No change of tune

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The story about the singer Emeli Sandé changing her tune about her Scottish upbringing (7 October) was a bit like a very watered-down version of the Daily Mail’s attack on David Miliband’s father as the man who “hated Britain”.

In both cases, a story seems to have been concocted on very little evidence.

In Sandé’s case, all she says is that she felt somewhat isolated as a young black woman in Alford, which is perfectly understandable as it is deep in rural Aberdeenshire and with a pretty homogeneous population.

She doesn’t say that anyone was unkind to her, simply that she felt out of place – something that teenagers are particularly likely to notice for one reason or another.

If we have to have non-stories about people in the entertainment business, Annie Lennox’s attack on the sexual nature of female performance was a far more important issue and worthy of reporting.

However, rather than tales of “celebrities”, what The Scotsman does best and should concentrate on are stories like the piece by Duncan Macmillan on the brilliant Allan Ramsay exhibition at the Hunterian Gallery (same edition), which was the opposite of sensationalist, but erudite, fascinating and well written.

(Dr) Mary Brown

Dalvenie Road


I wasn’t comfortable with the first half of the headline: “Singer Sandé changes her tune to say she felt ‘like an alien’ in Scotland”.

I imagine you used the words “changes her tune” to play with language, but the result was that some readers would infer that the poor woman had made some sort of U-turn and was being criticised for it.

Nobody ever talks of someone “changing their tune” in a positive context.

Angela Innes

Dundas Street