Now, even by the recent standards of Political Betting, this was vicious. I've mentioned quite a few times how my old haunt - once a haven for genuinely ecumenical political banter, debate and sharing of on-the-ground intelligence - has become increasingly dominated by right-wing posters who show little or no tolerance for alternative views. In particular, the current 'Poster of the Year' Plato tends to lord it over what she evidently regards as her own territory, delusionally 'calling people out' on what she deems to be inappropriate behaviour (taking issue with her robustly is generally sufficient to fall into that category), and cramming virtually every thread with 'retweets' and links relating to her own hobby-horses - such as climate science scepticism, the nuclear lobby, and opposition to electoral reform.
And yet these people repeatedly deny that they have any interest in driving us 'lefties' from the site. So to test out my theory that alternative perspectives are about as welcome to 'the PB Herd' as the proverbial bucket of cold sick, I decided to 'do a Plato', and enhance a few threads with some rival retweets of my own - pro-electoral reform, anti-nuclear, and accepting of mainstream climate science. On the latter front, this is just a small selection of the pleasantries I received for my trouble -
"You really are moronic sometimes James."
"Of course if you would rather be a sad little feckwit instead of taking part in a reasoned conversation than that is entirely your affair."
"No James you are moronic"
"In short you are a sad little troll who knows sweet FA about the subjects you comment on."
"After all, what was said by whom is all there in black and white - or perhaps in your case in green crayon."
"Of course she [Plato] committed the cardinal sin of being flippant about the holy James Kelly. Let the wrath of the Scot descend upon her."
"What I object to is idiots (and I do use that word advisedly) like you..."
"stop polluting the site with your inane drivel."
I think the phrase that springs to mind here is "they do not like it up 'em".
Incidentally, if by any outside chance Plato stumbles across this post, on past form she will doubtless take time out of her hectic schedule to pose the question - "what sort of sad person writes blog posts on the interweb about people they've never met?". To which the answer is pretty simple, I'd have thought - political bloggers. That sort of sad person. In my limited experience, it would be rather challenging to write any sort of political blog without discussing people I've never met. You know, people like David Cameron, Barack Obama...