chapter  4
23 Pages

The Scottish Media and the Referendum

Sunday Mail as 'strongly pro' on both occasions is unsurprising as both are strongly Labour-supporting papers. In 1997 the Record was virtually a mouthpiece for Scotland Forward. In the first week of the campaign (25-30 August) it headlined Sean Connery's backing for devolution (Yesh! Yesh!), ridiculed the proposed visit to Scotland of Margaret Thatcher and published a list of pro-devolution businessmen to counter claims that business was opposed to home rule. In the final three days of the campaign front-page headlines included 'YES! Vote for bright new Scotland', 'Devo: do it for dad!' (accompanied by a picture of John Smith's daughters) and other pieces included 'Two reasons for voting Yes! Yes!' (over pictures of Margaret Thatcher and William Hague). On voting day itself the front page comprised appeals for a double Yes vote. There was also a centre page spread titled 'Scotland, We Love You', featuring members of the public saying why they love Scotland, and even the sports pages carried pictures of sports stars all advocating a Yes vote.