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By Jason Michael
Murdo Fraser MSP was quick off the mark to share an email he received which claimed to be from me. After some digging I have discovered who sent this disgusting missive, and it makes unionism look ugly.
Yesterday morning the Scottish Tory list MSP for mid-Scotland and Fife, Murdo Fraser, shared on Twitter an image of an email he had received the previous evening purporting to be from me. “A measured addition to my inbox this morning,” he wrote, “from Jason Michael McCann aka Jeggit…” He went on to ask: “did he write it, or Uncle Rab?” There is no doubt this nasty and abusive email caused Murdo some distress. It certainly caused me some distress. I neither wrote it nor sent it. That a deceased relative of mine – a man who fought in the British Army against the Nazis – was used as a weapon against me by a member of the Scottish parliament on a public forum was also rather distressing.
The moment I was made aware of this email I responded to Murdo’s tweet, saying, “I can assure you Mr Fraser I did not send you this email,” and I apologised that this had happened to him. That was, I feel, the decent thing to do. At this point I took the time to send him an email reiterating my denial and my regret that this had happened, and I asked him to please set the record straight. In fairness to him he replied on Twitter that he would take my word “at face value.” Yet I was disappointed that he did not feel the need to set the record straight. This says something of the character of the man.
Later in the morning, once the dust from this had begun to settle, I was alerted to an interesting item in the Butterfly Rebellion’s inbox. This was an email sent to the Butterfly Rebellion email account addressed to me and bearing the title: “OPERATION CUMBERLAND.” The body of the mail was written in Hebrew and contained a threat to my family and myself, attached was a paragraph copied from the Wikipedia page on the UK’s Official Secrets Acts – which I took as a warning in relation to the Butterfly Rebellion’s appeal for whistleblowers in the Scotland Office, and it was signed off with the Latin axiom “Regnum Defende” – Defence of the Realm, the motto of MI5. This was sent a whole half hour before the one Murdo received.
This email was interesting for a couple of reasons. It was sent from the email address RPJblog@protonmail.ch, the very same account from which Murdo’s was sent. RPJblog is of course a reference to this blog, Random Public Journal, and its presence on Twitter is @RPJblog. However, this email account has nothing whatsoever to do with me.
Since 21 September last year I have received a number of emails from someone or some group whose emails are always headed the same, “OPERATION CUMBERLAND.” They have used a number of different addresses; firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and most recently RPJblog@protonmail.ch. In the first email I received from this person or group they informed me that they had “enough information” on me, and to prove this they included in the email my parent’s home address and phone number and attached a number of photographs – one of a house on my parents’ street (the home of a neighbouring family with two young children) and two of my mother out shopping.
Later in this campaign the people behind it started using Hebrew for some utterly inexplicable reason. In these messages they began making more explicit death threats and frequent reminders that they were watching me and my family.
Naturally the intention of this twisted campaign is to intimidate me, frighten me, and so shut me up. These people evidently do not know me – or my wee mammy – very well. I’m far from intimidated or frightened, and it’s not going to shut me up. My mother would be delighted to have a wee word with one of these cowards, and it isn’t exactly winning me or anyone in my family over to a newfound love for Britain. I don’t believe for a moment this is the work of the British secret police. Rather, I think I have attracted the attention of a couple of intellectually challenged nutters – but then, we can’t forget that just such a nutter (also from Kilmarnock) hacked Jo Cox to death.
On reporting this to Police Scotland in September last year I was informed, as I live in Dublin, that I had to report this to the police here in Ireland; An Garda Síochána. Each of these I have reported to the police here and each time they have alerted Interpol. To date I have heard nothing back from Police Scotland – thanks for that Police Scotland.
It is deeply concerning that this is happening, that the Scottish media – which has been informed of this – has shown no interest in the fact a fellow journalist is receiving death threats on account of his work, and that prominent unionist politicians are so willing to share emails from these thugs without first checking their facts. “Operation Cumberland” doesn’t worry me. What gives me nightmares is that things have gotten this bad in Scotland and that it is effectively being endorsed by the inaction of the media and the actions of politicians.
There is no doubt in my own mind that had such a vicious and disgusting campaign of threats been waged against a journalist or politician on the other side of the national debate this would be headline news. How can we trust the impartiality of the establishment media or the goodness of unionist politicians when we experience this level bias? Will it actually take the politically motivated murder of a pro-independence activist for something to be done? Actually, I doubt even this. It will be reported as an accident or a random street crime. This is where we are at.
Politically motivated violence is nothing new to British nationalism