Sunday, March 17, 2013

Canavan would be your choice for Falkirk

Thanks for all your votes in yesterday's poll - by an overwhelming margin you feel that Dennis Canavan, rather than an SNP candidate, should fly the flag for independence in any Falkirk by-election that might occur over the coming months.

Dennis Canavan 90%
An SNP candidate 9%

It looks like being an academic point, however.  Question : what does a disgraced Labour MP who has even less shame than Denis MacShane look like?  Answer : well, he looks quite a bit like Eric Joyce.

*  *  *

I'm relieved to say I've finally put my money where my mouth is, and made a £10 donation to the Wings Over Scotland fundraising appeal.  I was hoping I might be able to cobble together a bit more, but alas (and not to put too fine a point on it) I'm slightly broke at the moment.  With nine days to go, the campaign is about three-quarters of the way to making its target figure (it looks like less than that on the Indiegogo website, but RevStu apparently has an extra few thousand in direct donations that he can add to the fund if needed to swing the balance).  The target isn't purely psychological - if the amount raised falls short, Indiegogo will deduct a 9% rather than a 4% fee.  So your ten pound donation might just make a thousand pounds' worth of difference.

*  *  *

A few days ago, the website comments platform Disqus changed its system without warning, and sent the management and posting community at Political Betting into apoplexy, largely because it's no longer possible to view the discussion on the site in chronological order.  I must admit 'New Disqus' is indeed pretty rubbish, but all the same it's hard not to raise a smile at the gloriously ironic way in which the PB management have been desperately trying to get Disqus to back down.  A kind of 'tag-team' has been organised to harrass the 'DisqusHelp' account on Twitter - "they must listen to us!" has been the cry.  Oddly enough, I can't recall such inspiring enthusiasm for people power on the many occasions when left-wing posters have been arbitrarily banned or treated unjustly on PB itself.  "It's our site, it's our rules, and if you don't like it go elsewhere," has been the response (invariably gaining 798 instant Disqus 'likes' from PB Tories).  Or, in Kafka-esque style, complaints have simply been wiped from existence on the grounds that "talking about the rules is against the rules".  And if the complainant doesn't back down, he's then banned because "continuing to talk about the rules is a banning offence".  And other posters never find out that the banning has occurred, because if anyone ever mentions it, they'll be bann...well, you get the picture.

I left the following comment on PB about an hour ago, and it didn't even appear briefly - it was instantly caught by the moderation trap.  Is there an algorithm that somehow knows?  For the uninitiated, HD2 (aka Brian Corbett) is this guy.

"I see Amanda of DisqusHelp has been getting the HD2 treatment -

HD2 : @PlatoSays @disqushelp Posting has all bust stopped, so ad revenue down. Much as I dislike OGH, that's not fair on him. I can't even 'like'!

Plato : @HD2onPBdotcom It's just dreadful @disqushelp

HD2 : @PlatoSays @disqushelp I've been with hotmail since 1995 or so. I've just been 'upgraded' to Outlook, which is unusable too. Never impose!

Plato : @HD2onPBdotcom @disqushelp Site moderator is now ticking off posters who use Reply or Likes as it makes the site unusable politicalbetting

HD2 : @PlatoSays @disqushelp NEVER impose, always 'OFFER' upgrades = happy customers/users. We choose = happy punters: they impose = anger & riots

DisqusHelp : @HD2onPBdotcom We appreciate the feedback, Brian. We're phasing out Disqus Classic, which is why sites are being switched over. -Amanda

In other words, "f*** off, Brian". I really think Amanda should have gone for a classier, PB-style passive-aggressive response, and said "it's our system, and our rules, and if you don't like them why not set up your own comments platform?". And then of course huffily blocked everyone who had dared to raise a word of protest.

As an aside, I've just realised that I'm still blocked by Plato on Twitter (three years on, is it?), and yet I can still view her profile and read all her tweets! Twitter must have the most rubbish blocking system ever."


  1. I notice that Mr Joyce has vehemently denied being an alcoholic, which seems to me to suggest he's just an irresponsible thug.

  2. Joyce has no shame. Whether his limpet like efforts to cling on will succeed are not entirely up to him though.

    If he does go we should remember Huhne. An SNP candidate will find it hard to go on Joyce's record without the labour voters getting tribal. Canavan on the other hand would be seen more as an 'intervention' of sorts by someone labour voters would be inclined to listen to.

    On the other subject, speaking as someone who is currently blocked from posting on PB for the 78th time(yes that is the correct number) - for no reason and with no explanation as usual - I can quite easily top what James highlights with an entire back catalogue of the frankly incredible things done on PB to harass and try and stop comment from left of centre posters.

    I shall leave it at that for the moment, but suffice to say James is not only right he is but scratching the surface of what goes on there.

  3. It's amazing just how big Wings over Scotland has gotten now with a very sizeable readership.

    I too contributed like James and would encourage others to do so.

    Having real professionals working on a site like Wings makes such a difference. Particularly when you see the hilariously incompetent and partisan moderators elsewhere. Those pitiful cowards too frightened to allow left of centre views that challenge their own narrow tory mindset.

    Speaking of which, I was very briefly unbanned then banned yet again by PB. Which only proves how right James is in his assessment.

    I might amuse others with tales of just how low they stoop on PB later if anyone still doubts James veracity on this. I have plenty.

  4. Mick, apparently Disqus is being replaced tomorrow. So we'll see if what comes next is any more reliable, and provides any fewer opportunities for convenient 'technical fault' bannings.