's none of England's business weather Scotland should be independent or not, the people of Scotland, the Scots, are the sovereign of Scotland, therefore what the people of Scotland want is absolute.

    And this news poll piece will probably be news to all the English nationalists/unionists who've been raving on for ages saying that "more English people want to see Scotland independent than the Scots do".

    Time to put an end to this rancid union once and for all, it's way past it's sell by date.

    segano1 1 month ago 7

  • the english should vote for independence too for themselves away from the monarchy its a wakeupcall>com for them

    satelite1402 2 months ago 3

  • @satelite1402

    the monarchy is scottish

    dublinricky 1 month ago 9

  • @dublinricky - Are you having a laugh? The house of Stuart is long gone, its house of Hannover which is german. Which those people have settled in england and have had the throne there. The throne is english and they are of german descent. Whats Scottish about that? Anyway your a fake account, your a ulster loyalist living in scotland as a unionist, who sits on youtube making accounts to be either ; scottish nationalist, irish republican, to make those peoples look bad. Get a life

    Steely1888 1 month ago

  • @Steely1888

    I am Irish from Artane. The Queen is not English whatsoever, the ancestry goes to Sophia of Hanover the grand-daughter of James VI of... SCOTS.

    dublinricky 1 month ago

  • @dublinricky - your information is loyalist lies. Do you know what the Jacobite rebellion of 1745 was for? Bonnie Prince Charlie, a man of scottish royal blood, and his counterparts where Hannovarians, German Georgie. Read a book u scumbag, your on a fake account, keep your nose out our business wee man

    Steely1888 1 month ago

  • @Steely1888 The Queen is Scottish, she was born in Glamis castle in Scotland, near Angus and Tayside.

    Calengela 1 month ago

  • @Calengela - she may have been born here, she has an english accent and is of german descent, that doesnt make her scottish. That same woman visited the Culloden battlefield to "honour it with her presence" WHY? cause it was HANNOVARIAN victory.

    Steely1888 1 month ago

  • @Steely1888 You sound a bit racist, are you saying that where an individual is born has nothing to do with who they are? That is part of their heritage, so if some one had a bit half ancestry from another country far away yet they were born in Scotland and identified as Scottish, they are not Scottish according to you?

    She has an English accent obviously because most of her work is involved down there, so naturally she'll pick up influences.

    And Culloden was not Scotland vs England.

    Calengela 1 month ago

  • @Calengela - Im not racist, im saying the woman is english, she lives there and has an english accent, and she is of german descent. I am not slagging germans or english people so i fail to see why you came to that conclusion. she isnt HALF scottish lol, she was born here yes, her surname isnt, her accent isnt, she doesnt live here? Culloden was true scotsmen vs the british government, in the hope of home rule, and putting a man of scottish royal blood on the throne

    Steely1888 1 month ago

  • @Steely1888 You say you're not racist yet you use race in a discriminative manner to judge who somebody is with a complete disregard to their heritage (what they inherent from birth onwards) and their native birth rights.

    Yes she has an English accent, yes accent is part of your heritage also but she also has Scottish ancestry as well and holds the separate title of 'Queen of Scots', (there was no union of the crowns, she gave a separate oath to the Scots the night before her coronation).

    Calengela 1 month ago

  • @Steely1888 And according to you, Culloden was 'true Scots vs Brits'?, so with more Scots fighting for the government because they did not want a Catholic monarch from Italy undermining their true Scottish branded religion of Presbyterianism, that means most Scots are not true Scots then?

    Bonnie Prince Charlie was born in Rome, an opportunist who wanted to restore as much Catholicism back as possible, the Scots by majority clearly did not want that, as they had their own church that was theirs.

    Calengela 1 month ago

  • @Calengela - Your clearly sectarian. The Jacobites fought for Charlie cause he was of Scottish royal blood and the highlanders became part of Scotland cause of the Stuarts. The Jacobites fought for the clan system, many for Scotland, and they fought for their rightful king, but it is you who is the sectarian scumbag here who is totally against all that all because of the guys religion? The Jacobites opposed the union which is why i said they fought for Scotland

    Steely1888 1 month ago

  • @Calengela - if your a scottish nationalist thats hilarious cause i feel as if im talking to the head of the orange order here with such loyalist lies

    Steely1888 1 month ago

  • @Calengela - youv clearly called me everything under the sun with your false accusations. Bonnie Prince Charlie actually fought for the throne of his family, you know the house of Stuart? who were in the throne of Scotland, and booted off cause of militant protestants invited a dutchman over, and then when he died and never produced an air, they later fought for a german. You clearly hate catholics and celtic fans cause i never opened my mouth about religion untill u started it

    Steely1888 1 month ago

  • @Calengela - Dont even go into the whole Culloden story, i know it and men in tartan carrying a scotland flag into battle fighting redcoats with a union jack taken into battle tells me who i want to win ok

    Steely1888 1 month ago

  • @Steely1888 Rubbed the wrong way? That seems like you've been touched the wrong way, I'm no royalist or unionist either, I believe in an independent Scotland and a re-united Ireland, but the Ulstermen just don't want it and Ireland is unlikely going to be able to even afford to run it.

