Sunday, 22 August 2004

Stuart Dickson

Responding to a comment from Andrew Ian Dodge today, Stuart has written:

“Scots are not "caucasian". Scots come from every race in the world. To be Scots is not an ethnic qualification, it is a civic one. Exactly the same for the English. Is Naomi Campbell "caucasian", or Ashley Cole "caucasian", or Burt Kwouk "caucasian"? What a nasty little rascist Andrew Ian Dodge is.”
I suspect that Andrew is a resident of London and is likely to have noticed that not all British people are Caucasian. It is obvious, I think, that Andrew was making the point that there isn’t any real difference in the racial make up of people in the UK as a whole. Stuart seems to use the word "racist" rather too indiscriminatingly. The only thing written in over fifty comments on this thread that could conceivably be described as “racist” was Harry J’s:
“Scotland is second only to Wales in hereditary socialist tendencies,(HST) a racially linked, genetically based disorder.”
Harry subsequently pointed out that he was attempting to be humorous. I can see why those of us born in Scotland or Wales might not be too amused but we all go a bit over the top from time to time without that making us racists. For example:
"I can understand that any nation may have a Quisling or two, but for Scots to endure the bigoted insults of an American (of all people) British Unionist is surreal.

You claim to be impartial as to whether Scots regain self-government. But your opinions betray a smothering Unionism.

What a bunch of thugs you are. The many Scots who supported you in the war of independence and signed the Declaration of Independence must be turning in their graves at the monster they helped create."

And the author of those words?

Stuart Dickson!

Stuart replied to my objection as follows:

In retrospect it was certainly an error to call our US correspondent and/or his fellow countrymen various insulting adjectives. It did my arguments no help. The reason I did so is that my time to give reasoned, detailed responses to the man's flawed arguments were too limited in the last 10 days, therefore I resorted to cheap (and very quick) retorts. In future, when time is too short, I shall keep my mouth shut.
A good response, I believe.

I didn't believe that Stuart was being "racist" when he described Americans as "a bunch of thugs", but it was an unfortunate and erroneous statement. I believe that it can be legitimate to generalise about national differences. For example, generally speaking, Americans are more entrepreneurial than other nationalities (a good thing), but, generally speaking, Americans know less about other countries than do people from other places (a bad thing).

I do welcome Stuart's contributions to this blog because we need a degree of controversy and indeed more input from those who believe in Scottish independence. But can we now get away from the name-calling and return to discussing politics?


David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

Andrew Ian Dodge
Good idea David, a pity he forced such a move, but a good idea none the less.

25 August 2004, 14:36:52 GMT+01:00
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David Farrer
I have decided to withdraw Stuart's commenting rights.

25 August 2004, 10:00:48 GMT+01:00
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Stuart Dickson 
rac·ism n.  
1.The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.  
2.Discrimination or prejudice based on race. 
1: based on racial intolerance; "racist remarks" 
2: discriminatory especially on the basis of race or religion [syn: antiblack, anti-Semitic, anti-Semite(a)] 
a person with a prejudiced belief that one race is superior to others [syn: racialist] 
You do know that you are allowed to look up a dictionary yourself? You don't always need to ask someone else to do it.

24 August 2004, 22:53:02 GMT+01:00
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While we're on the definitions of words Stuart, what's a "rascist"?

24 August 2004, 22:27:31 GMT+01:00
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Stuart Dickson
Andrew Ian Dodge 
Squander Two was correct when he assumed that I never clicked on the link, so I still have no idea what Harry's Place is. 
I decided not to click on the link because after clicking on one of Squander Two's other links I was told to "Sod. Off.". Would you have been inclined to proceed to the next insult? 
I assumed that Harry's Place was a rascist site because Squander Two said: 
-"If you want to see a genuine racist, I recommend you look out for comments by WJ Phillips over at Harry's Place." 
Does it not seem reasonable to assume that this was a rascist website based upon this recommendation? 
I have still not visited Harry's Place, but my sincere apologies to Harry if I have been ill-informed as to the content of his site. 
As stated before, I actually assume the best of people unless proved otherwise. I believe that most people are not rascists, but when faced with evidence to the contrary I come to the logical conclusion.

24 August 2004, 19:29:56 GMT+01:00
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Stuart Dickson
Britishness would definitely not cease to exist post-independence. Norwegians are no longer Danish, but they are still Scandinavians!

