I remember the excitement of the first issue of The National when it came out:
It was thin but it was a start. I put aside my knowledge that it was owned by the same people who owned The Herald, a paper that along with the Dundee Courier, and the BBC, broke me of my paper buying habit during the referendum due to their bias coverage and outright lies. WoS had shown me the light and my days of buying a paper had stopped, but along came The National.
I bought it everyday and was delighted when it got through its first so many weeks to demonstrate it had a future. It was a breath of fresh air, it represented something more in line with my views and was something for the YES side to hold on to. It wasn’t perfect but it was something.
But like all papers, they are often behind the news, I found I was getting my news via the blogs and twitter and The National was playing catch up. I found that I didn’t really enjoy many of the writers, I felt their was a holier than thou attitude in some and at times an idealism that was more of the posh left than of the people I spoke to around me, there was realism within yes supporters but not represented by the people writing the articles. The sport section was also pretty crap.
However, Lesley Riddoch was enlightening and explained things simply and well, I didn’t feel I was being patronised by not knowing big words like I used to feel when reading anything by Brian Taylor. I liked Wee Ginger Dug, George Kenevan, but not so much the others.
But over time I stopped buying it everyday, I dropped to a couple of times a week and more often than not it sat in my bag unread. I felt that I still wanted to support it, it’s all we have and better than nothing, but it all feels safe. It still leaves a bad taste that it’s owned by the people who own The Herald, I still think some of the writers are full of their own importance and I never buy it when it has the Bella mag as I just don’t like it at all. But as I said it is all we have.
However, I didn’t buy one today, I had my newly subscribed iScot magazine to read, I was going to go get one but then went to the movies to see War of the Planet of the Apes and would read iScot when I got home.
This got me thinking, should I buy a paper that I rarely read, do I by purchasing one lend my support to people I don’t agree with and whose views and opinions for me are professing support for Indy but trying to be so politically correct they might as well not be supporting yes at all as by being so nice, polite and politically correct they are playing the unionists game in that they are afraid to get down and dirty, unlike the unionists. The message they are trying to get across gets lost in all the politically correct language and niceties of not wanting to upset anyone. We want Independence but we shouldn’t upset anyone, not say any harsh words, show respect to people who have none for us because we are better than them.
I’m not saying I want lies and abuse, I don’t want The National to be the Mail, Herald, Express, Mirror or Sun. I do though want a bit of realism, yes we don’t want to turn people away from yes by being as bad as the unionist but by being afraid to upset anyone we are playing the game they want us to play and we will achieve little.
I think The National is needed, I will buy it a couple of times a week even if I don’t read anything other than the letters page. But for me to buy it everyday it needs to find its edge, it needs to move away from the middle and settle on a path, maybe too much to hope for. What do others think.
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