Losing trust and building bridges

The first rule of digging yourself into a hole, is that when you’re in one, you should stop digging. The Sunday Herald had dug itself into a hole with its front page the day after the biggest pro-independence rally in Scottish history. Newspapers know the power of a front page, and the Sunday Herald’s front page that day gave the misleading impression that a tiny demonstration of two dozen angry people from the Union fleg bedecked far right was the same in size and influence as a march and rally of tens of thousands of perfectly peaceful independence protesters. From Scotland’s only independence supporting Sunday newspaper, it was a misjudgement.

First off, I need to point out that I am a columnist for The National. The National is published by the same company which publishes the Herald, the Sunday Herald, and the Glasgow Evening Times amongst other publications. However The National is an entirely separate newspaper. Do not throw The National baby out with the bathwater. What goes on in the Sunday Herald has nothing to do with The National, and vice versa.

The indy community feels beseiged and beleaguered by a Scottish media which is overwhelmingly opposed to independence, and which will stoop as low as it takes in order to find some way of attacking it. It’s not a conspiracy theory to point out that Scotland’s media is overwhelmingly biased against independence, it’s a simple statement of fact. The media is supposed to hold up a mirror to the society it serves. Scotland’s media doesn’t do that. In Scotland we look to our media and we see a distorted painting, a landscape of a country that we don’t recognise. That creates a suspicious and defensive public which is not disposed to trust in the media or to give it the benefit of any doubt that is going. We expect better, we demand better, from our only independence supporting Sunday. Sadly that’s not what we got on this occasion.

Of course there is absolutely no justification for anyone to threaten violence against journalists. There is never any excuse for abuse, threats, or personal insults. However it’s also unjustified to use the appalling behaviour of a fringe minority to characterise the behaviour of the independence movement as a whole. The three pages in the Sunday Herald this weekend came across as the paper trying to justify its error by pointing to the errors of others. It was a further miscalculation which has only inflamed an already bad situation. What we need here is conciliation, attempts at mutual understanding, and trust building.  That’s not what we got.

Unfortunately all this upset and breakdown of trust comes shortly after the Sunday Herald appointed Angela Haggerty as its news editor. I know Angela. I first met her long before the referendum when we were both writing for Newsnet Scotland. She is a talented journalist. However as her career has progressed Angela has left a lot of angry people in her wake. She has accumulated many enemies, and there are plenty of people within the independence movement who are suspicious of her and her motives.

I’ve defended Angela in the past, but I can’t defend her decision to out the partner of Mhairi Black during a Twitter disagreement about the Sunday Herald’s coverage of the indy rally and its aftermath, an error which was compounded by the hauf-airsed apology that Angela made later. Mhairi’s partner is also a friend of mine, and getting outed by the media was always her worst and biggest fear. Now the two issues, the coverage of the indy rally by the Sunday Herald and the perception amongst some that it was drifting away from support for independence, and Angela’s outing of Mhairi’s partner on Twitter, have become conflated.

The appointment of Angela as news editor of the Sunday Herald was always going to raise hackles amongst sections of the independence movement, and it’s the independence movement which is the core of the Sunday Herald’s readership. The paper ought to have redoubled its efforts to reassure its readers that it remains committed to the beautiful dream that we all share, the dream of making a better Scotland through independence. Instead what we have seen are a series of missteps from a great newspaper, which have sadly only confirmed the prejudices and suspicions that many people already had. Over the weekend what was left of the trust and goodwill broke down.

What we need here is bridge building, the reestablishment of trust. What isn’t going to help is for a newspaper to throw around blame, to draw the wagons into a defensive circle, and to demand that the SNP condemns the bad behaviour of people who for the most part have absolutely nothing to do with the SNP. For many readers and subscribers of the Sunday Herald, myself amongst them, it comes across as a retreat from the newspaper’s fine principles and its fearless decision to stand alone for a better Scotland when no other newspaper would, and a turn back to the safety of the British nationalist consensus which so utterly dominates the Scottish media landscape.

