Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Above is the Green MSP Ross Greer, in a cosy chat with the notorious James McEnaney of RISE, using sectarian anti-Irish language to attack Jason Michael of Butterfly Rebellion (who is not Irish himself but lives in Dublin and has worked at the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation). This seems to be Greer's revenge for a number of strong (but entirely non-abusive) criticisms that Mr Michael has made of the radical left over the last couple of weeks. The implication seems to be that Mr Michael is some kind of unhinged militant nationalist.
Mr Greer of course penned a Sunday Herald column at the weekend, which was objectively damaging to the Yes movement in that it contained an ageist comment which deeply upset older Yes activists, and was gleefully seized upon by an array of unionist politicians, up to and including Ruth Davidson herself. In defence of Mr Greer, the editor of the Sunday Herald argued that "any damage done to the Yes movement is down to absurd conspiracy-theory trolls screaming traitor at folk who are the real stalwarts of Indy". Well, in the above screenshot, who exactly is it that best fits the description of a screaming, absurd conspiracy-theorist troll? Isn't it Mr Greer himself? It sure as hell isn't Mr Michael, who has been civil and measured throughout - as you can judge for yourself by reading an example of his writing HERE.
Having been on the opposite side of the debate to the likes of Mr Greer over the last couple of weeks, I can't have been alone in noticing how the radical left feel that their 'moral righteousness' gives them an exemption from the human decency that they demand of others. I've been on the receiving end of sweary personal abuse from them that is every bit as nasty as the stuff that is supposed to make Stuart Campbell untouchable (engaging with him in any way is now a worse crime than holocaust denial, apparently). In particular, I had an extraordinary conversation with someone a couple of nights ago in which she patiently explained to me why it was perfectly all right that she had repeatedly called me a "pr*ck" - her defence was basically that she thinks I am a "pr*ck". The Green party council candidate who I caught 'liking' a tweet describing me as a "f***ing fool" essentially shrugged his shoulders and said "so what?" (Can you imagine the outrage if an SNP candidate was caught 'liking' a tweet in which Stuart Campbell called someone a "f***ing fool"? Yeah, exactly.)
It's ironic that Mr Greer made a reference to the Irish revolutionary period, because it seems to me that it's the radical left who are actually caught up in the warped logic of revolutionary zeal. The designated 'enemies of the revolution' (ie. those who veer by even the tiniest fraction away from approved forms of discourse on identity politics) are effectively non-people, and anything at all can be done to them for the sake of the greater good. It's hard to see any other way in which leading figures on the radical left can dehumanise others and chuck around abuse while still honestly believing themselves to be champions of civility and decency in political debate.