Racist, abusive or foul language


In my last post ‘The Surveillance Party‘ I wrote about how the UK Labour Party used their ersatz SIGINT operation to exclude me from their leadership election process. I was told ‘You posted inappropriate comments on social media on 5 July 2016’, so let’s take a look at my tweets and see what might have scored as ‘racist, abusive or foul language’.

Before proceeding it’s worth noting for any readers who don’t know me personally that I don’t use Facebook, which is why I’m just looking at Twitter.


I don’t think any of my tweets that day (or any other day) were racist or could be interpreted to be racist. I do however realise that as a reasonable well off, middle class, middle aged, white, CIS guy I get to play life on the easy settings, and may not notice the hidden bias in my language; so comments welcome on where I’ve transgressed so that I can correct my behaviour going forward.

Foul language

This one is perhaps a slam dunk:


I’ve RT’d an account with a naughty word in its name, which would have been an easy hit for an analysis system with a ‘foul language’ blacklist. It may not have mattered that it wasn’t me using that word – guilty by association.


This is where we venture into the political correctness twilight zone, so I’ll tune for the most hysterical interpretations of what might cause offense and thus be interpreted as abuse…


Here’s a reply to Dick Morrell venting his anger about Brexit:


In this tweet I imply that some of the Brexit voters don’t like immigrants. I think from the media coverage that it’s a fact that many Brexit voters voted that way because they don’t like immigrants, so I’ll take that as a fact; but I recognise that people can still take offense from statements of fact, especially when they’ve aligned themselves with a group associated with the fact (whether it’s a view they hold themselves or not).

Rail unions

Here’s a complaint about the atrocious state of the South Coast main line for the last few months:


This could be taken as a jab to the Rail Maritime and Transport workers Union (RMT) and their ongoing industrial action, though that day it was just run of the mill signalling problems.


Here’s an RT of a wonderful article showing how technology (in the shape of the Apple Watch) has helped a deaf/blind person. Based on the excellent CloudCamp London presentation by Chris Lewis I repeated his point that old age will make us all disabled to some degree:


Could this somehow be interpreted as abuse of disabled people and/or old people?


This is definitely my most political tweet of the day, but it’s quite subtle in that it doesn’t directly mention Blair or Labour. My friend Justin Cormack had tweeted an FT article about a potential split in Labour along the lines of when the ‘gang of four’ split to create the Social Democratic Party (SDP). I replied:


So this is a pretty clear statement of fact. The ‘gang of four’ weren’t any of those things; but by implication I’m pretty clearly accusing the potential ‘SDP mark 2’ splitters of being:

  • neoliberal (a label which no politician ever seems to have aligned themselves with – there are no self describing neoliberals).
  • war criminal aligned – because Blair and his cronies lied to the British public to engage in an illegal war in Iraq that’s had terrible consequences here in the UK, but even more terrible consequences for Iraqis. Frankie Boyle summed it up perfectly a few weeks earlier here, and let’s not forget that the entire purpose of the #chickencoup seemed to be to derail Corbyn ahead of the publication of the Chilcot enquiry. As Blair hasn’t been found guilty of anything (and I expect he never will – at least outside of the court of public opinion) I was perhaps missing an ‘alegedly’, but 140 characters!
  • heels – according to the Oxford dictionary ‘an inconsiderate or untrustworthy man’ (informal, dated). Potentially a term of abuse, but hardly a very strong one.
  • clutching for power at any cost – because they’d rather split from the party that got them voted in than face deselection for not toeing the line from the leader elected by their party.

It takes what I expect to me more than £22 worth of analysis to pick this one apart, and anybody thinking that they’re the target of my ‘abuse’ here is almost certainly a more genuine enemy of the party than I ever will be – because they’re the ones who would split away to satisfy their own political careers.

#ChilcotReport #ChickenCoup

This RT doesn’t show up in the advanced search I linked to above, but I did RT it on 5 Jul:


It’s clearly a political tweet, but does calling some MPs ‘chickens’ count as ‘abuse’?


Along the lines of ‘rather be hanged for a sheep than a lamb’ I’m hoping that my offending tweet was the ‘SDP mark 2’ one where I call potentially splitting Blairites ‘neoliberal war criminal aligned heels clutching for power at any cost’, but knowing how this type of sausage is made I’d bet that it was the naughty word in name RT :(

One Response to “Racist, abusive or foul language”

  1. 1 The Surveillance Party | Chris Swan's Weblog

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