Sunday, November 05, 2006

Gordon Brown - the enemy of free speech?

Some interesting stuff in the papers this morning. allmediascotland has an opinion piece from former political editor of The Herald, Murray Ritchie, on the current state of the Scottish press. In a wide-ranging sweep of the current travails of the market, Ritchie retells the story of how Gordon Brown and his representatives on earth withheld advertising revenue from the Herald in 1999, for their temerity in trying to be even handed when covering Labour and the SNP.

But that's all in the past, isn't it? Well, it seems that these gangsterish habits die hard. Scotland on Sunday carries a piece on how Cardinal Keith O'Brien has provoked Brown's wrath for his comment last month that, if it was the wish of the people, he would be "happy" to see Scotland become independent. According to 'Labour sources', the talks were designed to 'pressurise' the Cardinal over his comments on independence. "There was a question of whether he [O'Brien] had really thought it through," the insider said. The suggestion that the talks were 'more offensive than charm' also appears...

It's desperate stuff from desperate people, who are finding that there's nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come. Meanwhile, over at the Sunday Times, Ben Thomson from Noble Group, rubbishes the idea that either greater fiscal powers or Independence would not be good for Scotland. Oh dear. Can he expect to find a horse's head in his bed now as well?

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