Perhaps as a first step the Sunday Herald ought to reconsider the behaviour on Twitter of some of its own journalists, behaviour which doesn’t help the newspaper. Journalists who use Twitter to call people cybernats and to mutter dark theories that certain prominent people in the indy campaign are really agents of the Kremlin don’t do a newspaper any favours.

I don’t do Twitter any more. It’s utterly toxic. Most of the disputes, fall-outs, controversies, and arguments which beset the independence movement originate on Twitter. All I do now is to use Twitter to publish links to blog articles, a function which WordPress (the platform hosting this blog) carries out automatically. I don’t even need to log into Twitter to do so. I can still see what’s going on on Twitter when I choose to. I can still search for hashtags that are relevant to the day’s news. I’m just not logged in so am not tempted to reply or respond and don’t get sucked into disputes or fights. I can even see the Tweets of people who have blocked me. It means I’m using Twitter, Twitter isn’t using me. Unlike certain people however, I didn’t make a big song and dance out of flouncing out of Twitter, and write anguished articles about it and pick up a nice fee from the Sunday Times only to come back a few days later. I just quietly left. The world of Scottish politics would be a better place if more Scottish journalists did the same.

I will finish off with a final observation. It’s an observation which ought to lie in the realms of the bleedin’ obvious, but yet which seems to have passed the bulk of the Scottish media by. It’s this, when the public loses faith in the media, that’s the fault of the media, not the fault of the public. In turn that means that the remedy lies with the behaviour of the media, not the behaviour of the public. If newspapers want respect from the people, they have to be seen to be giving the people respect. If things are going to change, it’s the media which has to make the first move. It’s over to you now. Let’s see some bridges.


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74 comments on “Losing trust and building bridges

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug Losing trust and building bridges The first rule of digging yourself into a hole, is that when you’re in one, you […]

  2. Movy says:

    100% correct. As one of the marchers, I logged onto the Sunday Herald on the day after the march to enjoy the pictures, the enthusiasm, the excitement and I was faced with a very carefully chosen photograph of the march designed to make a totally different point. This week’s offering was just the end. I don’t know whether it was an apology, a justification, or what – but, you know, I neither know nor care. I’ve cancelled my online subscription. I will never go back.

  3. David McCann says:

    A thoroughly decent reply, which, while getting to the nub of the matter, should offend nobody.
    How I wish the so called professional journalists could follow your example!

  4. Colin Dawson says:

    I strongly suspect that the UK Government is using DSMA Notices to try to undermine support for independence. There is, after all, no greater threat to the very existence of the UK than Scottish independence.

    We know for certain that successive UK Governments classified Scotland’s oil wealth as top-secret following the McCrone Report in the mid-1970s. In such circumstances, it seems reasonable to assume that DSMA Notices were used to suppress the truth. As a result, there’s no reason to believe that similar tactics were not used on other matters related to Scottish independence, nor is there any reason to believe that these tactics are not still in use today. Control the message, control the people.

  5. Kenzie says:

    I hope that you’re not in a hurry, Paul.

  6. They don’t build Bridges ,but they do build walls ,and it looks as if we are going to have to break each and every wall down to get a fair hearing.

  7. Paul, I don’t care about them anymore. To me their bye.

  8. Clive Scott says:

    It is dispiriting to stand for 10 minutes or so at the newspaper section at Tescos in Falkirk and watch the unionist rags being picked up. However, the good news is that those picking them up are very much the over 65’s, invariably fat, and none to healthy looking.

    • crabbitgits says:

      Yeah, folk under 30 don’t buy newspapers – they don’t figure n their minds. Wish it was the same for others. Saying that, I’ve just started buying The National. Although I’ll read it for the relevant news; the main reason is to build up a supply of paper to train a new pup I get next week. Which is all that any newspaper has ever been worth. I’m well over 30.

