Some surprising SNP support emerges…

The Scotland on Sunday comes out of the closet with an editorial of some ferocity:

“…The fact is that Labour’s campaign has been appallingly negative and treated the electorate with contempt.
Both main thrusts of its campaign have been deceptive and can only have been constructed against a view that we, the electorate, are stupid.
Initially Iain Gray, in a shameless attempt to re-create their success at the Westminster elections last year, again raised the spectre of Thatcherism and the Tories. At the launch of its manifesto the Labour pledge card began with the words: “Now the Tories are back…” This was simply a scare tactic raising a non-existent bogeyman – or bogeywoman in this case. A Labour government in Holyrood is not going to pose any serious opposition to a Westminster coalition – the only place the Tories are back. He knew that. He was simply hoping for a Pavlovian reaction to the word Tories. But few delivered the response he was after.”
In contrast:
“..Alex Salmond has proved he can stand up for Scotland on the national and international stage and acquit himself well. Tellingly, in this election, he has spoken with passion about his grand vision for Scotland, a vision that sees the country harnessing its population’s creativity and its natural environment and exploiting its moment in time to be a global leader in renewable energy technology. We may be wary of some of the claims, and know that there is a long way to travel, but we should admire and applaud its ambition.”
And the Herald (you need to register but it’s free) The SNP deserve a second term.
“In an interview with this newspaper before campaigning got underway, Salmond said that he intended to fight the election on two fronts: the “business of vision” and the “quality of his team”. The ensuing weeks have vindicated this strategy. On top of this it has Salmond, who has grown in stature as First Minister. The SNP deserve another term in office, not because the alternative is so poor but because their vision and talent genuinely represent the best hope for our country’s future.”

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  • You have failed to mention the more influential (but also probably more embarrassing for SNP activists) Scottish Sun and NOTW falling behind Mr Salmond.

    Murdoch rarely calls it wrong but it does make you wonder about what exactly the Unionist Mafia (which the cybernats regularly claim control all outflows of information in Scotland) are doing to counter this outbreak of rebellion;)

  • A sidelight on this, which I found both a surprise and even a trifle frightening.

    It’s Peter Preston’s column in today’s Observer.

    Preston relates Scottish devolution to the decline of the two flagship Scottish newspapers. He relates how twelve years ago, a year after devolution, the presses of the Scotsman started production of Scotland on Sunday — to my mind, a worthy product and one that circulates as far south as Muswell Hill. In its early days, SoS had 130,000 paying punters.

    The Glasgow Herald caught the wind, and along came the Sunday Herald.

    Both papers have changed ownership in a serial better-someone-else’s neighbour. The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday are now the property of Johnston Press, along with, say, the News Letter and the Londonderry Sentinel — not to forget (would I be allowed to?) the Lady in my Life’s organ of choice, the Portadown Times. The Herald‘s ultimate headquarters are at Gannett Co Inc., 7950 Jones Branch Drive, McLean, Virginia, whence derives USA Today (which itself is to real news as a canapé is to a square meal).

    Preston’s view:

    And once the new Herald got up steam, it seemed to settle near the 60,000 sales mark. But in March, it sold 31,123, a 25.5% slump year-on-year, with scant sign of recovery from a poorly received January revamp.

    How long can the Sunday Herald survive figures like that? It’s a feisty enough read, but the shades of night must be gathering – as, to be frank, they are over Scotland’s upmarket daily press as well. The Scotsman, which sold 85,000 at devolution, boasts far under half that now.

    His final paragraph is a wry thought on where the Scottish press and public opinion now sit:

    Conclusions come bleak. That quasi-independence works no miracles if Fleet Street can still pour editions north. That Scots see scant linkage between their own news and political autonomy. And perhaps that treating true Scottish national papers as though they were heartland products somewhere out in the US midwest just doesn’t fit any bill. Gannett made $146m (£88m) profit this last, lean year. How much of that would have lifted spirits and eyes along the Clyde?

    So, what is devolution worth, if it cannot sustain a couple of decent, healthy national papers?

  • Dewi

    O’Neill – I mentioned the Sun’s support in a previous post.
    Malcolm – here’s the Wiki on Scottish newspapers:
    still quite healthy.

  • Dewi,

    Sorry, yes you (although not so many SNP supporters!) did.

  • Dewi:

    I’m here excluding the Daily Record on the same basis as other “Scottish editions”.

    The population of Scotland is about 5.2 million. The Herald sells about 50,000 copies a day. The Scotsman about 40,000. If only one in 60 (round numbers) Scots take one of their two national papers, is that “healthy”?

    By comparison the ABC figures for the (London-based) national press total about 9.7 million sales for a population of some 60 million: proportionately ten times as many.

    My point above was to wonder what devolution was worth, if the main organs of opinion are based elsewhere. I can certainly see why Salmond gets exercised about the national broadcaster being the “North British Broadcasting Corporation”.

  • Dewi

    I’m not a fan of the Daily Record as you might imagine Malolm, but to be fair it is far from a Scottish Edition of the Mirror.
    There is also some exciting stuff online:
    Caledonian Mercury and
    Newsnet Scotand