A rammy, a swerry word, and abuse

Sorry for the lack of updates to the blog for the past few days, but I’ve been unwell and lying languidly on the chaise longue familiarising myself with the finer points of the legal system. Some people would say that means I’ve really had my arse glued to the sofa, full of a cold and feeling sorry for myself while watching repeats of Judge Judy, but they’d be cruel and heartless bullies like those who swear at billionaire authors on Twitter who’ve got no one to back them up except 6 million followers and the entire UK media.

I missed the Sweargate scandal, what with being snottery and no well. Apparently Stu Campbell of Wings Over Scotland, seemingly in one of his frequent provocateur moods, swore at JK Rowling and wosserface from the 80s on Twitter – both of whom are very good at trolling duties themselves. The last time a swerry word provoked such condemnation was when Johnny Rotten swore at Bill Grundy on the telly in 1976. We’ve got more used to authentic working class language in middle class media spaces these days. Nowadays you can hardly go five minutes on Channel 4 without someone swearing – although usually that’s the viewer when they realise the unmitigated pish that’s on offer on the channel. Swerry words are not offensive, certainly not if you’re Scottish, but they do provide an excuse to take offence, which isn’t quite the same thing.

Anyway, I’m not proposing to defend what was said, nor to take offence on the part of the poor victimoids, but it does seem to me that the entire episode only became an episode because of the parties involved – that would be JK Rowling with her prominent unionist pointy hat on, and Stu Campbell the media’s favourite vile cybernat. No one really gives a shit about wosserface from the 80s.

The internet is full of swerry words, people seeking to offend, and people seeking to find offence to take. One of the worst cyberspats I ever had the misfortune to witness involved some very strong language about the detailing on a Hornby model steam engine. Boys’ toys are important, and it’s really, REALLY important when someone is wrong on the Internet. The fact is that the internet exists primarily for three things: A) pornography, B) pictures of cats in amusing poses – and apparently for some people with particularly recherché tastes categories A and B overlap – and C) having bad tempered pointless arguments about pointless shit. The very first two people ever to use the Internet used it to exchange expletives about a photo of a cat in a sexually provocative pose.

There’s a bit of a devaluation of language going on here too. When one adult says fuck to another adult over the Internet, that’s not abuse. Abuse is a child being the victim of an assault at the hands of an adult, abuse is a powerless person being attacked by the powerful, abuse is an illegal war, abuse is rape, abuse is violence. Mentally competent adults swearing at one another over the Internet is none of these things. It’s just a rammy.

However when the swerry words are being exchanged by an independence supporter and a unionist, all of a sudden it’s abuse. And it’s invariably the indy supporter who is the abuser. Indy supporter swearing at unionist is news, unionist swearing at indy supporter is not news. This is the imbalance that sticks in the craw. If the media was not so quick to condemn just the one side in the online ramminess and go greeting abuse whenever someone from Glesca used a swerry word, then indy supporters would be less inclined to rush to the defence of those who engage in it. We end up with a vicious circle of self-righteousness in which everyone feels perfectly entitled to tell everyone else to fuck off.

Then there are those who wring their hands at the online behaviour of followers of Scottish politics – invariably the followers being those of a pro-independence persuasion, and equally invariably the hand wringers are of a Unionist persuasion. It’s a scandal, it’s a shock, it’s appalling. And so it is. When grown up adults behave like hormonal teenagers having a fit of door slamming you don’t understaaaaaand me and I didn’t want to be born anyway, it’s never edifying. But this is not a problem that’s specific to Scottish politics. It’s an Internet thing. Complaining about internet swerry words as though it was a specific problem for Scottish politics is a bit like complaining about the neighbour’s cat shitting in your garden after a mains sewer has broken and flooded the entire town. And it’s not even one of those pornography cats.

Trust has broken down between a large segment of the Scottish population – I’d argue a majority – and the Scottish media. I’ve argued before that when that happens it’s not the fault of the people, it’s the fault of the media. The perception is that our media is one sided, partisan, and reflective of the views of only a part of the population. This is a dangerous and unhealthy state of affairs in a democracy. It’s not like there’s any shortage of instances of independence supporters being subject to verbal rammies from the gobs of Unionists, but they never seem to make the newspapers or the telly. And with every Internet rammy dressed up as an abuse scandal, the little bit of faith in the media that still remains withers a little bit more.