  9. mogabee says:

    Good god man, stop being so observationally correct.

    My partner is not a mad ‘cybernut’ of any description, but he went on the rally with me and enjoyed the whole experience. That is until the headline on the SH caught our eye. Me? I just did a double-take but he was astonished and a bit bemused by the whole article.

    So that’s someone else now aware of the actions of the media which purports to be indy positive. And you know what else?, he’s going to cancel the BBC tax which I’ve been trying to get him to do for years!!!

    So thanks Sunday Herald for opening his eyes…

  10. Morag says:

    Last paragraph, you’ve typed “out” when you meant “ought”.

  11. Paul, I don’t care about them anymore. To me they’re bye

  12. Doubt you’ll see any change from the SH, Paul. There was always the suspicion among indy supporters that as IndyRef2 loomed clear on the horizon that the paper would revert back to type. I think that’s what it has effectively done and done badly.

  13. Andy Anderson says:

    Clearly written Paul and also conciliatory to the papers. The regret I have is that they will not change.

    I know I may be a little naive but I cannot see why a good paper cannot report both sides of the constitutional situation at the same time. Report the bad and good of both persuations in order to grow their circulations.

    Pre the 2014 vote the Scotsman seemed to be foing a nit of this before going for the Union.

  14. robert harrison says:

    Like you was saying about twitter paul i do the same with Facebook you find shite stirrers there just as much i post stuff like this article for others who log into Facebook to see but it dont mean ive to log in myself and certain folk hate it especially those from my time south of the border to hell with them there crap dont bother me at all its just 2 sad and pathetic to read hence why i just use Facebook like i would a screwdriver.

  15. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Certain”journalists on the Herald and other Unionist titles seem to think it is their job to hold he electorate to account because of voting for and supporting the SNP and independence.

    They take it very personally.

    Meanwhile the opposition is covered for and actually facilitated.

    I am in the position of not having a possibility of a printed copy available.

    Their web version is now now black. Sorry about the several excellent journalists still there but it N balance I would not bother if itfolded

    We need one National Quality Broadsheet in Scotland.

    A buyout of the Scotsman looks a good shot, partially by way of crowd fund?

  16. Charles Maitland says:

    I like many others I assume, will not buy the Sunday Herald again in the hope they will fade away gracefully. As for a replacement, what about a Sunday version of the National?

  17. iain taylor says:

    Wise words, but most likely falling on deaf ears in the media. I’ll be delighted if I’m proved wrong.

  18. donald6 says:

    The National does not have its own budget and is on a sticky wicket. It deserves better.

    I did not buy the S H*** on Sunday, after the last two weeks drivel and cannot believe it was possible to get any worse. I instinctively distrusted the rag straight away with its half hearted opportunist “support”.

    Great see a principled journalist Paul after all the muck we have to live with in the so called MSM, Muck Spreading Muppets.

  19. ” In Scotland we look to our media and we see a distorted painting, a landscape of a country that we don’t recognise” Which is England.

  20. Patience is a Virtue says:

    I am glad I took part as well , i do not need any photo to remind me of the day, as the image of the numbers and spirit of those involved will remain forever – and as for the photo on the front page of the Sunday Herald – well if the Sunday Herald genuinely thought that was a representative picture of the Day… i would suggest, perhaps next time, they actually follow the march from the start to the end and report on it ..and inform our population…. the same however can be said for many, many other supposed broadcasters.and news agencies – whose absence from what should be for them something worth reporting on, continues to shame them.

    The pictures in the National captured the day..

  21. Julia Gibb says:

    a) Haggerty has revealed her true character in the nasty vindictive manner of outing Ms Blacks partner.
    b) The “apology” confirmed her nature.
    c) The Sunday Herald fooled us. We gave it a chance and they mocked us all the way along to that front page slap. Fool me once etc.
    d) I will never purchase that vile rag again.

