Tag Archives: Times

Three cheers for Rab McNeil

Robert McNeilWell played, Sir Robert of McNeil, who has apparently seen off a wealthy person who was offended at his comment that “the rich are leaving and good ruddy riddance to them”.

Carol Høgel – who hails from a place called Chicago in one of the former colonies – also referred to The Scotsman columnist as a “destructively spiteful philistine“. This is a plainly untrue as Rab is a devotee of the poet-warriors in green and white who grace this Earth under the name Hibernian Football Club. He thus demonstrates delicate artistic sensibilities that make Ovid look like Stephen Frail.

At the risk of being “spiteful”, I note that Ms Høgel is an heiress. Perhaps if she had had to make her money herself she wouldn’t have so thin a skin. In the hope that Rab can keep this up, I have sent him a list of people that I think Scotland would be better off without. Sadly, he has not replied to my pleas.

More seriously, Rab is one of the very, very few writers in Scotland who is provocative. I’m sure that rich people prefer paeons of praise – such as they might hear from desperate fundraisers after some dough – but that is not what real journalism is about. Too much of what fills our papers is tepid, timid, predictable and corporately approved.

Thank God for the Rabs of this world who remind us that proper journalism jars, surprises and – yes – offends. Let’s hope the Carol Høgels of this world see the art in that.

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