A Week In Politics

politics

I don’t normally blog about politics.

It’s not something I feel comfortable discussing.

It’s just one of those subjects where it’s important to have a view – but there’s no winning in a debate about it. Mostly because people can get very aggressive if you don’t see things their way.

So until recently, I preferred to remain silent on the subject.

But when the lovely folks over at BritMums were looking to do a post about Scottish Independence, they asked me if I’d write the point of view of the No voter.

If indeed I am voting No (or Better Together – which is the official title of the campaign to keep us in the UK).

They already had a blogger to write a post on why she was voting Yes, and another who was in the “Undecided” camp.

Of course, everyone assumes I’d vote No because I’m English.

I’m a Geordie. But since I left the Toon aged 18 to pursue my career, and I’ve now been in Scotland for 19 years, I can honestly say that this beautiful country has been my home for the majority of my life.

And, as it happens, I am in the No camp.

But not because of where I was born – just simply because I’m not yet convinced there are proper plans in place to run the country, that we won’t be plunged into an economic crisis by politicians who don’t yet know what the hell they are doing, that our losses won’t outnumber our gains.

But there are other points of view, and if you want to read the BritMums round-up, check it out here.

I agreed to write my thoughts – fully prepared that some abuse would be coming my way. And for that reason I didn’t go back and monitor the comments which would undoubtedly be left on the post afterwards.

Until this week that is….

Stupid, I know. But I took a peek at what others were saying and ended up feeling pretty upset and angry.

Comments like “Have you heard of the white paper Donna?” and inferences that 20 years in the future my kids might be ashamed of me, left me with a bitter taste in my mouth.

I am continually amazed by those who think they’re going to turn you over to their perspective by belittling you with sarcasm or insults.

They call themselves passionate, claiming they’re entering into ‘rigorous political debate’.

I say if someone finds you offensive, you need to take a long hard look at yourself and your tone (especially when writing something down and not addressing someone face to face) – rather than banging on in the same vein.

But the two weeks of comments (none of which involved any slurs against the other two writers) left me feeling I needed a right of reply.

And so after an almost sleepless night, I typed up my response, ending with “…that’s just my point of view. An informed choice. You are welcome to make yours.”

You’ll see it, among the many comments.

It seemed I wasn’t the only one unnerved, as another blogger immediately contacted me via social media to say she’d felt uneasy and thought I was being unnecessarily attacked. She was relieved I’d responded – and thought my reply was measured under the circumstances.

Anyway, I felt better for it. And I have no regrets about taking part in this particular round-up.

The following day, I was distressed to see #WhyImVotingUkip was trending on Twitter.

Now I’m all for letting people do their own thing at the ballot box. But this was like reading that the nation was selling its soul to the devil. So I put out a tweet…..

 

ukiptweet

 

I’d been too afraid to check out the hashtag for myself, fearing another tirade of abusive messages – this time with a healthy sprinkling of racism, homophobia, xenophobia and the like mixed in.

But when other Twitterers reassured me I wouldn’t be disappointed, I took a look.

The party had naively tried to get the hashtag trending to promote themselves. But the rest of social media had hijacked it to let Ukip know what they really thought.

And if the previous day had been a political pain in the posterior, that day proved to be a political hoot, which restored my faith in mankind.

Here’s some of my favourite tweets, which had me crying with laughter at my desk:

 

ukiptweet1

ukiptweet2

ukiptweet3

ukiptweet4

ukiptweet5

ukiptweet6

ukiptweet7

ukiptweet8

ukiptweet9

ukiptweet10

 

This cheered me up no end, and the following day I went to place my vote for the Euro elections.

As I write this, there are reports coming in that Ukip have enjoyed some success down south (a better argument for Scottish Independence than any of the rants levelled at me earlier in the week!)

Only 36% turned out to vote, which made my heart sink into my boots.

But once again Twitter cheered me up, by reminding me the party isn’t as victorious as it would have us believe:

 

maguire

 

Oh and one of the more ferocious commenters on the BritMums page has come back to have another go at me.

This time, I glanced at the final paragraph of her rant, and decided from its tone that I didn’t need to read the rest. Although I did leave a comment asking her to just agree to disagree. (Who’s betting this will lead to more abuse? The woman’s like a dog with a bone).

I certainly won’t be going back over to check.

 

trolls

 

Politics. It’s a dirty old game.

 

 

 

 

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25 Thoughts on “A Week In Politics

  1. So sorry you were attacked for your views, I think that’s all wrong :( But reading this cheered up my Friday night no end :)
    looking for blue sky recently posted…What does your child need in school?My Profile

  2. Well that’s exactly what I was going to comment. People think it’s ok to troll, because that’s what happens every day at PM’s question time. They hurl abuse at each other in the name of what’s best for the country, and because they’re actually not intelligent enough to create a strong and reasoned argument. Is it any wonder the rest of the population follow suit?
    Actually Mummy… recently posted…Asthma – the cold fear insideMy Profile

    • Very true. Hardly setting an example is it? Why do we sometimes expect perfect behaviour from our children – then act so aggressively ourselves?

