Friends indeed

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“Scotland is facing a housing crisis” headlines the latest Friends of the Scotsman contribution to a national debate (3 July). Housing crisis … maybe, but fellow readers I have spoken with agree that our best-beloved newspaper, The Scotsman, is facing another crisis, having rented out its centre pages to lobbyists, commercial interests and single-issue campaign groups.

What will you do if a profoundly anti-democratic organisation takes out the required subscription, asks to be your friend and claims a central platform for its views?

Censor or refuse its contributions, or take the money to look the other way? Time to go, perhaps – for what will it profit a newspaper, if it gains the whole world (or increases its subscriptions) but forfeits its soul? I, too, consider myself a friend (small “f”) of The Scotsman, and a friend’s duty, as well as saying “thank you” when you get things right, is to speak out when you get something wrong. Fair-weather “friends”, graded by subscription, aren’t, in the long run, worth having.


Calton Road, Edinburgh