Tag Archives: trolls

Louise Baldock and the Case of the Shoddy Speller

There was more bullying on Twitter last night than on an episode of “Glee.”

Just a quick word on the Louise Baldock brouhaha. See, I was actually a minor part of this skirmish, trying to be a voice of reason in an otherwise trivial melee.

It all started when a Labour campaigner tweeted something about the Tories, and the local Conservative Future group responded attacking his spelling.:

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Of course, Labour supporters rallied to his support, and a massive exchange began which you can read here: https://twitter.com/CameronBrownUK/status/394499685412790272

Now, I don’t support bullying, regardless of where it comes from. Especially a classic example of classism, where lack of education, poor grammar, what have you is used to discredit an opponent’s argument. This is a basic ad hominem, used to discredit working class opinions as barely worth acknowledging, unless with derision. It’s unacceptable in the 21st century, and it honestly makes the bully look more foolish than the victim. You don’t have a better counter than “oh nice spelling, mate?” Clever, you. I’m sold. Tories FTW. (This is where we should collectively roll our eyes.)

So then, Gareth Anderson, a Conservative councilor from somewhere or another, starts tweeting examples of Labour bullying of Tories. I tell him that yes, I’m equally appalled. The bully can strike from the right or the left. The victim is still left battered.

Anyway, this goes on for probably about an hour, before Louise Baldock tweets the following:

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Isn’t it just as much a logical fallacy to label the Tories the “nasty party” (not to mention trite, tired, and redundant)? Of course it is.

Louise says she has no more to say, and that’s that. I figure the conversation is over.
Well, flash forward to this evening, and Guido Fawkes has picked up the exchange. Say what you will about Guido Fawkes, but he’s pretty clever when it comes to digging up dirt on Labour. So naturally, he found an example of Louise Baldock, who criticised the Tories as elitist for bashing someone’s spelling, doing just the same. Unbelievable.

Except that it isn’t. We shouldn’t be shocked. Political discourse on both sides of the Atlantic has fallen to septic levels. British politics have typically been a bit more vitriolic than American politics, largely due to the structure of debate being more formal and restrictive in the US Congress. But this is just outrageous. Instead of attacking one another’s policies and offering their constituents a healthy debate, the Labour PPC and her Tory opponents launched into an argument that was tantamount to “I know you are, but what am I?”

No wonder Russell Brand wants a revolution.

(Note: apologies for the crude formatting. I’m having issues with WordPress this evening.)

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