    But I'm against historical revisionists in both sides here, I seen the flaws in your argument and responded.

    Culloden was Prodestants vs Catholics, what ever version of history you've consumed, it's wrong.

    Calengela 1 month ago

  • @Calengela - LOL "Culloden was Prodestants vs Catholics" no it wasnt, for starters you cant even spell "Protestant". Yes in terms of who would be king, but it wasnt about that. Your clearly a bigot to even suggest that. People who sided with the hannovarians certainly had your view, you call me racist? yet your the sectarian person here. Im not racist, the Queen refused to wear the crown jewels of Scotland cause she didnt recoginise Scotland as a country, yet you say shes scottish

    Steely1888 1 month ago

  • @Steely1888 I don't think you're in a position to criticise my type of 'Protestants' when your every comment is riddled with illiteracy, not to mention, you're sub standard historical knowledge and hypocritical bigoted views.

    To say somebody is not Scottish even though they were of native birthright according to heritage is what bigotry is, your comments are saturated with contradictory opinions, and that's no exaggeration.

    Calengela 1 month ago

  • @Calengela - i said she wasnt scottish cause she doesnt live here, she refused to wear the crown jewels of Scotland, therefore not recognising scotland as a country. When is she ever referred to as the "queen of scotland" or "scottish queen" exactly, get lost. Your a bigot, and youv got the cheek to say i am? and av explained and backed it up with historical reasons and you say your into history? you havent got a clue

    Steely1888 1 month ago

  • @Steely1888 When is the Queen ever referred to as the Queen of Scots? Look up the recent Queens visit to the Scottish parliament where Alex Salmond addressed her as 'Queen of Scots', she is bound by Scots law to address the Scots parliament every 10 years, the most recent was just two months ago, following the SNP's massive recent electoral victory.

    I can't believe you're this ignorant, it's laughable at best though.

    Calengela 1 month ago

  • @Steely1888 You're clearly an extremist, you must be a Catholic too judging by your unfounded crys of 'bigot'.

    The battle of Culloden was Protestants vs Catholics, this is a well documented proven fact, hence why there were even English Catholics siding with the Jacobite cause, their sole aim was to put a Catholic on the throne, Scotland was Presbyterian, they did not want a Catholic monarch in Scotland, hence why most Scots fought against them.

    Calengela 1 month ago

  • @Steely1888 - "most scots" fought for the government LOL, no they didnt. The Jacobite army had well more Scots. For the one thousandth time not all the Jacobites were Catholic, there were many presbyterians fighting for them its just you are too ignorant and too sectarian to comprehend that. In terms of who would be king yes it was between a catholic and protestant but you who claims not to be sectarian keeps saying it was a catholic vs protestant war? when IT wasnt, it was a JACOBITE war

    Steely1888 1 month ago

  • @Steely1888 You keep throwing opinion after opinion back with no factual evidence at all, give me one source that states more Scots fought for the Jacobite cause, and good luck with it, take your time finding a site where the Scots ever wanted a Catholic monarch over their own Presbyterian church, good luck with

    Calengela 1 month ago

  • @Calengela - your an idiot. Once again it was not a war of catholic scots vs presbyterian scots. Although the war did determine if the king would be protestant or catholic. I done the Jacobite rebellion in school in my teacher who had a degree in history bloody well told me. So im not listening to some faggot on youtube whos trying to tell me different. Read a book boy. Dispite the reformation many Scots stayed loyal to the Stuarts.

    Steely1888 1 month ago

  • @Steely1888 It's very clear here who the idiot is and it certainly isn't me, like I said, I'm not bothered about religion, I'm a realist, I like truth, not historical revisionism, and it just so happens that Catholicism is well known for it's historical revisionism, that is a well documented fact, not an opinion, hence why I don't read into it on face value. And 'faggot'? you must be a Yankee, as only these people think that is an offensive term to use when in reality it's quite lame 'faggot'.

