It’s difficult to comment meaningfully on any of this without transgressing against at least one of Ms Leckie’s prescriptions and proscriptions.
Risking her approbation, I am moved to express once again my snorting dismissal of the patently facile notion that there is a particular and very specific way of talking to people that will tend to win them over. I grew profoundly weary of this notion during the first referendum campaign when, even in vastness of the online Yes campaign, you couldn’t move for self-appointed moderators telling you that you were saying the wrong things in the wrong manner.
I utterly reject the elitism and exclusivity inherent in the idea that there is but one voice which is appropriate and effective for the Yes campaign. The idea that people should only be allowed to engage in the debate if they comply with some endless litany of rules about language is anathema tome. Discouraging people from participating because of the way they express themselves is offensive.
Not everybody has access to the same language skills. This should not and must not disqualify them from expressing their views as they are able. The Scottish politics I hope for isn’t afraid of robust debate. The Yes movement I aspire to isn’t contemptuous of the language of the streets.
An appeal for basic fairness is no less worthy for being couched in the vernacular. A denunciation of gross injustice is no less valid for being spiced with epithets and expletives.
I will continue to speak out – with my own voice – in defence of the democratic media and I don’t give a shit how many wannabe web sheriffs I upset in the process.
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