  22. Graeme Timoney says:

    The part of this weeks Sunday Herald statement that really got to me ( apart from the self-righteous tone) was the demand that the SNP condemn the actions of their supposed followers while there was no calling on the Unionist Parties to similarly condemn the actions of the flag waving, Nazi saluting, erses that actually caused the disruption. That right there told me which side of the debate the editor had taken. I have not yet cancelled my order as I will give them another chance to regain my faith but only one

    • Therapymum says:

      Graeme
      The lack of condemnation of other parties leaders was what also annoyed me and was the same point I made to both the SH and David Leask. I cannot see how the SNP are responsible for the behaviour of a small minority of Indy supporters, yet Davidson, Leonard and Rennie are not responsible for the behaviour of their supporters. Paul is right about the lack of trust. I have never seen so many contortions by supposedly reputable journalists, trying to defend the indefensible. Leask’s view appeared to be that journalists have the right to say whatever they want! You plebs have no right to challenge them. Reading his timeline following his tweet was an education in ostrich. Legitimate points were regarded as “poorly informed” “not happening” or just not entertained and blocked. Haggarty’s behaviour, coupled with her pious response to Kezia Dugdale’s outing by the BBC, was just crass. And the fact that she then tried to make herself out to be the wounded Party was unbelievable. I just can’t see how the SH can recover after all this, and to be honest, I’m not now concerned whether they do or not.

  23. Sorry Paul but it has went beyond the pale and it’s dragged Angela with it. I don’t know her personally but when she first appeared as a contributor to commonwheal/space I thought she made some good points but now I see her regularly on Scotland tonight and think she is a plant, rightly or wrongly that’s my opinion. The SH was only ever a pretendy indy outlet. The national stands alone fingers xd when the pressure comes it stands tall.

  24. Iain MacEchern says:

    I stopped buying the SH a few weeks ago, with some pangs of doubt that I was abandoning an independent supporting paper that was not afraid to ask some difficult questions of the Indy movement. However the last two weeks have strengthened my resolve not to buy this paper. I was always told that a bad friend is worse than an enemy, and I think that’s what the SH has become.

  25. Macart says:

    Neatly done Paul and well said.

    Not another thing to add.

  26. diabloandco says:

    Had enough of ‘our ‘press – they can hing as they grow and I won’t miss them.

    I believe the STV programme Scotland Tonight has the Sunday Herald as its theme tonight .
    I no longer watch it , twice was quite enough , so I leave it to some other brave soul to watch the drivelling output.

  27. Stookie says:

    Good point Mr Timoney

  28. alanm says:

    Most people reading this won’t remember the glory days of the Scottish press but I do. During the 60’s and 70’s it was commonplace (even for hard-pressed households) to take two newspapers each weekday and three on a Sunday (if you count the “Sunday Post” as a newspaper that is).

    Nowadays most people I know don’t bother with newspapers at all. The internet dug their grave and they all jumped in willingly.

  29. Well put, Paul. A bridge over troubled waters indeed.

    It seems that some hacks will succumb to temptation with the promise of fame and riches, or rather notoriety and riches.
    The common denominator? ‘riches’.

    It recalls the NY socialite hosting a Charity auction.

    A billionaire approaches and offers a million dollars to any charity if the lady will sleep with him. After a few seconds hesitation she agrees.

    The billionaire falters and offers half a million, all he has in loose change. Again, the Socialite hesitates, then agrees.

    The billionaire offers her twenty bucks and invites her upstairs.
    ‘Twenty dollars!’ the lady cries. ‘What do you think I am?’
    The billionaire replies:-
    ‘I thought we knew what you were and we were just haggling about the price.’

    Bought and sold for English gold.
    There seems to be a lots of hacks talking about themselves here.
    Eye on the prize, guys.