Some months ago GA Ponsonby, formerly of Newsnet Scotland, published a book detailing the one sidedness of the BBC during the independence referendum. How the BBC Stole the Referendum is an important and well researched book which goes to the heart of media imbalance in Scotland. There’s now a crowdfunding appeal to raise the cash to make the book into a documentary. I’ve already agreed to take part in it. The way to start changing things is to spread the message that things need to change. This documentary project is a vital contribution to that. If you haven’t donated already it’s well worth doing so. Let’s make this happen.


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53 comments on “A rammy, a swerry word, and abuse

  1. Fucking brilliant, Paul.
    Made another shit day bearable.

  2. jdman says:

    ” One of the worst cyberspats I ever had the misfortune to witness involved some very strong language about the detailing on a Hornby model steam engine”

    I just knew someone would have to bring that old chestnut up,
    let me tell you those 00 gauge ass***s can go an f**k themselves, arrogant p**ks and as far as that Pete Waterman is concerned I hope he gets run over by his f***k**g 7 1/4 inch gauge model of the Great Western Railway Class 3700 4-4-0 tender locomotive No.3440 ‘City of Truro!

  3. jdman says:

    Now look what you make me do,
    I am so mad I misspelled f**k**g
    F**K F**K F**K F%&*k@S!
    Am beelin noo
    anybody want to swap a 1956 signal box for some pre war rolling stock?

    • mealer says:

      I didn’t notice the mistake.You could have got away with it.But no,you only went and drew attention to it.What a d*ckhead.Or should that be d**khead?

  4. jimnarlene says:

    Get well soon, Paul. I too have the cold, not too pleased.
    As for swearing at JK or whoever, I think it’s best just to ignore them, in a don’t feed the trolls sort of way.

  5. macart763 says:

    Until the day the media start accurately reporting the tsunami of fucking abuse we’ve been on the receiving end of I’ll struggle to give a shit what they report. They’ve turned their backs on not just internet abuse, but physical assault and personal intimidation perpetrated on supporters of both independence and the SG, so frankly they have no room to claim any moral authority or outrage.

    Apparently if you support Scottish self determination any such incident warrants a single column mention tucked somewhere below adverts for PPI stalkers and payday loans. What you don’t see is wall to wall front page coverage or lead story in prime time broadcast news.

    I’ve paid little or no attention to this story over the last few days for a very good reason. In the face of a conservative conference which should have people shaking in their boots, the re-emergence of EVEL over the Heathrow runway stooshie, the imminent threat of plant closures in central Scotland and folk literally starving on our own fucking streets, I really couldn’t give a flying porno kitty if a celeb has had a snit on the internet.

    • hektorsmum says:

      I too got utterly bored with it all, who cares, so the woman has a book out and any port in a storm the advertise it. Certainly enough to be going on with without worrying who used which F word to whom. I really do not like her I have read her Harry Potters, I was stuck at the time. On reflection not really that good and probably said more about the state of children’s books than anything else.

      • macart763M says:

        Must admit, neither I or my kids (now teens) ever read any of these books and I saw maybe one of the movies on DVD. Can’t say as I was either up or down (shrugs). But when some bod compares half a nation to something called a death eater? (is that right?) My attention span for anything they have to say falls off a cliff. Fare enough the lady contributes to her chosen cause, but to compare us to even fictional monsters? FFS, that’s beyond the pale.

        This person has a considerable fortune, is a darling of the media and a supposedly well known face (though I couldn’t pick her out of a line up). As I said above I really couldn’t give a monkey’s about the media’s opinion on any damn thing, but I care even less when the outrage is wrapped in a celebrity ribbon and presented with raging hypocrisy.

  6. […] Source: A rammy, a swerry word, and abuse […]

  7. Hey, Jdman. I mind all the rammy about the J15 handrails too. And don’t get me started of f***in Jumbogate! 😂😂😂

  8. fermerfaefife says:

    BBC is now just tabloid TV. Reporting just the gossip in the unionist papers. Maybe if they actually got to the bottom of stories they would gain a bit of respect. They should be taking a leaf out of Alex Thomsons book. That report of his on land reform was excellent.

