I’m very happy to apologise when I’ve gone over the ball during an exchange on social media. What I’m not happy to accept is self-important Establishment apologists blocking me on the grounds of what I might say…or, even worse, politicians deciding what I can and can’t see. We have a new outbreak of that infamous British Disease in 2016, “It couldn’t happen here”.
I went to somebody’s Twitter home page today in order to try and clarify something, and this is what greeted me:
I have never tweeted Ms Shaw, and until this morning I’d never heard of her. She appears to be a columnist writing about money issues. But what she writes and thinks – using the medium of Twitter for judgement – is not information available to me, because she has blocked me.
This seems to me, as a reasonable person, somewhat Soviet behaviour….in fact, a case of baking cakes in a hot kitchen, but not letting anyone else offer a review of the cakes. It suggests to me that, you know, maybe the cakes taste like shit if you have to ban people with functioning taste buds from being in your kitchen.
So what I’ve done is make a complaint to Twitter on this basis: surely you can’t operate in a free public medium, and ban people without reason…or on the grounds that they might say something unpleasant. Like, for example, you bake exceedingly excremental cakes.
Above all, Twitter is supposed to be about debate and free speech, not censoring me before I so much as open my mouth. This is the complaint:
And just to check all the angles, I’ve tweeted as follows with the above complaint as an attachment:
There is a genuine and serious issue of free speech here – or more exactly, “Free speech for Us but not for You”….which has a kind of familiar ring to it.
Why might Annie Shaw have blocked me based on her own cake-baking anxieties?
You’ll be astonished to learn that it seems she finds my support for the Waspi SPA reform cause somewhat seditious. Allegedly. These are some rather Coppolaesque extracts from a column she wrote at the end of last July: I’ve highlighted the moral muddle from Shaw seems to be suffering in bold…
‘Because the Waspi ask appears so vague and confused and there are so many other ideas to help 1950s women affected by the rises in state pension age occasioned by the 1995 and 2011 Pension Acts, I thought it might be helpful to spell out exactly what Waspi are campaigning for. It seems someone needs to do it since they themselves seem so reluctant to put the matter in a press release or other statement and we just hear about vague, undefined “transitional arrangements” but not what those arrangements might look like….Waspi is still protesting that people mistakenly accuse them of wanting to roll back the pension acts – but then state aims that in financial terms would do precisely that (but only for their particular group of 1950s women)…It also remains steadfastly against any sort of means testing at any level – so is in effect demanding the arrangements for the wealthiest women over the age of 60 no matter what their income is if still working, whether they have generous occupational pensions in payment or otherwise, or accrued family wealth.’
Now, were I not blocked from debate with Anne-is-Sure-I’m-an-NVE* I could have made these two points directly person to person. But her approach to Twitter leaves me with no alternative but to point out her inadequacies on my own blog – and thereby, to all 7,457 of its current regulars:
- Do tell us Annie dear what these other ideas are for 1950s born women with 4p in their purse to last the next 48 hours…..when there’s nothing in the fridge and they have nothing with which to pay the electricity bill, the Council Tax, or the Bedroom Tax. Is the best you can come up with ‘find a job’ in a deregulated jobs market suffering from acute ageism and zero hours sociopathy?
- The State Pension is not and never has been means tested. What other income or resources trusting UK citizens have is utterly, legally irrelevant. These women were promised a pension at age 60: were HM Treasury operating in the private sector, the promoters of this payout welch would all be facing prison sentences for fraud.
*An NVE is a non-violent extremist – an oxymoron beloved of Theresa May, the Oxbridge graduate moron who invented it.
I would not be quite so worked up about this issue were it not for the fact that this is the second time I’ve had this problem in the last 72 hours. The first instance involved ‘somebody’ (aka the Cabinet Office pinched goblins) who blocked all tweeters in sympathy with Christine Flanagan – a fellow Waspi supporter – after she dared to reproduce a letter from the Prime Minister on Twitter. My God and saints preserve us, how very dare Ms Flanagan take the letters of the Lady thy God Prime Minister in vain, she being somebody who – amazing as it seems – works for us?
All around us – in all social, old and new media – the cold, dead hands of the snoopers, hackers and tappers are at work. The aim is to keep us – the Sovereign People – from knowing what’s going on. As regulars here know only too well, I cleave to no political ideology…only to a philosophy that says all individual law-abiding citizens have the right to equal treatment before the Law.
1950s born Waspi women are the victims of grossly unequal treatment from an élite group using every means at its disposal to wriggle out of its responsibilities under the Law. It does so by laying the blame for its own incompetence at the door of all society’s vulnerable groups: the sick, the old, the disabled, the deserving poor and family rearers born into a more responsible and innocent age.
Only British politeness and self-indulgent opposition enables them to get away with this. Do not be deluded: at the rate we are regressing as a culture, the Brexit referendum may yet prove to be the last chance we ever get to have our will prevail.