This election campaign has been the nastiest, the most unpleasant and the most vitriolic that it has ever been my misfortune to experience. What’s made it even worse is that on top of the entirely expected abuse and insults from British nationalists, now it’s also coming from people who are supposedly on the same side.
As a result of ploughing a lonely furrow amongst Scottish independence bloggers and refusing to join in their campaign to unseat Nicola Sturgeon, my integrity and honesty were called into account. Since Alex Salmond launched his Alba party and I laid out my reasons for refusing to support it, the abuse and vitriol has only got worse. I had one charmer attempt to leave a comment on my blog saying, “I wish you had died instead of your dog.” There has been a nasty unpleasant homophobic undercurrent to some of the abuse. I’ve had people making snide and vicious remarks about the disabilities I’ve been left with after the stroke.
I’ve been accused of not really supporting independence and have been called a creep who is only interested in what I can raise through crowdfunding. Yet if that were true I’d have done what all the other bloggers were doing and would be praising Alex Salmond to the heavens while calling for Nicola Sturgeon’s head on a plate. It seems that a lot of people are now so angry and bitter that they cannot accept that someone might have principled reasons for having a difference of opinion – not even about the end goal – but about strategies and tactics for getting there.
I’ve always prided myself on my resilience and my ability to stand up to bullies. Unfortunately I’ve been finding it difficult to accept that since the stroke I no longer have the physical, mental, or emotional resources that I once had and am finding the current atmosphere extremely difficult to deal with. This is being made worse because the stroke has deprived me of the ability to enjoy the pastimes I used to do in order to relax and switch off. I can no longer do the tramway modelling I used to love and don’t know whether I’ll ever again be able to draw any new Gaelic maps.
I’d be lying if I said that the abuse wasn’t getting to me. My health is being negatively affected by the stress and my recovery seems to be going into reverse. I’m losing some of the movement I had regained in my hand and my speech is starting to slur again. I’m not sleeping or eating properly and have constant issues with my stomach and digestion. Every day is a constant battle with fatigue and exhaustion.
For the sake of my mental, physical and emotional well-being I need to step away from the fray, and switch off from all the toxicity, and concentrate on my health and recovery. Hopefully this election will deliver the pro-independence majority we all so desperately need, and then we can get back to making the arguments for independence in the independence campaign that lies ahead instead of trying to tear one another down. I will continue to write for The National but won’t be returning to the blog until after the election is over. Until then I must concentrate on my health and well-being. I’m sorry to let down supporters of this blog at this crucial time, but I hope you understand my reasons.
This is your reminder that the purpose of this blog is to promote Scottish independence. If the comment you want to make will not assist with that goal then don’t post it. If you want to mouth off about how much you dislike the SNP leadership ,or about some other issue not directly related to Scottish independence – there are other forums where you can do that. You’re not welcome to do it here.
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