It would seem that I coined too soon. The Herald is reporting this morning (at least constructively) that I misread the political runes and Grant Thoms will not be standing in any by-election in Glasgow North East, as was mooted. Interestingly, however, the paper alludes to the problem of “indygalling” (though tragically, not joining me in my mission to popularise the notion):
To indygal (v.) A state experienced in the early stages of a blogger turned politician’s life when the media discovers their candid reflections on individuals or sensitive subjects on the internet, and immediately seeks to embarrass the fresh-faced politico with lurid incidences and choice examples drawn from their free flowing prose. Frequently a matter for repentance.
After all, how many politicians suddenly appear in parliament without conducting a campaign or submitting themselves to some sort of election, during which the persistent bloghounds of the press would root about in the candidates electronic rubbish?
Quoth the Herald,
“Thoms was known to have been worried that his "Tartan Hero" blog, which often dealt in religious and gay rights issues, would return to haunt him and had removed it from the internet - but traces had been retrieved by his opponents.”
That reference to so-called “gay rights” issues is a bit snide. Why should they “haunt him”, as if an occult, spectral set of opinions? Why would they, unless one was a ghastly homophobe and bigot? Why should the media concede, on any level, that any of this might be legitimate?
Indygalling, by an organic process and growth, has already ballooned in significance within a few days! How exciting. Thus, instead of the shame and sticky gloop mudpat discovery of a blog post election, making Indygal herself a paradigm case, Thoms’ alleged discomfort is probably now more paradigmatical. In the Kuhnian sense, we've already enjoyed our first paradigm shift. Indygalling is thus, the property of Indygal no more. Grant's face is the fresher. I should stress, however, that the man himself denies that he is eschewing election due to any indygalling threat or expectation, but instead because he enjoys being on Glasgow City Council:
“It is a role I love. I feel I have work still to do in that role and therefore want to continue with it." Being able to make a difference to constituents at a very local level is a rare privilege and the issues the council deals with are of the utmost importance to the people I represent. I also believe that the SNP has a great chance of taking the administration at the next council election and I want to play a part in that. I will give the successful SNP candidate my full backing and I look forward to working hard for another famous SNP by-election victory in
If, however, Thoms was a’feart about the perils of being inygalled simply on the basis suggested by the Herald, that is shocking, contemptible. As Montague Burton put it, nothing less than a smear.