The Ups and Downs of Working Freelance: Malice at The Mound – 4 – True or False? – Truth or Lies?

One of the most interesting and revealing aspects of my appeal to Helen Smailes to explain the comments she made, is that she went

to great lengths to avoid discussing the most important issues.


She chose to focus solely on my criticisms about her review of my Foulis publication, which she produced for the Journal of the

Scottish Society for Art History. When I lodged my formal complaint about her failure to answer my perfectly legitimate questions, it is

important to look at how the complaint was handled by the Director-General of the National Galleries of Scotland, and subsequently

by the Chair of the Galleries’ Trustees.


All chose to follow the same plan, and I had hoped that the Director-General, at least, would show some integrity. Unfortunately, he

followed the line used by so many public servants north and south of the border, which is to answer a question which has not been

asked, then completely ignore the major issues. Sophistry and obfuscation are in use at the National Galleries of Scotland.


As you will see from the extract below, Smailes again refers, and holds on, to the book review, but feigns ignorance of the more

important matters. Taking into account the serious nature of her comments against me, I find her last paragraph to be quite

amusing, after the passage of time.


Smailes asked me to provide evidence, which I did. I never received any further response from her.



George Fairfull-Smith, September 2022.