Wednesday, October 31, 2018

You don't stamp out anti-semitism by stamping all over the innocent

The SNP's suspension of Grouse Beater is of special interest to me, because like him I'm a pro-independence blogger who also happens to be an ordinary member of the SNP.  Bloggers are self-evidently at far greater risk than the average person of having a statement cynically misconstrued, or even of being caught out making an honest slip, and it would be nice to think that a fair and transparent process would at least apply before the SNP takes drastic disciplinary action in such circumstances.  If that's not the case there's a danger that we would all begin to self-censor to avoid finding ourselves suspended.  It would obviously be unhealthy if membership of a political party became incompatible with freedom of speech.

I first became concerned about this problem many, many years ago when Jeff Breslin of SNP Tactical Voting (at the time the most popular SNP-supporting blog) revealed inside information about postal vote returns, not realising that he was technically breaking the law.  It was a totally honest mistake, and he very nobly resigned his SNP membership to avoid any damage to the party.  I was a bit shocked and depressed that SNP spokespeople were all too quick to distance themselves from Jeff and to portray him as an embarrassing wrongdoer who was no longer associated with the party.  In my opinion it would have been far more appropriate to pay tribute to the honourable actions of someone who (at least at the time) had done a lot of good for the party, albeit in an unofficial role.  But we were left in no doubt that, when push comes to shove, SNP bloggers are utterly expendable.

We've seen the same sad process play out over the last day or two, with a tweet from Humza Yousaf that very strongly implies that Grouse Beater is guilty of anti-semitism, and that action has been taken against him to "stamp out" anti-semitism within the SNP.  The actual position is that it remains to seen whether his blogpost will be deemed to be anti-semitic, and that for now he has merely been suspended pending an investigation.  It's troubling that this crucial point is being regarded in some quarters as a meaningless technicality, and that the suspension is perceived as a "punishment" for guilt that is already presumed.  It was precisely that mindset that led to Michelle Thomson's political career being unjustly ruined.

I must say that the version of Grouse Beater's blogpost that is currently online is manifestly not anti-semitic.  It can't possibly be, because it specifically praises Rhea Wolfson for her stance against anti-semitism.  I gather that may not be the original version of the post, and if the screenshot I've seen is accurate, the original wording is more ambiguous.  Some people have asked: "Well, if he didn't mean that, what could he have possibly meant?" To which there are several possible answers.  Assuming the worst possible interpretation doesn't seem to be consistent with the principle of 'innocent until proven guilty'.  It's also been asked: "What is the reference to Hitler doing there, then?  Are you saying it's totally random?  Hmmm?  Hmmm?"  The problem with that argument is that there are other seemingly random and elliptical references in the blogpost as well, such as to the film On The Waterfront.  But it seems that randomness and ambiguity don't need to be explained away if the worst possible motivation can't be ascribed to them.

What should happen from here is that the investigation should proceed, it should be fair and not have a predetermined outcome, and Grouse Beater's explanation of his intent in writing the controversial paragraph should be listened to and considered with the seriousness it warrants.  In the meantime, he should be given the respect he deserves by the SNP leadership, and not subjected to a premature kicking, no matter how politically expedient that would be.

31 comments:

  1. I totally agree. I have read it several times and found nothing remotely anti Semitic. I think it's just a cynical ploy by Slab and GMB to distract from the actual point of the blog which points out the Union failings.

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    1. That seems a stretch. The blog's now received vastly more attention than it would otherwise have had.

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  2. '"Welcome, Mr. Potter, to your first encounter with the realities of politics. What do the wretched creatures in Azkaban have to offer any faction? Who would benefit from aiding them? A politician who openly sided with them would associate themselves with criminals, with weakness, with distasteful things that people would rather not think about. Alternatively, the politician could demonstrate their might and cruelty by calling for longer sentences; to make a display of strength requires a victim to crush beneath you, after all. And the populace applauds, for it is their instinct to back the winner." A coldly amused laugh. "You see, Mr. Potter, no one ever quite believes that they will go to Azkaban, so they see no harm in it for themselves.'

    HP:MoR, Ch60 - the best version of Harry Potter I've ever read.

