The Sun and the SNP: SoS feature provides useful potted history

FOR a potted history of The Scottish Sun’s relationship with the SNP, in general, and its leader, Alex Salmond, in particular, one can do worse that cast an eye over a feature today in Scotland on Sunday, by Dani Garavelli.

Garavelli reminds, for instance, how the paper’s owner, Rupert Murdoch, genuinely seems to have a deep affection for Scotland.

But The Scottish Sun has ranged between ‘braveheart frenzy’, the SNP’s logo in the shape of a noose and an appeal to readers to keep faith with Salmond as First Minister.

Writes Garavelli: “… in 1992, whipped up into a Braveheart frenzy by the then Scottish Sun editor, Bob Bird, who took a piper all the way to Wapping, [Murdoch] was persuaded to back the Nationalist cause. [He], however, proved fickle. In 2007, on the eve of the Scottish Parliamentary election, the front page of the Scottish Sun carried a hangman’s rope in the shape of the SNP logo, with the headline, ‘Vote SNP today and you put Scotland’s head in the noose’.”

It was a Tory paper, when The Scottish Sun was launched in 1987, continues Garavelli. And last year, it declared: “Play it Again Salm”.