Monday, 9 May 2011

Death of Scotsman on the Thames

Back at my desk in Westminster, with all the expected ribbing from colleagues about David Cameron's border controls being applied to migrant Scots to massage the figures down.(Really I'm more worried about being declared an undesirable alien in the old country).

The profound changes in the Holyrood election don't seem to have sunk in to the body politic on the Thames yet, though a senior Lib Dem I just spoke to said that they would have to be thinking pretty smartly about the Westminster government calling an Independence referendum to box Alex Salmond in.

"The Tories are keener than us, if anything," said the MP, indicating that the two parties are trying to feel their way towards concensus on the issue. The Con-Lib Dem relationship is, he claimed, marching on with the result fo the AV referendum being so decisive that the issue is dead and gone for a generation.

Interestingly, the tug of war between the SNP and the Coalition in Westminster will keep us Westminster corrs in stories for some time. Look, there's Angus Robertson just now, firing off a letter demanding an early meeting with Liam Fox over defence cuts in Scotland. Mmm, plus la change.

But the most symbolic change on my arrival back at my desk is a facsimile A3 copy of the Scotsman newspaper. I'm still to find out who is behind the photocopied, black and white version but it transpires that the Scotsman is no longer circulated in London.

In an age of declining circulation perhaps I should not be so surprised. After all, the Scotsman is following the Herald's retreat from London in 2008. Scottish MPs have access to the Herald's online version and the House library prints out a facsimile copy for the Commons tearoom.

But the death of the Scotsman on the capital's news stalls leaves the Daily Record as effectively the last Scottish newspaper circulating in London on a daily basis.

When Andrew Jaspan launched the Sunday Herald in 1999 he briefed us that we would work on it in print for ten years, and by then the whole paper would migrate online. How we laughed, how right he was.

No comments:

Post a Comment