KNOWING THAT you’re being surveilled, investigated or spied upon is the subject of dystopian nightmares. Knowing that the people doing the surveilling are politically motivated and view you as the “enemy”, to be treated with “merciless contempt”, is worse than suffering nightmares – it’s the reality currently being faced by No supporters in modern day pre-referendum Scotland. AhDinnaeKen investigates:
A lovely couple. Dr Morag Kerr (left) and Stuart Campbell (right) share sweet somethings pre-indy rally last year. Rumour has it that they had to beat off would be paramours with a big stick en route to Calton Hill. AhDinnaeKen readers can relax however – they’re not married.
By Creepias Phuck
“I’M JUST curious to know where he lives so I can metaphorically stick two fingers up at the place.” said Dr Morag Kerr in the comments section of the Wings Over Scotland blog site earlier this year.
The target of her curiousity was Keith Howell, an indy-ref No supporter keen to hold the Scottish Government to account for alleged inappropriate use of government funds. Mr Howell claimed the current Holyrood SNP incumbents have misused public money to promote the “SNP manifesto” and “propaganda” document also known as the White Paper.
So keen was Mr Howell to pursue and publicise this claim that he’d paid for a full page ad in free newspaper, the Metro.
The timing of the ad proved to be unfortunate. It coincided with the removal of a Wings Over Scotland political poster the previous day from the Glasgow underground.
Howell became the focus and target of Campbell’s othering and hate preaching blame game. In a Wings blog entitled, ‘Ironic timing’ Campbell’s cabal of cultish followers swallowed the ‘hate ritual‘ bait and waded in to their perceived “enemy” with “merciless contempt”.
Dr Morag Kerr, Campbell’s self confessed No.1 fan – she claims he is a “genius” – took it upon herself to track Howell down for her metaphorical master and posted the results on the Wings Over Scotland comments section.
Relying on her forensic analysis and evidence gathering skills, she provided not only Mr Howell’s address and postcode but also supplied explicit directions on how to find his property.
So incensed was Dr Kerr by Howell’s transgression against the indy holy grail, that she took it further. She furnished details on the value of Howell’s home, landmarks associated with it, the history of the area, speculated on potential business use, the area of land surrounding the house and suggested courses of action to be taken against the indy-ref transgressor.
The address details were eventually redacted by Campbell – for undisclosed reasons – but not before several days/weeks had passed. And, of course, the job/damage was done by then. Howell and his wife found themselves both intimidated and shaken by the online activities of Campbell and Kerr.
At least some of the Wangers have a sense of how such actions appear to a wider, saner, world.
Mr Howell said: “After I found myself in the crosshairs of Wings Over Scotland, my wife and I had a few sleepless nights after directions to our house were circulated amongst the followers of this site amidst a mini tirade of abuse and intimidation.“
The irony and hypocrisy highlighted by this unfortunate incident was that both Campbell and Kerr at one time have had the same thing inflicted upon them.
And neither, understandably, liked it one bit.
Campbell’s name, address, tel. number and email address were all made public by Benchmark Reviews in response to alleged “personal threats” aimed at the Benchmark site’s editor by Campbell.
These details were made publicly available to anyone with a web browser until shortly after the Daily Record published an exposé of Campbell’s Hillsborough and anti-transsexual comments last year.
Campbell speculated that the Benchmark action ie in publishing his personal details, was for the purpose of “implicitly inviting people to harass me or worse.”
Nowhere, however, in the Wings thread where Dr Kerr ‘outs’ Keith Howell does Campbell step in and say ‘that’s enough, your action could be viewed as an implicit invitation for people to harass Mr Howell or worse’.
So called ‘alert readers’ can make up their own minds over what that tells them about Campbell and his peculiar interpretation of “professional journalism” or political campaigning.
Dr Morag Kerr, who is a bona fide conspiracy theorist also had her address and identity details made public at one stage. It followed the public exposure of her ‘operational’ conspiracy theory pseudonym, “Rolfe” by someone who opposed her views on the Lockerbie bombing.
A fellow conspiracy theorist of Kerr’s, writing on a website dedicated to the subject of Lockerbie, attacked the revelation, he said:
“Also, can you briefly explain what you intended to achieve sharing “Rolfe”‘s personal details recently? What consequence can that possibly have on any quest for the truth? Do you suspect she’s MI6 or something? Because you’d show that with something other than ‘hey, as soon as I know someone’s name I can startle and sort of threaten them with their own personal details.’
“You can try it against me if it gives you a rush. I’m immune. So what was that about? Makes you seem like an absolute loon, you know.”
In both instances the purpose of publishing the recipients personal details is clear. It’s implemented in order to threaten, harass and intimidate the subject of the exposure.
Given what happened to her, it takes Kerr’s exposure of Howell’s details beyond heinous and places them into the well established technical category of “creepy as f**k”.
In the first of AhDinnaeKen’s “creepy as f**k” series, we* covered Campbell’s coordinated surveillance operation against Better Together leafletters in February this year and contrasted it with the operational modus of the Stasi in Eastern Germany.
The Stasi had a strategy known as Zersetzung – a psychological term literally meaning decomposition. Zersetzung was intended to psychologically destroy opponents of the authoritarian East German regime.
No matter which side of the indy dividing line you sit on and no matter what you think of your opponents, such intimdidatory actions must be exposed and condemned for what they are – attacks on the foundations of free speech and democracy.
Mr Howell, right or wrong about the White Paper, has the right to enjoy his personal freedoms as much as any man or woman in Scotland.
For a set period, Mr Howell was denied this by the Zersetzung implemented by Wings Over Scotland and its number one fan, Dr Morag Kerr.
That the SNP hierarchy remain silent on such actions while, for example, praising Campbell’s Wee Blue Book as a “must read”, or his website as “spectacular” reflects terribly on the type of post-indy future it depicts for ‘ordinary’ Scottish citizens.
It makes the Declaration of Independence look like the White Paper, apparently.
In effect, it’s saying,’support the Nationalists and you’ll be alright Jock: Question them and you can expect to be named, shamed and intimidated into silence.
Is this type of surveillance and intimidation “operation” what Campbell meant when he said:
“Scotland still has a chance to escape and set an example of a better way, and anyone threatening that must be regarded with merciless contempt, for the sake of everyone who lives on these islands.” – Wings Over Scotland, Nov 2012.
It sounds eerily similar to the tone and message behind this chilling statement:
“Now that the German worker had rediscovered the road to nationhood, it ought to have been the duty of any Government which had the care of the people in its keeping, to take this opportunity of mercilessly rooting out everything that was opposed to the national spirit.” – Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf 1925.
History showed us what such Nationalist sentiments of mercilessness can lead to.
The Nationalist hierarchy’s silence over Wings Over Scotland’s “operations” is deafeningly sinister.
Dr Morag Kerr was a SNP vetted candidate for a seat at the Scottish Borders Council, Tweeddale West by-election in Oct 2013.
Howell’s complaint aimed at the Scottish Government is potentially embarrassing for the Scottish Civil Service and the Firstminster.
Kerr and Campbell’s tactics were nothing short of a concerted and sustained attempt at silencing Howell’s perceived dissent through intimidation.
Are Kerr and Campbell the type of people you want to have influence in an independent Scotland?
Answers in green crayola crayon to Firstminster Salmond, Bute House, Edinburgh, Scotland.