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Rare literal example of ‘No True Scotsman’ Fallacy

Twitter urged to bring in ‘Verified Scottish’ status

A Scottish member of the European parliament has warned that fake Scots are taking to twitter and spreading fake news.

It is unclear what led natz MEP Alyn Smith to this appalling discovery. Some suggest he first became suspicious when he realised that tweets from an Aberdeenshire businessman named Donald were in fact coming from an IP address in Washington D.C. Others speculate that his scepticism was naturally aroused when an allegedly-Scottish comic expressed more liking for the English than for the natz, which Alyn found neither Scottish nor comical. Surely it cannot be that the very disciplined natz party suspects its former leader of having too close an association with a source of twitter bots?

Whatever it was alerted him to the problem, he knows the solution:

Alyn Smith urges Twitter to bring in ‘Verified Scottish’ status.

I hate to break it to my fellow Scot, but I’m not sure Jack Dorsey is going to be too interested in this. I’m also not sure how Jack would decide who is Scottish and who is not. Scots have a great love of their country from a distance: by one definition, there are said to be 5 or 6 times as many Scots around the world as there are in Scotland. Conversely, there are English people in Scotland, some of whom immigrated from south of the Tweed quite recently. Other recent immigrants come from a greater distance – the middle east, for example. Might Twitter think it wrong to withhold Scottishness from any who claim it? And how would they assess Alyn himself, who often tweets from Strasburg or Brussels?

I suppose Twitter could always apply the reasoning they appear to use in the US, but Mr Smith had better hope it gets adapted for the Scottish domain. The algorithm “Tweet account likes English – treat it as a bot” would no doubt suit him, but an automated “Tweet account likes ‘Donald’ – treat it as a bot” might rate some of his natz colleagues as ‘fake’ – and be all the more accurate for it. 🙂

(A description of the No True Scotsman fallacy is here.)

11 comments to Rare literal example of ‘No True Scotsman’ Fallacy

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Although I had read or heard the little story about Hamish McDonald that explains the term “No True Scotsman” many times, I hadn’t taken in until I saw it on your link that it was introduced by the philosopher Anthony Flew. He was a Libertarian and wrote several pamphlets for the Libertarian Alliance.

  • George Atkisson

    I resemble that remark. My people (Clan McLeod) found it advisable to make an abrupt departure from Scotland to Ireland after the battle of Culloden. Around 1825 they again found it advisable to make an abrupt departure to the United States, settling in the Appalacians of what became East Tennessee. (We were unable to walk on flat land. One leg shorter than the other to handle Highland terrain). Having interbred with the locals we were able to move to Middle Tennessee around 1925. And here I am, proud Scots-Irish who is very glad not to be living in the land of haggis. Love the ‘pipes still.

  • very glad not to be living in the land of haggis (George Atkisson, October 26, 2018 at 3:22 am)

    Although our liberties have been cruelly restricted in many ways here in Scotland in recent years, one things has improved: I am much less often compelled to eat haggis. I still recall that sinking feeling in the stomach as the annual school Burns night approached, followed by that unpleasant taste in the mouth as I forced down enough spoonfuls of haggis to past muster, wrapping each in as much ‘bashed neeps’ as I could to dilute the flavour – not that bashed neeps were tasty but compared to haggis I almost liked them.

    Oops, I think I’ve just made twitter suspect that I’m no true scotsman. 🙂 I have a kilt, guys, honest, and a baretha, and a dirk and a sgian dubh and …

  • Sam Duncan

    The Nats slide further into self-parody by the day.

    (I rather like a spot of haggis, as it happens. Wouldn’t be seen dead in a kilt though, and don’t mind if I never hear the pipes again as long as I live.)

  • Bobby b

    One thing my Scandinavian ancestors shared with the Scots was an overwhelming desire to emigrate away from their native food. You run from haggis, we run from lutefisk.

  • neal

    Grandpa ran moonshine with Colonel Harlan Sanders in hopped up Model T Fords from the hollers to the godless heathen Yankees in Ohio.

    Liquor, fried chicken, hotrods. From the clan. You’re welcome.

  • Paul Marks

    One of the odd things about the “true Scots” who are the Nationalists is that they do not, in the main, like Scottish Culture very much – mention the Highland Games and dislike shows in their faces, and mention the novels of Sir Water Scott and they SNEER.

    The “true Scotland” they admire goes back little further than the 1960s – and is just a more extreme version of the Progressivism that hit England.

    For example, historically the big difference between England (and Wales) and Scotland was that for centuries before 1845 England and Wales had the “Poor Law” (and all the restrictions on liberty that went with it) and most of Scotland (even the largest city – Glasgow) did NOT have the Poor Law.

    Name me one Scottish National Party person who is PROUD of that basic difference between England and Scotland.

  • George Atkisson

    Paul M. –

    True. Today’s Scottish National Party would have proudly stood by the side of Edward I against that uncouth Wallace fellow.

  • One of the odd things about the “true Scots” who are the Nationalists is that they do not, in the main, like Scottish Culture very much (Paul Marks, October 26, 2018 at 8:47 pm)

    Paul, what a very understated English way of remarking that they hate it. They’re OK with modern variants in which they feel they have sympathisers (e.g. the modern Scots folk music scene has musically talented people, not all of whom are politically wise) but mocking references to real Scots (i.e. natz) as against ‘reel’ Scots (of the old-style Scottish dancing and suchlike kind) are part of natz culture. A little of this is because the English liked the old Scotland of kilts, bagpipes, dances and so on – obviously, therefore, these things are a vile plot to distract Scots from their duty to hate the English. But mainly it is an intra-Scots thing: partly class, partly geography, partly pure politics.

  • Paul Marks

    I think you are correct George Atkisson – as Edward the First was very much a Progressive in the context of his time, and no I do not like the man. Indeed had I been in the shoes of Simon de Montfort I would have killed young Edward when I had the chance (not accepted his false promises of good conduct). Once one takes up the sword against a man one has to be prepared to KILL that man – otherwise the revolt is a blood saturated farce. True Henry III was the nominal target – but it was always Edward who was the real tyrant.

    “You are an Old Whig rather than a Tory Paul – you support the rule of a landed oligarchy with a King as their puppet, not the rule of the King himself”.

    Yes if anyone who says that about me – I think they are CORRECT. I am an “Old Whig” – I do support the “landed oligarchy” (which is why I am horrified by the David Ricardo land economics that so many 19th century liberals fell into – before Frank Fetter, too late, refuted it). I do not like one-man-rule. And I do not like mob-rule either. And I much prefer a landed Aristocracy to the “Aristocracy of Pull” (as Ayn Rand put it) that we have now. People who have held land in their families for centuries and wish to pass that land on to centuries more of generations – are likely to take the long view of policy (at least the majority of them will – again I do not hold with one-man-rule as that one man could be barking mad to start with, or total power could send him barking mad).

    Niall Kilmartin.

    Thank you for explaining the matter so well Niall Kilmartin – I suspected as much, but it is good to have it spelt out in blunt (and truthful) terms.

  • Rudolph Hucker

    Cha bhiodh “True Scotsman” ann an rud sam bith eile a bharrachd air Gàidhlig.
    {translation}
    No True Scotsman would post in anything other than Gaelic.

    Damn, that doesn’t work either. The best Scots-Gaelic scholar I know of lives in England. Like most of my part of the clan that decided it preferred life in the south of England to life in the Western Isles controlled by Sassenachs from Edinburgh.

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