I thought I'd be inured, having seen the heady heights of hypocrisy soared many a time in my 49 years. However, Project Fear beggars belief.
Here's essentially what happened:
1. An independent academic constitutional expert, Dr Elliot Bulmer who is well known to support independence, wrote an excellent article for The Herald: A Scottish constitution to serve the common weal which was published on 13th July 2013.
2. For that article, which must have taken some considerable hours to research and write, he was paid (at his request) a modest £100 by the Yes Scotland campaign. There is nothing remotely illegal or even untoward in that payment. The Yes Scotland campaign had no influence over the content of the article.
3. A person or persons unknown (but obviously sympathetic to Better Together) allegedly illegally hacked into the Yes Scotland e-mail system, found out about the shock-horror payment of £100, and passed that information to The Herald.
4. Blair McDougall & Better Together, the self-styled Project Fear, spent yesterday getting their sympathisers in the Herald and the Telegraph trying to stir up a stooshie and have the Scottish People Carry on Screaming about the payment of £100 for an article.
Let's think about this for a moment or two.
1. Hacked Off. Have I been in an alternative universe for the last 2 years or so? Did the obscenely expensive Leveson Enquiry not happen? Was the News of The World not shut down? Were not journalists and their private investigators not prosecuted and jailed? Was the world's biggest press baron not humbled before a parliamentary committee and the Leveson Enquiry in an attempt to save himself?
2. Cui Bono? Who benefits? All that for what some blindingly obvious Better Together sympathiser has apparently done to Yes Scotland. And yet the Unionist press was quite content to run with the illegally obtained story.
3. Moral Relativism. Do Project Fear really expect the people of Scotland to Carry on Screaming after an academic was paid a modest £100 for an article when Better Together were quite content to accept £500,000 from the financier of a Serbian War Criminal indicted at the ICTY for 68+ murders?
4. Academic Integrity. At least Dr Bulmer's academic reputation was left intact, if not enhanced by his article. Let's not forget Better Together's favourite academic, Dr Gavin Bowd. Academics make money on the side in many ways. Be it the umpteen 'think tanks', which pay Unionist academics, retired civil servants and soldiers who then go on to write propaganda articles for Project Fear, or be it those like Dr Bowd, who get their benefits in kind. In Dr Bowd's case though, his attempt to boost his book sales left his academic reputation in tatters, him a national laughing stock and the finance director of Birlinn Books probably birling in rage.
For the record I was paid a very round figure by Yes Scotland for this article. A very round figure indeed: £0.
Wings Over Scotland
The Morality of Madland.
Despatches From Madland.
Last Night in Madland.
Hacking of Yes Scotland computers an 'Assault on Democracy' says Blair Jenkins