    Calengela 1 month ago

  • @Steely1888 The Stuart house was one thing, the idea of a Catholic monarch from Italy who had no regard for the Presbyterian church and Protestants was another thing entirely.

    This is exactly why there is so many Plastic Paddies brainwashed by 100's of years of National Catholic propaganda from Ireland trying to undermine the Scots and make out that the Scots are Irish and vice versa which they aren't, modern science disproves myth made rubbish.

    Calengela 1 month ago

  • @Steely1888 And of course you are going to block, you're the cowardly type, I sensed it coming when I asked you to cite your sources to prove that bullshit you were saying, yet you came back with not a single source, you just recycled all your original garbage to spew out once again, your mere brainwashed opinionated beliefs.

    Yes Scotland becoming a republic is probably a possibility in future after independence, but not for a long time, even the SNP don't support republicanism.

    Calengela 1 month ago

  • @Calengela - Yes there were Scots who fought for the government at Culloden 2 clan regiments and the blackwatch regiment. Whereas the entire Jacobite army was predominately Scots. Which means there were MORE scots on the Jacobite side. The Queen isnt scottish end of, if she got her ancestry looked up and to say she jumped out her mothers vagina in scotland then buggered off elsewhere hardly makes here even 50% scottish

    Steely1888 1 month ago

  • @Steely1888 The only reason you don't want to acknowledge the Queen as Scottish, even though she is, is because it goes against your political historical revisionism, hence your very hypocritical bigoted view on her native birth right. The Jacobite side was all Catholics, they came from the highlands down south, although not all regiments were actually Highlanders, many were Catholics who moved up to support the cause from there, there were even English Catholics fighting in the Jacobites.

    Calengela 1 month ago

  • @Steely1888

    Dang, you gots schooled kid. Take a nap. Take a mothafuckin nap.

    ProtestantThomas 21 hours ago

  • @Steely1888 Most Scots DID fight against the Jacobites, the whole point of the Jacobites existence was for the sole aim of placing a Catholic on the monarch, a Catholic from Italy. Being a Scot at the time, you're not going to want a backward barbaric Roman system of Catholicism taking over the Scottish way of life and undermining the Scottish religion. Why the hell would a Protestant fight for them?, the whole point of the Jacobite cause was to remove Protestants and ruin the Scottish religion.

    Calengela 1 month ago

  • @Calengela - LOL the scottish way of life was banned after Culloden

    Steely1888 1 month ago

  • @Steely1888 The Scottish ways never died, many Scottish institutions have remained 100% independent to this day, Scots law, Scottish education system, the Scottish church etc to name a few.

    Ireland is not in Scotland, the Irish lost their true culture from 1537 onwards when King Henry of England wanted to influence the Irish as English so that they were easier to assimilate.

    After Ireland got independence in the early 1900's they adopted Scottish influence due to the emergence of Celt romance.

    Calengela 1 month ago

  • There are scottish nationalists even on my youtube list who are presbyterian and support the old jacobite cause, so get lost ya bigot. You clearly are.  I take it you think in 1690 king william of orange rode a white horse and led an army of protestants to defeat an army of catholics? your history is a massive misconception, get a grip, and stop replying, av had enough of your bigotry. Any historian would piss themselves laughing at you with such views

    Steely1888 1 month ago

  • @Steely1888 Also, Culloden took place in 1746, 39 years after the union of the 'Great British' political construct. You may not want to hear it, but it's the truth, as I said before, I'm no royalist or unionist, I'm not even that bothered about religion, although given the choice, I'd probably go with Presbyterians over Catholics, either way though, I'm a realist, I go by the truth, not bias, that's why I exposed your comments as 'opinions', not 'facts', so if you can get the 'facts', go for it.

    Calengela 1 month ago

  • @Calengela - Im blocking you cause iv gave you historical facts and youv chosen to ignore it cause it upsets your theory of a sectarian war. read a book and grow up. Im not wasting any more of my time educating you. I gave you facts and anyone who has learned about it and studied the event will tell u the same. You exposed nothing, all u did is declare your sectarian, by reading into a war the wrong way and seeing it in black and white

    Steely1888 1 month ago

  • @Steely1888 As for Scottish independence, even with independence, the United Kingdoms will still remain unless Scotland becomes a republic, but that's unlikely as the SNP's stance is to retain the monarchy but gain back political independence to the way it was prior to 1707. The UK has existed since 1603.

    The constitution would therefore be re-written from "The United Kingdom of Great Britain & N.Ireland" and into

    "The United Kingdoms of Scotland, England & N.Ireland".