  9. Steve Asaneilean says:

    Abuse is what I have seen Tory governments in London dish out to the majority of people living in Scotland most of my adult life.

  10. fermerfaefife says:

    James Cook vs Alex Thomson …hmmmm…

  11. Incidentally, I got lectured by a unionist on Twitter yesterday for calling Bob Scholey a **n* (speaking ill of the dead, is apparently a terrible thing).
    Jings, whit a nice man General Pinochet was, eh..?

    • aplinal says:

      Hitler was also much maligned, apparently.

      Re the whole swerry thing. People swear. Big deal. Kitchen Heat etc.

  12. airtteth says:

    There is a something quite amusing to see so many unionist professional word-smiths bitterly complaining about being abused with, erm, words.
    Obviously, the pen is indeed mightier than the sword. But you’ld think if they were willing to live by the sword they should be prepared to die by it.

  13. George says:

    I’m sure it was just coincidence, and not a pathetic and moronic publicity stunt, but Rowling apparently had a book published at the same time as the ‘abuse’.

  14. “This is a dangerous and unhealthy state of affairs in a democracy”. The trouble is Paul, while we remain under Westminster’s control, we live in what is an illusion of a democracy. In the real world, it’s no such thing.

  15. During the referendum JK Rowling compared independence supporters to Death Eaters. So that’s not just your run-of-the-mill “all nationalists are fascists” comment. That’s independistas are satanic, black-magic-practicising, worshippers-of-the-lord-of-darness fascists. In her books Death Eaters do things like murder children, and use aborted foetuses to come back from the dead. But THAT couldn’t possibly be insulting and offensive to half the population of the foreign country which she has chosen to grace with her presence? I’m tempted to say swerry words myself.

  16. Giving Goose says:

    We should take a default stance of deliberately swearing each and every time we engage with Unionist celebs, journos etc. Swamp the internet with abuse so there is simply to much swerry words to report on.

    Each Unionist Journo should be actively told to fuck off. They are bastards of the first order.
    Each Unionist celeb the same, “Just fuck off Union celeb. You actively campaigned for Scottish children to remain in poverty, so you can fuck right off!” etc

    We don’t live in a democracy; it’s controlled by people like Unionist journos and Unionist celebs.

    If we take JK Rowling as an example; she donated an awful lot of cash that has resulted in Scots being prevented from obtaining the mechanisms to lift people from poverty, to prevent Government from taking interventionist actions that would help mitigate the downturn in the Steel Industry, that would enhance health care and education etc. So she can fuck right off, in my opinion. And told to loudly and frequently!

  17. In my day to day witterings my wife and daughter, if asked, would probably say that I swear far too much and it is a fact of life that they would be quite correct. However on the odd occasion that I post anything on the internet I find that one of the benefits of proof reading what I’m trying to say, or pausing to see if my comment makes drunken sense, is that the written word shows how little real impact swearing actually has.

    I’m not offended by the word fuck, it is literally so commonplace these days that only some poor wee sensitive soul in a dark corner would get upset about it’s use. I still, however, question why so many people rely on the word to such an extent when trying to make their point.

    Ally that train of thought to the question of purpose in responding to someone like J K Rowling in this manner and the whole “rammy” was 100% foreseeable, unnecessary and pointless. Regardless of MSM bias, BBC bias and Pro-Union agitators, apart from Facebook Warriors who gets anything out of it?

  18. JGedd says:

    Great piece again WGD.

    As to JK Rowling and the latest rammy, I know very little of what happened except that she took exception to being briefly sworn at and apparently righteous, artificially-induced fury from media persons – not averse to foul-mouthed invective themselves – was unleashed on her behalf. I know little of this lady’s oeuvre except that her books have won her a phenomenal amount of cash.

    Now personally, I don’t do Twitter, and I regard those who do, in a kind of puzzled awe. It seems like descending into howling darkness. However, it appears that Ms Rowling does so and famously entered the fray of politics before the referendum, giving a lot of money and voicing support on the internet and in the press.

    it seems to me that if you are going to step into a battle, you would expect to receive some knocks as well as give them and yet she has had no amount of apologists who seem to think that she must remain unassailable. She is entitled to her opinions like everyone else but she has a platform which ordinary people don’t have and the way in which she expressed them was deliberately aimed at people like me in an insulting way. ( Ian MacDonald above has explained her Deatheater description now to me and what a cheek! She only stopped short of calling us Nazis..)

