It was the Sun wot won it. Scottish Independence brought to you by News International – OH YES, and why not?
The Sun claimed the spoils in 92 and again in 97 so what about Scotland in 2007? Whatever your issues about Wapping et al that’s history to a new generation of MySpace users. It’s not Rupert Murdoch’s fault Tony stumbled into an inexorable faux-Saviour of the world fantasy just to wake up a mere mortal with a legacy to find and promote.
The question is what’s in it for Rupert Murdoch? I wasn’t paying attention to the Sun’s politics last Scottish election, but I don’t remember them taking a strong position. This time round, it could be different. Rupert obviously works with a global multinational agenda, so why should he be bothered about the UK or the Union. Levereging brand value is surely a lot more important – duh – and being on the winning side. By bringing the Sun out for Independencece Murdoch would send an electric shock (as in ECT not an electic eel) to the pro-unionist depression of the bulk of the Scottish press.
The polls say the SNP are going to have a good year. The 300th anniversary of the Union gives increased symbolic value. If the Sun comes out for Scotland, Murdoch will have the best chance of being on the winning side and increasing sales. Rupert has already discounted his way to victory in the battle with the Record, now make it look like yesterdays paper by putting Scotland first – the rhetoric is so easy – it doesn’t even require a change of branding.
Better still, think of the impact on Westminster of Rupert supporting independence. We’re a couple of years out from a general election. By coming out for the SNP in the Scottish elections, News International would effectively become a player again and therefore worth the courting for the 2009 jamboree. You know it makes sense.
What are the downsides, that a few pro-Union supporters abandon the Sun and go back to the Record?
ps. The Sun came out for Labour on March 18 1997, so there’s still time…If you can help make it happen, do so.