    Calengela 1 month ago

  • @Calengela - There are republican members of the SNP. We would lately get a vote after independence on it. Why be nationalist and want a foriegn monarch? that is laughable. If you want to be a country you should grow a pair and want your own head of state. You say stuff on how bonnie prince charlie shouldnt of been on the throne? he had more of a valid claim than the hannovarians and the williamites. Take it your national anthem isnt flower of scotland? and its God save the queen?

    Steely1888 1 month ago

  • @Calengela - you claim to be scottish nationalist and u dispise the jacobites for fighting for a man of scottish royal blood, and the same people opposed the union that your supposed to be nationalist and want to break? and why? cause u disagree with the mans religion who wasnt even devout. You have issues mate, a take it you go into ibrox singing about the 'billy boys' and wave union flags and singing about the queen?

    Steely1888 1 month ago

  • @Steely1888 One contradictory opinion of yours for example is that the Queen can't possibly be Scottish because she doesn't live in Scotland and doesn't speak with a Scottish accent, so does that mean that Mary Queen of Scots is not Scottish either? Using your logic, she can't possibly be, as she grew up in France for several years and had a French accent.

    Calengela 1 month ago

  • @Calengela - well Mary queen of Scots had a scottish surname so she was of scottish origin. You however said the queen is scottish who is not of scottish origin, and was born here and then fucked off to england? does not have a scottish accent, and the only thing she wants with us is for us to stay in the union so she can have more power

    Steely1888 1 month ago

  • @Steely1888 Scotland being in the union or not makes no difference to what the Queen wants as the UK constitution will still remain regardless, because Scottish independence is about political independence not republicanism, this is a well documented fact, look up the SNP's white paper manifesto, you'll find it on their official website.

    The UK is a monarchy union, Great Britain is a political union, learn the difference.

    Calengela 1 month ago

  • @Steely1888 So a surname still holds as much value to who you are today as it did 500 years ago, are you actually still being serious with these endless hilarious comments? ROFL!

    The Queen is immediately Scottish if born there, if you are born in Scotland with not at least one Scottish parent, then you are still a Scottish nationalists, however if you have at least one parent who is Scottish then you are a Scot by nationality and an indigenous link, which the Queen does have.

    Calengela 1 month ago

  • @Steely1888 If you are born in Scotland, you originate there, you are native to Scotland by birth right and heritage, the fact you try to disprove this reveals your bigotry and hypocritical nature.

    You have a very selective view on who is Scottish because you don't want to acknowledge people you don't approve of as being Scottish, try telling me again that that is not bigotry right there.

    I'm starting to get the impression that you aren't even Scottish at all now, either a racist Yank or Irish.

    Calengela 1 month ago

  • @Calengela - youv really been rubbed the wrong way, i take it your a militant royalist unionist? not much point talking to me as im not royalist nor unionist

    Steely1888 1 month ago

  • @dublinricky The monarchy isn't scottish, the monarchy is German. The Scottish Stuarts came down to England in 1603, one had his head chopped off and the other was chased away to France. The Catholic Stuarts were then blocked from the throne. the last one was seen running away from the British army at culloden

    billybob7ful 1 month ago

  • @dublinricky The monarchy are germans.

    1966thewallace 2 days ago

  • @satelite1402 In England, the Queens authority is absolute as the English are her subjects, however in Scotland, the Scots themselves are the sovereign, so she has holds a separate title as 'Queen of Scots' and reigns at the Scots whims, King and Kingdom have never meant the same thing in Scots law, the Scots therefore have always been more free and had some of the worlds earliest democratic powers that go as far back as the 1328 Declaration of Arbroath, legalised by King Robert I king of Scots.

    Calengela 1 month ago

  • Con't, A clue to this is the very title of the monarchies of Scotland, they were titled 'King or Queen of Scots' rather than the monarchies of England where it was 'King or Queen of England' and not the English themselves, this means that the Scottish Crown worked for the people of Scotland rather than the country itself with subjects living on it like in England.

    The Scots had powers of freedom even back then.

    The London unionist elite will want you to believe otherwise and be ignorant however.

    Calengela 1 month ago

  • I like the way they present the results of a poll of 1200 people as fact !! STV were really even handed in the run up to the election but they are back to their bad old ways again. Very noticable in the last few weeks. Unionist spin and selective story telling!!