    • Kenzie says:

      A new twist on the Churchill/Astor story, Jack:

      Churchill: Would you sleep with me for a million pounds?
      Lady Astor: Certainly.
      Churchill: Would you sleep with me for thirty bob?
      Lady Astor: Certainly not. What do you think I am?
      Churchill: Madam, we have already established what you are, what we are now haggling over is the price.

      • I’m sure it’s as old as Pharaoh’s wife organising a fundraiser to build the pyramids, Kenzie.
        The Sunday Herald deliberately set out to distort the AUOB banner event. No amount of backtracking will eradicate massive Fake Reporting on this scale.
        It is an insult to millions of peace loving Scots who now demand Self Determination to mention them in the same breath as the knuckledragging True Blue Loyal Sons of William who on their way to Ibrox were allowed to leer on the pavement, shout crude obscenities and make offensive gestures at the stream of decent Scottish citizens peacefully flowing by on their way to a Pro Self Determination rally in the park.
        The Sunday Herald lied big time. There can be no sugar coating or retraction, sack cloth and ashes style.

        Not one word of condemnation from RFC, or any of the Brit Nat Unionist mob.
        The evil Brownshirts are allowed to rampage through our streets while Tom Gordon and Gordon Brewer look the other way.
        Haggerty and Leask are hacks.
        They are not brain surgeons. They do not provide vital public services like empty our bins, or remove my belly button fluff.
        They are paid money to write what their bosses tell them to write.
        They are literary whores, selling Scotland down the river.
        Nuff from me.
        They do not warrant further comment.

  30. Normski says:

    You won’t get those bridges Dug, those that once made the Sunday Herald a pro-Indy newspaper are gone, replaced with British Nationalist Corbynistas – who understand that if Little England Empire 2.0 is to survive, it must have Scotland’s resources.

    Sure – some of those British Nationalist Corbynistas are Scottish – but they are obedient House Scots.

    Expect The National’s staff to be the next target of replacement.

    • Kenzie says:

      You could be right. Prof, John Robertson opined some time ago that both the SH and The National were Trojan Horses.

      • Colin Dawson says:

        Trojan horses or being subjected to DSMA Notices by the UK Government?

        • Kenzie says:

          I don’t know what a DSMA Notice is. Is this the same as the old ‘D’ Notice, much beloved of Private Eye, that was used by successive governments (Lab & Tory), to prevent publication of anything that they didn’t want you to know about? See film “The Bank Job”, for example.

  31. Vestas says:

    Also – and it can’t be ignored – The National is sub-edited by the same group of people in south Wales as the Herald and SH.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Do you even know what a subeditor does?

      Hint. They don’t have anything to do with deciding what stories or commentary a paper publishes.

      • Vestas says:

        According to recent Newsquest job ads one of their jobs is :

        “to ensure that articles conform with group editorial polices/standards”.

        Do YOU know what they do?

        • weegingerdug says:

          Yes of course I do. I’m not convinced you do.

        • Del says:

          > group editorial polices/standards
          which implies there must be a document for sub-editors to follow. Would love to see the Herald and the SH’s policy documents. And the National’s for comparison.

          • weegingerdug says:

            Sub editors have no input on a newspaper’s political stance and zero influence on what stories an editor chooses to run. They fact check and correct spelling. That’s all they do.

  32. Catherine says:

    I don’t often comment on this site but I follow it regularly and it is fantastic.., so thank you to Paul.
    I was at the march in Glasgow with my husband, the first march he has been to. Also my son, daughter-in-law and young family came along too. It was a great day out for all the family. It felt safe ….especially with young children with us.
    I do feel so disappointed with all the negative publicity around the march, especially from the Sunday Herald. .
    I was once a regular buyer of the Herald on a daily basis, then the Sunday Herald.
    But no more……. I’ve taken out a subscription for IScot.
    I follow your site and others which gives us the truth.
    Keep doing what you are doing Paul, you are such an inspiration and I thank you so much for that.

