Blocking out different views…

A belated Happy New Year, dear readers! And thank you for remaining true to this blog. I must apologise for not having written much lately. So we missed the Christmas season in Scotland and Hogmanay which doubtlessly is the world’s biggest open air party. If you don’t know it, you are very welcome to look forward to the end of this year as I promise to explain more then. 🙂

But for the time being, let’s have a look at the current mood in Scotland. I’ll be over again next week, so I can confirm or deny what I’m reading and hearing about it currently. But all told, there are three parts:
1. the eternal Yessers who talk about a “next” referendum and what they “will” change in Scotland afterwards
2. unionists who stress their “victory” and how incorrigible/unreasonable/undemocratic Yessers are
3. people who are increasingly annoyed by the first two and want to go on

The first two have in common that they tend to talk about “we/us/our” versus”they/their/them” as if two different kinds of Scottish people existed: the ones who share their opinion and the ones who don’t. And both behave exactly like this and judge everyone who questions their views. I’m speaking from my own Twitter experience, sadly. Around Christmas, I asked a unionist lady why she was campaigning to stay strong against “them” now that “we won” and reminded her of the fact that the campaign she was supporting (apart from the fact that the referendum and its campaigns are past and gone…) was named Better Together and why she didn’t show a bit more effort to stay better together with people of different views. The answer didn’t contain any explanations, but she called me a “nationalist from Germany”. Which is quite an insult for every person with a certain historical sensitivity.

Likewisely I’ve got a kind of prejudiced label by a guy who’s rather a Yesser and stuck up for the poor and the weak. I noticed a really nice pic of a street in Glasgow with a festive illumination and asked why a city or a country which is said to have poverty problems and a rising number of food banks can afford the electricity costs for such an opulent lighting and why people don’t rail against that kind of waste. The answer was a pissed “fuck off”. Well. Not an affront of the “nationalist” kind at least.

Surprisingly I didn’t get blocked by none of these two. Blocking people namely is le dernier cri in Scotland when talking of social communities and especially Twitter. And it’s more than just a trend, it becomes an odd kind of competition more and more. I must admit that I don’t really care who blocks me as I consider it behaviour of a child in the terrible twos; I only block people who have commercial profiles and annoy me with non-stop-advertisement. But unionists are kind of proud when they get blocked by separatist figureheads like FM Nicola Sturgeon or several SNP-MPs, while Yessers consider it a walkover when they get blocked by No-activists. I get the impression that Yessers block more than unionists though, but I haven’t found any statistics.

What’s left? The third part, all annoyed persons who certainly have their own opinion but don’t grimly fight for what they consider their right. Most of these people don’t say anything at all to avoid getting unjustifiedly labelled; where’s the free speech going to…? And two sides which increasingly block out different views and concentrate on what they think. But, and that’s the crucial questions, how can they know they are right if they don’t consider possible alternatives? Not the best attitude when it comes to leading a country to a better future with more fairness and togetherness. Think about the last word in particular: togetherness…

©Maria Pakura

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