Friday, December 6, 2013

Breslin-gate rumbles on...

As a quick follow-up to my last post about Jeff Breslin's now famous tweet comparing Alex Salmond with Nelson Mandela, here's a very brief exchange (the ending was abrupt in a rather familiar way!) I've just had with a Labour supporter called Rayleen Kelly on Twitter, who says without a trace of irony in her self-description that she "hates rude people".

Rayleen Kelly : Don't care what political persuasion it was tasteless when it was a joke, beyond it now!!

Me : What was tasteless about it? It was an honest opinion, which you're free to disagree with.

Rayleen Kelly : It was vulgar and crass, that you can't see that says everything I want to know about you

Me : You're also free to think what you like about me, I'm just struggling to understand your logic. How was it vulgar and crass?

Rayleen Kelly : If you don't know the answer to that you really need to learn about Mandela

Me : Do you have an answer to the question, Rayleen, or are you just going to sneer at people all night?

(At this point she blocks me.)

Rayleen Kelly : As I am entitled to my opinion I will be blocking any idiot seriously comparing wee Eck with Madiba!

Rayleen Kelly : Just blocked another yes fanny that thinks wee Eck is comparable to Nelson Mandela, insulting and crass

Rayleen Kelly : For those who don't quite understand Madiba united a torn people and made a country whole ... Wee Eck is he'll bent on division and hate

Well, we got there in the end, even if it was a thoroughly stupid (some might charitably say "vulgar and crass") answer. I'd be interested to see if Jeff's more thoughtful critics - for example Kenny Farquharson and Alex Massie - can come up with a more convincing explanation for why the tweet was supposedly so "offensive". As Tris points out on the previous thread, we might not think Jeff's comment entirely makes sense, particularly on the "personal sacrifices" point. But how precisely is it offensive?


  1. My goodness. You do get some odd people on Twitter, don’t you? (I should say “one” instead of “you”).

    I never cease to be amazed by people who complain about someone being ‘offensive’ and then call other people names, like ‘fanny’ for example.

    I assume the girl knows that ‘fanny’ is a euphemism for a word that most of us don’t use much. Normally it is women who find this word so offensive. It occurs to me that she’s a bit of a dickhead! (OK, sorry, that was low humour.)

    I’m not entirely certain that Mr Mandela did unite the whole of South Africa. There were white people who were pretty unhappy about him forming a government and lots of people who suddenly found that they missed good old Blighty enough to quit the sunshine for the rain!

    As for dividing people, don't all political leaders do that at every election? Mr Salmond has no exclusive rights on that one.

  2. labour supporters really need to be exterminated.

    Also since you're never going back to PB isn't it time you told everybody who plato and jack w really are?

  3. I refer you to my previous comment - if AS is likened to Nelson Mandela the continuation of the simile is that Better Together are FWdeKlerks mob. That is not how they see themselves even though they deny Scotland the right to self affirmation with 'every fibre of their being'.

  4. "Also since you're never going back to PB isn't it time you told everybody who plato and jack w really are?"

    I don't know who they are. I know what Plato looks like because I've seen a couple of photos of her, and she once posted an anagram of her real name, so some bright spark could probably work out her identity from that (although tracking down the post would be the tricky part, as it was several years ago). I don't think she's anyone of any great significance, though - except as "Britain's most representative floating voter", of course.

    JackW is a different proposition. Some posters (including Plato herself) are certainly in on the secret of his identity, presumably because they've met him at one of the PB meet-ups in London. From the clues that have been dropped, he seems to be -

    1) A Tory.

    2) A former government minister (or at the very least a former MP).

    3) Fairly elderly, although not quite 106 as he 'hilariously' claims.

    4) Someone of Scottish ancestry or with Scottish roots, but probably not Scottish himself.

    5) Someone who owns land in Scotland.

    Based on all that, the name I kept coming up with was Douglas Hurd. I don't know if he owns land here, but he certainly ticks all the other boxes - I believe one of his parents was Scottish, and of course he wrote the Nat-bashing novel 'Scotch on the Rocks'. However, I tried mentioning Hurd's name to JackW to see if the moderators gave the game away by panicking and deleting the comments, but they didn't. So I may be barking up the wrong tree there - JackW may be someone who was lower down the food-chain in the Thatcher/Major governments, in which case I can't think off the top of my head who he might be. Norman Lamont had Scottish roots of course, but I don't think his political views would quite fit.

    Incidentally, although I don't know the identities of Plato and JackW, I do have some shocking (and credible) information about one of PB's Tory moderators. However, it was passed to me on condition that I didn't make it public.

  5. James, I think Rayleen may be the daughter of legendary Paisley SLAB cooncillur Terry Kelly of the Herald online blogs.

  6. Ah. That revelation may well reignite the age-old 'nature v nurture' debate.

  7. The first person to pile into Jeff was Blair McDougall.

    Earlier in the day, for reasons best known to themselves, National Collective had sent a helpful message to Blair's organisation advising them to censor the offensive remarks Better Together supporters were making about Mandela on their website.

    The venom on the site was causing some No campaigners to review their position, so it is hard to see what National Collective thought was to be gained by this approach.

    Blair's chivalrous response to this bafflingly quixotic gesture was to be the first to retweet and sling abuse at a much milder twitter post.

    When your enemy is making a mistake, don't interrupt him. Record him on If you want to be "nice" you don't need to use the material. But the occasion may present itself.

  8. Pretty sure the Kelly quote is correct, how many Rayleens can there be out there....Her old fella has put a huge tribute on his 'blog' so its clearly a family tradition.