Here are some of David’s ‘bites’:
‘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?