Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Take your bully-boy tactics elsewhere, Mr Robertson

As you may have seen, I wrote a blogpost yesterday that criticised a columnist for joking that Donald Trump should be "kicked in the balls".  I defy anyone to read that post and say it was in any way "misogynistic" - and if anyone did say that, I would certainly defy them to justify that claim in any credible way.  I discovered a few weeks ago that some people seem to see "harassment" in their own shadows, but as I took great care not to even name the columnist in question, there is no conceivable way that the blogpost can be branded as harassment either.  (And given that I was making a generalised point about the trivialisation of violence against men, the identity of the columnist wasn't particularly important in any case.)

It was, in a nutshell, a legitimate blogpost making a legitimate point about a comment made in a public space.  People were free to disagree with the point I made, and to take issue with it as vociferously as they liked.  But there was absolutely no excuse for abusing me simply for having written the post.  

This was what I woke up to on Twitter this morning...







No, actually, I don't dish it out.  This was a totally unprovoked, highly abusive, bullying attempt to shut down a legitimate point of view.  I gather that Iain Robertson is a reasonably well-known actor (a Bafta winner, no less).  Frankly, he could be the Pope for all I care, because this sort of thing is just not on.  I want to take this opportunity yet again to make clear that I will not be intimidated into staying silent on certain topics.  It's just not going to happen.

I have no doubt that all of the usual suspects will once again pile in and attempt to pathologise my response to Mr Robertson in this blogpost as 'weird', 'self-indulgent', 'creepy', 'ego-centric', 'obsessive', 'unhinged', etc, etc, etc, but frankly, I have passed the point of caring.  I am not ashamed of standing up to bully-boy tactics when I encounter them, I am proud of doing so.  If these people implicitly endorse Mr Robertson's words by attempting to deligitimise my right to reply, that's a matter for their own consciences.

There was an extraordinary moment elsewhere in the exchange when Mr Robertson theatrically produced a photo of the 1930s fascist leader Oswald Mosley being punched to the ground, and challenged me to say I had a problem with it - the implication being that any decent, right-thinking person would celebrate this particular form of political violence.  My response was that if someone had punched Mosley in direct self-defence, that would be fine, but if it wasn't self-defence, why would anyone applaud it?  This was Mr Robertson's retort-


Once again, I feel no sense of shame in saying that I am simply not that sort of person.  I abhor violence unless there is no way that it can be avoided.  I abhor the celebration of violence in all circumstances. That's one reason why just about my most fundamental political belief is opposition to the death penalty - a topic I've written about on this blog many, many times.

I must say, though, that it has been a genuine eye-opener for me over the last 24 hours to discover just how many supposedly progressive people are in favour of unprovoked political violence in the 'right' circumstances.

35 comments:

  1. Those are the tweets of a mid-bender glucose crisis

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  2. Hi James,

    I haven't commented on here for a while but have long been a lurker, and enjoy your fair and accurate analysis of statistics. I also like the fact that you don't need to swear to more than adequately make your point and I want to add my support, such that it is, towards a position of non-violence.

    I believe that you are in the right on this. (Not sure that I share your love of Eurovision though!) Keep up the good work.

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  4. I am with Eppy above. I have never found anything remotely offensive in your blogs and I too always go to you for balanced statistical analysis.

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  5. I'll happily agree with the two comments above....

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  6. Violence against fascists legitimises violence by fascists. As much as it might feel like the left is objectively correct, the right feels exactly the same way about their side.

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  7. agree with above post completely

    and mr robertsons tweet above (the last one) is yer justification for Iraq right there. the man's an idiot

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  8. Same here James. Stick to your guns. When people say violence is not the answer it ISN'T in any way endorsing the views of another. Fascism and neo-fascism have no place in the 21st century, but extolling violence towards them undermines any 'moral' stance you might think you have.

    Challenge and defeat their policies, politics and motives. Being violent shows that you CAN'T beat them intellectually.

