Saturday, November 28, 2009

Blogging and Censorship

It has come to my attention that several bloggers in Scotland have recently come under attack for openly criticizing politicians and journalists. They have even had their jobs threatened for their remarks. This is absolutely blatant censorship.

Mind you, none of their remarks have been proven untrue, although I suppose it might be hard to dispute being called a c*nt as a certain journalist was (more on that).

Consider that, while rude, this is something one might hear in any bar or political meeting in this country OR the UK, I have to say it causes me a lot of concern. I don't often post about politics, but freedom of speech is IMPORTANT.

We tend to take it especially for granted on the internet and in blogs. This may be a mistake. If you have or express an opinion that isn't mainstream, it isn't that hard to find out who a blogger is. Most of us make no secret of who we are, really.

It's a good idea to remember that what we say can be watched. We can be judged for it. And if you are saying something controversial--which we have EVERY right to do--you'd better be careful.

I am concerned about political bloggers such as Wardog and The Universality of Cheese being deliberately silenced by major newspapers so as to silence their political opinions. That both bloggers support independence for Scotland was NO accident. I rarely use an obscenity but I will repeat what was said by the Universality of Cheese.

This is a major assault on both freedom of speech and on blogging as a political tool.

As for independence for Scotland, that isn't really my business but I have great respect for the SNP and their leader the honorable Alex Salmond. As for their nationalist aspirations, I'll repeat H.D.S. Greenway from the Boston Globe on 11th March 2009:

"The SNP’s nationalism is based on citizenship, rather than on ethnicity, religion, or language..." National independence is an honorable goal shared by nations all over the world.

I only wish my Scottish friends the best and for their nation--whatever they want to make of it. And free of intimidation and trickery.


subrosa said...

Thanks for bringing this to my attention on my blog.

Drop me an email and we'll discuss it privately.

Nothing is safe on here now.

Anonymous said...

Being rude appears to be of great concern for the News of the World, in between publishing articles on pedophiles and grown women dressed up as school girls......

The hypocrisy is deafening.

Jeanne Tomlin said...

Seeing journalists like Iain MacWhirter (and I usually have at least some respect for the man) attack a blogger for TELLING THE TRUTH while HE smears nationalists as "cybernats" has me so angry I can barely type.

The hypocrisy is beyond anything I have ever seen.

I am absolutely convinced it is nothing more than a blatant attempt to silence people who support Scottish nationalism. The unionists own the newspapers. They can't stop the blogs.

They are lying. They call nationalists everything from c*nts (not masked) to xenophobes to sewer scum and I've SEEN them do it. The term "cybernat" all by itself is an insult. Yet do you see ONE of them calling unionists on it?

They can not silence all opposition no matter how much they try and trying is going to backfire on them.

Jeanne Tomlin said...

I do not allow unmasked obscenities on this blog. Please respect that. That is MY choice. I have no problem with other bloggers making other choices.

To the gentleman who asked about whether I thought it was all right that Euan McColm got various bloggers fired for having--on their own time--called him a c*nt.

First, Wardog didn't call him that. He called a certain politician that--Jim Murphy, the so-called Secretary of State for Scotland.

And no, I do NOT think that people should be fired for their political opinions, even if that political opinion includes calling polticians or journalists by a rude name.

Is THAT clear enough for you?

Do you think YOU should be fired for using the same word on my blog, my good sir?

Jeanne Tomlin said...

You have ever right, my dear, to call me what you like ON YOUR OWN BLOG.

On mine, I'll control what is said.

Jeanne Tomlin said...

In case anyone wonders, I am in receipt, no doubt from some unionist, of posts which I would allow if the person masked their obscenities.

I can deal with being called a c*nt. I've been called worse, I suspect.

It IS rather noticeable that said poster doesn't have the balls to post under their name. Anonymous posters are not the height of courage. No balls. Too bad. I've noticed it's a widely occurring phenomena amongst unionists.

No balls for allowing a referendum either.

Aye We Can ! said...


Wardog has not been sacked. He resigned, but Robert Gordon Uni refused to accept it.

Montgue Burton was not sacked, he resigned, but Alex Salmond demanded it and Mike Russell agreed

Just where is the unionist conspiracy in this instance? Are Alex Salmond and Mike Russell part of it?..leading it?

And why aint you and countless other nat aligned blogs been shut down? ....Though I see you are trying your best by also calling Jim Murphy and Euan McColm "c***s"

Have you learned nothing?

Just stop calling political opponents "c**nts" But if you do, dont cry "conspiracy" when the real world bites back.

Jeanne Tomlin said...

If you can show me a unionist blogger who was fired for calling a nationalist a name, then I'll sympathize with them too. It happens to be wrong on either side.

I have yet to see it. I don't think you can.

I was aware that Wardog had handed in his resignation, by the way. He felt it was the honorable thing to do, I am told. It shows what kind of person he is.

As far as Mr. Russell and Mr. Salmond, of course they accepted the resignation. In the political atmosphere, they'd be insane not to. But I, as you must be aware, have NO TIES to the SNP and it would be darn hard for anyone to hurt me for my dislike (or name-calling if I so choose) for a journalist or for that matter for a certain Mr. Jim Murphy or Iain Gray (who I've never called a name--but, hey, I might some day).

It is not a high form of debate. But human beings sometimes lose their temper or use sarcasm, as did Universality of Cheese. These are forms of free speech that I strongly believe HAVE to be protected and journalists who don't had better not expect THEIR freedom of speech protected.

Jeanne Tomlin said...

As I pointed out elsewhere, one of our US presidents advised:

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!

Any politician or journalist who can't accept that they're occasionally going to be called a name had better find a new profession.

Do a little checking on what President Obama is occasionally called if you want to know. Does he like it? Probably not. But "going after" bloggers who call you names shows something SERIOUSLY wrong.

And it HAS caused bloggers such as Moridura to limit access to his blog and is causing others to consider stopping blogging.

That is, I am convinced, EXACTLY the intent. Conspiracy? You SERIOUSLY think the people who share the goal of stopping nationalists don't discuss strategy?

Do you REALLY think they're that stupid?

Conan the Librarian™ said...

Hi Jeanne, Subrosa has now too withdrawn her blog, because of the who shopped Bruce and Mark.He is now having a wee go at me on the "I am Legend" post.
We really must have a good chinwag about Fantasy writing one day...

Jeanne Tomlin said...

I saw the wee scum's comments on your blog, Conan. I think you can stand up for yourself, but if there is any way an American can lend a hand, just let me know!