  33. Interesting and thoughtful piece which chimes with a conversation I had last night with someone a bit older than myself. Someone who, by the way, does not use or even understand social media. The basis of the conversation was around the theme “who do we trust” when it comes to getting information on the world at large. Her position , and it seems fairly reasonable, was that she gets her information from the newspapers or the television. She, like many more in society, have neither the time nor the inclination to go searching for the truth in the haystack of information and stories in the mainstream media. And thereby lies a problem for those of us who support the movement towards independence. We can try to persuade our friends, family and colleagues using the information we are able to obtain-but if it is not instantly verifiable via the media then it is not to be trusted. It matters not that the msm have been called out for misreporting or misrepresenting issues. All that matters is the headline. That is what makes the impact. I do not have the answer but there has to be a way of getting past the headline and into the consciousness of the great majority who, if they had facts rather than editorial opinion or worse, biased reporting, would be better able to make up their own minds. Over these next few months in the run up to the inevitable Indyref2 we have to find the way. Or else we risk losing again.

    • crabbitgits says:

      And there lies the rub.

    • Andy Anderson says:

      Like most of us I have come up against this problem many times. If you have the time and have the chance to meet a person (with closed views based on using the MSM) regularly then you can enlighten them in conversation ensuring you keep the talk positive. It will take you about a year to turn their opinion, at least that is my experience.

  34. Another absolute belter, Paul and no truer words ever spoken. It would be a major achievement if this piece caused the ladies & gentlemen (I use the terms loosely) of the MSM to start serving those who buy the publications, and thus pay their wages!

  35. Heather says:

    A calm, honest & reasonable summation of this whole sorry mess. Astonishing behaviour by so called independence supporting journalists which only helps to damage the cause. Very disappointing from SH & AH. Some poor decisions made & they will unfortunately backfire resulting in falling sales of a once reliable newspaper. Sad really.

  36. chicmac says:

    My personal plan (now on hold).

    1. Order two extra copies of The National from my newsagent.

    2. Systematically deliver them to my leafletting patch over the coming months.

    3, Try to spread the idea amongst SNP activists.

    Notes:

    The paper would have a paper collar which said this was a complimentary copy of The National and would also have the digital subscription link. So people would know that it was not simply a mistake by a paper boy and if they liked the paper, where to get it (other than from the newsagent of course).

    I reckon 5-6 months would complete my patch of about 300 households.

    Obviously time and money are involved here. But good exercise and what’s a couple of hundred quid spread over 6 months?

    Objective:

    Increase the circulation of The National, especially if a large uptake of the idea amongst activists occurs.

    So, question, is it still worth doing or is The National going to be able to resist the fate of the SH?

  37. chicmac says:

    Oops should be ‘i.e.’ rather than ‘or’ in that last sentence.

  38. Haggerty is regularly invited on to BBC to spout her opinions. She goes along with criticising the SNP. She seems no different from your regular Brit Nat commentator.
    On Monday, she was on the Sky News paper review. She wouldn’t be asked on either of these TV channels, if she really supported Independence. She was whining about bullying on Twitter. She said Twitter bullying is just terrible in Scotland. This is just after outing Mhairi’s partner on Twitter. This is a particularly viscous form of bullying. Where she made this information public, then stood back in mock surprise that not everyone knew this.
    Mhairi’s partner will have reasons she did not want this information to be public. None of them anyone’s business. Haggerty doesn’t care about that.
    My question would be, who thought it would be a good idea to give this woman a very important job, on a supposedly Independence supporting newspaper?

  39. paul mccormack says:

    Everything Jack collatin says and has ever said. After reading the Leask twitter thread, lines have been drawn. Send for Joe Beltrami.

  40. Maolbeatha says:

    Along the same lines as Chicks post. I had a conversation over the weekend with a young man, well educated and assumed to be logical.
    He brought up the subject of Independence and how stupid the idea was. Now he knows my views on that subject so it seemed like I was being baited, I chose not to bite as there would be no point.