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  3. Best of luck getting any sense out of Neabd. He often posts extreme Yoon propaganda. And not in the mocking way. He also spentrather a long time insisting that westminster isn't responsible for paying pensions post independence. An odd position for any Yesser to take.
    I see he's being supported by the painfully PC councillor Hunter. A woman who would have no problem with 2 + 2 = 5. She insisted that the anti-senitic mural was anti-semitic becasue some jews said so and if we couldn't see that for ourselves then we were all Nazis. An in those exact terms.
    So according to her any claim of anti-semitism raised by that piece of sub-human vermin m regev against our government must be true. The enemy within raises its head again.

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    1. Some of the Nat sis claim they are not anti-semetic or anti Jewish but just support the Palestinians who want to wipe out Israel and the Jews. Who are you kiddin Nazis, yourselves perhaps but not Israel

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    2. Reposting in the correct place.

      I'd laugh, but this isn't a laughing matter.

      My grandfather was an Austrian Jew who escaped, so if anyone has the right to say these things, I feel that I do.

      Israel is a crusader state, and the Palestinians have every right to resist an armed invasion of their land. Which is exactly what Israel is, and continues to do on a daily basis.

      Palestine has been fighting a war for its very survival since 1947 - that's over 70 years of war, which is three or four generations, depending on how you count them - this is one of the longest wars in recorded history.

      Children have grown up at war, grown old in the same war, and died without seeing the end of war - this is a tragedy, inflicted by the British and American governments, and the state of Israel on their behalf.

      It is currently a war of aggression, and of taking territory. I remember reading somewhere that the UN doesn't condone such things, but somehow they turn a blind eye, probably because they caused the whole mess, and continue to support it.

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    3. Palestine was never a country, Israel was. The Romans the various Christians the Vatican the Muslims failed to wipe out the Jews, but here we are your genocide failed because of good people.

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    4. Mrs Cohen GWC AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois of the 77th (Manky Shirt, Self Funded) Auxiliaries and its unrequited love for Yaxley-Lennon.
      Poor, miserable, incoherent Cordelia and its constant state of confusion.

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    5. Tony Blair Catholic CrusaderNovember 1, 2018 at 9:03 AM

      Wrong again.

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    6. Hoo boy. Where to start?

      Oh, right, you're a troll, and not interested in actually having a discussion, so there's no point trying to engage in one with you.

      And the frustration drains away as soon as I realise you're trying to push my buttons.

      How does it feel to be worshipping a minor Egyptian deity?

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    7. It's not worth bothering with Cordelia, as she needs lots of attention. Sometimes her rantings can be unintentionaly funny, but it's usually best to skip over any of her various identities.

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    8. Your identity seems to be hanging around outside nat si supermarkets winking at Polish painters.

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    9. GWC AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois of the 77th (Manky Shirt, Self Funded) Auxiliaries and its unrequited love for Yaxley-Lennon.
      Poor, miserable, incoherent Cordelia and its constant state of hate-filled confusion.

      Delete
  4. I'd laugh, but this isn't a laughing matter.

    My grandfather was an Austrian Jew who escaped, so if anyone has the right to say these things, I feel that I do.

    Israel is a crusader state, and the Palestinians have every right to resist an armed invasion of their land. Which is exactly what Israel is, and continues to do on a daily basis.

    Palestine has been fighting a war for its very survival since 1947 - that's over 70 years of war, which is three or four generations, depending on how you count them - this is one of the longest wars in recorded history.

    Children have grown up at war, grown old in the same war, and died without seeing the end of war - this is a tragedy, inflicted by the British and American governments, and the state of Israel on their behalf.

    It is currently a war of aggression, and of taking territory. I remember reading somewhere that the UN doesn't condone such things, but somehow they turn a blind eye, probably because they caused the whole mess, and continue to support it.

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    1. Wrong thread, reposted correctly. feel free to delete this one.

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  5. Correct.
    We need to stop allowing an allegation to be treated as a conviction.
    Time to stop slaughtering our own troops & stand up to the enemy.

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  6. Humza Yousaf could be hair triggered because of all the stuff that is thrown at him, constantly. But it would have been easy to check what was said, and anyone would know there was no prejudice from Grouse Beater.