24 August 2004, 19:14:17 GMT+01:00
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David Farrer said...

Stuart Dickson
Yes, generally speaking I do simply mean simply the people that live there. Obviously there are exceptions. Dr Murray Watson finds that although most English immigrants become New Scots or a mixture of Scots/English or British, a small proportion remain solely English in identity. (British in its highly personal and individual meaning of identity; rather than its formal, statutory sense.) 
So some people who live here never identify themselves as Scots; but choose to remain English, French, American, Pakistani or Italian. Identity is a matter for the individual to determine, not the state to dictate. 
These permanent residents who choose not to become Scots are vital for our national well-being too. 
I refer you to my previous comment: 
-"Scots are no better and no worse than any other culture: we are just a little different. We have far more in common with other cultures than we have points of differentiation. Variety is the spice of life." 
I could go further and say that variety is the spice of life, not the carbohydrate. ie underneath the topping we are all of us, all humans, fundamentally the same. 
So what are these "surface" issues that slightly differentiate the Scot from his English, Irish and Norwegian brothers? 
Slightly different geography and climate plays its part of course. 
Our traditional languages vary of course; but as you say, nearly everyone uses standard English nowadays, and far beyond the shores of the island in question. 
But the main difference, as cited earlier, is that Scotland and England are civic nations, solidly founded on institutions; not ethnic nations founded on perceived genetic, religious or linguistic differences. 
It is to these many and varied institutions that we must look for our answer. 
Very briefly, some of the differences are the foundations of law. The Roman principle in Scotland, the traditions of precedent in England. 
The democratic traditions vary too. The Scots tend to reject statutary authorities like bishops and monarchs. Remember, the monarchs were King of Scots, not King of Scotland. Subtle, but vital. 
Scotland has a tradition of tolerance. According to David Daiches, the emminent Scot and Jewish academic, Scotland is the only country in Europe with no evidence for medieval pogroms. England lacks such an accolade. 
The most important thing though is that all differences are small, and they only really matter because we believe that they matter. Scotland will only ever exist for as long as it represents something positive in the hearts and souls of the people who live there. One day, Scotland may only be a word, used to mean the slightly rockier and wetter bit in the north of England. 
I said that British can be meaningful, and a very apt example is that many black Britons much prefer to identify themselves as British than English, Scots or Welsh. Britishness would definitely not cease to exist post-independence. Norwegians are no lo

24 August 2004, 19:13:13 GMT+01:00
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Andrew Ian Dodge
You compare Harry's Place to the BNP Stuart? Are you insane? Is there anyone you don't think is a racist? (Besides yourself of course.) 
STwo, don't leave because of that arsehat. Sure he is being a troll but sooner or later he will get bored and go away. You might as well know how you are being libeled.  
Would love to see what Harry's reaction to Stuarts libel will be.

24 August 2004, 19:04:02 GMT+01:00
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Squander Two
> Now, just because you don't use the phrase "You are a Jew-hater," doesn't mean that that wasn't a clear accusation of hating Jews. 
No, but using the phrase "I don't think or mean to imply that you are a Jew-hater" makes it pretty clear. Or, at least, so one might think.  
I've not libelled you once.  

24 August 2004, 16:54:05 GMT+01:00
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David Farrer said...

Squander Two
> providing free links to racist websites like Harry's Place is unwise.  
More libel, though not aimed at me this time. You didn't click on the link, then? You've actually managed to outdo yourself: from accusing people of racism because you've misconstrued their words, you've moved on to accusing people of racism without even reading their words. Well done. 
You have repeatedly libelled and insulted me. I could, if I could be bothered, take you to court, or (as you are constantly threatening) report you to your ISP. Instead, I merely insulted you very mildly, using my own webspace, paid for by me, rather than abusing someone else's property. Don't pretend to have any moral high ground here, slanderer.  
> I am actually becoming quite fond of him, he is like my mascot. 
Grow up. 
> He hops about after me, sits on my organ, and dances and sings for buttons if I turn the handle. 
Grow up. 
> Does your wife know that you are developing an unhealthy obsession with another man? 
Grow up. 
Much as I love your blog (it is one of my favourites), I will now stop visiting it and remove the link to it from my own site. I cannot think of any sane reason to link to large amounts of libel aimed at myself. I've had plenty of dealings with persistent little trolls like Stuart in the past, and experience shows that, once they've pointedly ignored the webmaster's requests to behave themselves, there is only one effective way of dealing with them: have absolutely nothing to do with them. Life's too short to read a constant stream of insults.

24 August 2004, 16:49:07 GMT+01:00
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Stuart: when you refer to "the Scots" and "the English", do you mean anything more than "people who live in Scotland" and "people who live in England"? Whenever I travel to Scotland I don't get the feeling that I'm crossing a cultural boundary; the formal version of the language in mass usage is the same; the ancestry of the people is pretty similar (they are both overwhelmingly descended from the people who were living here when the Romans arrived and the various Germanic groups who settled here in the second half of the first millenium )and they have the same passports.