    “All politicians lie” He said matter of factly. Yet he apparently chooses to believe unionist politicians I thought to myself.
    He derided an independence supporter, his views and his sources (Facebook) dismissing them out of hand it seemed. To dismiss a source out of hand seems a bit arrogant but ok, carry on.
    This suggesting he has different sources?

    What might those be? I wondered. The mainstream media seemed most likely?
    So I was faced with a well educated individual with what appeared to be a fixed view, with more than a hint of what looked like dismissive arrogance of a different view. A lost cause? Maybe.

    Dismissive of alternative sources of information as being unreliable and biased perhaps.

    The same view we have of the mainstream media. We have plenty of evidence to support our view.
    He more than likely has the same view from the opposite side.

    There is another bridge required.

    It seems to me that the desire for or against independence may be strongly connected with inclusion. If you feel part of the UK either through education, career, honours, or whatever you are part of the union so it seems crazy to try and break it up. There is no point from that point of view.

    If you feel disconnected, separated, dismissed then to contemplate leaving feels perfectly natural. I mean in many ways you are already separated.
    If you see injustice in the way means are distributed naturally you feel excluded.
    If you see your contribution being dismissed, naturally you feel excluded,
    If you see your views being ignored, naturally you feel excluded,
    If you see your elected representatives being over ruled, naturally you feel excluded,
    Is it any wonder there is a desire for independence?
    If Westminster treated all the countries in the UK the same and fairly the desire for independence may not exist.
    But they don’t treat all of us fairly.
    So they caused this themselves.

    As to the Sunday Herald et al.
    Newspapers that have a varied subject matters and well established reader base are perhaps more likely to be regarded as reliable and less likely to be biased. They maybe establish legitimacy in World news, financial news, sport or what ever. If they are fair and balanced in those other sub
    Subjects then “surely they are the same with regards to Scottish politics?”

    A newspaper that openly declares support for Independence, especially if that is its reason for being (actual or perceived) may perhaps be regarded as biased Which may lead to people like the person described above being dismissive of it?

    People often seem lean towards sources that support their already established views, to offer comfort and reassurance maybe?
    The idea of their long held views being challenged and maybe having to consider that they are wrong is uncomfortable. Nobody likes being uncomfortable.

    If a newspaper only tailors its news to appeal to the market that keeps it in business then it chooses the best method to stay in business, it is looking after its own survival.
    Preaching to the converted.
    If it chooses to stand on principle and follow a view, a stance, an ideal, not yet accepted by the majority of the population then morally it has the greater value. But it may not survive commercially.

    Politicians do it all the time. They promise the world to placate the voters for their career enhancement. Ruth Davidson.
    Maybe Haggerty and Leask etc etc are only playing to the crowd that presents the greater commercial value? To save their jobs?
    I have no way of knowing the answer to that one.

    Yet it is strange that the difference between for and against is only 5% and only one chooses to represent the 45%.

    The BBC based and controlled from London will ALWAYS cater for the larger market e.g England. As does Westminster. Not from a commercial point but a political one. More seats in England that’s the way to get control of Westminster, the media and keep power.

    I hear the views of voters that are different to mine yet they make no sense to me from an independence point of view.

    If I only read msm and listened to the BBC maybe I would see it differently?
    (No. I really wouldn’t !)

    No answers only questions.

  41. Referendum1707 says:

    I won’t be building any bridges with any of that treasonous scum anytime soon, ever in fact. I wouldn’t piss on the SH if it was on fire never mind would I be seen dead buying or reading it.

  42. Craig P says:

    Someone higher in the thread posted that the headline was all. An interesting idea. Imagine the Mail, Express, Guardian and Telegraph supported the SNP and attacked unionist parties. I wonder what the headlines and front pages would look like?

