Cybernats are a dark presence within the independence movement

It’s never pleasant to describe a fellow being as a bully.

The definition of one is ‘a person who habitually seeks to harm or intimidate those whom they perceive as vulnerable.’

When you line that definition up with the behaviour of a vast array of Scottish Nationalists lurking on Twitter, it’s all too evident that there is a disgusting tumour within the independence movement in the form of idiotic nationalism. These so-called ‘proud Scots’ adopt the mindset that if you aren’t with us (pro-independence), then you must be against us.

During the 2014 referendum campaign, many celebrities came out in support of both sides. Supporting the Yes vote, you had the likes of Sean Connery, Alan Cumming and Gerard Butler. Meanwhile, coming in support for the ‘No Thanks’ crowd were Steve Coogan, Judi Dench, Emma Thompson, JK Rowling and the late, great, David Bowie.

Now, it shouldn’t matter what side of the debate you find yourself on – being persecuted for simply believing in a different vision for one’s own nation (the United Kingdom) does not warrant a tirade of abuse.

But these Scottish Nationalist Twitter trolls, otherwise known as Cybernats, seem to think the exact opposite.

Some of the Cybernats’ victims include:

  • In 2013, media sources had reported that Sir Chris Hoy, who had publicly backed unionism, had been subject to online abuse for expressing his support.
  • The Daily Telegraph reported in March 2014 that a retired soldier had received some abusive messages from Cybernats, after SNP politician Roseanna Cunningham posted a message on Twitter showing a letter from the soldier asking for donations to Better Together.
  • In June 2014, the author JK Rowling was subjected to online abuse by Cybernats after donating to Better Together.
  • On 11th January 2016, the Daily Mirror reported that ‘Scottish nationalist trolls took to social media to celebrate the death of “foreign unionist” David Bowie’.

Among those to attack Bowie were Yes supporter John Harvey, from Dundee, who wrote: “Rip Bowie I telt you no to get involved in politics ya no voting c*** womble.”

While Shelley Detlefsen wrote on a Facebook post: “They say he got diagnosed 18 months ago. Maybe unionism gives you cancer?”

I’ve had my fair share of beratement from the IndyRef2 lot. However, it has not been anywhere close to the treatment to which these Cybernats have subjected many a Unionist supporter. They’ve previously hit out at me on the basis that I couldn’t possibly have an opinion on the issue of independence, based on the fact that I was born in England, live in England and sound English.

Yes, the more eagle-eyed amongst you will pick up on the fact that does indeed make me English. Well… to some extent, I do agree with you. However, I’m a firm believer that your national identity is more about where you are socialised than your place of birth.

These Cybernats may not be a complete representation of the independence movement in Scotland, but the sad truth is they are an uncontrollable result of what the SNP has been stirring up since 2011. The type of campaign that Alex Salmond, in particular, tried to run and to some extent still does today, with his RT chat show, is a populist cry for freedom.

For as long as he, Nicola Sturgeon and the rest of their SNP chums are sitting cosily within Holyrood, there will be a Scottish government that plays the victim, the prisoner and the agitator. But they should be careful, as playing populist games like these will only backfire, especially when there very well could be a campaign to come in the not so distant future whose sole aim is to expose their track record in government, the lies, the deceit and the inevitable broken promises in their dream for independence.

Oh yeah, as well as unmasking those Cybernats who deem it necessary to habitually seek harm and intimidate those whom they perceive as vulnerable.

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