    RobQos 2 months ago

  • DOGGY :D

    darkarlok 2 months ago

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Some YouTube comments on my Linda Fabiani video


  • All I'm saying is that there is a certain amount of risk involved. The fears that many Scots have should be allayed, not made fun of. I'm not saying that independence is the wrong way to go.robsargent4


  • The only way to find out if independence would actually be better than any of the other options is to go forward with it, but if it doesn't work out it would be too late to change our minds. robsargent4


  • You should have named the video Linda Fabiani and three twats Alba12349

  • To Alba12349 I wouldn't dream of being so rude - Linda Fabiani and the three a******** perhaps. TAofMoridura

  • What a mockery when Scottish oil has subsidised England for decades now ! I wish people here in Scotland would wakey wakey ! Whether they will remains to be seen . What remains is the arrogance of these people who believe that they actually own us and our country ! alba4232


  • To @alba4232 Scottish oil built the M25. It bailed out Maggie's failing economy. TAofMoridura

  • @TAofMoridura and all the rest that we never were supposed to hear about !alba4232


  • @alba4232 But is there enough oil left to make an independent Scotland wealthy? Is an economy dependent on one natural resource really a good idea? Personally I don't really know. I know oil is not all there is to Scotland's economy, but other than whisky there don't seem to be any major exporters at the moment. That means that an independent Scotland would be reliant on only a few exports. I know renewable energy is also being developed but that still doesn't make for a very diverse economy. robsargent4


  • To @robsargent4 The Scots who favour independence are confident in the ability of Scots to survive and prosper once free of the union. The unionist position is characterised by timidity and a lack of self-confidence. But what they never understand that even if we were poorer - which we won't be - we would rather be free. That's what freedom and pride have always been about.

    For me, it's easy - the nuclear issue defines my position because the SNP are the only non-nuclear party of significance. TAofMoridura

  • @TAofMoridura I'm sure an independent Scotland could survive or even prosper (in relative terms) but I'm not we would prosperous enough to woo the public (yet). You are quite right when you say the unionist position is characterised by timidity. Many like the idea of independence, but are simply not sure if/how it would work. These worries are legitimate and should be addressed, not derided. Insulting a large portion of the population is hardly going to sway them over to another way of thinking. robsargent4


  • To @robsargent4 I agree with all of that, but I occasionally forget it because of frustration with the Scottish electorate. But that's democracy, and coming up with convincing arguments is the only way. YouTube comments are not the place for complex economic arguments, however, and simpler messages are also necessary. A large chunk of the voting public react only to soundbites, and finding the right ones is the trick.The role of images and emotions in shifting allegiance is vital too.

  • TAofMoridura

    • @TAofMoridura Like it or not, for many people, independence must bring greater wealth for it to be worthwhile. Freedom isn't enough for everyone. The only way Scotland can become independent is if the majority of people in Scotland can be convinced beyond doubt that independence would make the country wealthier. robsargent4

    • @robsargent4 It's one way - and a very important one - but it is certainly not the only way. Not everyone is driven by economic self-interest. If it was the only way, politicians could always buy votes by expedient promises, which is the contemptible belated tactic adopted by Labour in the last week or so. Whether the electorate will buy it or not remains to be seen. Certainly Scottish Labour voters never seem to vote for their narrow economic interest - if they did, they have been betrayed. TAofMoridura

  • @TAofMoridura Like it or not, for many people, independence must bring greater wealth for it to be worthwhile. Freedom isn't enough for everyone. The only way Scotland can become independent is if the majority of people in Scotland can be convinced beyond doubt that independence would make the country wealthier.

    To @robsargent4 Well, I have a higher opinion of Scots than that, but you may be right. May 5th won't be either the beginning or the end of the progress towards independence, which I believe is inevitable, sooner or later. But we've waited 304 years - we can wait a bit longer.

  • But free of the useless House of Lords, Trident and nuclear folly, and the UK's ridiculous pretensions as a global warmonger - and with a few years of our own oil revenues - we will have a head start in the wealth game.  TAofMoridura


  • I praise Linda Fabiani's calm approach to attack from the panel members. Journalists however exist to question the policy of elected administrations. The SNP falsely give us a choice: Independence or the Status Quo. Thankfully there is another choice: further devolution and reform of the union. Devolution is a process not an event so perhaps there should be more talk of devolution of powers to local government where they can used more effectively.

  • TAofMoridura  I find it interesting that you talk of the United Kingdom as a foreign body, it is our Union: Democratically elected. Of course there are policies of the UK Government that are dubious but we must not enter the cycle of believing that everything Scottish is pure and good and that anything UK is evil. The UK's economic crisis has been weathered better than it could be in an independent N.Ireland, Scotland, Wales or England. champs98320

  • To @champs98320 The UK has fought one illegal war and is embroiled in a dubious one. It cannot protect the heir to the throne in his capital. It allied itself to an utterly discredited regime in the US. It has alienated the youth of the nation and provoked riots. Its defence policy is a ludicrous anachronism. It has destroyed its own economy.