  3. Don’t really know a lot about politics…i am sorry.

  4. Can’t say I’m an expert myself Otilia, but you must have a view on Ukip and their pledges to reduce immigration? All their promises to keep jobs for British people makes me sick. You never see immigrants on The Jeremy Kyle Show, being shamed for claiming benefits and spending it all on drugs/alcohol. It’s our very own scumbags.
    When we lived in Jersey it was Polish and Portuguese immigrants who kept services running on the island. Many of them worked 2 or 3 jobs, and shared a small house with 3 families inside.
    Donna recently posted…A Week In PoliticsMy Profile

  5. Funniest post ever Nichola! Wish we had had more time to chat yesterday – was lovely to meet you – can’t wait for next blogger’s meet up! We’ll need to think of an excuse!
    xxx

  6. Great post.

    I’m a Yes voter, Scottish all my days and am feeling as though the world might end on September 18th. Every day, the scare stories, the media, the sabre-rattling from both sides….it’s enough to make me want to hibernate until it’s all over. It’s such a passionate thing, isn’t it? I’ve had very emotional arguements with dear friends about it. Although i’d love to go all-out ‘YES’ as a lot of people are now, I just can’t. Too much upset and emotion! Every time I put my head above the parapet, it turns into all-out warfare. People unfortunately feel like warriors behind their keyboards.
    Can’t wait to see how it all ends. Either way, it’ll be change.
    Genna Millar recently posted…Where we would have been going on holiday…#1 Port AventuraMy Profile

    • Absolutely Genna. I’m working in an office that is 50-50 between the Yes and No voters. We’ve all put our points of view – and everyone’s very passionate about it. I suppose I’d rather people felt something other than apathy, I suppose. So disappointing to see the Euro elections had a turnout of less than 40%. People can’t complain if they don’t have their say.

  7. Sorry you were attacked for your views. Freedom of speech is important!! I loved the UKIP hashtag gone wrong, totally brilliant! :D
    Emma recently posted…Silent SundayMy Profile

  8. It’s awful to see that you were attacked for voicing your opinion, what ever happened to freedom of speech and each man to their own??
    Boo Roo and Tigger Too recently posted…My Sunday Photo #SilentSundayMy Profile

  9. Oh Donna, you don’t deserve any criticism whatsoever – especially when you’ve been asked to write in order to balance out the arguments for and against in a debate! That #whyimvotingukip had me in stitches.
    Anya from Older Single Mum and The Healer recently posted…The Pluses and Minuses of our Butlins Bognor Regis Break.My Profile

  10. Oh that’s not on Donna! You have as much right to say give your reasons without being trolled like that.Shameful behaviour!
    Aly recently posted…MovingMy Profile

    • But it’s like banging your head against a brick wall with some people Aly. I had to defend myself a couple of times. Then I just thought “Oh, what’s the point?” Some people really can’t listen.

  11. Like you I sat and read that twitter hastag with tears in my eyes! How wonderful to se it completely taken over!
    As to the Scottish debater I would have the same concerns as you, I obviously don’t get to vote, but my son will – and the future of his little family is in Scotland so I hope a decision that protects them all will be made!
    Mary Keynko recently posted…52 Cook books week 20 – FIsh and chips!My Profile

    • Yep Mary. That’s all we want to achieve. Whichever way the vote goes, I hope it will be what’s best for Scotland and its people.

  12. An excellent taking over of a bad hashtag – I wish I’d seen it to follow now!

    Such a hard thing, getting points across on social media. I’m all for free speech and if someone wants to shout to the world that they are voting ukip – as much as that’s so far removed from my own thoughts, I do think ‘good on you for standing up and saying ‘I believe in this’. It’s when other people respond nastily that upsets me, one of the downfalls of social media is it’s just like you are talking only the tone and context is removed leaving some polite but blunt comments sounding really nasty. Tough one…
    Mammasaurus recently posted…Ultimate Tasty Burger RecipeMy Profile

  13. That’s true Annie. There’s also the issue that people are a lot braver on social media than they are in person – and say things they wouldn’t DARE say to your face.

  14. I hate when people run out if argument so result to personal slurs – glad you are strong enough not to let them get to you.

    I missed the tweets so thank you for sharing those :)
    Pinkoddy recently posted…Light at the end of the TunnelMy Profile

    • I suppose it’s good that people care so much about politics. I just hate the fact they can’t respect others who have come to difference conclusions.

  15. Pingback: What I learned from the Independence Referendum

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