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Monday, 9 May 2011

The Scottish referendum - Lorraine Davidson being objective?

Lorraine Davidson, former Labour spin doctor, biographer of Jack McConnell, former Labour First Minister of Scotland ('Lucky Jack'), now a Times journalist, offers an objective assessment of the SNP landslide and the referendum.

Or is it? Judge for yourself. A journalist and commentator has a right to take a position - balance is not always objectivity. But when a journalist has formerly been so close to a specific political party and viewpoint, it pays to be careful. Lorraine is initially critical of the Labour campaign, but then ...

Lorraine Davidson

People in Scotland instinctively want to be part of the Union, but Alex Salmond’s game now isn’t the game the SNP played in the 70s and 80s – with one great leap we’ll be free.

What Alex Salmond wants is independence by stealth. There are already going to be extra powers in the Parliament – they’re going through at the moment – he’s going to beef those up further. His referendum I would bet will also contain an option of full fiscal autonomy, so by the time you get to the independence thing, further down the road – he’s playing the long game … He wants to take the view that nobody in Scotland’s going to matter when you put in the last piece of the jigsaw.”

The Times, according to Angus Macleod, chief political reporter in Scotland, favours no party or political viewpoint, but reports objectively. He exemplifies this approach, and as a result, his analysis and prediction of the Holyrood elections was the most accurate and prescient of all the papers.

Lorraine would do well to remember this, and watch out for that old danger in reporting - the use of coloured terms, i.e. pejorative adjectives, adverbs and appellations. I would like to feel that she is now free of old, reflex, in-denial Scottish Labour and unionist attitudes, but I often fear she is not.


  1. Peter,

    Thanks for these abbreviated clips, they make my day worthwhile. To be honest LD does not speak for anyone but herself, the fact that she *thinks* she does demonstrates her continued delusions and arrogance.

    Labour in Scotland are finished in their current format and goodness only knows what that's meant to be!

    She and her ilk just don't get Scotland, they think they do but they don't and last Friday was clear evidence that this is the case.

    I've witnessed the EBC over the last 72 hrs desperately trying to spin this as not a vote for Independence - lets face it Westmidden and their London lackeys are keekin themselves!

    My how I'm going to enjoy Scotland's progress over the next term of Govt, we are now off our knees and standing tall - feels good doesn't it?

    Alba Gu Brath


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  4. I don't publlish comments that accuse people of lying, natha. Moderate your mode of expression - there's no space for abuse here.

  5. Thanks, CD. I don't think Lorraine is either delusional or arrogant, but she is coming to terms with the enormity of the decline of her party, Labour - and she works now for a UK national newspaper, and is part of the Westminster village.

    When she choose to be so, she is a fine, incisive and perceptive commentator. There's hope -