This website uses cookies for anonymised analytics and for account authentication. See our privacy and cookies policies for more information.

The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

“Water off a duck’s back”: Oliver faces down his critics

This news post is over 6 years old

Neil Oliver has said he was not worried about calls for him to stand down from the conservation charity

Neil Oliver has said that he was unaffected by online abuse following his appointment as the president of the National Trust for Scotland (NTS).

The historian and television presenter was named in the role at Scotland’s largest conservation charity in September.

However the charity faced calls to reverse its decision because of previous comments Oliver made about the SNP, the Highland Clearances and his staunch opposition to Scottish independence.

Thousands of signatures were gathered on a petition on 38 Degrees calling for him to stand down, and the Coast presenter was subjected to some abusive comments online.

Meanwhile, some NTS members said they would cancel their membership because of his appointment.

However in an interview with the Scotsman this week, he said that he was not affected by people shouting "through their computer keyboards".

“It’s water off a duck’s back,” Oliver told the Scotsman.

“I suppose it comes if you are in the public eye and you put your head above the parapet, that people have their opinions about my opinions. It is only coming from anonymous commentators. I treat anonymous criticism differently to how I would if people were putting things to me with their name to it. People are always happy to shout about things through the medium of their computer keyboards.

“This is not going to get to me and it’s doesn’t bother me at all.”

Oliver – a prominent backer of no during the 2014 referendum – has provoked anger through a series of comments and articles, in which he called independence a "dead dog” and a “cancerous presence” and dubbed the indyref a “hate fest”.

However the NTS said it is an apolitical organisation and that Oliver had done a fantastic in promoting Scotland.

Oliver added: “The National Trust is a completely apolitical organisation. Some members have political opinions, some have no political opinions.

“I am another member of the NTS. I don’t think they care at all about my opinions. That is a part of my private life and another aspect of my day to day. It doesn’t involve them at all.”

The BBC presenter refused to condemn those who called for his removal from his NTS role.

“It is an absolutely free country,” he said. “People can have their opinions and express them as colourfully as they like. Good luck to them. I’m perfectly relaxed about it.”



0 0
Chris Welton (not anonymous, Oliver)
over 6 years ago
I guess you do not know the meaning of the word 'apolitical'.
Commenting is now closed on this post