    Keep it up and as they say, "Don't let the b@stards grind you down"

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  9. Iain seems like a real macho lady-protector. Grrrr Iain.

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  10. I agree with the posts above; violence solves nothing and can only be justified in self-defence against a violent attack.

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  11. It's similar to those who argue for free speech but only if it meets their standards of 'acceptable'. If it doesn't, it's time for some 'no platforming'.

    In this instance, 'violence is ok....if I think the person on the receiving end deserves a pasting. Otherwise it's bad'.

    I get that there are some people who are so repulsive in their views and actions that we want to give them a smack, but that's not really 'rising above it', is it? It's getting down into the gutter, in fact.

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  12. Google thinks he has 6,000 tweets, Twitter thinks 3,000; search for tweets with both of you and all gone. Weird. What am I doing wrong?

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=IainR0bertson
    https://twitter.com/IainR0bertson
    https://twitter.com/search?q=IainR0bertson%20JamesKelly

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  13. .. I mean I saw one or two of those tweets as they happened; either Twitter's having a bad day or you may have succeeded in making your point. Good-oh.

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  14. "I'm plenty decent"

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  16. Happy to second the comments at the top of the thread. So keep on going James...

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  17. I am, perhaps, a little more ambivalent on the subject of face panning and baw booting than you James. HOWEVER, your right to reply was, as far as I am concerned, cogent, civilised, rational and principled. Social media is a big, beautiful anarchic thing. It is also plagued by arseholes plagued in turn by cognitive dissonance. This half-witted brownie point scoring clown being the perfect illustration. For every keyboard commando with an inflated sense of their own take down abilities that you've encountered recently, just you remember there are far more folk out here who absolutely value the effort and mileage you put in. You and Campbell and handful of others put the graft in that gives the rest of us the evidence-base and counter-point to the partial news, disinfo, and ideologically motivated mainstream meeja voodoo propaganda. More power to you. We've got your back ��.

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  18. James, keep saying what you are saying the way you are saying it. No doubt somewhere along the line I'll disagree with something you write (I probably have in the past but have clearly forgotten) but that would in no way make you half of what that numpty was accusing you of being. Very few blogs keep my attention as long as yours has done and I don't see that changing any time soon.

    Hugh

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  19. Well said, James.
    Don't be put off publishing.
    I don't know how you stand receiving that nasty stuff.
    He shows himself up.

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  20. Just some notes on this blog James:

    * You forget to mention that the Columinist you took to task in your previous blog is a woman you have blogged about at least four times this year. It is only February.

    * You omit the fact that you were severely questioned regarding your last blog by a Grant O'Rourke on the "Straw Man" argument in your previous blog.

    * You included many screengrabs of Robertson in this blog, but not the two where he said "I applaud your attempts to take him to task, but comedy policing aside, the fact that he has blogged about this woman already three or four times this year is creepy af"

    * It was Robertson's comments to the actor Grant O'Rourke that you replied to (replies that you omit to mention ergo giving the impression that Robertson's tweets were unprovoked)

    * You seem deaf to reasoning re Mr O'Rourke, suggesting that Ms Strickland's joke stand given that Trumps handshake is aggressive & he is on record as saying that he would grab women "by the pussy" ... you give the MRA argument that it would be oh-so-terrible if someone suggested a man do this to Hillary Clinton. A) she is not president B) she is not on the record suggesting men should be grabbed by the balls

    * Not only do you "dish it out" - it seems you then are selective with what information you provide your readers, so long as it backs up your claims. In this instance, the claim that you got a flurry of unprovoked abuse, which is clearly not the case.

    * You accuse Robertson of being "highly abusive" yet the screen grabs you provide don't support your claim. You also omit your tweets to him which is highly selective & paints his tweets out of context.

    * At no point did Robertson suggest you should "remain silent" or be bullied into being quiet. You made that assertion all by yourself. You did so in order to suit your agenda & defend the assertion behind your blog.

