And let’s not forget Rupert’s smaller title – the Times. If the Times came out for Independence at least the Scottish Labour party would be forced to actually make the case for the Union instead of the YA BOO SCARE YOU crap they’ve come up with so far. The News International stable could bring some intelligence, wit, debate and focus to the discussion. Since there’s going to be an upgraded Times anyway, with Melanie Reid, Graham Spiers already cherry picked from the Herald (and no doubt more to come), surely now is the time for something special to differentiate the New Scottish Times from the Scottish competition. And look at that competition:
The Scotsman is like a scrawny dog that’s suffered years of starvation at the hands of a couple of abusive owners and their “Scottish” idiot-in-chief. All they wanted was a big fat English bulldog so when the chance came, they just walked away having alienated much of their readership and the rest of Scottish civic society. Johnston Press may present themselves as saviours dress up in a self-promoting Nationhood Debate (smart move for a new English editor) but faced with a determined effort by a newly Scottish Times, people like my father in law are unlikely to return. Sorry.
Would the Scotsman be forced to follow suit and come out against the union? Well, haven’t you checked out their online vote? “Do you think the 1707 act of union was a good thing?” – voting is currently 76% NO. That must be a bit worrying given the bland establishment wisdom that the Union was good at the time even if it might be worth reviewing now. Perhaps the Scotsman really should listen to its readers!
As for the Herald, well, last year Ian McWhirter, great Scottish journalist and commentator, wrote a piece in the Media section of the Guardian bemoaning the downfall of the “Scottish” press. I see this being referred to with almost veneration as if the great man had said something profound. But really it’s bollocks. The damage to the Scotsman was done by foreigners and The Herald is owned by Gannett Inc, owner of USA today and many more. In the Scottishness stakes I have absolutely no idea why the Herald should be considered more Scottish just because it’s the UK’s oldest broadsheet. The lineage is betrayed by the ownership. A truly Scottish Times, sharing resources but not editorial direction with London and owned by Rupert Murdoch would be every bit as Scottish and a much better proposition than a cash strapped and rather dull Herald.
I’m looking forwards to a Times that speaks for the future of Independence instead of the Union of the past.
Come on Rupert – you know it makes sense, or should that be come on Steven Walker? I haven’t a clue why McLachie is gone, but transitions provide the opportunity for a change of tack.