A Rangers supporting Conservative MSP has ended up red-faced after a journalist he implied was condoning intimidation of colleagues, highlighted her own dreadful experiences at the hands of Rangers fans.
Murdo Fraser targeted journalist Angela Haggerty after she refused to join him in condemning protestors who gathered outside BBC Scotland studios during the independence referendum. Ms Haggerty instead criticised the description of protestors as ‘zoomers’ and also insisted the BBC should give the Yes movement a fair hearing.
The MSP had posted a tweet in which he had described BBC critics as “zoomers”. He also claimed protestors had been “intimidating” BBC staff.
The tweet had been in response to a headline in The National newspaper which read “New boss of BBC Scotland admits people lost faith during the indyref – and winning them back will take a lot of work”.
However his tweet was criticised by Angela Haggerty who tweeted: “Shouldn’t be a surprise that Murdo doesn’t want the BBC to do a better job on indy. We can’t have Yessers getting a fair hearing now can we.”
Ms Haggerty, who edits the Common Space, added: “Politicians like @murdo_fraser should know better than to describe voters as ‘zoomers’ for holding a different opinion to him. So divisive.”
A defiant Fraser responded by accusing the journalist of not being concerned about intimidation of fellow colleagues. He said: “Might have imagined that a journalist would be concerned about intimidation of colleagues. Oh well.”
However the Conservative MSP was left red-faced after the target of his ire drew attention to the very real intimidation she herself had endured at the hands of Rangers fans. Haggerty revealed she had been forced to call in police and the episode had led to at least one fan being sent to prison.
In a series of tweets she said: “The most threatening intimidation journalists here have faced in recent years has been from Rangers fans and I’ve fought it at every turn.”
She added: “The British nationalist Rangers contingent, however, required anti-terror police to deal with it when I was threatened
“A man was jailed for 6 months. I had an anonymous tip off about an extremist element “stalking” me, with detailed information.”
In January 2014 David Limond was convicted of sending a threatening communication aggravated by racial and religious prejudice. At the trial, the court heard a recording of Mr Limond’s Rangers Chat podcast which was broadcast on September 2012, in which a segment called “Taig of the day” featured Ms Haggerty.
The journalist, who at the time worked for business magazine The Drum, was targeted by Mr Limond after editing a book about the financial collapse of Rangers Football Club. In the podcast, Mr Limond sang a jingle in which he repeatedly described Ms Haggerty as “Taig of the day” and “scum of the day”.
A short clip from the broadcast.
He then gave listeners Ms Haggerty’s social media details and encouraged them to abuse and harass her on Twitter, prompting a stream of abusive tweets. “Hit her with everything you’ve got,” Mr Limond said on the programme. “She’s got to get bang bang bang.”
The case first came to national attention after Ms Haggerty appeared in a Channel 4 News broadcast about the intimidation of journalists and other professionals connected to the story of the financial collapse of Rangers.
Mr Limond was arrested by officers from Scotland’s counter-terrorism unit following the Channel 4 News segment.
In her response to Murdo Fraser, Ms Haggerty tweeted an image of one of Mr Fraser’s own tweets which she claimed showed the connection between Rangers fans and British nationalism.
The MSP had posted the tweet after Rangers had defeated Celtic in a Scottish Cup tie. He later complained of having received “abuse” from “folk with a Shamrock as their avatar” which he described as “good training for next season”.Views: 45902