THE scoop that helped the new Scottish Sun on Sunday launch yesterday – that the upcoming independence referendum has been scheduled for October 18 in two years’ time – hasn’t gone down well with at least a couple of newspapers today.
Following Scottish political editor, Andrew Nicoll’s splash yesterday in The Scottish Sun’s new Sunday edition, both The Scotsman and the Daily Record devote part of their leader columns to commenting on the wisdom of it.
Says rival, the Record, revelation of the date hardly squares with reported pledges by First Minister, Alex Salmond, to consult on the referendum: “So it was more than a little worrying to discover a newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch claimed to have confirmation from a Scottish Government source that Saturday, October 18, is being lined up as the day of the big poll.”
And under the heading, ‘Leaking referendum date by way of The Sun won’t add votes’, The Scotsman says: “Slightly odd is the choice of channel for dispensing this information – a leak to the new Sunday version of The Sun newspaper. Of course, since it has been unofficially leaked rather than officially announced, it makes it easier for the First Minister to change the chosen date, should that prove necessary. Rather more interestingly than that, handing out goodies and titbits to people whom Mr Salmond wishes to woo is a well-tried tactic from the SNP repertoire of political techniques.”