Demand more from your Yes Press…or maybe less?

A Guest Post by That Burd Fae Yer Grans Bit

Whether your chosen hashtag is IndyRef2, ScotRef, LokiAndJKRowlingsReunionTour, TommyAndGailWhereAreTheyNow or NatalieMcGarrysSupermarketSweep, I’ve been told it’s mibby, mibby not but probably happening.


And is it no just precious, blissful, tenner eccies how we’ve got two real printed papers that are big enough, bold enough, nat enough to make sure your Yes Scotland gets the vital, fair and solid journalism we deserve?

Aye, it’s everyone’s favourite pro-indy pizza crunch wrapper: Yer Herald (well, on a Sunday) and its sister or wean or aunty’s best pal: The National.  The answer is: no really.  The takes are getting hotter and it seems our darling yes-press is long overdue for a slagging round up.   I’ve read them (a bit) so you don’t have to and here’s your grim lowlights.

3.   Starting us off at number three is Angela Haggerty’s twitter beef: the long read.  Brought to us by Yer Herald.

A lot of the article is about how ‘stunned’ Haggerty is that her tweet of solidarity to a Black woman who’d just re-activated after being hounded off twitter by hunners of racists, was met with little more than a swift block.  Here, “solidarity” looked awfy like making sure the woman knew that Haggerty had experienced racism too.

Now I’ve sure as Sevco not come here to say that the experience of Irish immigrants in Scotland was anything other than ‘shameful’, as Haggerty says.  I have, but, come here to say that when she suggested to a Black woman that their experiences were, well, kind of the same, I’m not surprised (never mind ‘utterly perplexed’) she didn’t get a thanks.

Something me & Ange agree on…

Bearing in mind it’s never been confirmed or denied whether this blog is in fact, guilty as charged, of being run “almost entirely by persons of Irish descent” (read: I don’t like what you’re saying so you must be Irish), the ‘strong threads’ of anti-Irish discrimination and sectarianism Haggerty identifies throughout her article as still existing today, absolutely do.  Some of it has been talked about on this blog before, too.

I’m an avid reader of all things ATF and also, from Glasgow, so I know there will be more than ten of you who’ve already stopped reading and got fired right into the comments section because I might suggest something about anti-Irish ‘racism’ you don’t want to hear.  Those of you who are still with me but choking to go for it, find a good pal who’s always game to hold you back when it counts.  This entry will be over in a few minutes, and there’s better (worse?) to come.


But here, and this bit’s important: white people are still white even when they’re white and Irish.  So unless the Irish people you’re talking about are Irish people of colour, you’re using the wrong word. Discrimination, sectarianism, yes – and with such a charged history when you’re talking about anti-Irish sentiment, ‘xenophobia’ doesn’t really capture it either, I get that.  But so we’re clear, I mean racism, as in the system of racial hierarchy, in which all white people (aye, I said all white people) benefit in various ways from the oppression of people of colour.  Everywhere, all the time.

So when Haggerty and a Black woman are navigating their way around, let’s say, Scotland – its institutions, its structures, its health services, its late as fuck trains, its top (and bottom) decks of pish-ridden buses, its criminal justice system (more on this in a minute) and its club nights that reward blackface – their experiences are really, really, very different.  No danger.

There’s something to be said about how a big part of Haggerty’s disbelief that her experience of ‘racism’ is controversial terminology is because it was once prosecuted as such.  Aw, wait, the police and the courts say so?  Hold my vape so I can go check with the most racist institution of all the racist institutions what gets to qualify as racism and what misses the mark.

Some of you might have noticed I’ve not directly named the woman guilty of Shocking And Blocking in the first degree.  That’s because I think the Herald does that more than enough already and let’s not forget this was meant to have started with outrage and empathy that she’d just endured a racist twitter pile-on.  In the interest of not giving indirect haunners to shite like that, I’ve not named her because it isn’t necessary.

Having said that, it’s not unnecessary – in fact it’s really fucking important – to mention that the woman who did the blocking and inspired our first-entry isn’t at all adverse to dedicating her blog posts to Julie Bindel.  Now Haggerty might have slept on an opportunity to call out transphobia in Scotland, but when she sleeps, I’m up vaping…

2.   Wings in The National

Having done extensive research in the run up to this post (I searched for him on twitter) it’s fair to say there’s a already a lot of people who don’t need convincing The National’s decision to showcase this weekly wanker‘s work was a piss poor one.

He might have used this platform to suggest The Celtic have too much money before making fun of Glasgow’s only other noteable side, Thistle, but he was already well on his way to the Bad Fire in my books for far more important reasons.  Like being a transphobe.

His previous defiant transphobia (not to mention this recent homophobic tweet about David Mundell’s son) wasn’t enough to put The National off having him sitting no so pretty in their by-line.  He also chose to include two football references – which reminded me and a lot of other people (but apparently not his editor) about what he once had to say on the victim’s of the Hillsborough disaster.

I hate giving him wordspace as much as I wish they did over it Yes-Press HQ – but he still makes it into this post because his article still made it in to there.

Safely securing a very shiny Runner Up medal in this round up means Wings now has another piece of ATF not silverware he can add to his not that modest collection.

1.   Here to dutifully complete our hat trick of takes I didn’t want – something about how he’s the envy of all his friends he can’t possibly have* – is Iain MacWhirter.

[*He appears to have found a pal, guess who?]