  • It doesn't know what to do about Scotland. English nationalism is on the march.

    Devolution is a process not an event - a process leading to independence.

  • TAofMoridura


  • To @champs98320 The UK has been inimical to my interests and those of many Scots for many years, and is increasingly a foreign body. But I am a democrat, and I accept that it exists in the present day as a result of democratic procedures, however flawed and manipulated. I and many other Scots seek change through these democratic procedures

    I have no romantic ideas about Scotland. I do not accept that the UK handled. or is handling the crisis better than we would have as independent nations. TAofMoridura

Thursday, 25 November 2010

The New Media and its role and significance in political campaigning

I have recently put my toes in the Twitter water, where all the little birdies go tweet, tweet, tweet. Up to now, I have dismissed Twitter, Facebook and the rest as social media, froth and triviality for the young - and the not so young, mid-thirties to early forties, uneasily aware that youth is vanishing, but hoping to maintain a foothold in popular culture: these days, popular culture is overwhelmingly youth culture. (That wasn’t always so.)

I attended an event (the organisers don’t like it being described as a conference or a seminar) called PICamp in Edinburgh last Saturday, mounted by Paul Evans and Mick Fealty of Political Innovations. Political Innovations is linked to the highly influential Irish blog Slugger O'Toole. Its focus was on the use of new media in political campaigning, and it was a paradigm-shifting day for me, and judging by the excitement and buzz on the internet thereafter, for many others too.

The experience of a room full of people with netbooks, iPhones and iPads tweeting away, and the sudden, shocking appearance of the tweets on two huge projection screens from the venue broadband service gave me – and not a few of the tweeters - a real jolt. Whatever the trivialities of the medium in total, this astonishing potential for mass communication was one I could not afford to ignore. Nor could any political party. It was the Obama campaign lesson brought suddenly and startlingly to life, and I and many others are grateful to PICamp for the experience.

I include in new media blogging, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. Facebook I have personally stayed clear of, and will continue to do so. PICamp also steered clear of YouTube – I don’t know quite why …

A week and a bit on, the stars have gone out of my eyes, and more considered judgments can be made. But I am now firmly and permanently in the Twitter water, tweeting away, sometimes with purpose and sometimes as vacuously as the others. The incredible speed of response to events and the nature of the interaction still astonishes me.


Starting out as an attempt to simply record one’s mundane activities, this has metamorphosed into, amongst other things, an alternative political and social journalism and news reporting. What was the tipping point? Maybe the Baghdad Blogger– who knows?

The driving forces behind political blogging are many, but for a Scottish National Party supporter, they are a vital response to a biased and hostile media. You can’t be accused of paranoia if you support Scotland’s independence – just about everybody - the unionists, the Establishment, the Government, the London-based parties and the media - really is out to get you, to silence or neutralise your voice and your views.

If you are a professional salaried journalist or freelance (I am neither) then your livelihood is under threat unless you mute your voice and views to the point of inaudibility. There is no balance, no equity, no fairness.

Not the least of the problem for political bloggers is the attitude of their own party to blogging. Obviously, a political party want to control the message emanating from their supporters, insofar as is consistent with freedom of speech: the response of political parties is always guarded, and is characterised by caution – as well it might be after damaging scandals like the storms that blew up over The Universality of Cheese blog, and the Damien Green affair.

Endorsing a blog is a bridge too far for most mainstream parties, but caution can be taken too far. I can only speak for my own experience. I had a moderate volume of private correspondence from MPs, MSPs and others in both the Scottish and Westminster governments before the ‘Cheese’ debacle: after it, communication virtually closed down completely. I had never breached a confidence, never reproduced a privileged comment, never claimed an insider’s view even when I sometimes had one – but no matter: there was a great silence, one that has only relaxed a little of late.

And other things have changed in the world of media and politics. From failing to understand the new media to deriding it, politicians and the old media have now embraced it, sometimes as incautiously and with much the same effects that they criticised the early blogger for causing.

The results initially ranged from the embarrassing to the damaging, but old and new media have settled down to a guarded, but so far peaceful co-existence. Professional journalists can be a bit patronising and dismissive, and freelances perhaps see a competitor in a tight market, but by and large, old and new rub along together fairly well. Twitter and YouTube are perhaps better examples of this than blogging because they are truly new media – different species -  whereas blogging is simply a kind of print journalism.

