MI5, the Professor and the Scottish Referendum: Did they lean on my publisher to suppress my book?

MI5 and the Professor

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One thought on “MI5, the Professor and the Scottish Referendum: Did they lean on my publisher to suppress my book?

  1. johnrobertson834 September 3, 2015 / 8:57 am

    Welsh Academic Press have denied any desire to delay the book. My reaction:
    To: Mr Drake, Welsh Academic Press (WAP)
    I won’t indulge in middle-class, dishonest, passive-aggressive language. I remain furious at my treatment by WAP. I had hoped to contribute more to the debate before the General Election earlier this year and was denied that by WAP. The editor of WAP denies any deliberate attempt to delay publication and in private exchanges scoffs at any suggestion of pressure put on him. I clearly cannot know why the book was not even near to publication in September 2015 when I had submitted the first draft in December 2014 and the editor appeared to be happy with changes to the text by February 2015. See below:
    Welsh Academic Press
    Thu 26/02/2015 07:04
    To:John Robertson;
    You replied on 26/02/2015 07:22.
    Hi John
    Have now read through the revised MS and am pleased to report that we can now put it into production. We may still require additional material and you will, naturally, see the proofs and suggest revisions yourself.

    John Robertson Sat 11/04/2015 18:22
    To: Welsh Academic Press ;
    Hi Ashley . Proofs imminent?
    John

    John Robertson Mon 13/04/2015 10:53
    To: post@welsh-academic-press.com;
    Hi Ashley
    Any progress? Getting no reply to emails for some time
    MS due end of March? Please update
    John

    ARE YOU STILL THERE!!!! PLEASE REPLY
    John Robertson Tue 14/04/2015 13:54
    To: Welsh Academic Press ;
    John Robertson

    Welsh Academic Press
    Wed 15/04/2015 09:07
    To: John Robertson;
    Hi John
    Just got back from a break in Germany and have spent a few days finishing my year-end accounts and author royalties, during which I had to ‘batten-down the hatches’, apologies for that. The bulk of the work was completed yesterday so I can now lift my head from the spreadsheets and focus on your book.

    John Robertson Wed 15/04/2015 09:10
    To: Welsh Academic Press ;
    Feared you were deid!
    ETA?

    John Robertson Mon 11/05/2015 00:55
    To: Welsh Academic Press ;
    Dear Ashley
    Are we close to publishing? Never imagined it’d take this long. Is there something you’re not telling me? Please reply
    John

    From: John Robertson [mailto:John.Robertson@uws.ac.uk]
    Sent: 12 May 2015 08:08
    To: Welsh Academic Press
    Subject: STROKE VICTIM PROF ROBERTSON!Ashley
    I had a minor stroke 3 years ago. Stress was a factor I’m finding this publishing experience stressful Your ignoring of my emails is causing anxiety Are we anywhere near publishing?
    Are you stringing me along? Do you want to cancel the contract?
    I’d be happy with that now to save my health Please reply
    Welsh Academic Press post@welsh-academic-press.com Tue 12/05/2015 17:06
    John, Not stringing you along at all. I’m also incredibly rushed at the present moment but apologies for not being as attentive as I should. For examples, I’m Chair of Governors at a school that has been given notice of an inspection in early June so I’m having to assist and support, as well as prepare for the inspection myself. In fact I have a Governors meeting tonight. I may be quite for the next 2 or 3 weeks but once the inspection, and other critical matters here are addressed, I’m really looking forward to getting your book finished and published.
    Three further emails in June, July and August 2015 were ignored and the editor WAP only alerted to developments when ‘trolled’ by my supporters a few days ago. I haven’t seen the ‘trolling’ so cannot gauge its seriousness.
    Giving WAP the benefit of the doubt, they have only been incompetent and uncaring about a writer with something very important to say. Maybe they were too soft to tell me my writing is not professional enough for a book. Now, I’ve never written a book before. There’s a good reason. In the assessment of research output in universities, rigorous anonymous peer-review by other professors in high status research journals is the measure of a research professor’s abilities. Other forms of output such as books and book chapters are often felt to be the products of a too cosy, familiar, relationship with the editor. I’ve published about thirty or so research reports including in the ‘top’ journals, European Journal of Communication, Media Culture and Society and, this year, in The International Journal of Mass Media Ethics. This does not mean I can write a ‘good book’, I accept. However, I thought that the content’s importance in its historical context would outweigh such ‘bourgeois’ concerns. I was wrong and if that was their reason you have to ask why did they accept the manuscript as near-ready in February?
    Finally, knowing well my health concerns, how could they have shown such callous disregard for me? The editor of WAP has only repeated the same excuse – ‘just back from holidays’ (apparently nearly every month) and the need to govern a local school. Just as an aside, after 20 years in teacher training, I came to realise that, like MPs, anyone who wants to be a school governor should be banned from doing so.
    In anger,
    John Robertson, September 3rd 2015

    Like

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