It’s either long term deja-vu or satan’s turned the heat up in oor personal hell because here we are again reading damaging, dangerous and creepy as fuck commentary about what domestic abuse is and isn’t from people who don’t seem to… actually know.

One more time, for the record, coercive control is not: rugby coaches motivational techniques, Old Maw MacWhirter’s wonderfully controlling character or, ever, a form of sexual foreplay.  And, here, if Iain is as clueless as his article suggests about what is acceptable behaviour and what is abusive – I hope everyone near him is giving him a wide fucking berth, starting tomorrow.

Most of what he writes is about how blurry and hard to pin down coercive control is, and how that means, obviously, the legislation is probably pointless.  I’m no sure about anyone else, but I’m not one bit surprised MacWhirter’s angle was: uncertainty.  Or that he seemed to include a fair bit about how understanding domestic abuse is a near impossible task.  That’s what happens when you go looking for relevant takes in not so relevant places.

He has backtracked a bit since, in light of the release of an Open Letter criticising the tone and content of the article  And who’d have guessed it (me, I would have guessed it), he got a bit of back up from Angela Haggerty.  You’ll mibby remember her from places like… just there the now, earlier on in this post.  As the stars align in ATF’s favour, I’m near tripping myself up trying to write this in real time.  Wings mate, you anything to add?  Sorry.  Too far.

MacWhirter can clarify and Haggerty can defend his right to do so until Clint Hill retires – the problem is there seems to be a bigger issue here about whose ‘expertise’ is called upon and when.  Because I’m noticing a pattern where usual requirements for big scale commentary and hunners of word space on a national platform – like having actual basic knowledge of the topic you’re writing about and, I don’t know, mibby some relevant experience – aren’t actually required when it comes to certain areas.

If anyone it the Herald’s reading this, I’ve got a hot take or ten about the future of the vineyard landscape in France.  Have I ever been to France?  No.  Ever worked in a vineyard?  Nope.  Know what a vineyard is meant to look like? Grapes.  Wanty hire me?  But make sure my desk is really far away from Iain’s.

But here, whenever you’re good and ready to find out like, what coercive control actually is (and how important this legislation could be) – gies a shout.  We’ll point you in the direction of that endless queue of people who might know more about it than a guy who can’t tell domestic abuse from ‘passive aggression’.

That queue, by the way, would be made up of survivors and survivor led organisations, people who worked for the legislation, people who helped shape it, and generally countless other people who are not Iain MacWhirter.  Take your time, you can ignore them all you like but they’ll no be going away any time soon.

That’s yer lot.  Commiserations to all of the other stuff I found and had a problem with that didn’t make the cut.  Don’t worry, it’s been bookmarked and there’s always time, possibly about 4 more years.  As much as this might have felt like a competitive effort to piss off as many people as possible in one gallus go, it’s important to say that wasn’t the (only) point.  Pulling people, papers and even your pals up when they run with potentially harmful takes matters. And that doesn’t change just because the place they might be running towards is an Independent Scotland –  if anything, it matters even more.


Further reading:

Loki’s views on domestic abuse are dangerous – and not “taboo” at all

Last Orders for the Lodge?

Weekly Wanker #050: Robin McAlpine

Fash for Indy? Leading far right figure says he will be “backing Scottish independence 100%”


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2 responses to “Demand more from your Yes Press…or maybe less?

  1. Angela’s “Aye but I totally know what it’s like to be black, coz of my irish ancestry” was unbelievably cringey and lacking in self-awareness.

    I’ve seen carbon copies of this shit thousands of times before in a particular vein-

    ALL lives matter bruh- my great^5…etc grandpappy was brought over as a slave*! the irish were the first slaves*! I got on OK, I don’t know why all those black people are complaining!

    Even when trying to be *supportive* this is just so hugely patronising

    *indentured servants were not chattel slaves

  2. I know this article is old, but I just found your site and I’m so relieved I did. The past few days have been super eye opening for me as someone who campaigns for independence, especially in light of the Salmond story that broke a few days ago.

    Large parts of the indy movement have proper exposed themselves as homophobic sexists who will reach to the point of injury to defend prominent yessers (I’ve only found out about this in the last week or so with regards to how many of the bloggers etc are -sorry for my language- fucking zoomers) because “they’re on our side”. They love to preach about progressive values and inclusion but when push comes to shove, they’re just as bammy as the unionists and tories they condemn on social media. If you dare call anyone out for being problematic or criticize them you get hounded, abused, made fun of and generally discredited.

    I’m glad I found athousandflowers. I really relate to a lot of what yous say about feeling alienated and having no place within the yes movement and the left in Scottish politics. This has certainly been my own personal experience. I was naive and wrong about a lot of things with regard to the movement until I learnt to know better, and floating about a couple of these groups on social media for the past few months (I initially joined to see if I could help organize or get involved in any kind of way, lmao biiiiig mistake) and learned how toxic things are at the moment, especially if you’re not a white straight man, despite the circle jerk of “we’re so amazing and progressive”.

    The reality is, they don’t give a single fuck about demanding better from prominent people within the movement, because it means acknowledging that they too agree with the sentiments shared by the likes of WoS and other space cadets that people seem to think are untouchable because they have a blog and a few thousand twitter followers.

    Sorry for ranting in the comments of an article that’s over a year old. It’s just nice to know my experiences aren’t isolated or my own fault for daring to stand up for what’s right.

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