Monday, 22 September 2014

Cute and cuddly trolls

Well, my regular readers will know that in recent days I have attracted the odd troll (well, OK - all trolls are odd, but you know what I mean), so I thought I'd devote this post to exploring this interesting phenomenon and my views upon it...

So what is a troll?
A troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

On the other hand, you could look at it like this :

Personally I can't understand why anyone would want to be a troll, but perhaps the picture below helps to explain it?

So that's a bit clearer. The troll hides behind a veil of anonymity. Indeed trolls will point out that by blogging under a synonym, bloggers do exactly the same thing and there's some truth in that. We seek out an audience, just as the troll does. But the thing that the graphic above doesn't explain is why bloggers blog and trolls seek to destroy other people's blogs. I believe this is explained by the blogger having an opinion - with which you may or may not agree - whereas the troll has no opinions. He is perhaps devoid of the ability to express himself clearly or to form coherent arguments. Basically he is intellectually deficient and most likely harbouring deep seated feelings of resentment, paranoia and inadequacy. He is to be pitied.

So how do we deal with such creatures? Well, there are many theories. Some say ignore them thereby starving them of the attention they crave and they will move on to pastures new. Some say censor them out, delete their ravings, introduce moderation and screen all comments.

I have always believed in free speech and have tried to practice what I preach. Trolls will point out that by introducing 'comment moderation' - or censorship as I call it - I am stifling free speech and turning my blog into a forum in which only people I agree with get their comment published. There is a degree of truth in this view. My personal view is that I will not moderate comments but will tell you to sod off if I feel like it. Free speech, remember. It cuts both ways.

Not all bloggers take this view and they are perfectly at liberty to do so. The blogger owns his blog and may apply whatever rules he pleases to it. If the reader does not like this, then he is not being forced to read the blog. He can vote with his feet and go elsewhere.

So Dioclese does not moderate comments. I was accused of doing so the other day when an offensive comment from a troll was dumped into spam by the Blogger system. When I saw it in there, I immediately published it, even though I thought it was shite. See, it's that free speech thing again!

I will, however, remove spam such as advertisements and will remove stuff like a comment that just says "Cunt" 125 times over. That's not a comment, that's vandalism. And, frankly, using the cut and paste key over and over to produce such patent nonsense is tantamount to attaining sexual gratification by masturbating in a dark room where your mother can't see you. I pity you if this is how you get your rocks off.

So that's my policy on trolls, censorship and free speech and in the interests of the latter, if you don't like it then you are free to say so or simply bugger off...

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Salmond quits - WTF4?

News last night that Alex Salmond has decided to resign as Scottish First Minster and leader of the SNP has left me quite incredulous. What the hell has prompted him to make such a stupid, counterproductive and pointless decision? I might be an Englishman living in England, but such behaviour from our politicians makes me almost incandescent with rage...!

So you lost a democratically run referendum. So bloody what. Grow a pair and get over it. Cameron said last week that if the vote went against him that he would 'not fall on his sword'. Quite right too so why the hell has Salmond decided that he should? Does he despise Cameron so much that he's reacting in a fit of peek. Or perhaps in a sulk. Or a fit of petulance throwing his toys out of the pram?

You might like Oily Al or you might not - that's up to you - but one thing that you cannot deny whatever your political persuasion is that he has taken the SNP from a marginalised party to the ruling party in Scotland and that he delivered on a promise that Scotland would get a referendum on it's future in the UK. That last point is one that we should reflect on when we are looking for the Cameron to deliver the EU referendum he promised us in his last manifesto and has failed to deliver.

The man is a conviction politician. He's kept his word and delivered. Last night I was listening to the main UK party leaders starting to go back on their promises on further devolution. Miliband is already back peddling saying that a second reading of any proposed legislation cannot be guaranteed before the general election. As I predicted a few days ago, the squirming to go back on their words is already taking shape. England as well as Scotland is yet again going to be sold down the river by a bunch of conniving politicians.

To Alex Salmond I say this : You've no reason to step down. Scotland needs a man of conviction now more than ever to make sure that the Westminster creeps keep their word and deliver what was promised. 20 years at the helm might seem a long time, but FFS don't quit now while there's still work to be done...

Friday, 19 September 2014

Scotland votes No. Now what?

Well, it's all over. I sat up all night glued to the enthralling political drama unwinding and riveted to the spellbinding analysis as not a lot happened.

So the question now is what will happen next? Here's how I see it...

Scotland is going to get more powers but frankly they were going to get those anyway. They're not going to get anything extra. Business as usual.

All three party leaders pledged that Scotland would get lots of extra new stuff when they thought there was a chance of a successful Yes vote, but that's history now. They voted No and we all know what a politician's pledges are worth, don't we? After all, Cameron pledged us a referendum on the EU. We didn't get it. Clegg promised there'd be no tuition fees. We got them anyway. You see my point?

The excuse for lots of these broken promises by the coalition parties is that no party got an overall mandate so they were prevented from honouring their pledges by the other lot. So what will change in 2015 if Miliband or Cameron find themselves in another coalition with UKIP or the LibDems. Same old same old is my guess.

Even if there is a majority government after 2015, I'd bet that they break their vague promises. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for any kind of sweeping changes in Scotland. Just like I'm not holding my breath waiting for a referendum on the EU.

No, it's all over and we're back to business as usual. Miliband will likely get elected in 2015 and spend 5 years undoing all the stuff that we've been through in the last five years to crawl out of the mire created by the last Labour government. If we're lucky, there'll be another coalition to rain him in but this would have been more likely with a Yes vote so I'm not holding my breath.

And what about the SNP? Well, my guess is that they may have shot their bolt and Scotland will swing back to Labour in 2015. Salmond might well find himself no longer First Minister or may survive with a reduced majority. Time will tell.

At least he was consistent and gave it his best shot, which is more than can be said for the 3 English party leaders. Me, I'll be voting UKIP...

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Scotland decides - the real issues

Well, the day is here at last. Thanks be to God for that! Maybe now we'll get some peace from all the rampant bullshit that's been spewing out from both sides of the great Scottish referendum debate for weeks...

Will you be voting today? I won't. Mainly because I live in England so no bugger's askin' me. But I'll have my say anyway from the prospective of having no axe to grind other than the fact that I should have been asked according to the Government who thought it appalling that Crimea voted without asking the rest of Ukraine. Hypocrites!

But I digress. Here's the summary of the main party leaders' positions as I see them :

Alex Salmond : "I just want you to vote 'Yes' so we can give the Tories a good kicking. We never voted for a Tory government, so why should we be governed by them?"

Ed Miliband : "Vote 'No' because of you vote 'Yes' then I'll lose a shed load of Labour MPs and we'll be stuck with a Tory government forever. Even if I do get to be PM, I'll get kicked out in 2016 when my majority disappears."

David Cameron : "Vote 'No' so I'm not remembered as the PM who broke up the union. On the other I'd really like you to vote 'Yes' so I can stop Miliband getting my job. On the other hand... Oh, bugger it! Do what you like 'cos I'm stuffed either way!"

Nick Clegg : "Vote 'No' so that I can be seen to be keeping in with both the other party leaders and get to hold onto my job as deputy PM in the next parliament if there's another coalition."

So basically all three party leaders other than Cameron are urging you to vote their way to stuff the Tory party, whereas Cameron knows that he's stuffed whatever happens.

To the voters of Scotland today, I say that the best advice anyone has given you so far came from the Queen : "Think carefully."

But do vote - because if you don't then you've no right whatsoever to complain about the outcome whichever way it goes...