28 February 2012 - 7:50am | posted by | 9 comments

The Scotsman and The Daily Record berate Scottish Government over leak on referendum date

The Scotsman and The Daily Record berate Scottish Government over leak on referendum dateThe Scotsman and The Daily Record berate Scottish Government over leak

The Scotsman and The Daily Record have berated the Scottish Government over an alleged leak to a new Sunday tabloid on the preferred date for the country’s independence referendum.

The newly-launched Sunday edition of The Scottish Sun carried a front-page splash story claiming the date had been fixed for October 18, 2014.

Declared The Scotsman in a leader article: “Slightly odd is the choice of channel for dispensing this information – a leak to the new Sunday version of The Sun newspaper.

“Of course, since it has been unofficially leaked rather than officially announced, it makes it easier for the First Minister to change the chosen date, should that prove necessary.

“Rather more interestingly than that, handing out goodies and titbits to people whom Mr Salmond wishes to woo is a well-tried tactic from the SNP repertoire of political techniques.”

The Scotsman pointed out that ...”Rupert Murdoch, the proprietor of The Sun and from who all decisions about political positioning flow, could be described as a floating voter.

“The Sun has backed the SNP in the past, and sometimes it has not. And in recent months, Mr Murdoch has indicated his admiration for Mr Salmond’s political skills and some sympathy for the idea Scotland should be independent. So it is easy to see why Mr Salmond would want to curry favour with him.

“But the idea that this will pay huge dividends for the SNP is misleading. The influence that newspapers have over how their readers vote has dwindled in recent years.

“Mr Salmond should also be aware of the problems of getting too cosy with rich and opinionated businessmen – his one-time friend and admirer Donald Trump is now hurling abuse and promising to finance campaigns against wind farms.”

The Daily Record also devoted part of its leader columns to the alleged leak - claiming that revelation of the date hardly squared with reported pledges by Salmond to consult on the referendum.

The Record commented: “... it was more than a little worrying to discover a newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch claimed to have confirmation from a Scottish Government source that Saturday, October 18, is being lined up as the day of the big poll.

"This is the same Rupert Murdoch who sits at the top of an empire that controlled the News of the World.

"This was the very newspaper shut down because it had become a toxic brand after the phone hacking scandal.

"Murdoch has taken to praising Salmond on a regular basis. Now he seems to feel he has a say in Scotland's future."

Within the Sun's front page story, headlined 'Day of Destiny' there was no official Government source quoted in revealing the date of 18 October 2014.


28 Feb 2012 - 08:34
peter93862's picture

There was no "leak". To imagine that there was is to suppose that Alex Salmond is stupid. And not even those who harbour a seething, bitter hatred for the man deny that he is very far from being stupid.

There was no need for any "leak". Anybody who has read the Scottish government's consultation document could have narrowed it down to no more than half a dozen possible dates. It's then just a matter of opting for one and giving it a big splash and, superficially at least, it is indistinguishable from insider knowledge.

The Scotsman and The Record are just peed-off because they didn't think of it first.

29 Feb 2012 - 02:42
RolftheGanger's picture


Au contraire! The Scotsman and The Record are alarmed at a new newspaper rival, supporting the SNP. This threatens their vested interests. Their declining readership levels and their Unionist bigotry. Hoever, the stinger in the tail for those newspapers is that Murdoch is adept at spotting intending winners, backing them and then claiming to have been 'influential' The reality being that the 'espoused' cause woulfd have succeeded just as well without the Murdoch support (in this case even more so)

For the logically minded, Murdoch's ploys of backing winners rely on what the Romans called post hoc propter hoc logic. "It happened, after - therefore it caused it" Eg. the man in the blitz who pulled the lavatory chain and was dug out, snorting with laughter. "First time I ever pulled the chain - and the house fell down!" Wrongly attributing the result (collapse/election win) to the cause (chain/Murdoch backing)

28 Feb 2012 - 10:26
gordonmacintyrekemp's picture

The Scotsman and The Record and several other papers pour bile and visceral hatred of the SNP and Alex Salmond on their readership on a regular basis (and Yet the SNP still win elections with landslides). Those papers then have headlines that attack independence and report ridiculous unfounded unionist rumours as credible fact and then complain that a supposed world exclusive didn't go to them - wow thats a surprise!

If someone low down in the administration did unwisely let slip that Sat 18th was under consideration - the Sun will have seized on it and sexed it up as a World eExclusive (thats what tabloids do).

I am willing to bet that the date the Sun has mentioned has been discussed but won't be the final date. My money is on Thursday 16th October.

Oh and I bought the Sunday Sun just out of interest, and, err it wasn't that bad!!!!


28 Feb 2012 - 15:33
Ogilvy's picture

I agree with Gordon. Papers should not be allowed to pour visceral hatred on Dear Leader Salmond. I for one cannot wait for the referendum.

"Do you wish Scotland to break free from the shackles of the cruel and evil British state and emerge anew to bask in the majestic radiance of King Alex Salmond and the SNP? Yes or Definitely?"

28 Feb 2012 - 16:04
gordonmacintyrekemp's picture

@Ogilvy I Never suggested for one moment that the papers shouldn't be allowed to pour visceral hatred on the FM, (just not the BBC:-) but they shouldn't be surprised when they don't receive leaks - not that this was a leak IMHO, just the Sun doing what the Sun does.

Good question though, yes could mean Devo + and Definitely full independence. You really DO have a way with words!

29 Feb 2012 - 09:03

@Ogilvy That doubtless all sounded very clever when it was still inside your head. Exposing it to daylight and the mocking attention of others was probably not such a good idea.

But, quite inadvertently I'm sure, your foolish comments do serve a useful purpose. They illustrate the total inability of British nationalists to address the real issues, and their need to construct ludicrous straw men at which to tilt in order to make themselves feel slightly less inadequate.

17 Mar 2012 - 10:11

Here we have the quintessential British nationalist in all its self-regarding glory. First it scurrilously misrepresents another's words. Then it trots out the mother of all straw men. A caricature of reality so ludicrous as to go beyond comical fantasy and into the realms of pathological delusion. The tragedy is that it is so easy to accept that Ogilvy truly believes such manifest nonsense. Which is very, very sad.

One has to wonder why, if there is a solid case for the union as claimed, these British nationalist fanatics feel obliged to resort to such puerile and dishonest tactics.

29 Feb 2012 - 14:49
Ogilvy's picture

They did sound very clever in my head. They were clever in print as well.

29 Feb 2012 - 20:47
gordonmacintyrekemp's picture

@Ogilvy I am afraid your Ouija board may be channeling someone other than the great man! Ogilvy would have never said "Print" when in fact the words appear in "type" on a website!

Print huh, maybe a magazine publisher of some sort:-)


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