24 August 2004, 16:25:40 GMT+01:00
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Stuart Dickson
Squander "I Hate The Bloody Tories" Two, quote:- "Judaism is a religion, not a race," is a defense used regularly by Jew-haters when they are accused of racism. I don't think or mean to imply that you are a Jew-hater, Stuart; I am merely advising you of a reason why you might want to avoid that line of argument -- quite apart from its being based on a fallacy." 
Now, just because you don't use the phrase "You are a Jew-hater," doesn't mean that that wasn't a clear accusation of hating Jews. Go re-read David's post. You're on his property, so do as he tells you or go here instead: 
I have re-read David's post, and it doesn't seem to me to be an injunction to hurl accusations of racism and Jew-hating but to do so in a thinly veiled sort of a way. You are libelling me. Stop it.

24 August 2004, 16:19:36 GMT+01:00
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David Farrer said...

Stuart Dickson
Congratulations. Yours is about the most civil contribution we have had to date. I am sorry to say that, under provocation, my civil qualities are becoming strained. I started out with good intentions, as I believe my first Comment to the strand shows. 
I notice that you managed to oppose my opinions without resorting to telling me to "sod off" like Squander Two. 
In my opinion, and it is only an opinion so don't get upset, the English are not an ethnic group. If my understanding of English history is anything to go by then they are a mix of every ethnic group you could care to mention, ie. they are a civic nation and not an ethnic nation, founded on common institutions and not common DNA. 
I am not English, and I wouldn't want to dictate to English people how they should interpret their history or progress in the future. 
Although I disagree with Britain, the state, I can fully understand that sometimes British is a more useful or meaningful adjective than English.

24 August 2004, 14:53:33 GMT+01:00
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Stuart Dickson
Take my chummy advice: turn the stupid computer off, hug the cute puppy, request a foot massage, pop the tablet, and get a good ten hours sleep. You have a badly advanced case of computeritis.

24 August 2004, 14:52:49 GMT+01:00
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David Farrer said...

Stuart Dickson
Dear old Squander "I Hate The Bloody Tories" Two 
What would we do without him? 
I am actually becoming quite fond of him, he is like my mascot. He hops about after me, sits on my organ, and dances and sings for buttons if I turn the handle. 
I am afraid that Mr Two lost any claim to the moral high ground the moment he typed those two fateful words in large, bold, sans-serif typeface: "Sod. Off.". What a rude little man. See his link "go here instead" at the 21st Comment, above: 
At that moment the veil of reason fell from his fevered brow of hatred and displayed his shame for all the world to see. 
Anyway, at least he has been keeping me entertained. I actually laughed out loud at his joke: 
-"The correct term (and, oh, savour the irony as I pedantically point this out) is "anal retentive". "Anally" is an adverb, so "anally retentive" means "retentive in an anal way", which I suppose could mean "not being incontinent". 
That is a higher calibre joke than most mascots can manage, and definitely earns the reward of a large copper coin in his outstretched cap. ("It was a joke" is usually Squander Two's defence when the heat gets too hot in the kitchen.) 
Squander Two, providing free links to racist websites like Harry's Place is unwise. Are you going to start giving free advertising to the BNP homepage too? 
I have no objections to discussing immigration policy with you and your right-wing buddies. But no-one has yet put forward any coherent reason why we should be restricting the free movement of people. Perhaps my free market approach to human migration is flawed, but I have yet to hear anything from you that would persuade me to support barriers to the free movement of goods, services, capital and labour. 
There is also of course the fundamental difference between economic migration and those seeking asylum, but you right-wingers tend to just lump all immigrants into the same bundle. You really ought to stop reading the Daily Mail. 
-"We have had enough trouble with dictators who thought that their "culture" was superior to other "cultures" during the last century. I for one would prefer not to see the planet dragged into that hell again." 
That was not calling Alastair Ross a Nazi. It does alert him to the fact that it was the currency of just such opinions during the Weimar Republic that created the social conditions that allowed the rise of the Nazis. 
I am always concerned when you start using phrases like "genuinely interested" or "you are a really interesting guy." Does your wife know that you are developing an unhealthy obsession with another man? 
I have had a wee keek at your new blog. It is a masterpiece of the art. I note that you recently said that you had only had 4 hours sleep, and had trouble concentrating. 
Take my chummy advice: turn the stupid computer off, hug the cute puppy, request a foot massage, pop the tablet,

24 August 2004, 14:51:50 GMT+01:00