    That wasn’t just argument or expressing opinion, that was meant to colour people’s judgement in a pernicious and nasty way. Her “othering” of independence supporters was part of a media campaign to make independence support seem sinister and threatening. She is an intelligent woman and I assume that she knew what she was doing.

    As to those who piously equate her with the Weirs, the Weirs, in contrast, while giving money to the SNP, did not enter into public debate and even kept a discreet silence when being attacked themselves by a spiteful press. It also appears that Ms Rowling’s apparent social conscience prevented her from noticing that there were people on her side of the argument who could fit her “Deatheater-ish” description ( the George Square Unionist thugs, for instance ). She also seems to be impervious to the horrors to be inflicted on the poor as a result of staying in her beloved union. But then they can always rely on charitable rich people – who give money to their chosen causes? Hard luck if you don’t meet their criterion of deserving poor.

  19. Morag says:

    We’re seeing another example of the media (including the BBC) pushing the establishment line for all it’s worth in the current furore over alleged “new” Lockerbie suspects. (The BBC has given some air time to dissenting voices, including mine, but we’re sort of penned in a dissidents’ ghetto rather than being treated as part of the main narrative.)

    The actual story, and it’s a biggie, is this.

    Over the last three or four years, more and more evidence has come to light showing, not just that Abdelbaset al-Megrahi’s conviction for the bombing was a miscarriage of justice, but that the entire Lockerbie investigation was off the rails from about day 10. Clear and obvious evidence that the bomb had been introduced at Heathrow airport was ignored in favour of a red herring trail that led eventually to Malta and Megrahi.

    Another absolutely killer piece of new evidence was shown to me only last month. This isn’t a fantasy or a conspiracy theory, this is proper forensic investigation being (belatedly) carried out by proper forensic scientists.

    One by one all the three main planks of the case against Megrahi have collapsed. The notion that Megrahi was the man who bought the clothes packed in the suitcase with the bomb was shot down in flames by SCCRC in 2007, although we didn’t get to see their report until about 2012. John Ashton has conclusively proved that the Crown’s pet item of evidence, the fragment of circuit board alleged to have been part of a device sold to Libya and the main reason for suspecting Libyan involvement, wasn’t what the Crown said it was and doesn’t have any provable link to Libya. And finally, as I said, it has now been proved that the bomb was introduced into the baggage system at Heathrow, not on Malta. This gives Megrahi a better alibi for the crime than I have.

    Frank Mulholland and the Crown Office know all this. Their response is to pretend they’re not listening. Nobody has said anything. Please ignore these tinfoil-hat conspiracy theorists. We have no doubt about Megrahi’s guilt (even if the SCCRC themselves had a shedload of doubt as far back as 2007).

    Now we have the distraction effort. Two Libyans who were suspected along with Megrahi and Fhimah back in 1991 but not indicted have been fingered again. Of course this could have been done at any time since, well, 1991 actually, but the Crown Office has chosen to do it now. This is the last thing war-torn Libya needs, but that’s not the Crown Office’s problem. They need something to keep the focus of the narrative on Megrahi, Libya and Malta.

    The main reason for choosing right now for this exercise is the recent showing in the USA of a three-documentary series called “My Brother’s Bomber”. This tells the story of Ken Dornstein, who lost his brother on the plane, and his quest to find Megrahi’s alleged accomplices. He was given these Libyans’ names by the FBI and the Crown Office, and off he went to make his films. He doesn’t seem to have discovered anything really substantive, but the films went out anyway.

    The overall reason, though, is to keep the media narrative fixed on Libya and the Crown’s pet fairy-story of the levitation of the invisible suitcase on to an aircraft at Malta airport. A fairy-story which is rapidly being shown up for what it is. All this information is in the public domain, but the media don’t want to know.

    The narrative we’re getting is all about Masoud and Senoussi and the great cleverness of the investigators in tracking down these evil men who worked with Megrahi. It’s wall-to-wall, spearheaded by the fragrant Magnus Linklater who might as well sign his articles “Frank Mulholland” and be done with it.