  43. Macart says:

    ‘Constitutional crisis’. Who knew?

    https://archive.is/eSR6M

    Just to recap though. When the Scottish government sought a veto and warned Mr Cameron of just such an occurrence pre EU ref? It was ignored and Scotland’s electorate were forced to participate in a ballot which had (and eventually did) have every chance of endangering the indyref settlement and assurances, not to mention the existing devolution settlement within the UK.

    So far, so clear. HIS AND WESTMINSTER GOVERNMENT’S CHOICE! NO ONE ELSE NEED APPLY, M’KAY? (shouted for those at the back)

    In the wake of the EU ref, the Scottish government assembled a committee of EU experts to come up with a UK solution which would protect the economic interests of Scotland’s electorate whilst allowing Brexit to proceed and which would have avoided both the NI issue and the devolution power grab entirely. The soft Brexit or Norway option. Not what they would prefer, but their duty was to hold to their end of constitutional ballots, even if others did not. Which to their credit, they duly did. This AGAIN, was binned out of hand by new PM May.

    The Scottish government has gone out of its way to a) Protect a devolution settlement not of their making and b) alleviate the effects of a ballot and constitutional choice forced upon Scotland’s electorate, again not of their choice or making and c) Produce options which adhere to the choices Scotland’s population made at the ballot. ALL within the competences said electorate decided was their limit.

    Brexit and the EU ref have been a biblical and ill considered screwup from the beginning. One manufactured by uncaring and self interested Conservatism and central government in support of their own short sighted exclusionist power struggles. One that, in effect, has been decades in the making with the accepted socially divisive practice of UK politics and media manipulation at its very heart.

    Apparently today’s press are playing catch up. (shrugs)

    • Never interrupt Adam Tomkins when he is making a right fool of himself.
      It was with delicious pleasure that I noted that he was trounced when he stood in our constituency, yet here he is breaking the devolution settlement and blaming ‘Nicola Sturgeon’.
      This tiresome little man, a failure at the ballot box, whose contribution at FMQ last week was to lie and assert that it was easier to order cocaine than a pizza and what was ‘Nicola Sturgeon’ going to do about it gets column inches and air time.?
      If only we got rid of ‘Nicola Sturgeon’ we would all morph into selfish right wind bastards and bow down to our Imperial English Masters?
      What an idiot this academic has turned out to be.
      We are being invaded by hordes of sailors and marines, and WM is destroying the Scottish Parliament.
      We are at war, and we know who the insurgents are.

      • Macart says:

        Apparently Mr Tomkins doesn’t think much of Scotland’s population then. Mind you…Tory… so he is how he acts. He also appears very much a political opportunist and certainly comes across as such. How and ever, not a democrat. Clearly not a diplomat or statesperson and seemingly not a very deep thinker.

        Short-termism with no thought of long term consequences for the population written all over both words and actions.

  44. Robert Graham says:

    Paul asks that we dont throw the baby out with the bathwater , Well thats a big ask , We have seen a Sunday Papers editorial staff doing a total about turn on its support for independence , rather than take the obvious step of being Neutral ,they adopt a policy that would make even the Daily Mail editor Blush .

    You cant hope to build bridges when the foundations that could have been used are blown to blazes that’s what the staff on the Herald have done , we cant un -see that front page or misconstrue the second “UP YOURS” follow up just in case we missed the obvious hint the week before .

    Until the National gets its act together and sorts out its comment section , a comment section that has become a magnet to every nutter under the sun who post daily ,the same ones every time , moderation has went out the window , I wonder if it’s intensional and it offers a home to refugees from the Scotsman because sometimes it’s even worse than the bile the Scotsman allows .

    Sorry Guilt by Association until proven otherwise ,thats why i cancelled my Subscription some time ago , the “left hand” punching you while the “right hand” is soothing you dosnt wash .

  45. Gordon says:

    Excellent article, sharp but fair.

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