Savaged by David Torrance is like being savaged by…..well, whatever, it was still a bit hurtful

Here are some of David’s ‘bites’:

methodologically-questionable research’

Mr Robertson’

former academic John Robertson’

‘his “research” started from the bizarre premise’

 So as with the BBC in 2014, David has identified problems with my methodology. The BBC called it flawed’. Neither, of course, has seemed able to name the type of methodology or just why it was the wrong choice. Interestingly, in 2014, not one academic, pro or anti-independence came forward to attack my methodology. You’ll see also that David feels quite able to call my research which I genuinely thought it was at the time, research’ and has spotted a ‘bizarre’ premise which when he describes it, I agree would have been bizarre, but it’s not one I recognise ever postulating.

Notice that I’ve been reduced to ‘Mr’ and to ‘former academic’? I must admit to having largely abandoned the ‘professor’ thing with people I respect so I can’t really complain but ‘former’ rather than ‘retired’ kind of suggests something more shameful like being publicly stripped of my research epaulettes and trousers, by the Principal.

I’m reminded now of some of the trolling I got back in 2014:

‘Is Professor Robertson as real professor?

‘Is UWS a real university?’

There was worse. This was at the time when the country’s most powerful media institution had just written to the Principal of my university to accuse of bringing both the BBC and the university into disrepute by publishing ‘research’ findings based on flawed methodology and damaging to both institutions. I can’t imagine what punishment they expected or hoped for me. Within days colleagues and ‘friends’ were distancing themselves from me. Some suggested I back down and apologise to save my skin. Others came back from collaborative project visits to Pacific Quay having been warned to stay well away from me if they valued their future chances. Not one academic went public to stand up for my right to academic freed, not one. No newspaper editor did that either. Bully the BBC? Do you really think that can be done? Indeed, supposed independence supporter, Richard Walker then editor of the Sunday Herald, refused to publish my findings. It took two weeks for my Principal to tell me that he would respect my academic freedom but that UWS would not be associated with or promote my research. I suffered in those two weeks. I feared it might all be over. If I’d worked at one of the older higher-status universities, I’d have been out of the door pronto. Three months later at the age of 63 I got a personal professorship, bottom of the scale, from the University, based on thirty years of peer-reviewed publication in ‘top’ journals on topics unrelated to Scotland. I was told at the time that it had been a close call, without irony, by another recently appointed professor, appointed to the top of the scale and whose appointment allegedly based on a personal relationship with the Dean and despite a poor research profile was to lead to public scandal and a flight of top academics from the University. Some critics, of course misread things but I know I got the professorship despite my research into the Referendum coverage, not because of it.

Now, I know David suffers from outrageous trolling and I think I can see from his face (not included for any cheap laughs) that he is a sensitive soul too. So, in memory of the great Jürgen Habermas, how about dropping the cheap jibes and try to explain just why I am wrong?


22 thoughts on “Savaged by David Torrance is like being savaged by…..well, whatever, it was still a bit hurtful

  1. K1 October 31, 2016 / 4:26 pm

    I’d like to see if he has the deceny to respond John…I hae ma doots. ‘The Contorted Mr Torrance’ is renowned fur his deeply shallow analysis of all things Scotland. He’s a casually ‘cruel’ sort of bloke…these insinuations are fairly typical of those too ignorant to research their subject thoroughly before committing their witterings into the public domain.

    Remember this from a few short weeks ago now:

    He’s being getting ‘called out’ on this sort of tawdry nonsense for what seems like an age now…and yet he just continues on. You think he may be ‘sensitive’ John? Naw…he’s too vain to be a truly sensitive being, too eager to bend the truth, skew and insinuate superior knowledge of the subjects he writes about to suit his own conclusions, to be regarded as ‘sensitive’. His greatest talent is that he is so average in every way as a writer and can only produce a reaction from people by showing his complete lack of sensitivity to the finer nuances of our debate regarding Independence and now of course the BBC bias issue.

    I can only think ‘they must be worried’. Aw the ‘media’ types are circling the wagons on this one. Ah wunner why 😉


    • johnrobertson834 October 31, 2016 / 7:34 pm

      Thanks K1. I’d missed that link so good to see it. I thought he had the look of somebody who’d been bullied at school and the experience had made him sarky once he felt safe.


    • Eddie October 31, 2016 / 7:52 pm

      Does Torrance believe everything he writes. Just read his article in today’s paper and I wondered.


    • Finnmacollie October 31, 2016 / 8:42 pm

      Prof. Angry Weetabix is what your looking for….by an Angry Weetabix.


