Talking to toasters

An actual smart toaster. Click for article. Opens in new window/tab.

We are, in my opinion, closer to achieving the goal of Independence than we have ever been…

BtL comment on The National

Really? Closer than we were when the polls opened on Thursday 18 September 2014? Really?

My advice would be to leave the inane, vacuous platitudes to the politicians. They are well paid for making themselves appear almost as clever as street furniture.

After that, I have to wonder if there is any point in explaining the folly of the rest of your comment. Ach! I’ll give it a go!

You say support for independence is growing by the day. I have seen evidence of no such steady growth. Being a realist, what I see is polls which show an occasional upward blip, but rarely if ever beyond margin of error territory. I see polls which are at least ten points below where we might reasonably expect them to be given the very circumstances which you go on to describe.

The way you talk about it you’d think “biggest recruiting sergeant we have ever had” was a new phenomenon. But the fact is we’ve had such a Tory government for the whole of the period since the first independence referendum. When do you anticipate this recruiting effect becoming evident?

You say, “Our job in the Movement is to encourage those who are on the cusp of joining us to make that last step onto our boat.”

Do you think it helps that this boat is very plainly set on a disastrously wrong course? Do you think it helps if the larger part of the crew are so preoccupied with shouting down and shutting up those who point out the catastrophic navigation error they give the impression of being content that the boat should run onto the rocks? Do you think it helps that you’re asking people to hop aboard a doomed ship and, furthermore, to undertake NEVER to question the captain’s orders even as they hear the hull splinter beneath them on the reef?

You say we should “let the Tories and others make the mistakes”. What mistakes would those be? With my realist specs on what I see is that Boris Johnson has got, or looks set to get, everything he wanted. What have we got that wasn’t imposed on us by Boris and his gang while our government did… what? Sat back and assured us it was all good because it would drive up support for independence. Except that it hasn’t. I know why. You never will. Because you would never even consider the possibility that Nicola Sturgeon might have got it wrong despite overwhelming evidence that she has done precisely that.

What evidence? The fact that neither a new referendum nor independence is in prospect. There is probably no more deluded claim in politics right now than the imbecilic assertion that we are closer to independence than ever. And I’m including UK AND American politics in that statement!

Finally, you state that “the demand for Independence will be unstoppable”. How? When? Where is the substance to this assertion? What prevents it from being anything more than a totally empty assertion?

It seems that you have failed to notice a couple (at least!) of highly pertinent facts. Firstly, the Section 30 process cannot work without the willing and honest cooperation of the British political elite. And that cooperation is NOT going to be forthcoming on any timescale other than the geological. The assertion that Boris Johnson can’t keep on saying No is rendered ludicrous by the fact that it costs him not even an insignificant effort to say No every twenty minutes for the remainder of his time in office. At which point, the next British Prime minister takes over the effortless task of denying Scotland’s right of self-determination. So! Another empty assertion!

Secondly, Nicola Sturgeon has committed Scotland to the Section 30 process just referred to. Committed! No possibility of any change of approach. No response to concerns expressed about this approach – other than the big SHUT UP to which you seem to want to add your voice. Not even any discussion of an alternative course of action. Not Allowed!

Here’s the thing! I never publish anything that I’m not prepared to defend. If I make a statement or take a position or whatever, I will stand by it. I will argue my case. I will happily – nay eagerly! – listen to counter-arguments. For what better way to prove the worth of my position than to have it vigorously challenged. I welcome such challenges.

But I am confronted at every turn by people who make grandiose claims about Nicola Sturgeon’s ‘strategy’ while flatly refusing to defend those claims against even the mildest of scrutiny. I am constantly condemned and castigated for daring to question this strategy. But, to date, nobody – not one single person – has even attempted to explain how this ‘strategy’ can possibly take us to a new referendum and independence BEFORE the mountains melt in the sun. Or before the British state closes down all potential democratic routes to the restoration of Scotland’s rightful constitutional status.

Instead, I am offered intellect-insulting claptrap about independence never having been closer and told to stop rocking the boat – the one that’s drifting onto the rocks anyway, making a bit of rocking a rather trivial matter.

In my more despairing moments – which are many – I idly wonder whether it is more than happenstance that the depressing decline in the standard of discourse within the Yes movement has coincided with a period of rapid expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT). I find myself unable to discount the possibility that in some of my social media exchanges I might actually be interacting, all unawares, with a ‘smart’ kitchen appliance.

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10 thoughts on “Talking to toasters

  1. Awful lot of cheap toasters out there, in fact I spotted about a dozen recently at the local recycling point. Problem is that they churn these toasters out at pace but no-one ever checks later to see if they are making toast correctly. Rather, many aren’t making much toast at all and those that are we find are out of date and need an upgrade.

    I quite like this analogy btw. Works for twitter accounts too, remarkable really…


  2. “I might actually be interacting, all unawares, with a ‘smart’ kitchen appliance.”

    Surely, Iain ‘Where’s the money going to come from to finance an oil fund?” Gray, provided dispositive evidence that absence of a cerebral cortex is no impediment to advancement in Scottish politics?

    Augurs well for the future of white goods. Politics and getting into show business.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fair enough having a go at Mhairi Black here toady as well as in the National. She is big enough to take it and has a column of her own.

    But to have a go at a BTL commenter here? First of all we cannot see context and secondly if you gave us a link, some readers here would pile in BTL on the National. So rightly, you haven’t given us a link.

    Without comment on the merits or otherwise of what you do say, I think if your comments are addressed to a BTL poster in the National, then your comments should stay BTL in the National.


    1. I wasn’t having a go at the commenter. I was responding to the comment. Anybody can see the context by looking at the article. It’s only a “pile on” because you disapprove. To everybody else, it’s just folk expressing their views.

      I decide what is appropriate for publication here. You get precisely no say in the matter. My response happened to include points that reflect my views. I am perfectly entitled to express my own views, in whatever way I choose, on my own blog.

      You can learn that there is no vacancy here for a content editor and that you would not qualify if there were, or you can learn to enjoy being told to fuck the fuck off on a regular basis.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am not applying to be editor here. I’m just telling you that your decision in this instance is wrong. As an outsider. In the same way that you sometimes say that the Scottish Government is wrong.


      2. re: “You aren’t telling me anything.”

        That is ‘cos you are at 60% – ie reading writing and talking. Not thinking and listening.


  4. I had a recent conversation with my microwave oven. It was quite instructive. It’s quite intelligent, you know. The thing about microwaves is they heat things up very quickly. I was thinking of nominating it as a candidate for next year’s election.

    Liked by 1 person

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