    How long can they keep this up? I honestly don’t know. When the entire media pack is only interested in promoting and amplifying the establishment line, actual truth and justice can have a hard time being heard. But watch this space.

    • hektorsmum says:

      I knew if anyone had background on this it would be you, sorry I don’t listen to Radio Propaganda Scotland so I missed your interview.

    • Jan Cowan says:

      I’ll certainly be watching your space, Morag. Good to see the truth appearing at last. Thank you.

      I’ve never been interested in Harry Potter or his creator. But I find it difficult to forgive someone who uses Scotland then helps to deny her people their independence.

      If JKR considers herself too delicate to read the odd swear-word she’d best stay away from Joe Pike’s excellent book “Project Fear” where it appears most of the “Better Together” friends swore incessantly……along with A and M Darling. But I would advise JK to gird her loins and read both Pike’s work and of course GA Ponsonby’s brilliant book “How the BBC Stole the Referendum”, simply to educate and inform a writer who is blind to the real Scotland.

      • Jan Cowan says:

        I meant to add that I look forward to the documentary based on GA Ponsonby’s book. With Paul involved it will be a cracker. Can’t wait!

        • Sandra says:

          Just donated too. We need to take charge and become our own media. As for JAYKAY don’t get me started.

    • Nice one, Morag. I immediately smelt the broon, smelly stuff when I heard this guff on Radio Pravda the other day.

    • jdman says:

      July 3rd 1988 Uss Vicennes shoots down an Iranian airliner with 290 souls on board for the heinous crime of flying on the same flight path at the same time every week to Dubai, while still inside Iranian airspace!

      scroll forward to 21st of December 1988 Pan Am flight 103 is blown out of the sky,

      its obvious, of course it was Libya!

      • Morag says:

        It’s not that I don’t agree with you (I do agree with you), it’s just that this is the wrong way round. Issy Fraser asked me on-air who I thought did it. There’s an agenda here. If I say, “the PFLP-GC, commissioned by Iran to do it for $10 million, as an act of revenge for the shooting down of IR655,” I can immediately be branded a conspiracy theorist. (Despite that being the actual police theory for the first 18 months of the investigation.) And as we all know, once you call someone a conspiracy theorist you have won the argument an that person can never be taken seriously again.

        So I answered that now wasn’t the time to be speculating about who did it. Until the authorities look at the actual evidence and acknowledge that the bomb went on at Heathrow, this case is going nowhere. Only after they’ve acknowledged that Heathrow was the scene of the crime can we have a proper investigation of what happened there and who might have made it happen, and hopefully identify the real culprits.

        Just shouting “look at the great motive Iran had!” doesn’t cut any ice with anyone.

        • gus1940 says:

          And I don’t suppose the latest ‘revelations’ against the 2 Libyans is unconnnected to the fact that Iran is currently in the process of being brought in from the cold.

  20. ross says:

    Jk ‘get tae fuck’ rowling
    Or just ‘gettaefuck’ for short.

  21. ArtyHetty says:

    As I saw someone had pointed out elsewhere, wtf does jk do all day, she has so mnay millions of £s, and yet, is she doing anything, anything at all to help the poor around the world, or even the poor in the country in which she chooses to reside?

    Money goes to money, and she is making sure of that with her crap books and sales. I read H P to my kids years ago, got to chapter 2 and had to stop, because it was sooo badly written. How did they become so hyped up, it’s all wrong.

    How does she fckg sleep at night!

  22. Patience is a Virtue says:

    News from the land to the north of the North.. Scottish Office no more… now the ‘UK Government for Scotland’ it seems…(insert swerry word)..

    Will that then be the new listening to Scotland ‘UK Government for Scotland’ , that Land with the most devolved democracy in the world with important control over road signs, the Land now basking in everything devolved to it bar Defence and Foreign Affairs?

    • Patience is a Virtue says:

      …and now today the imposition of EVEL….things are moving to their inevitable end….. with the turkeys voting for Christmas.. there will soon be the dark of winter .. and then into the light with next May’s elections and all that is to follow…

  23. Occupation Directorate has a more honest feel…

  24. mealer says:

    Should swearing be the norm in the classroom? Teachers and kids? In primary schools?

  25. macart763M says:

    Hi Paul.

    You’ll have seen this?


