Scotsman’s front page was ‘shocking’

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We were shocked to see on your front page (11 September) that you had abandoned your balanced coverage of the independence issue: for The Scotsman to publish its verdict seemed to be entirely inappropriate. It indicated a change in editorial policy we find unacceptable.

George and Estelle Ward

Ballindean

Perthshire

May I congratulate you on your thoughtful and well- argued verdict on the independence debate.

As one of the many proud Scots who have been disenfranchised through living outside Scotland, I was pleased to see you have come down, very correctly, on the side of a No vote.

Those living south of the Border have for some time been understandably envious of the significant health, welfare and educational benefits available in Scotland largely because of the differentials in state funding received.

This, coupled with the disproportionate political representation and voting rights, has led to many in England feeling somewhat unequal.

Over past decades the insidious political call of “it’s Scottish oil” has helped to create a belief that an even better financial future will be available for those living in an independent Scotland.

That is a wrong and short-term view, but if that were to be correct and the vote is for independence, those in the rest of the UK will be left worse off. Combined with the strong anti-English rhetoric of much of the pro-independence camp, there should be no surprise to the residents of Scotland when, if the vote is Yes, there is total resistance to any ongoing support or financial compromise from the voters in the remainder of the UK.

Barry Lawson

North Moreton

Didcot

Thank goodness for your clear thinking, which I regard as totally characteristic of mainstream Scots. I salute you.

Julian Bowermann

Wilton Road

Salisbury

I think it would be more accurate to name your paper The Englishman. In the recent past you muddied the waters on independence with your barely neutral articles but now that you have come out against independence you have clearly show yourself for the turncoat that you are.

I expect you are reading this e-mail in the comfort of your home in Surrey where you probably spend most of your time. Leave Scotland to the Scottish, leave the English to their ilk in Westminster.

Andrew Glover

Walden Terrace

Gifford, East Lothian

My understanding of the role of a “national” newspaper is its news coverage and articles should present balanced, well-researched, factual information from all sides, with bias or opinion confined to its “editorial” columns. Increasingly the press has succumbed to lazy journalism and promoting the views of their lords and masters.

The Scotsman has been sliding down this slippery slope for some time now and Thursday’s front page was the final disgrace. I have been a reader for 40 years – a mere moment compared with the history of this proud paper. The current editorial team should be deeply ashamed that they have plunged a newspaper of almost 200 years’ standing to such dire depths. It certainly can no longer brand itself as “Scotland’s national newspaper” – it is, at best, an opinionated, parochial rag, to which I will no longer subscribe.

Jenni Robertson

Monksford Stables

Melrose

I have read and reread your front page article on “Scotland’s decision”. It is an eloquently written piece which leads the reader to expect an impartial examination of the prospects for independence.

Yet as one reads on, it becomes apparent that, despite the quality of its prose, the article is thoroughly biased in favour of the No option.

The reader is cleverly treated to a discussion which almost exclusively emphasises the dangers of a Yes vote to emphasise the benefits of a No vote. The views expressed are anything but impartial.

It must be concluded that anything written in The Scotsman is likely to be coloured by the paper’s own entrenched and biased views.

Thomas Myles

Manse Road

Linlithgow

I congratulate you on making a very courageous decision regarding the referendum vote. You may lose a few of your more belligerent readers, but you will gain more, including people like me. Well done.

A A Miller

Clackmae Road

Edinburgh

I’m pleased that after months of anti-Yes rhetoric from The Scotsman you’ve had the balls to actually come out and declare to the world that you officially endorse a No vote.

I, and lots of others, can now officially stop buying your newspaper. I hope that when your circulation and profits drop you have the balls to explain to any shareholders you have left why this has happened.

Tommy Allan

Ivanhoe Drive

Glenrothes

After your front page editorial I expect you will change your banner to “Scotland’s Regional Newspaper”.

After 40 years of buying your paper on a daily basis, goodbye, and the best of luck.

Ken Gow

Bridge of Canny

Banchory

I have been reading and 
writing to The Scotsman for 52 years. So it was with surprise that I found you endorsing a No vote despite the commitment to impartiality in your Prospectus. Congratulations on your courage.

This decision demonstrates how the choice Scotland has to make trumps all other ordinary considerations. Scotland is faced with a choice between a leap in the dark, where danger looms, and an endorsement of the security we enjoy in the UK.

You have chosen not to sit on the fence and to declare what you think is best for Scotland and even what is best for the Union. I hope most Scottish voters will follow your lead and keep the valuable Union that took more than 300 years to build. Let us not throw it away.

Steuart Campbell

Dovecot Loan

Edinburgh

Your front page comment “Scotland’s decision” is clearly a very carefully worded article. You have chosen your words prudently.

I’m disappointed therefore that you should make the same mistake as Prime Minister David Cameron during a television interview the other night.

You speak about the fundamental issue of bringing decision-making “to the 
people best suited to make them – the Scots”.

As you should well know by now, the Yes campaign has always spoken about the importance of empowering the people who live in this country. They may be Scots, English, Welsh or any nationality. It’s a key message and I would have expected at least The Scotsman to get this fact correct.

Brian Watt

Hainburn Park

Edinburgh

As a subscriber to The Scotsman, I’d like to commend your carefully measured analysis of the referendum question on Thursday.

It is a position which resonates strongly with the views that I hold, and those of many others that I know.

I find it to be founded on a true respect for the aspirations of all of those living and working in Scotland, and our neighbours in our 
United Kingdom.

It is the mark of an 
outward-looking, confident society, one which is keen to 
co-operate and build prosperity through the strength of our relationships.

Reading the piece brought a lump to my throat.

Well done.

Steve Thompson

Lawson Avenue

Banchory

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