    * You accuse Robertson of "Bully boy tactics" yet, you have blocked him on Twitter, you have allowed him no right of Reply & you have written a blog against his character. Who is the real "bully boy" James?

    * At the end of your blog, do you really defend the fascist Oswald Mosley? If violence against Nazis really bothers you, trust me, you'll hate the Indiana Jones films!

    Let's recap the actual argument presented to you in the lengthy tweets that led up to this inane blog.

    * It is actually okay to joke that Nicola Sturgeon might kick Trump in the balls. Given that he is behaving like a fascist leader, given that he has made sexually aggressive statements against women & given that his handshake is practically a violent act. Also, given that it was a JOKE.

    * Given that we are only two months into the year and you have blogged numerous times regarding the same woman - just perhaps that behaviour could be perceived as creepy?

    * In future, to paint the full picture. Perhaps it would be fair to show your tweets too?

    For what it's worth. You do seem like a misogynist and your poems are rotten.

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    1. Good morning, "Rab". That is an extraordinarily long comment. Does that make you 'creepy'? I can only assume it must do, but please let me know. Anyway, I'll do my best to respond to your points one by one, even though it looks like I'll be here until Christmas.

      "You forget to mention that the Columinist you took to task in your previous blog is a woman you have blogged about at least four times this year. It is only February."

      That, of course, is the 'harassment' argument, and as you will note, I didn't 'forget' to mention it - I dealt with it directly at the top of this blogpost. I actually spoke to the person in question yesterday morning just after Mr Robertson's rant was over, and she seemed to reckon I've "blogged about her" a mere two or three times, so perhaps the two of you could get together and decide who has the got the more accurate abacus before taking this very serious matter to the police.

      Back in the real world, of course, blogging about a provocative comment made by a public figure in a public space is not harassment. I did, however, anticipate that someone would be silly enough to claim that it was, and so I took the precaution (even though it wasn't necessary) of not even mentioning her name. And yet you guys are still at it.

      By the way, I've "blogged about" Theresa May considerably more than four times this year, even though it's "only February". You must think I'm truly hounding her. Poor thing.

      "You omit the fact that you were severely questioned regarding your last blog by a Grant O'Rourke on the "Straw Man" argument in your previous blog."

      The word 'omit' is a bit peculiar in that sentence. Mr O'Rourke asked me a lot of questions, and I answered them. I also asked him a couple of questions, which he went to great lengths to avoid answering. He was, however, about seventeen billion times more respectful in his approach than Mr Robertson was. My exchange with him is therefore of no relevance whatsoever to a blogpost about the abusive and bullying behaviour of Mr Robertson. The only small criticism I would make of Mr O'Rourke is that he 'liked' at least one of Mr Robertson's comments, which was foolish of him, but perhaps he didn't have the measure of the man at that point.

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    2. "You included many screengrabs of Robertson in this blog, but not the two where he said "I applaud your attempts to take him to task, but comedy policing aside, the fact that he has blogged about this woman already three or four times this year is creepy af""

      At no point did I claim that I had posted screenshots of every single one of Mr Robertson's tweets, so it's hard to see what your complaint is here. Again, this is a blogpost about his abusive behaviour, so it shouldn't be a surprise to you that I posted the tweets in which he was being most abusive. But perhaps you've got a point - the one you quote should have made the cut, because it's the first time he calls me "creepy af".

      "It was Robertson's comments to the actor Grant O'Rourke that you replied to (replies that you omit to mention ergo giving the impression that Robertson's tweets were unprovoked)"

      I didn't 'give the impression' that Mr Robertson's tweets were unprovoked - I stated that directly, because that's exactly what they were. Non-abusive (and frankly extremely restrained) responses to a complete stranger who has just sent me a tweet out of the blue calling me "creepy" does not constitute 'provocation'.

