Well, good god, at last someone has.
Way back in this blog I suggested that the Murdoch papers, the Times and the Sun, should come out for the SNP. They didn’t take my advice (I was most surprised) and they along with the main Scottish titles have remained staunchly Unionist in content and character.
This was always pretty stupid. It’s been obvious for a long time that the SNP were on a roll – you can’t have that many opinion polls without realising something must be going on. And, the role of the newspapers in this world is not to maintain or safeguard any particular version of the status quo – the role is to make as much money as possible through the symbiotic relationship of reality, readers and advertisers. Everyone knows this.
The only exception is where a paper goes on an ideological bender like the Scotsman under Neil and the Barclays which went from being a fine centre left paper to a torrid right wing rag in spite of its natural market and readership.
Murdoch isn’t inspired by such kamikaze ideology, the switch to new labour was a marketing strategy not a change in politics.
The Sunday Herald’s coming out for the SNP can only be greeted with one response from most commentators – WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG? Was it the need to get it through owners Newsquest and in turn Gannet in America – American’s are remarkably relaxed about independence as they did it themselves some years ago. Was it the financial projections of having lots of Nationalist readers returning to the title that clinched the deal? Certainly Scotland on Sunday has much to fear by this break in the ranks.
Whatever, the haughty and rather pretentious tone of the editorial got my back up. Oh, good for you Richard Walker and your team of unelected cronies, managing your way through the latest round of cuts. Glad you could join the new world of Scotland where there is hope after Labour. But wait, this was not a conversion. Repeatedly the editorial stresses that the Sunday Herald hasn’t made its mind up about Independence. So it’s back to the half baked cautious same old.
Well, I welcome a crack in the Unionist press. I welcome the fact that a newspaper has had the courage to come out for the Nationalists, whatever my reservations about their pomposity. I look forward to Murdoch finally responding to my advice and taking the Sun over to the Nationalist side in order to kick the shit out of the Daily Record’s circulation for ever. The Scottish media have been slow to respond to the signs, they have been slow to take their opportunity and they have been slow to realise that their absence of critical analysis will not stop Scots making up their own free, independent minds.
Love, McGellie x