Some bloggers, e.g. Iain Dale have almost become part of the media mainstream, and get invited on to political programmes as guest commentators, sitting side by side with professional pundits and politicians. Slugger O'Toole occupies a similar position in Ireland. The dangers of the clammy embrace of the media and political establishment have so far been evident to such bloggers, and they have not become emasculated or suffocated by it – yet.

There is another, less obvious tendency beginning to emerge – the favour and endorsement being extended by the politicians, the traditional media -and some of the more powerful bloggers - to blogs that are essentially trivial and unthreatening to them. No examples that I want to quote, but I’m keeping my beady eye on this little trend.


I was initially cautious about the copyright aspects of YouTube, but I got into the water, clipping news items and comment that seemed  relevant to me.

I wanted to -

1. Capture items and clips that I felt would have only a limited life in the maelstrom of 24 hour news coverage


2 Offer my perceptions of the item, and comment

and finally

3 Use them to enhance text material on my blog (a picture worth a 1000 words, a moving picture with words, 10,000 words?)

My rationale in face of the copyright issue was – and is – as follows -

My clips are just that – clips from a longer broadcast. They are selective, and do not try to supplant BBC iPlayer and other channel replay facilities. I believe them to be in the category of fair quotation, and that they supplement the intention of the broadcaster to inform, and where the intention of the broadcaster is hostile to my beliefs, to counter with an alternative viewpoint. I believe that this facility should be available to all, including those with viewpoints I disagree with, providing they do not advocate violence of illegal means, or are deliberately abusive or obscene.

I do not believe in megaphone/PA political and media uni-directional comment and news – I believe in participative democracy and free comment within the law – a vital dialogue between professional broadcasters, politicians and the electorate. The new media have dramatically opened up that potential across the globe, and the consternation and attempts to suppress the new media emanating from totalitarian regimes everywhere - including those masquerading as democracies - demonstrate fully why the new media are vital.

If someone is going to shout at me through a bullhorn, I am going to shout right back at them.

If any broadcaster object to my clips and regards them as a breach of copyright and artistic and professional creativity, let them tell me, and I will immediately take the offending clip down. If however this begins to look like an attempt to muzzle free expression, then I will seek financial help to legally challenge undue censorship or influence.

I also decided that I would reject Google regular offers to let me profit from my videos – by carrying advertising - on the rare occasions when they began to hit higher numbers. Since they were not my work, but someone else’s work, this would have been wrong.


Twitter, until recently had been something I avoided, believing it to be trivial, ephemeral froth – adolescent texting for immature adults – with no potential for serious comment or serious political campaigning. Thanks largely to the PICamp epiphany mentioned at the start of this piece, I realised that I was utterly wrong in that assessment.

Twitter is all of these things, trivial, ephemeral, frothy – but it is also, today, a deeply serious, and potentially hugely effective medium of communication.

Politicians – and democrats – ignore it at their peril.

I just hadn’t understood Twitter, and had dismissed it because I just didn’t know how it worked. For the uninitiated, who are many, probably a majority of the population, let me offer my Twitter newbie analysis.

First insight – you don’t have to read all the crap.

You decide who you are going to follow – only those tweets will then come up. You build your follow list gradually, partly from your own searches, partly from obvious media links (every major media outlet tweets and most significant media commentators, e.g. Jon Snow), and partly from Twitter offering you recommendations to consider, based on your initial follow patterns – rather like Amazon builds a preference profile from your online purchases.

If you don’t like the tone, style or content of some of your initial follow choices, then unfollow, i.e take them off your list.

Your tweets (messages) are limited to 140 characters, including punctuation and spaces. This imposes a tight editorial discipline, one which I found valuable.

If you tweet and have second thoughts, you can delete the tweet swiftly and easily. You can direct your tweet to another tweeter or to the world at large. You can tweet from your blog, your mobile phone, etc.

If you have an extended message you can continue it over a couple of tweets, but I wouldn’t recommend going much beyond that – the sanctions are swift, and with no appeal – people will unfollow you, i.e. stop listening to you.

As you attract followers – those who want to listen to you – you get an idea of how you are being received. Remember, your political opponents will follow you, and you should follow selected political opponents. There’s no use preaching to the converted, but at all event, you must know your enemy.

You have total control over what you tweet, what you read, and who you share ideas with.

New media is all about links and linkages – these are multifarious and can be confusing, but you will only learn by doing.

If you have something to say, you can’t ignore this medium.

If you only want to hear what others are saying, you still can’t ignore it.

A cursory look at the people and organisations who consider it essential will tell you all you need to know about the  power of Twitter.


