The Daily Record softens SNP stance as Scottish independence talk heightens
Picture the scene.
A private dinner party at a top hotel.
Delicious food served by attentive staff. Fine wine flowing, for those who want it. Malt whisky for the rest.
Then the entertainment begins, provided by none other than Alastair Campbell and his bagpipes.
Within a few years he would go on to become the man for whom the phrase “Spin Doctor” was invented.
But for now he was content as the Daily Mirror’s Political Editor and close confidant of the paper’s proprietor Robert Maxwell, who was guest of honour in the room.
It was Autumn 1990 and the Labour Party Conference in Blackpool was in full swing.
Captain Bob was being feted by Labour’s leading lights including leader-in-waiting John Smith, Robin Cook and George Robertson.
Maxwell’s two main papers, the Mirror and the Daily Record were staunch Labour supporters and the Party’s Scottish heavyweights were out in force to show solidarity and give thanks for the continued support.
For Labour, at any rate, it was a marriage made in heaven. The Record was Scotland’s best seller and the politicians knew they could take it for granted.
But now, just 21 years on, it looks as though the Record is filing for divorce.
As I revealed here just a few days ago new supremo Allan Rennie is seeking closer ties with the SNP.
And I hear on the grapevine that a small private reception in the Record’s offices will soon take place.
Guest of honour will be Alex Salmond!