Garve Scott-Lodge's

Sorry Excuse for a Blog

An apology

06 March 2012

On Sunday it was reported in the Herald that SNP MSP Bill Walker had a history of domestic abuse. The SNP have suspended him and there will be an investigation. I strongly believe in a fair hearing for everyone, but the Herald's evidence is pretty clear. I hope the SNP expel him in due course. Domestic abuse is abhorrent.

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In the mid nineties I underwent an experience over the course of a couple of years, which I don't want to talk about.

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On Twitter I follow Carolyn Leckie, mainly because of her views on Scottish Independence, but I'm also aware of her strong support for women's rights. She tweeted:

@carolynleckie
Before anybody gets all party political over domestic abuse, remember it is perpetrated by men of all political hues and none.

My aforementioned experience has perhaps made me a little over-sensitive on this issue, so somewhat unwisely I replied:

@G4rve
...and some women too.

Carolyn didn't reply, but that's fine, I had little expectation that she would - people are busy, you can't reply to all tweets, it's perfectly OK to ignore them and mine are not often worthy of a reply anyway.

Some hours later I did see another tweet from Carolyn.

@carolynleckie
If domestic abuse isn't mainly perpetrated by men against women, why does the "women abuse too" line reflect a gendered analysis? #STOPIT

Again, unwisely, I tweeted:

@G4rve
@carolynleckie I wouldn't dream of denying the 'mainly' aspect, but other forms of domestic abuse often ignored. #STOPIT

Throughout the day though, it became clear that Carolyn and others must receive lots of tweets from people who, rightly or wrongly, they believe are trying to dilute their message or distract them from their work re violence against women by men.

Rosie Kane, whose politics I admire and whose tweets I often find funny tweeted:

@RosieMKane
@morageyrie Getting constant "happens to men too" "don't tar us all wi that brush" glad there were some "yes its terrible n needs dealt wi"
@carolynleckie
@morageyrie @rosiemkane there are the misguided and the trolls. I try to engage with the first and bump the latter! But I conserve energy...

I resolved to keep quiet for fear of being thought of as a troll.

Unfortunately my resolve was tested by a tweet from Catriona Grant.

@CatrionaGrant
@RosieMKane @morageyrie Even if it does happen to men, what about Bill Walker's 3 partners and step daughter? Empathy bypass from the troll

Again my over-sensitivity took over, and I felt strongly enough to tweet:

@G4rve
@CatrionaGrant @morageyrie @RosieMKane 'Even if' Catriona?

Rosie I think lost patience with me:

@RosieMKane
@G4rve @CatrionaGrant @morageyrie look I just wanted to discuss #VAW without caveats. There are specific issues and huge worrying stats

You'd think I'd have learnt my lesson, but no, I replied:

@G4rve
@RosieMKane @catrionagrant @morageyrie OK, but don't alienate likely supporters. I'm against Violence Against Anyone.

I received one more tweet, one which I'm extremely thankful for as it illuminated me as to what I was and had been doing.

@morageyrie
.@G4rve wins tonight's Concern Troll badge: geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Concern_troll @RosieMKane @catrionagrant

I would advise you to have a look at the link - I found it fascinating. I had no idea that I was a Concern Troll, but now that I do I'm determined to change.

So Carolyn, Rosie, Catriona and Morag, I apologise for trolling you on Sunday. I shall endeavour to avoid doing so in the future.

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I haven't been using Twitter for long, but I love the way it allows me to engage with people of all sorts of backgrounds and opinions. I've had some great debates with unionists, and even gone so far as to tweet 'fancy an argument' to folk when I'm bored. Despite a 100% failure rate in persuading any of them of my point of view I've come away from all such encounters feeling enlivened. That's not how I felt on Sunday. It's a shame, but even on Twitter it turns out there are some subjects I can't engage in.