I am growing a bit weary of receiving
emails from Paddy Hogg. It is as if the world of Robert Burns hinges on
everything Hogg says or that the Burns world will come falling down like
an over-flowing Icelandic volcanic eruption if someone disagrees with
him. When one is challenged for a particular view, it seems prudent for
proof to be given to substantiate one’s challenged view. Such has not
been forthcoming from Mr. Hogg, and below you will see where now we have
entered the world of lawyers with a threat of a legal action.
Once again, redundantly I might add, I
ask Mr. Hogg for the sources to back up his position in what could have
been friendly jousting but is now bordering on the realm of ugliness.
That said, the messages below will bring you up to date and the readers
of Robert Burns Lives! are asked again to make up their own
Patrick Scott Hogg to Frank R. Shaw
13 April, 2010
I have just read Mr Wilson's reply
article. Given its abusive terminology stating that my research is
dishonest and distorts history I would ask you to have the decency to
remove such an article as it does not display the protocols of
scholarship I would expect from a scholar. I am sorry to add that if it
is not removed then I will have no choice but to get my lawyer involved
because it is perfectly clear Mr Wilson has a personal problem with me
and does not consider the evidence whatsoever. His writings in my view
amount to a personal attack given the unpleasant and very unjustified
language suggesting I am fraudulent in my scholarship.
I am well aware that a band of James
Mackay followers still want my blood and blame me for Mackay being found
guilty of plagiarism - as if the actual plagiarism of Mackay is okay to
some people - but describing Burns as a radical gets up the noses of
some elitist know alls who torture his political worldview into either a
confused mess or a Winston Smith like Unionist Tory.
If people disagree with my view point
they should at least have the decency to represent my argument fairly,
which Wilson never has done. He sets up a false straw man and ignores
the evidence I marshalled. It is evident from his reply that it is
pointless trying to reason or debate with such a person.
So I ask that you, as the website owner,
consider removing his insulting rant.
With best wishes
Patrick S Hogg
Frank R. Shaw to Patrick Scott Hogg
Dear Mr. Hogg,
Thank you for your email. I'm a little
puzzled on two counts: first of all, Wilson makes it plain that he is
not opposed to the political complexion you paint for Burns. Secondly, I
don't understand the connection between Wilson and James Mackay. Why
have you brought Mackay into the discussion? Is there something going on
in Scotland that causes you to drag a dead man’s name into this
exchange? Here in the States I am unaware of why this is necessary since
Mr. Mackay can no longer defend himself. Are you telling me that there
is some such connection (there is nothing apparent in Wilson's essays to
point to this)?
Rather than you threatening recourse to
law, Wilson would be instantly silenced, and indeed shown to be plain
wrong, were you convincingly to answer his points directly. In
particular, you might discuss his 'visitor'/'delegate' point by simply
asking yourself have you made a mistake on this. If so, might it not be
worth admitting the error? More widely on this issue, has Mark Wilson
misrepresented your claims about 'Visitor Drummond'/John Drummond/the
Dumfries Branch of the Friends of the People/and Burns's 'membership' of
this branch? From recently looking at your book, I see that Wilson seems
to be summarizing your core argument pretty accurately but you may know
differently. Please feel free to reply to Mr. Wilson’s conclusions with
reliable sources to bring this debate to an end.
Wilson's comments contain some
conclusions that might be interpreted as personal. But given the thrust
of his argument, this seems unavoidable, and it is up to you to show
that Wilson has misread you on the Dumfries branch of the Friends of the
People. So far, you have refused to deal with the evidence on
this issue, something that any lawyer would immediately see, as I do as
a layman. If, as you say in your email, “it is evident from his reply
that it is pointless trying to reason or debate with such a person”, I
suggest to you there was no need for your latest email.
Frank R. Shaw