    An embassy by any other name… 🙂

  26. emilytom67 says:

    All unionists should be offered a comprehensive package to leave Scotland for the greenerlusher pastures of the land of milk and honey known as England,that would then leave us free to accept a whole raft of refugees,people that wouldn,t carry around the baggage of subservience and actually commit themselves to Scotland,get shot of them all asap.

  27. Liz S says:

    Abuse on twitter is two way traffic. I read that Iain Gray was the one who created the term ‘cybernat’ which is used and much abused in abundance by the SNPBAD brigade. The ‘F’ word , and worse , is par for the course with many in the pro union and anti scot’s mob. .

    I personally despise twitter as it gives a license to those of questionable character, under a ridiculous pseudonym , to spout biased and misinformed shit. Twitter offers arse’s the opportunity to say hateful derogatory statements under the safety mask of a fake twitter name .

    These twits on twitter retweet other twits tweets ( easy to write , not so easy to say ) to brainwash like minded twits who follow them .

    Then we have those who use their real names and have a continuous thread of SNPBAD tweets, in fact if you read some of the pro Labour twitter accounts it would be easy to forget we have a Tory government currently wiping out the human rights of the poor in their disgusting welfare cuts. In fact they even retweet Tory newspaper stories and Tory supporters tweets in their obsession with demonising the SNP.

    In Twitter you can hide under an assumed name and have no accountability in spouting racist , abusive and misinformation as long as you are pro union . However , if you court controversy and dispute what is being communicated as news in the MSM in the name of independence you are subjected to a witch hunt by the media and their pro union friends.

    Freedom of speech is being interpreted as a right for a select few , the censor of pro indy and SNP supporters opinions are being suppressed and translated as being radical loony ideology.

    I have no axe to grind with JK Rowling as I am fully aware of her political allegiance and the support she gave to the ‘NO’ campaign during the referendum so I can put her comments into perspective as being baised against independence and the SNP.

    However I do have an axe to grind with the media and pro union brigade who deem to influence those who are less perceptive as to their motives in defending her against a comment made by a pro Indy blogger.

    Thank God for WOS and Wee Ginger Dug blogs because the pro union mob are never going to stop their propaganda machine in their Twitter accounts and various blogs.Perhaps they wish a one party twitter and blog state i.e. Pro union anti SNP ( and anti scots ).

  28. They are now frantically digging their glorious Union a watery grave. I’m not sure they even realise…

  29. Liz S says:

    Just read comments on WOS website and once again trolls adding comments in the guise of reasonable minded individuals albeit pro union ones Duh !, if I were cynical I would suspect some shenanigans being perpetrated at the expense of those loyal and regular contributors of that website. Lets wind up some Pro Indy people …….see who gets most responses .lol

    What is even more amazing people are actually falling for it and responding to the morons.

    Duh – Pro Indy website ….move along trolls no converts here !

    Prefer the F*** off approach as let’s them know their place .

    I mean if your anti SNP , pro union then I’m guessing WOS would not really be first port of call to vent your anger and twisted beliefs, misguided as they may be.

    Independence is the religion and SNP is the faith with which we currently practice and I for one ain’t going to convert to the religion of unionism so perhaps the trolls should practice their religion in their own places of worship , which I believe are in abundance in Cyberspace.


    • Liz S says:

      Oops should be SNP the religion through which we practice the faith of Independence.

      A troll was obviously guiding my hand and mind as I typed !!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Patience is a Virtue says:

      Back lads they’re using Scottish Bluebells!

      • macart763M says:

        They’ve just dismantled the myth of a ‘United Kingdom’ with absolutely no help required from those they termed tartan barbarians. Picture the 2020 manifesto with a four and half year track record of EVEL exclusion examples and that’s if nothing else occurs in the meantime. Every time Scottish representation is excluded from UK votes on the grounds of EVEL and a consequence affecting Scotland occurs will be another nail to hammer home. I mean the threat of at least another ten years of conservative rule was bad and bad enough, along with the examples of their record in government to date as listed by Paul ATL, but this?

        They hoped for a quietened Scottish electorate and a generation of robbing us blind. The establishment parties will be lucky to see out the current government term.

        A wee taster of the debate and the lurve our mother of parliaments has for us.


        Still, better together eh?

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