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Knowing One's Place

After 9 months traipsing, base camp for OTS is far lower than we were hoping it might be, but now we know where we stand.

Sunday, March 10, 2024
5 mins

What’s Left?

by Rab Clark

We were slightly dismayed this morning, reading the latest from Wings Over Scotland.

The chart showing market share of the top Scottish independence blogs didn’t include OTS.


But then we received a donation from ‘Vincent’ which brought our fundraiser over the £1000 milestone and now we’re all happy again.


And then we received a tweet in response to our bemoaning our non-appearance in the chart. The tweet was from Wings and he has expanded the chart to show OTS - in 10th place shonuff - with 0.25% of market share!


(7) Wings Over Scotland on X: "@offtopicscot Done! https://t.co/EiIatYd5JO" / X (twitter.com)

That gives us a solid, if toty base from which to work our way up.

The Wings post is about the interview he did with Alex Salmond (first shown yesterday morning) and contains a link to an old blogpost which we remember reading when it was published. It is hard to believe that it first appeared almost eight years ago. (We’re going to archive the piece in our OTS Scrapbook.)

Wings Over Scotland | The separation of goals

‘The vehemence of your own personal beliefs does not translate to those beliefs being shared by others. That’s a basic lesson the radical left has needed to learn for a long time, and sadly it shows no sign as yet of doing so. We can only hope that if they can’t or won’t just shut up for a bit, the electorate’s stoic total indifference to their diatribes will at least stop them from fatally damaging the indy movement until such times as another referendum might come along.’

This is the type of analysis/commentary which made Wings so popular to begin with and is as relevant now as it was then. 

It was uncomfortable reading for many back in the day and must be discomfiting for even more right now. Why? Because widely-accepted notions of what constitutes ‘right’ or ‘left’ in political discourse have changed since 2016 and will surely have shifted again before many more years have passed.

By coincidence, we watched a Tucker Carlson interview yesterday which perhaps helps illustrate the point. 

Tucker Carlson on X: "Ep. 77 The Cultural Revolution is here. Just ask Xi Van Fleet. She's lived it twice. https://t.co/5xFS0T5hA9" / X (twitter.com)

We know next to nothing about Tucker Carlson or his guest but we do know that using the words ‘cultural’ and ‘revolution’ in close proximity leads to the kind of arguments which split ‘leftist’ groups, sometimes fatally. Whether or not Mrs Van Fleet’s testimony is accurate and/or trustworthy, we just don’t know. But her warning sounds sincere and we have no obvious reason to doubt her motivation. But what of Carlson’s motivation in inviting her for an interview? Presumably, she’s highlighting something which he feels deserves attention from the huge audience he enjoys. 

Is Tucker Carlson of the ‘right’ or ‘left’?

Let’s ask Google Bard (Gemini) - ‘Tucker Carlson is regarded as on the right of the political spectrum. He's described by many as conservative, paleoconservative, or even far-right. He's known for advocating for  policies associated with the Republican party and  supporting former president Donald Trump.’

Described by ‘many’? We wonder who they are. Would they be the same people who were enraged by Carlson interviewing Vladimir Putin?

Anyway, it makes sense to categorise Carlson as ‘right’ if he’s railing against neo-Marxism. But wouldn’t mean that critics of gender ideology i.e. TERFs, are also right-wing? In which case, should most of the Scottish electorate be described correctly as ‘right’?

That is obviously nonsensical but is also, whether we like it or not, the logical terminus of assigning specific causes/ideologies to either extreme of the conventional spectrum, as if they ‘belong’ there - and only there - according to some invisible rule-book only understood by certain ‘woke’ factions.

There is no agreement on what ‘woke’ means. The etymology can be analysed, a time-line connecting shifting meanings with specific 20th century events can be constructed, some pattern may be discerned, or alleged. In any event, the arguments rage on, often distracting from the issues at hand. And that, to us, is the thrust of Wings’ latest post in which he reflects on that interview with Salmond. 

‘...we also remain convinced that the best way of winning arguments is with the truth, and that the best people to tell the truth to are people who don’t already believe it. And whether that’s Unionists or the poor gullible saps who still think the SNP are interested in delivering independence, we’re going to keep doing our best to aim our voice outside our echo chamber.’

Hear hear to that and we would struggle to think of a better mission statement for ourselves.

Is OTS ‘left’ or ‘right’?

We haven’t yet used The Political Compass but will do so and report back. We’re not sure where we stand politically in relation to other pro-independence sites but we are now, thanks to Wings, pretty clear about where we’re situated in terms of popularity.

It’s now up to readers to decide whether or not we deserve to move upwards.

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