The strange priorities of Yes Shetland

I had a wee meander round the Facebook page of Yes Shetland this morning. It was not an edifying experience.

This is a place where you can be banished from the page for using a non-profane insult to the Orkney 4, as the petitioners in the Alistair Carmichael case have become known, but it seems to be perfectly acceptable to suggest hiring a hit man for Alistair Carmichael. To be fair, I wouldn’t allow that sort of name-calling for the Orkney 4 (or anyone else) on here either, but if any of our lot suggested hiring a hit-man for anyone, I’d be on them like a tonne of bricks. No way is it ever acceptable.

The admins of the page, under the guise of Buster, the Cat Rampant (but with our menagerie of Newsanimals, we are not judging) writes:

We have removed somebody for calling the Orkney Four “clowns”, on the crowd funder link, a seemingly innocuous remark?
Had they disagreed with the crowd funder they could have said so, or deemed it a waste of money which could have been put to good use elsewhere – no problems.

People have already posted these views and they are still here.

But when you consider the work and effort, the financial worry, travelling from Orkney to appear in the Court of Session and being examined by powerful legal minds, on our behalf, when they could have done nothing?

The dignified way in which they have conducted themselves in a relentless media spotlight and been unjustifiably criticised by many, including an MP who should know better, surely someone must draw a line?

We decided that if any place should be free of childish insults towards these four (extra) ordinary citizens it should be on a YES page.

The person is gone.

They ask if they did the right thing. The comments they receive overwhelmingly agree with them.

If they are paying that much attention to detail, how come they have not removed the two posters who made reference to hiring a hit man? They definitely saw one because they responded to it.

Yes Shetland 2

And look at this one, there with a nice graphic of a gun.

Yes Shetland 1

Marginalised groups have long had to deal with being told that phobic or hateful language against them is banter. I thought we’d moved on from that sort of attitude, yet I have seem some people try to excuse this behaviour.

In a long series of comments about the death threat sent to Alistair after the Syria vote, only two show any sort of condemnation of the threat itself.

This is how life is in post-referendum Scotland. The polarisation, the nastiness pervades our society. We need to sort this out. We have massive challenges ahead, climate change, poverty, an ageing population to care for to name but a few. We should put our minds to solving that, but that’s difficult in an environment where some people joke about having their opponents killed.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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15 Comments

  • Caron..This whole issue is getting childish…You are over-reacting to what was no more than a silly comment…

    Yet on fundraising by “Tasering Tim” you are quite happy to join in the joke and allow,,,,”I doubt they would raise much money tasering Tim, most people like him so not much fun. Now if it was Nick Clegg you would have a few hundred thousand cheering students lining up for a go.”…..

  • Richard Underhill 17th Dec '15 - 11:54am

    Caron Lindsay | Thu 17th December 2015 – 10:50 am “I’d be on them like a tonne of bricks. No way is it ever acceptable.”
    Just call the police without delay.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 17th Dec '15 - 1:13pm

    @expats: Yes, because voluntarily putting yourself through a very unwise fundraising effort is exactly the same as suggesting hiring a hit man to send someone’s life, isn’t it? And if you didn’t pick it up, that is dripping with sarcasm.

  • This seems to be the norm for political discourse now, look at the way the Corbyn supporters react to anyone who disagrees with their man, the abuse (on both sides although it appeared to this Southerner more prevalent on the Nationalist side) in the Scottish Independence referendum and of course the reactions to both the 2013 and more recent Syria votes.

    Perhaps as a species we’re not ready for the instant “foot in mouth” potential of social media, too often it takes on the characteristics of a couple of drunken blokes arguing down the pub. Nothing ever gets agreed and every now and again it ends up in a fight in the car park…..

  • I always think it can be helpful to imagine what might happen if the situation were reversed. If a No supporter suggested, however seriously, taking out a hit on (say) one of the two SNP MPs suspended over dodgy deals, the cry of outrage from their supporters would be deafening. Ergo, when someone suggests taking out a hit on Alistair Carmichael, reactions like Caron’s are perfectly reasonable, particularly when the suggestion is supported by someone supposed to be moderating the page.

  • Peter Watson 17th Dec '15 - 3:48pm

    @Caron “Marginalised groups have long had to deal with being told that phobic or hateful language against them is banter.”
    It seems a shame to think that Lib Dems have been reduced to a “marginalised group”, but I fear that you are correct.

  • “supposed to be moderating the page.”

    Now that is funny !

  • There is an element of menace spreading throughout British politics, identity politics once confined largely to Northern Ireland now seems to be taking a hold in other parts of Britain.


  • There is an element of menace spreading throughout British politics, identity politics once confined largely to Northern Ireland now seems to be taking a hold in other parts of Britain.”

    Now see this right here is the problem. Not dealing with specific issues but conveying a tone of a sinister and evil force to those with different political views is just crazy. No-one is bombing people, they’re voting and commenting on politics in such large numbers its unprecedented. You don’t have to agree with their view but you must, must, respect their view and their vote.

  • Kevin
    In Northern Ireland there is an upsurge in dissident republican attacks.NI threat-severe, for the rest of Britain, moderate.

  • Manga rang
    Ok. What exactly do you think is going to happen with the element of menace spreading throughout British politics? Are you for forecasting physical attacks by political supporters of a party or a call to arms in some revolutionary element of society? what is it you think is actually going to happen?

  • Simon Banks 18th Dec '15 - 8:00pm

    We seem to have got away from Caron’s original criticism of the site, for barring someone who called the petitioners “clowns”. I think THAT was over-reacting if that was the most derogatory thing they said.

    The clown commenter, though, should be grateful the comment even appeared. I used to follow a writing blog by someone who turned out to be an SNP supporter and who posted strongly and one-sidedly pro-YES posts during the referendum campaign. My two attempts to query something she was saying (for example, whether Westminster politicians like Brown, Kennedy and Darling were really more cynical and ruthless than – then – Holyrood ones like Salmon were simply never approved to appear, mild though their tone was. So I unfollowed.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 20th Dec '15 - 3:16pm

    Hmmm, that says so much about Yes Shetland and their priorities. Interesting that the two hit man comments seem to have been deleted now.

    I’d strongly recommend that people do go to Yes Shetland and read their whole post which is just as illogical and ridiculous as the bit quoted here. But then, life may be too short.

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