Wednesday, March 3, 2010

David Brent is a CyberTory

One or two of you may have noticed that I wasn't quite able to stand firm on what was my (genuine) resolve to stop posting on Political Betting at the start of the year - there's something about that site that seems to be more addictive than crack cocaine. Perhaps, though, I should heed the old adage that 'you should never give up giving up'. Anyway, after a short break I quickly reverted to posting regularly, but unsurprisingly I've now made myself such a target (by inexplicably and odiously turning my face against all things Tory) that a simple 'hello' tends to be greeted with a "why do you always have to be such a w****r, James?" from the usual suspects. Even worse, the membership of the usual suspects appears to be ever-expanding, and now includes a particularly delightful poster called 'Chris q00' (catchy moniker, I'll grant him that) who enjoys nothing better than interrogating me for hours at a time on why the SNP reneged on its pledge at the 2003 Holyrood election to hold an independence referendum by 2007. (Yes, I know, it's because the SNP didn't actually win the 2003 election, but the simpler the explanation the more the poor guy seems to struggle with it.)

So it's naturally quite difficult to maintain any sort of patience with such a buffoon, and when today he ludicrously suggested that Michael Foot as Prime Minister would have taken the UK into the Warsaw Pact, I told him rather directly that I thought that was an utter joke. Curiously, this did not provoke a reaction from Chris q00 himself, but from another Tory poster called Casino Royale, who launched into this bizarre tirade, which by the sounds of it he's been storing up for, well, quite some time -

"Can you come onto this website without being nasty and vindicative to people James?

Quite frankly, I’m tired of your attitude. You never have a good word to say about anyone and are permenantly sarcastic and insulting to other posters.

In other words: an a**ehole.

You being “you” I know you’ll try and instantly turn that back on me but why not be a mature adult for once?

Take the feedback, reappraise how you behave on here and act on it."

I naturally pointed out the supreme irony of a man complaining about 'insults' and 'never having a good word to say about anyone' when he's in the middle of using words like 'a**ehole' to indulge his own personal grudge without the slightest provocation. But there was more to come, and fascinating it was too. It appears that his criticisms of me are not personal or partisan at all, but are instead objective, constructive, and deeply rooted in his - ahem - professional experience.

"This is serious. YOU HAVE A PROBLEM.

Trust me: I’ve worked with several individuals in my company who’ve exhibited the same behaviours you do on here. The HR training was incredibly interesting. The ones who became happy and successful people took the feedback on board and learnt from it. They didn’t take it personally. Even if at first, they did. They understood HR were trying to help them.

Of the rest, the ones who chose to ignore it or refused to attend the training, a couple had nervous breakdowns and all of them managed to alienate all their peers and colleagues which only compounded the problem. Some lost their jobs because of it.

Which approach do you think was the right one?"

Is it just me, or do you get the feeling that the understandable stress and panic induced by the rapidly vanishing opinion poll lead is causing some CyberTories to turn into David Brent?


  1. Rt Hon Ezio Auditore da Firenze MPMarch 3, 2010 at 6:44 PM

    It's not a nice place to be any more, James.

    I happened to skim through a topic the other night to see if I could find any gossip on the Steven Purcell story, and the place is getting worse.

    If it's not SeanT calling people names and passing it off as wit, it's idiots like Casino Royale attempting to take the moral high ground as, on PB at least, being right wing makes one morally superior to any 'lefty'.

    Be done with the place, James. If Smithson is happy with the place becoming nothing more than a slightly more insane version of ConservativeHome, that's up to him.

    Your old chum

  2. I post less and less on that site. When I first visited the site 4 years very few Tories were regular posters. It did have a community feel about it then when you got to know the regular posters. It is just not the same and despite the many objection posts (that I want to reply to )I have always tried to remain pleasant to all regardless of party. I will try and maintain that, although it is not easy! Husband was a regular post for a while but said it was full of political saddie's and him a Tory too, he couldn't be bothered with it anymore when 'tim' appeared.


  3. LOL, so true.

    I've lurked on various exchanges there James. It has been quite hilarious at times. It's clear the volatile polls are shredding Tory nerves.

    The value of the site is dropping sharply as it turns into a Daily Mail chatroom.

    Unfortunately, some of the Scots Tories there don't seem to be able to lend any calming influence either.

  4. CyberBrits = LOL
    Scots Lefties = FULL OF WIN

  5. Thanks for all your comments, guys! Marcia, yes, I've been reading the site for several years, and I agree it's changed out of all recognition. I know that Mike feels the political composition will change back again given time, but I'm not so sure. As Ezio says, it may have irreversibly become a de facto ConHome Mark II (or even Guido Mark II).

  6. and I horrified to read that I type just as badly here as there :)


  7. James, you're simply embarrassing yourself now.

    Stop it.

    Just stop it.

    And then get help.

  8. Hello there, Casino Royale, thanks for dropping by. And no need for such bashful anonymity round here - you're more than welcome. Perhaps some self-esteem issues at play?

  9. If I was still in the UK I'd be leaning towards Mr. Cameron's team, so no axes to grind when I say I agree with the sentiments expressed about Political Betting. It was once a community but now a bearpit. Unsuspecting new people commenting are bullied (not least by Mr. Thomas under cover of humour) to conform or leave, so no surprise that the best ones do the latter.

    The chap that's come here full of wrath to say "Get Help" doesn't seem to realise he's just made the blog author's point for him!

  10. It's very tragic. There used to be some good gossip in there, but now it's all fantasyland nonsense about Neil Kinnock killing babies in gulags.

    If it makes you feel any better, I think reality is on your side, at least in re: Scotland.