IF there was ever a doubt about Ruth Wishart being one of the finest journalists ever to grace our media stage then her recent article on the contrasting media treatment of our First Minister with the Prime Minister of the UK should confirm it (Treatment of Teflon PM in stark contrast to media glee at FM inquiry, April 4). Their lack of scrutiny of the Johnson government from the outset of his administration has been nothing short of a national scandal.

It is an unfortunate but accurate fact that the majority of British national newspapers – and I include Scotland in this – consistently adopt an obsequious stance towards the Westminster government and seldom attempt to investigate its disjointed policy implementation whilst ignoring its glaring obfuscation and increasingly evasive and dishonest narrative.

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The majority of our daily national newspapers are unapologetically right-wing and owned by billionaires such as the Barclay brothers, Rupert Murdoch and Viscount Rothermere. Their raison d’etre is to protect and defend the Conservative government, and therefore the status quo, regardless of fairness or social justice. Rather than hold the present government to account, they wilfully misreport policy failings and run banner headlines deifying the Prime Minister to appeal to the unquestioning reader – a naked and unashamed bread-and-circuses approach to journalism.

Many of these publications neither enhance nor encourage democratic thought or debate and make no effort to be objective or politically balanced. The headlines proclaiming Johnson’s foray into selected and safeguarded Tory-friendly places to be a raging success are not only deceptive and disingenuous but desperate. We can expect an onslaught of blatant and cheap attempts to smear the independence movement in the days ahead as the polls widen and the fear of a subsequent referendum begins to hit home. The full weight of the UK established media, including the BBC, will stand firmly behind the Union as their very existence is under threat. The gloves are well and truly off.

The National stands as a beacon of hope for those in Scotland who reject publications that exist to defend the UK state or to act as cheerleaders for the UK Government. It is clearly and unapologetically in favour of Scottish independence but also inclusive, introspective and progressive. I look forward to the day in Scotland when a free press reports the news to a free people.

Owen Kelly

I HAVE supported The National from its first edition and championed its quality content over the years. However, I feel that your desire to serve all hues of Scottish independence support has lost its balance over the last few weeks.

Yes, the emergence of Alba is an important development, and yes some SNP supporters have moved in the direction of the new party, but it is not the landslide your coverage is suggesting. By all means give Alex Salmond and his acolytes a platform, but why not an equal amount of coverage to our Green friends?

READ MORE: Greens co-leader Lorna Slater jokes about new name change after Salmond comment

Yesterday’s issue had eight pages of pro-Alba stories, not including the four pages of letters which reflect both support and opposition to the new party. Salmond’s face headlined yesterday’s paper, as it did the day before and several other days since his pre-Easter resurrection.

I will continue to support The National but ask you to consider the balance of your editorial in this new party’s favour.

Ross Meikle
via email

SINCE its recent launch announcement the First Minister has spend a good deal of her time, effort and energy attacking the newly formed Alba Party, pouring scorn and a heavy measure of innuendo on Alex Salmond. As an SNP voter for many years I find this rather offensive.

Why, I might ask, does she not save at least a little of her wrath for the Scottish Greens, who are standing directly against SNP candidates in 12 constituencies? Their intervention could lead to the loss of SNP constituency members and gains for one of the Unionist parties.

A transfer of even some of the many thousands of wasted SNP list votes to the Alba Party would see a number of Unionists lose their seats to nationalists. I am at a complete loss to understand the current logic of the both the SNP and the First Minister.

Glenda Burns

REGARDING John Baird’s letter about the situation in West of Scotland (April 5), I think the situation may be even more complex in deciding on a list vote. Should the SNP lose a constituency seat, they would probably pick up a list seat if their list vote holds up. However, if some of the list vote goes to another party they may not get that list MSP. Furthermore the other party would have to achieve some 17,000 list votes to get a list MSP. Also if some votes are taken from the Greens then the Greens list MSP could also lose out.

This is, of course assuming that the Tory and Labour list votes are maintained. If these were to rise, the jeopardy increases. My conclusion is that a vote for Alba in West of Scotland is a risk and unlikely to increase pro-independence MSPs in this region unless they pick up some 15% of the vote and the SNP hold all their constituencies.

George Rhind

I AGREE with some points in the letter from F Harkness (April 7), but not the last paragraph. If there are any remaining issues about Alex Salmond’s behaviour to be addressed, then they can be sorted after the election.

If we reject independence due to one person’s alleged misconduct, then it is off the agenda for decades. Is that a wise choice for any serious supporter of home rule?

Richard Walthew