The Scotsman’s Trolls Savage the Professor

The Scotsman’s Trolls Savage the Professor

In January, Doctor Robertson of the University of the Best of Scotland, published research on TV News coverage of the Scottish Referendum debate. It showed bias against the Yes campaign. The BBC responded quickly to rubbish the research and report the researcher to his boss, the Principal. None of the mainstream media reported the research after the BBC attack but newsnetscotland.com did and within days it had gone viral, as the young folks say.

 

Professor John Robertson of the University of the West of Scotland
Professor John Robertson of the University of the West of Scotland

In March, the now Professor Robertson was called to Holyrood to defend the research and was followed in by four heavily suited BBC chiefs who had shared the carriage with him, but not the class of travel, from Glasgow. Soon after, comedian Frankie Boyle re-tweets the link to the research to his 1.5 million followers – only 1 million, 499 thousand and 990 more readers than Robertson’s research normally attracts. Next, Noam Chomsky writes a kindly email before he comes out in favour of Scottish independence – no mention of Robertson after he taught him all about it! And then, amazingly, Steve Bell, Guardian cartoonist tells Robertson, in faux Scots, that he is a ‘fatuous nationalist dupe’ and that he can ‘stick his research on bias up his airse’ (sic).

Best of all for those who embrace Boyle’s Theory of Political Communication, the Scotsman reports on the visit to Holyrood and allows its trolls to feed on the First Minister and Professor Robertson. No apparent moderation takes place, unlike in the Herald. Unwise to the maxim ‘Don’t Feed the Trolls’, Professor Robertson jumps straight in jabbing wittily, he thinks, to left and right. A selection is offered below for the not fainthearted.

Snobbery about UBS and its professors leads off and dominates but then these are Edinburgh Trolls.

  1. HAGGIS SALMOND: Prof Brigadoon Robertson sounds like the perfect person to be trapped in a lift with. Typical gnat: Professor Robertson: That’s how my current wife got pregnant! Sure you want to go ahead?
  2. one world: Professor John Robertson -what’s his real job? What’s his qualifications? Another self styled expert in my view – a nobody. Professor Robertson: It was lot of work one world. A nobody? I’m the best known academic in Scotland – tens o thoosans o tweets and posts. What’s your job? Qualies? Any?
  3. one world: What a joke this guy is -clearly not REAL professor. Is West of Scotland a real or pretend university? Professor Robertson: I know, I failed one of your essays, didn’t I?
  4. Robmb: University of West of Scotland – that says it all. Just a long shot at getting himself some PR as career at this CFE isn’t happening. Professor Robertson UWS -Says what robmb? You’re a snob with 3rd class honours?
  5. Skiboangus: Marga, thanks for the clarification. When I was young, Professors were very far and few between and were generally extremely prestigious people. These days it seems that every tom, kim and Jane at a higher seat of learning (Paisley Tech included) seems to be a Professor. I must be just getting old. Professor Robertson: Skibo. Why so nasty? Strathclyde and Robert Gordon and Napier used to be techies before. But you’re right about one thing – I used to be working class. Zetland Primary, Grangemouth. Only professor in the scheme. You must feel sick
  6. Drumtochty: The University of the West of Scotland. I rest my case. Professor Robertson: Don’t leave your case there young man. The halls of residence are next door, by the pool, indoor bowling and the sexual health labs. Have a good time with us.
  7. Indigenous Minority: A prof from the University of the West of Scotland accusing others of being a figure of fun. Oh,the irony. Professor Robertson: Same salary as profs elsewhere. What’s your status other than indigenous (since the post ice age repopulation or later?) minority (church goer?) – now that’s ironic
  8. Vexed: Poor wee Alex 🙁 bullied again so he wheels out a tame Academic to stand up for him. What a wee cry baby he is, ‘Gees me ma poond, gee me ma poond!’. Professor Robertson: listen noo, I’m opposed to NATO, Royal Family, Trump, lowering Corporation Tax. SNP have never not once contacted me. I’ll thank you to style me ‘rogue academic’
  9. pfm58: Does Prof Robertson still do the Woodwork and Arts & Crafts classes at Paisley College of FE? Professor Robertson: I wish. I’m haunless. Are you really happy to insult the great folk that teach such classes? You come across as a bit nasty by contrast.

Some comments are just nasty but then these are Trolls.

  1. one world: Dr Robertson said: “I’ve been personally hurt by the combination of threat from a powerful institution, although there has been no horse’s head in my bed yet, abandonment by the mainstream media and by academia other than my own immediate colleagues”. Oh dear – another wee wimp complains he is bullied because we don’t agree with him. Professor Robertson:One world – wee wimp? I’m (nearly) 200lbs of heavenly joy! And I’ve been to boxing classes quite recently in 1964. ‘We don’t agree…’ So, ‘we’ includes you, all the BBC staff and university staff? Next time you stand up for yourself against a national institution with comparable resources to the BBC, let me know.
  2. Sparts: From this brief article I’ve concluded that Dr Roberston has an agenda, and is a [email protected] Basically he made the report up as he went along, when asked to substantiate his claims he refused. A liar if ever there was one. Utterly ridiculous human being. Caught out and rightly paraded in front of all his peers to see. Professor Robertson: ‘From this brief article…’. You haven’t read the report have you. If you haven’t read next week’s reading, you’re off the course…[email protected]? [email protected] doesn’t sound right. Utterly ridiculous human being? Wow, that’s a bit venomous. Is it safe to tease you? Maybe not. I’ll withdraw.

A rare fair question lies amongst the bones, flesh and slaver.

  1. Duke Flipside: “He also criticised…other academics over a lack of support.” In academia there’s this little thing called “peer review”; what it essentially means is that, if other academics don’t support the research, then the “research” is probably a load of rubbish… Professor Robertson: Great name Duke. Peer review can be ideological too. Scottish Affairs offered no criticism but would not publish till after the referendum. The superannuated career profs who have the time to referee research papers are often quite conservative in their views and act as an establishment filter

There is only one friend:

  1. John Lambies Doos: I salute you Prof Robertson. You are fighting against a machine here, one centre to the core of this corrupt British state. One that will stop at nothing to discredit you.

Professor Robertson did worry about death threats after his comments. None came but then again these are Edinburgh Trolls.

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