A revelation from Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, that she self-harmed as a teenager, was a “calculated move” a BBC Scotland media expert has said.
Speaking on the John Beattie Show, Eamonn O’Neil said he had sympathy for Davidson’s experiences, but said: “I can’t help but think this was a calculated move by her in media terms over the weekend, both giving interviews on one hand and then the other thing of rolling her sleeve up and revealing these scars.”
O’Neil also suggested Davidson knew she would receive sympathy and praise from the main stream media given her past employment with the BBC. He added: “Ruth Davidson worked in the BBC, Ruth Davidson knows how the system works.”
The comments followed days of sympathetic media coverage after the Scottish Conservative MSP revealed she had once self-harmed. Speaking to the Times newspaper, Davidson also spoke of her excessive drinking and depression.
The ‘calculated move’ remarks from O’Neil are the first to appear on a main stream media outlet. Scottish journalists and commentators have thus far been united in commending Davidson’s apparent bravery.
However many social media users have cast doubt on the Tory MSP’s motives with some echoing O’Neil’s remarks. Many questioned why the MSP had waited until she had a book to sell before highlighting her past issues.
A poll by this site’s twitter account revealed a staggering ninety seven per cent of respondents believed Davidson’s self-harm revelations were calculated.
Fellow guest on the Beattie show, Stuart Cosgrove, also highlighted Davidson’s reluctance to face questions on controversial issues accusing the Scottish Conservative leader of “evading and avoiding interviews” and “seeking publicity” when it suits her.
In her Sunday Times interview Davidson also spoke of drinking “far, far too much” when younger and linked it to depression she had suffered.
She told the newspaper she had since moderated her alcohol intake.
However tweets posted by the MSP in 2016, whilst an MSP, showed empty beer, wine and spirit bottles she and friends had apaprently drunk that New Year.
The images were accompained by messages that made light of the amount of alcohol consumed.
Since becoming leader of the Scottish Conservative party, Ruth Davidson has been subjected to very little media scrutiny. Notorious for making a series of political U-turns on a range of political issues, the MSP has enjoyed adulation amongst the professional media since helping her party secure 13 Scottish MPs in the 2017 general election.
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