Thursday, 5 January 2012


Kirsty at Better Nation, a leading Scottish political blog, reports that the new positivism of the SNP’s pre-referendum campaign will kill stone dead the exasperated anger and negativism of the ‘cybernats’ leaving such base tactics to the opposition.

That’s the problem with coming late to the party. First I thought; “What can she mean? And who are these cybernats?” Some of the commentary seemed to suggest they are a fiction made up by the relentlessly negative campaigning of the other side. Which would be weird.

Later, I watched both Newsnight and Newsnight Scotland. The former examined the impact and implications of Steven Lawrence’s murder on the Metropolitan Police and on the black community. There was a restrained debate between individuals from both sides of the divide in every sense; the white Former Police Commissioner, the black female member of the Metropolitan Police Authority and the black male former gang member turned youth worker. It was relevant, it was meaningful.

Newsnight Scotland debated, without irony and for 23 minutes, whether we were getting too worked up about the weather.

My initial reaction was; roll on Independence, or an independent national broadcasting body. At least then we can take our pick of global, national or local issues to report on.

Then, I thought of a poorly punctuated Facebook page about how we don’t destroy our cities because we’re too busy stabbing people that don’t support the same team as us, and thought of the echo chamber of self-righteous navel-gazing that it could so easily become, elevating non-issues to news and smugly deriding the problems we don’t have or think we can ignore.

And I thought. Cybernats. That’s me, that is.