Saturday, June 12, 2021
Thursday, June 10, 2021
All systems go: PLEASE SIGN the parliamentary petition calling for powers over broadcasting to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament
Wednesday, June 9, 2021
No, polls do not show "consistent" support for self-ID - indeed the weight of evidence is that there is overwhelming opposition to the principle of self-ID
A step forward.— Alba Loun (@LounAlba) June 9, 2021
It gives me the chance to ask whether @JamesKelly would be able and willing to critique this selection of public opinion. (I see that it features our old friends SavantaComRes.)https://t.co/3qaiON6m9P
I'm not sure there's much to say about that - if I was an unwitting member of the public and was asked that question, I would say "yes", and I wouldn't mean by that answer what Stephen Paton wants me to mean. Most people are unaware of the kitchen sink definition of transphobia.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) June 9, 2021
The article linked above has plenty more polling data that backs up my point. pic.twitter.com/2YLAn3dnL9— Stephen Paton ☀️ (@stephenpaton134) June 9, 2021
Oh I see, it's not actually a poll, it's just a selective pick-and-mix of individual results that suit you from a variety of different polls. Anyone can play that game - there are plenty enough results out there that could be woven to tell the opposite story.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) June 9, 2021
It's been pretty consistent over the past few years that polling data (and for that matter, public consultations) has returned results showing that the majority of women are supportive of trans rights, across polling companies.— Stephen Paton ☀️ (@stephenpaton134) June 9, 2021
Well, that's only true if you have a more realistic definition of "trans rights" than I suspect you actually do. On the more kitchen sink definition, there's no consistency, and as you know there have been polls showing overwhelming majorities in the opposite direction.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) June 9, 2021
By 'trans rights', I mean exactly that. Support for self-id. Support for access to single-sex spaces, etc. Supported by the majority. Repeatedly.— Stephen Paton ☀️ (@stephenpaton134) June 9, 2021
Well, on that basis your statement is untrue. There's no consistency in polls on that subject.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) June 9, 2021
The data would disagree with you on that front.— Stephen Paton ☀️ (@stephenpaton134) June 9, 2021
Note: Stephen gives preferred pronouns of they/them, so out of basic courtesy (not because of diktat from the thought police) I'm going to do my best to use those, although I do feel the need to explain what I'm doing, because it would otherwise look like a very odd use of vocabulary. I'm also inclined to wonder aloud whether there's an issue with blocking people on Twitter and still expecting them to use the pronouns you have listed on your Twitter profile.
Sigh. I don't begrudge people using the block function because I do it myself, but I defy anyone to read the above thread and say that I was being offensive. I was robust but not rude, and simply stated verifiable facts. Stephen Paton has blocked me as a result.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) June 9, 2021
Tuesday, June 8, 2021
Craig Murray, the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and one of Scotland's leading pro-independence bloggers, was today denied leave to appeal over his conviction for...well, for blogging, and his eight month jail sentence. The ostensible reason he will be sent to prison is the harm allegedly caused by threatening the anonymity of the complainers in the Alex Salmond trial. I've even seen it being argued on Twitter that it's entirely appropriate to treat Craig as the equivalent of a violent offender and to put his life at risk (he has significant health problems) because the harm caused to the women in question was on a par with a violent offence.
The most obvious response to that point is that it hasn't actually been established that any harm whatsoever has been caused to the women - no-one has credibly demonstrated that identification occurred as a result of anything Craig wrote. But some would go further and ask why the law is taking such punitive steps to protect the women at all, given that the jury in the Salmond trial didn't - or so the theory goes - believe their claims. The reality, of course, is that the jury weren't faced with a binary choice between "the defendant committed the crimes" and "the women are perjurers". They were simply asked to decide whether the charges had been proved beyond reasonable doubt, which means that the acquittal verdicts can cover a spectrum of meanings, of which the possibility that the complainers lied is only one. It's therefore not a contradiction to say that Alex Salmond is innocent in the eyes of the law and also that his accusers are not perjurers in the eyes of the law - which by extension suggests that it's not necessarily wrong for the latter to continue to enjoy some protection.
But to me the real question here is why that protection is so one-sided. As Alex Salmond is innocent, why isn't the law extending him some protection, given that it's beyond all reasonable dispute that media reporting of the trial caused infinitely more harm to his own reputation than it did to the reputation of his accusers? That's precisely the problem that Craig Murray's coverage of the trial was intended to address. It's been pointed out by a number of people that if it hadn't been for Craig's reporting of the defence evidence, they would have been none the wiser as to why Mr Salmond was actually acquitted. The coverage would have consisted of blanket reporting of the prosecution evidence, followed by a seemingly inexplicable not guilty verdict, thus creating the bogus impression that "he got off on a technicality" or whatever. Indeed, that's exactly the impression that anyone who didn't read Craig's blog was left with.
As we have a post-trial legal process that is (theoretically) giving redress to the complainers, why isn't similar redress available to Mr Salmond? Why shouldn't the media be held accountable for one-sided reporting that caused immense reputational harm? And shouldn't we look at whether it's appropriate for the complainers to have been able to continue to use the cover of anonymity to try to get Mr Salmond found guilty in the court of public opinion after he had already been found not guilty in the real court? Legal protection must surely carry responsibilities as well as rights, and shouldn't be abused with impunity.
As Craig Murray's blog was the corner of the media that came closest to redressing the disgraceful imbalance in this episode, he should really be receiving an award for outstanding journalism, rather than facing jail time.
Parfum d'obsession, the new fragrance by Abla— Mark McGeoghegan ⬋⬋⬋ (@markmcgeoghegan) June 3, 2021
At what point do we worry about failures of self-awareness? This is, after all, a chap who is so obsessed with Alba that he's been 'hilariously' substituting the party's correct name with 'Abla' each and every time he's mentioned them over the last two months - which is quite a lot. Real people, of course, not only don't find that remotely amusing, they don't even know why they're supposed to be laughing.
When your relentless attack lines are only understood by an in-group who are in on an in-joke, that's a pretty strong indication that you're on the inside of the bubble looking out, not the other way around.