      • johnrobertson834 November 1, 2016 / 9:28 am

        I might just adopt that. Well done on spelling it correctly. How many say ‘wheatabix’ and ‘scalextrix’? Damned annoying!


  2. Clydebuilt October 31, 2016 / 9:25 pm

    Does DT believe what he writes?…. I’ve got my doubts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • johnrobertson834 November 1, 2016 / 6:33 am

      Journos are high on the list of professions favoured by psychopaths along with broadcast media professionals and worryingly for me, surgeons.


      • Alex Beveridge November 1, 2016 / 8:58 am

        Many thanks John for sharing the details of your experiences when you were at U.W.S. I actually assumed, a dangerous thing to do, that you had had the full support of your colleagues, and that was what had led to your promotion. Wrong again. Hopefully you wont need the services of the last named profession, and try to look after your health as much as possible, because your contributions to our independence cause is invaluable.

        Liked by 1 person

      • johnrobertson834 November 1, 2016 / 9:22 am

        Thanks very much Alex. Comments like yours make a big difference.

        I did get a lot of good wishes from junior staff and students. Janitors often tried to help me by walking by, appearing to be hanging from a noose. More senior staff and those connected with the BBC were changed and uncomfortable with me.


    • yesindyref2 November 1, 2016 / 12:50 pm

      He’s not happy, doesn’t want to leave the EU, doesn’t like the Westminster Tories, respects what Sturgeon is doing, a bit lost perhaps. There’s a lot of people like that I think. People’s worlds being turned upside down by Brexit.

      Liked by 1 person

      • johnrobertson834 November 2, 2016 / 6:50 am

        Yes bourgeois Unionists are now conflicted. Suddenly the SNP seem nicer folk than the right-wing Tories.


  3. yesindyref2 November 1, 2016 / 8:36 am

    Don’t be provoked John, it’s what they want, and what other pro-Indy people get often. They want to provoke a reaction and get you to discredit yourself. Don’t let them. There’s a thing called a “thalamic pause” I found in sifi many years ago – A.E. Van Vogt (null-A). Works for me 🙂 (mostly) It’s a bit of an adaption of a part of General Semantics, and appropriate for this blog, taken on by H.I. Hiyakawa in a book entitled “Language in Thought and Action”. I wish it was required reading in every school in Scotland because in one or two generations, Scotland would be immune to propaganda. And politicians!

    Keep cool, calm and collected and it turns the tables on them – for impartial observers.

    Nil carborundum.


    • johnrobertson834 November 1, 2016 / 9:26 am

      Thanks. After a mini-stroke a few years back I started telling everybody to fuck off and was reprimanded by the boss. Was sent to therapy and learned to anchor a knuckle to calming thoughts. During fraught meetings I’d notice one of my colleagues pressing my knuckle for me! I’ll try. Thanks.


      • yesindyref2 November 1, 2016 / 10:13 am

        I forgot to explain that thalamic pause thing. Basically you see something that angers you, and the natural thing is to react straight away. The thalamic pause is what it says – take a break, walk away, put your mind on something else, have a cup of tea! Then decide if you even want to react or reply. Often you don’t have to, as the posting for instance is so bad it doesn’t need a reply, it makes your point for you.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. diabloandco November 1, 2016 / 8:55 am

    A man/boy who writes unauthorised biographies without actually meeting , speaking , interviewing the subject is surely sadly wanting.

    I gave up reading the herald a few years ago , partly due to this young man and his nonsense writing though I confess to reading Ian Bell online – a sad loss as far as the once mighty Herald is concerned . It is now the diminished herald.


  5. broadbield November 1, 2016 / 5:31 pm

    @Alex Beveridge – well said, fully agree. Of course it isn’t unusual for heretics to face the wrath (or worse) of the establishment, but it’s dispiriting to see supposed practitioners of academic freedom ducking so low when the bullies get going. But then there are mortgages to pay, school fees, foreign holidays, invitations to appear on telly etc etc to think about.


  6. gu1986 November 1, 2016 / 9:11 pm

    Never realised how isolated you were Prof by your ‘colleagues’. I think it was Ian Brotherhood on ‘Wings’ described your appearance at the Parly committee sitting alone, with a sea of empty seats behind you being interrogated like a criminal. You deserve all of Scotland’s respect and gratitude for your courage in calling out the BBC. Hopefully history will honour you for honesty and bravery.


    • johnrobertson834 November 2, 2016 / 9:49 am

      Cheers. Comments like yours are lifeblood for me. To be fair, I did get support from students, the techies, the jannies and the junior teaching staff but anyone with something to lose career-wise turned the other way. Was particularly cheered by the windae-cleaner who wanted permission to print my research conclusions on the back of his bills!


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