Fitba parlance. Play the ball, not the man.
In indyref terms, it means debate the issues and don’t attack the person.
Sadly, the no campaign yesterday put forward a speaker at an event who was subsequently found to have extreme views.
A mistake was made in not checking out that person, certainly not anything deliberate by Better Together.
To their credit, The persons testimony on the better together site was removed once the issues were realised.
Report is here.
Sadly the BBC chose to draw parallels with another ‘ordinary person’ put forward in a better together rally.
The issue with that other person was that they were a labour activist with a feed on social media showing them pictured with the great and good of the UK and Scottish Labour.
These cases are not similar.
Sadly the activist was misidentified by a popular Yes blog and incorrect speculation ensued on who they were related to. Not acceptable and certainly playing ‘the man’ not the issue. It actually detracted from those trying to point out that the person was an activist for a political party.
On the person put forward yesterday, clearly advocating agreement with the BNP leader is something most Scots would have an issue with.
The comments on Nicola Sturgeon watching borgen and being a nazi are something else altogether.
Playing the man.
Sadly there’s a stream of abuse directed at and Sturgeon and Salmond on social media, some horrendous stuff at times.
The Facebook element worries me as by nature of that site you share in a closed group of ‘friends’ – it’s not as open or easily found as twitter and slightly more secretive as a result.
If it’s there in Facebook and no one has reported it or dug up the person saying it, that then suggests a problem.
It suggests that we obviously have in Scotland people holding bigoted views,
Whether comments made are subtle or unsubtle, they are an issue for our society.
Quietly ignoring such views isn’t the answer. Tactic encouragement isn’t very healthy.
Keeping them at arms length is easier than challenging them, I can understand that. It’s more difficult if an old friend or a relative too.
Sadly all I can say is that If you see something unacceptable then don’t tolerate it, report it.
Our police are versed in social media, it’s not a case of your online life being divorced from reality and that it’s somehow ‘playing on a computer’.
Same goes for using an alias on twitter to hide behind whilst posting abuse. It’s unacceptable and think about what your family and work mates would think it you used your real name.
So there’s a lesson for us all. Raise the debate Scotland.
I’ll be honest, I feel a bit sorry for people that have had their social media lives exposed and where they’ve had to delete their accounts and face scrutiny by the mainstream media. It must be hellish.
I wouldn’t want it. I have views on individuals and parties and groups on the debate, but what do I gain by being toxic?
The indyref debate was poisoned a while back, there’s spin, deception and half truths all over the place. I’m not going to change that through this blog.
In future I want to see less bullshit in politics, in this age you can’t deceive or lie. So why try?
Why spin, why place patsies in the audience of political debates on tv, why use activists and pass them off as ordinary people.
Why do campaigns on this basis? You’ll get found out.
On social media, I’d like the undercurrent of toxic views exposed and that can only come from ordinary folk doing the right thing and challenging and reporting extreme views.
It’s hard to do online or in real life, but we can hope.