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  7. It's changed from the original. That might have been taken badly if the author knew the person he was attacking was jewish. Basic gist being remember what happened to the Jews under Hitler

    Personally a more relevant historical comparison might have been union members and jew in gneral in early soviet union. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Russia

    Or a more general reminder of how organisations get used by would be authoritarian regimes in their rise to power and then disposed of.

    One thing about Hitler's rise to power might be the general attitude to women. Kinder, Küche, Kirche which is far more relevant when you're talking about putting women in their place.

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  8. At least, I appreciate that the SNP leadership has not joined in on the shameful and cynical pile-on to Corbyn based on exactly the same tendentious set of allegations: unlike Theresa May, the Guardian, etc.

    Truth and fairness still matter.

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  9. My beloved Polish uncle lost his whole family to the camps, so I claim the right to speak on this subject. Disagreeing with the current, despicable, Israeli regime is not anti-semitism, in the same way that disagreeing with the Westminster regime makes us anti-English.

    So much violence and hatred, in which ordinary, civilian Palestinians are bearing the brunt of it. Collective punishment was outlawed in the Geneva Conventions after WWII. What the Israeli regime is inflicting on the Palestinians is collective punishment.

    I know first hand that my Jewish colleagues in New York were to a man and to a woman fundamentally opposed to the actions the Israeli regime took to flout international law and disregard the well-nigh unanimous condemnation of those actions by the international community: the Americans always, always would step in to veto any measures to try to bring them back into line.

    At one point the EEC/EU countries used to vote with the USA in the General Assembly, but at a certain point they started to abstain. Maybe now that Trump has trashed transatlantic relations, they may start to vote the way they feel.

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    1. Wee Manny the Jew BoyNovember 1, 2018 at 7:26 PM

      You are an anti Israel propagandist. The oldest war in history was the attempt by the Jews to return to Israel. They have done this in spite of the mass slaughter against them by various countries over many centuries.

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    2. The modern state of Israel came into existence in the 1940s. It has no connection other than the name with any mythical or historic countries.

      Israel has been involved in a war of aggression since its creation by the UN - primarily Britain and America - it is a crusader state, in the clearest, cleanest sense.

      The Jews originated as a minor Egyptian sect. If any "homeland of the Jews" exists, then it's somewhere in Egypt, not inside Palestine.

      None of these things are in historical or factual dispute, as far as I know, except by folks who believe in a great big daddy floating in the sky who'll protect them from everything.

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  10. It's the reality of party politics. They need to be SEEN to be doing something about this or else they'll be getting pelters from all sides until the issue becomes bigger and bigger and runs out of control. This pulls down the shutters and prevents it doing too much damage. Cynical maybe, but it's what any smart politician would do.

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  11. I did warn you about councillor Hunter.

    You're also trying to use reason and logic while conversing with people who have an absolute and unshakable belief that you are more privileged by virtue of being a white skined male than eg JK Rowling, T May, Her Majesty Elizabeth Queen of Scots first of her name.
    Nice to see the true feminazi in all her glory. Hatred and abuse of men just because they are men is no different to abuse of Jews just because they're Jews but these morons are incapable of seeing the truth. And we are the ones who have to be sent for re-education?

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  12. Rather strange that Jews and Hitler should be mentioned in an industrial dispute in Glasgow Scotland. Some people may just have an issue with Jews.

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    1. You are a monster.

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    2. Wheres the honey mummy.

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    3. GWC AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois of the 77th (Manky Shirt, Self Funded) Auxiliaries and its unrequited love for Yaxley-Lennon.
      Poor, miserable, incoherent Cordelia and its constant state of confusion

      Delete
  13. Once again SNP shoots itself in the Heid!

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    1. GWC AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois of the 77th (Manky Shirt, Self Funded) Auxiliaries and its unrequited love for Yaxley-Lennon.
      Poor, miserable, incoherent Cordelia and its latest hate-filled rant.

      Delete
  14. My take on it
    http://ayewecan.blogspot.com/2018/11/grouse-beater-deleted-evidence-and.html

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