THE day after Nicola Sturgeon’s official launch of the campaign for a second independence referendum, I was well crabbit. Looking at the newsstand in my local supermarket, apart from obviously The National, the front page of every other paper that included this news item portrayed it in a negative fashion, to varying degrees.

The Daily Record and Daily Mail didn’t include it on the front page, but surprise, surprise, splashed with the story about the SNP MP Patrick Grady’s sexual misconduct case. The Guardian didn’t even have the launch story on its front page at all. I never hear it being discussed in the media, but it is clearly wholly undemocratic for the desire of around 50% of Scots for independence to be sidelined at best and often trashed in the print and telly media.

On the day of the launch neither the BBC Scotland telly channel nor the radio one covered Nicola’s speech live.

I watched it on Sky News but as soon as she was finished, when Patrick Harvie was about to speak, the coverage was abruptly ended, so we didn’t get to hear a single word he said. A real lack of respect in my view.

Much of the news coverage during the day kept banging on about the impasse reached between the Scottish and UK governments as the latter won’t grant a Section 30 order to give “permission” for us to hold a referendum. It stressed what Nicola would do in the circumstances and hinted at her holding an illegal one. One after the other, reporters continually downplayed the real story: that the SNP and Greens have a clear mandate from the Scottish people to hold a referendum from the last Scottish election and it is wholly undemocratic, unfair and just plain immoral for Johnson to ignore it.

Anas Sarwar said: “This is Nicola Sturgeon remaining true to form, ultimately a divisive politician that wants to pit Scot against Scot and take us to the politics of the past.” Labour’s Sarah Boyack stated: “When the report says that an independent Scotland could not be transformed to match the success of the comparator countries overnight, given that we have been told that it would be Brexit times ten, will the Cabinet Secretary admit it would make Brexit look like a walk in the park?”

As an ex-Labour voter who stopped that ultimately pointless habit ages ago, I take real offence to these comments. Like the vast majority of Scottish Labour voters who switched to the SNP, it finally clicked in ma heid, “vote Labour, get Tory”, so it was a wholly logical and sensible decision to make the switch. I’m offended that Anas has described Nicola as being divisive, and by default making the same accusation against me and other independence supporters, just because she wants her country to be independent. So what would make her un-divisive in his eyes? If she gave up in her quest to make Scotland an independent country, asked to join his party and persuade her colleagues and supporters to do likewise? Yes, I know, what a ridiculous accusation to make!

As for Sarah reckoning that Scotland becoming independent would make Brexit like a walk in the park, I seriously don’t know what planet she is on having the affront to come up with that one! As an ex-Labour supporter, it really sticks in my craw that many current Scottish Labour politicians now clearly vent the worst of their vitriolic hatred at the SNP rather than the real enemy, the Tories. A YouGov poll taken in 2019 (I couldn’t find a more recent one) found that 39% of Labour Party members support independence, so they are even offending a large chunk of their own members.

When we finally do become an independent country, Anas, or whoever is Labour leader by then, needn’t come back crawling to me asking for my vote again. That ship has well and truly sailed! I shall never forgive Scottish Labour politicians for putting a broken union ahead of the best interests of our country.

The next time I’m in the supermarket I’m going to studiously ignore the newsstand. It might prevent me from being a crabbit auld git for the rest of the day and change the habit of a lifetime!

Ivor Telfer
Dalgety Bay, Fife