YouTube is very different medium – you can consume the medium- i.e. watch – very easily, but if you want to communicate, you need some technical facility to produce your own videos. But you can also share – by email, texting, etc. the URL links to YouTube videos with others, and you can often embed them in your blog, if you have one, using the embed code provided. You can clip TV programmes or other media providing both you and YouTube are OK about any possible copyright breaches.

You can add quite extended comments to your videos and insert search terms. The title of your YouTube video will have a major – perhaps the major – impact on your hits – the number of times it is viewed.

You can allow, pre-moderate or bar comments. You can allow or bar embedding of your video. You have control.


There is a series of generational – or half generation – gaps on Twitter, or at least in the sector – if that is the right word – that I have elected to explore. Politically, I would identify a number of age bands roughly bounded by the half generation of about 9 to 15 years . Professional psephologists will have more complex and more arcane definitions. For me, the cultural aspects are inextricably linked, in the new media at least, with the political dimension.

Age band One I would define as early adolescence to early maturity – say 14 years of age to 23 years of age, from secondary education through higher education, college, university, etc. This might be described as the  years of emerging political, social and cultural consciousness; eligibility to vote at 18, and early entry to a career or vocation. (Since I am neither sociologist, nor psephologist nor anthropologist, please regard this as a highly personal, and doubtless flawed perception and analysis.)

Age band Two I see as 24 to around 40 years of age – the early maturity years of intellectual development, increasing political sophistication, and of the development of cultural and musical taste (if they develop at all: some stand still for ever, tastes frozen in time). The end of this phase is usually the beginning of what will be a growing awareness of mortality, which generates its own anxieties and pressures, a crisis of values, of ambition, and often a desperate wish to cling on to youth.

Age band Three, in my perception, is 40 plus to 55 years of age. This is either the age of opting out - of simply settling into the rut of career autopilot, political cynicism, with the focus moving away from social consciousness, wider political and cultural awareness, into the purely local and personal – or it becomes the age of new vision, new energies and new directions. Regrettably, many seem to die politically and culturally at some point during this phase. The illusion of youth cannot be maintained, and cultural and musical tastes and political awareness either ossify, or continue to develop; if the latter, then they are likely to continue to do so indefinitely.

Age band Four, 56 to around 6o/65, can be the age of consolidation, but often of peak career and life pressures – economic, family, health – and the lead-in to retirement. The world is perceived with greater clarity, but that clarity of vision often reveals aspects of the human condition that had previously been invisible, and this can be a disquieting experience.

Age band Five is a shorter span – mid-sixties to 70/75. The great realities – of mortality, of inevitable physical decline, of loss of loved ones - must be squarely faced or there can be a destructive descent into denial and despair. But this age can lead to absolute clarity of focus, and a burning wish to concentrate on the the things that really matter, and to make an impact, however slight, on the society of which one is still very much a part.

The final age – for those who reach it, an increasing number in our society – is one of which I cannot say too much: like the French Revolution, it is too early to evaluate.

If you have managed to stay with me during the above analysis, I will now attempt to relate it to new media and politics.

Virtually all of the above age bands have a vote. Whether they exercise or not depends on many factors, analysis of which is the proper domain of the psephologist. Not all of them have access to computers. Of those who do, not all will go beyond email and texting.

But many do watch YouTube, read blogs and read Twitter – the evidence is there, including the evidence that they cross all the age bands, although what the distribution across the demographic is, I don’t know. How many post YouTube comments or videos, how many post blog comments or write blogs, how many actively tweet I don’t know either.

But I do know this – those that do read and participate tend to be of good intelligence, commitment, social awareness -  and they communicate with, and influence others. I would hazard the guess that they also vote.

So the new media matter. How much I don’t know – print media are still influential, and television is hugely influential. Knocking on doors and delivering leaflets, cold canvassing and direct telephone contact also yield the significant results they always have, and there is no suggestion, least of all from me, that new media are anywhere near supplanting such traditional campaign techniques or replacing them.

But who would have guessed at the growth and influence of Google ten years ago?

Who would have forecast that Amazon and online sellers would seriously impact on certain retail markets?

Who would have forecast that a satirical comedy show (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) could be influential in the election of an American President?

Who would have forecast the new media would prove to be a significant fund raiser for that Presidential candidate, and indeed a factor on securing his election?

Politicians and activists – whatever you think about the new media, don’t underestimate them.

The medium is the message … MARSHALL McLUHAN 'Understanding Media.’

(Marshall and I are probably the last two people in the world who remember that medium is the singular and media is the plural – so don’t talk about “a media of communication" within earshot of either of us. Come to think of it, Marshall died in 1980. R.I.P.)


THEY ALL LAUGHED ... Louis & Ella