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    3. "You seem deaf to reasoning re Mr O'Rourke"

      I'd be more than happy to post the entire exchange with Mr O'Rourke, although doubtless you would call me 'creepy' and 'obsessive' if I actually did. That exchange is not, however, relevant to this blogpost, which is about Mr Robertson's abusive behaviour. As I've already noted, Mr O'Rourke was not abusive towards me.

      "Not only do you "dish it out""

      No, I don't "dish it out", and I'm sorry, my friend, but at this point the onus is now on you to justify that claim. If you can find an example of me being abusive to Mr Robertson or Mr O'Rourke, lets see it.

      "it seems you then are selective with what information you provide your readers"

      By your exacting standards, it seems that I was 'selective' by not telling my readers what I had for dinner last night.

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    4. "You accuse Robertson of being "highly abusive" yet the screen grabs you provide don't support your claim."

      Those screenshots speak for themselves. If you've looked at them and failed to spot anything abusive in them, I'm afraid that says far more about you than it does about me.

      "At no point did Robertson suggest you should "remain silent" or be bullied into being quiet."

      I didn't say he "suggested I should be bullied" (which is an extremely peculiar formulation). I said that he was doing the bullying himself. The purpose of trying to pathologise certain legitimate viewpoints as 'creepy' is to prevent those viewpoints from being expressed again in future.

      "You accuse Robertson of "Bully boy tactics" yet, you have blocked him on Twitter, you have allowed him no right of Reply & you have written a blog against his character. Who is the real "bully boy" James?"

      He is, and I'm very happy to clear that up for you, old chap. I blocked him for being abusive, as anyone in their right mind would have done. I have not denied him a right to reply - this blog does not have pre-moderation on its comments, and if he posts here I won't delete his comments unless he's ridiculously abusive (although admittedly even that low hurdle may be tough for him to jump).

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    5. "At the end of your blog, do you really defend the fascist Oswald Mosley?"

      Now, this is really, really curious. You appear to be genuinely saying that because I didn't give a round of applause to an act of violence against a fascist, I am therefore "defending a fascist". I would gently suggest you go away and have a think about where you are going wrong in life, because what you've just outlined is a thug's philosophy.

      I'll spare myself the bother of responding to your final three asterisked points, because you're basically repeating yourself by then. However, you're not going to get away with this -

      "You do seem like a misogynist"

      That is an absolutely outrageous assertion, which you have been utterly unable to support. I am now going to say exactly what I said to Mr Robertson - please do the decent thing and apologise.

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    6. Rab, that's a fair old gish gallop you got on there fella. It didnae work though did it. Much lolling

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  21. Yet another unionist attacking you James. Ignore them.

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  22. The level and type of comment from unionists suggests you are definitely in the right. Stick to your guns (you are right to do so) and keep up the great work.

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    1. He doesn't attack a single unionist in this post

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    2. Glasgow Working Class 2February 18, 2017 at 11:24 PM

      That is because we are nice people and not bigoted anti English. You Nat sis are like the equivalent to anti semites. Jist pure hatred innatt.

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  23. James i never usually comment too but i have to say that I've been following this. ..and you are in the Right and please dont ever change! Your a good Lad.

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  24. Glasgow Working Class 2February 17, 2017 at 12:51 AM

    Everyone thinks they are right even young James. I think I am right but may be wrong but will not admit to being wrong as I am always right... However I am right Nat sis. Up yer kilts fash.

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    1. Absolute bloody state of this paperweight.

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  25. Sticking it to the unionists James. One independence supporter at a time!

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    1. I'm intrigued - why say that to me, rather than to Mr Robertson? Basically you think it's perfectly OK for Mr Robertson to send a string of unprovoked, highly abusive tweets to a fellow independence supporter, but not for that fellow independence supporter to reply?

      Seriously?

      How does that work?

      I'll be honest with you, though - I'm fairly sure Mr Robertson himself has posted on this thread at least once. I'm not sure why he's being so bashful. Perhaps he's embarrassed to put his name to comments that don't contain any swear-words?

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