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Thursday, 19 December 2013

Spin by headline and the Herald.

Today was the second time the Herald rejected an online comment of mine. The common factor seems to be that both comments criticised the way the Herald was using headlines.

Today’s article by Kate Devlin was the case in point.

Here is the comment I posted, so far unpublished.

COMMENT

Your headline Cameron: no change to Barnett and the first line of the report DAVID CAMERON has ruled out making changes to the controversial Barnett formula are partial and misleading. The truth lies in the line "The Coalition announced that there were no plans to review the formula before the next general election"

The YES Campaign assertion (and mine) is that whatever government is in power after a No vote in the 2014 referendum will cut the Barnett formula. The pressures to do this from English voters and organisations, including local authorities - not to mention senior politicians - will be irresistible.

But with the referendum vote in September 2014, it is clearly impossible for the Coalition to do this before a general election in 2015. Labour is unlikely to include this in their manifesto, relying still on the Scottish Labour vote, but the Tories have little to lose by offering this vote winner to their English supporters, since the party is dead in Scotland.

A No vote in 2014 will not lead to more devolution - it will inevitably lead to, at best, devo zero, and at worse, a clawback, devo minus.

6 comments:

  1. Your problem is that only people with OBEs are allowed to post freely on the Herald site. You really must please the establishment more if you wish to contribute.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There was rather a rash of them. The British Empire may be dying but it's still liberal with its honours. I thought maybe being a subscriber, a regular defender of journalism and the Herald, albeit an occasional critic, plus having something relevant to say might just have qualified me.

      regards,

      Peter

      Delete
  2. The Herald is basically in the NO camp but to cover their backs they do allow some YES opinions. I am a subscriber and often swither about stopping my subscription, unfortunately what other major Scottish paper is there to turn to. All controlled by English money.

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    Replies
    1. I don't agree that the Herald is in the No camp, Donald.
      Historically, it was a Labour paper, but in recent years, it could not be so described. Although I believe that there are still powerful Labour voices at senior levels, no newspaper that regularly features Iain Macwhirter and Ian Bell (and Harry Reid) could be described as hostile to YES.
      It's LETTERS column is the glory of the Scottish press, and gives full space to the YES voice.
      The Sunday Herald, using essentially the same journalisitic team, has given superb and objective coverage to the referendum debate.

      I am a subscriber and an occasional critic of the Herald, but I am in no doubt that it is vital to the great debate and to independence.

      regards,

      Peter

      Delete
  3. I post quite regularly and frequently "debate" (misuse of the word, to be honest) with JohnOBE. I have rarely has comments 'pulled' but those that have were also mildly critical of the Herald articles. It seems to me that they don't like any criticism of themselves.

    As to their position, it would not surprise me if they moved more obviously towards a genuine "Neutral" with a leaning towards YES by the Summer of next year.

    Of course, we shall see. Don't give up. Peter, one might get through!

    Best

    Tony

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    Replies
    1. I agree with your second para, Tony, in fact I think theyt are at neutral now, with occasional flashed of unionism.

      Have a good Christmas and New yeaR!

      regards,

      Peter

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