Monday, May 11, 2009

In defence of anonymity

OK, it's official - David Maddox has completely lost the plot. In what must be one of the most self-satisfied blog posts I've read for a long time, he explains the reason why he refuses to engage in debate with the detested 'Cybernats'. It is not, apparently, that they are 'racists', 'bigots', 'ethnic cleansers' who 'generally manage to detract from the sum of human knowledge' (one might have assumed that would be sufficient) - no, it is merely that they refuse to give their own name. Frankly, Maddox ought to be grateful at this moment that they do insist on anonymity - if these were named individuals he was accusing of being on a par with Slobodan Milosevic I dare say he could find himself in some legal difficulty. But of course the whole post is based on a false premise - because just one Cybernat (hisssss!) complained to him that he never responded (and suggested that might be the reason the Steamie attracts so few comments), Maddox is able to address us as if the whole of Cybernat-dom is feeling mortally wounded at the Great One's refusal to engage in debate with us. But if anything, surely the lack of comments ought to be taken as a fairly strong signal of the complete opposite - that Cybernats in general don't actually give a monkey's about a) what Maddox writes in his blog and b) whether he deigns to talk to us or not. If it was such an issue, I'd expect hundreds of comments goading him to respond - such comments are notable for their absence except in this one isolated case which Maddox has mysteriously got terribly excited about. I suppose being largely ignored can do strange things to people - look at the state of nervous excitement Charlotte Brontë worked herself into whenever anyone so much as sent her a letter.

As for the issue of anonymity, all I can say is that AM2/Scottish Unionist must be crying into his pillow now, because this clearly means that Maddox is never going to speak to him again. But it might be worth pondering AM2's stated reasons for remaining anonymous - given that he attracts a lot of abusive reactions, he only feels comfortable expressing his trenchant views behind a pseudonym. Isn't that (rarely for AM2) a fairly reasonable position, and one that is just as reasonable for a Nationalist poster to take? Maddox really ought to get off his high horse here. He attaches his real name to his own witterings for one reason, and one reason only - he's contractually obliged to under the absurd arrangement by which he actually gets very well paid to impose his tedious world view on the rest of us. I dare say the average Cybernat would be more than happy to reveal their own name if it was under the same terms.


  1. Good post James. I gave up reading Maddox's work a long time ago now. I'm always prepared to listen or read balanced argument but his related bile on many occasions. He's in the same league as that Dundonian who writes in the Telegraph.

  2. As I've just commented on the Steamie, what good would it do to sign off with a "real" name?

    How would anyone know it was the right one?

  3. Well said James, Maddox has clearly gone tin pot with this. He is a journalist and like you say he gets payed. Thanks to Maddox and Foulkes Scottish politics has got very dangerous and personal and a so much smaller.

    If my parents details are ever posted on the paper again then they will take legal action. The forums should be moderated to stop people being abused, its bad for debate but also protects peoples safety

  4. Wow great stuff, my comment has been removed..??

  5. AMW, are you talking about your comment here? If so, it wasn't removed - I've had moderation on since my 'debate' with the American firearm enthusiasts a few weeks ago. I've been out most of the evening so I've only had just had the chance to put your comment up.

    Conan - I'm confused...?

  6. Hi James,

    Who's David Maddox?