The first of the new Scottish paper supporting independence, The National, came out today. As I’m still a Scot living in Bristol I can only go off reports online and on social media but from all accounts it’s selling well, though I will say the online subscription service is awful and should it last beyond it’s initial five day pilot run that needs to get ironed out sooner rather than later.
As for the paper itself it looks fine as you’d expect, plus it’s nice to read a leftish newspaper again as all the other former leftish newspapers are now firmly centre-right (The Independent) or playing with this sort of authoritarian liberalism that’s crept in from the US that ends up with endless articles about identity politics (The Guardian). This in itself is a good excuse to say it’s a good day for democratic debate not just in Scotland, but across the UK as people like me will help spread the readership of the paper, assuming it maintains a level of quality, and doesn’t fall into being an echo chamber for the SNP.
It is remarkable that over two months from the referendum we’re seeing the pro-independence side conduct itself as if it won, which of course it didn’t but it certainly won the moral high ground as it’s very, very hard to tell people in Scotland to lie down and take it which is what some on the Unionist side would like. As for the Better Together side they’re falling to pieces with the man who said he’d ‘personally see The Vow through Parliament’ announcing that he’s running away, sorry, standing down in May’s general election.
Gordon Brown is a fascinating figure to me as I’ve pointed out when discussing his use in the horror comic Crossed: Badlands this summer. He should have been a giant of politics and a man who led the Labour Party to glories (this Newsnet Scotland article sums him up perfectly) instead of someone who probably helped oversee it’s demise in Scotland at least, but this hasn’t stopped some mythmaking about him in the media, but it’s symbolic he quits on the weekend thousands of people engage in politics in Glasgow, and a day or so before The National was launched. It’s as if one door is closing and new ones are opening.
I do hope The National becomes a permanent fixture. Yes, it has things it needs to sort out but it’s a start of hopefully a reshaping of Scottish media that will, hopefully, help the country to independence.