I am not going to start harping on about how it’s not fair and how CSA victims/survivors deserve better, and what a disgrace it all is. OK, maybe I am.
The truth is that I’ve been put off blogging since the #paedobritain fallout. I’ve been tempted to take down my blog, because I’m scared that personal information will be used against me. I put it out there in the first place because it helps me, it’s an act of defiance. But I’m asking myself what the cost might be, and have decided to stop blogging about my personal shit for the time being, until I’ve sussed things out as much as is possible, until I decide properly what risks I’m prepared to take. Although anything that could identify me has probably been screenshot already. Hey-ho.
I was going to go down the route of screen-shooting and proving stuff, and then I said to myself, no. Not going there. Anyone who’s interested can go on Topsy and follow the trails. Sniffing around Topsy is not a great way to spend your time, and I don’t like doing it, because it runs contrary to the whole idea of Twitter in the first place, to exchange ideas in the here and now. Personally I was so pissed off I couldn’t leave it alone.
In terms of the people taking part in the sorry saga, more of the actors on the one side appear to have links to the Huffington post than would be statistically expected, which is interesting.
A statistically significant number of actors on the other side of the saga seem to be in it to discredit Stephen Meesham (who may or may not merit it, I don’t know), the Waterhouse Enquiry, and random CSA survivors and campaigners. That’s also interesting.
This is a selection of methods I’ve seen used too good effects from several quarters:
Flattery and making someone a “favoured friend” (unfortunately works very well on yours truly)
Making survivors feel embarrased about “complaining” or “playing the victim” (also known as telling it like it is)
Encouraging tribalism (“our side” against “their side”)
Suggesting that every enquiry is worthless (agree most are cover-ups, but still contain valuable information)
Suggesting that all resistance is useless, nothing will ever change (agree system is rotten, but I won’t stop fighting within it and against it)
Continuing to include people’s names in twitter convos even when they’ve unfollowed or blocked someone to give impression of continued support
Continuing to quote people on blogs and on twitter when they’ve explicitly withdrawn their support for someone
Using patronising language
Using threathening language or namecalling
Changing the subject instead of answering straightforward questions
Twisting people’s words
Making mountains out of molehills
I can’t help noticing also, that whenever there’s a controversial case related to CSA, paedophile rings, ritual abuse and murder cases, satanism etc., there are virulent “pro” and “anti” groups on twitter and in the bloggosphere.
The “pro” and “anti” Meesham lobbies remind me of the “pro” and “anti” McCann campaigns. I think at times those who want to obscure the truth feed both sides of such campaigns, at the same time discrediting and drowning out those who are not part of an “organised effort”. Usefully, it’s often difficult to tell which is which. When people, like me for example, are driven to point this out, we unwittingly play into the hands of puppet-masters by helping to discredit lies and truths equally.
All it should mean when we see these “pro” and “anti” campaings, I think, is that there’s a lot of vested interest in hiding the truth. It should make us want to take a really good look and use our own judgments, rather than be put off and run away.
I’d promised myself to stay out of the “pro” and “anti” Meesham debacle, but I hate being taken for a ride. I feel let down, and I know others do too, but perhaps we shouldn’t. It’s not personal. I believe there are people driven by money, the desire for attention, the need to protect their own murky pasts, or the desire to promote the agendas of others, for reasons which can’t be fully understood at the moment.
In spite of everything I’ve just said, we could just be looking at a bunch of self-promoters, riding rough-shod over the CSA agenda. I don’t think so anymore, but I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong about people before.
I will get over this, I’ll stop taking it personally, I’ll re-saddle my horse and get back on. I’ve learned a lot, and that can only be a good thing. I’ve even learned a new word (sock-puppet) which always makes me laugh.
Twitter and the bloggosphere is not so different from real life, i.e. notoriously difficult but not impossible to navigate. It doesn’t matter if we get it wrong sometimes. It doesn’t mean we’re naïve or stupid. It’s human to want to trust people and to want them to take our sides.
We should be flattered that so much effort is put into derailing us. We must be really powerful. We must be really important.
Even sock-puppets and attention seekers can be fun to talk to. I’m going to try to stop thinking that they’re trying to steal my soul and just get on with it. I still think #paedobritain was a great idea, no matter who came up with it and why.
Let’s keep talking!