Scotland's Economy

The National – new newspaper is a boost to democracy

The national day oneA new newspaper for Scotland launches today, it’s called The National and it is a significant development in news and political reporting in Scotland.  The new paper’s masthead says it all; a large saltire across the top and the tag line “The Newspaper that supports an independent Scotland”.

People rightly care about the freedom of the press, they care about freedom from government control over what is reported and that represents a major foundation of a functioning democracy.  The ability of the people through the press and media (The Fourth Estate) to access opinion that differs from Government propaganda so that they can question the validity of political claims should be a basic human right, not a privilege.  During the referendum campaign the Scottish press and the media let Scotland down and let down the democratic process.

The almost almost uniform, right wing, unionist take on every issue that the corporate metropolitan media presented created a wall of misinformation and one sided reporting that failed to challenge claims made by the unionist campaign.

Only the Sunday Herald declared for independence and, much to its credit,  has seen sales rise against a tide of falling newspaper circulations that some have predicted will lead to the end of print for all but a few national titles.  With 45% of the people of Scotland under-represented editorially in the national press, and as much as another 25% highly sympathetic to the independence cause, The National should be able to carve out a profitable niche for itself.  It’s not just about commerce though, this newspaper is the sister title to the pro-independence Sunday Herald and shares its editor in Richard Walker, so it is championed by a committed independence supporting editor.

The National deserves our support. Newspapers are commercial entities and good wishes won’t get The National past its first five day trial period – people need to buy it.  It costs 50p and is 31 pages long but will probably fill out once it becomes more established. Most new newspapers take a while and  redesign or two to get established, but I think it has made an excellent start.

Its striking front page today, reminiscent of shared editor Richard Walker’s Sunday Herald imagery, announces that 60 charities have urged the Smith Commission to give Scotland powers to deal with child poverty.  It’s a message that will strike a chord with far more people in Scotland than just those who voted Yes.  Far from being leftish in its leanings, I believe The National will look to strike that Sturgeon-esque care for those in need, balanced against the need to create a growing economy where we can afford the welfare policies of an enlightened caring nation and take people of poverty through redistribution of opportunity. This is further evidenced by the fact that I have been asked to write a column in a personal capacity for Friday’s edition.


The blanket unionism of the national media combined with the BBC’s inept and unbalanced reporting (mostly UK national driven) was nothing less than an assault on democracy. A much used cliche in Scotland nowadays is that we live in interesting times; well now we have a newspaper that seeks to report fairly on those interesting times and I urge you all to buy The National every day this week and tell others about it.

You can find the, as yet unfinished website, for The National here.

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About the author

Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp

Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp is the Founder and Chief Executive of Business for Scotland. Before becoming CEO of Business for Scotland Gordon ran a business strategy and social media, sales & marketing consultancy.

With a degree in business, marketing and economics, Gordon has worked as an economic development planning professional, and in marketing roles specialising in pricing modelling and promotional evaluation for global companies (including P&G).

Gordon benefits (not suffers) from dyslexia, and is a proponent of the emerging New Economics School. Gordon contributes articles to Business for Scotland, The National and Believe in Scotland.


  • Do all Scots know that the UK National Anthem was composed as a tribute to the ‘Butcher’ Cumberland who was responsible for the massacre at Culloden when all wounded Scottish soldiers were put to the sword – just read verses 2&3 and you’ll get my drift! Am not standing for it!

  • Subscription would be an ideal Christmas present for any Yes campaign/SNP supporter – does the paper have a website/offer subscriptions?


    That is what counts. The seed has been planted.

    As long as the paper prints THE ACTUAL FACTS.

    I would like to see the ‘comments’ having an Editor; when personal comments are posted with people’s ideas.

    The editing would include…
    eg: ‘numbers of’, the actual facts would be posted in brackets, in blue.

    The editing would only apply to statistics not personal ideas.

    This way the reading public always gets the true, unbiased whole picture.

    The newspaper itself is an excellent idea, if managed with integrity.

    The people who were overwhelmed, bored, turned off by the amount of data given at the Referendum can read their personal areas of interest at their own pace.

    They can let their personal feelings be known and, hopefully, be heard by those in power.

    These comments can be used to bring about a quicker fulfillment of the needs and desires of the Scottish People.

    (a wee joke or twa from the ‘Big Man’ and ‘Oor Kev’ wouldn’t go amiss lol)

    Viva Scotland.

  • Obviously the Herald are trying to make money and see this as an opportunity. But really I don’t care as long as we are getting a newspaper which is offering a balanced and different view to the rest of the right wing press. As long as the National continues to do that then it will get people willing to support it. Hopefully some of the NO voters will be encouraged to read it and realise how they have been fooled by the establishment.

  • The National wasn’t universally available in my neighbourhood. I managed to get it on my fifth attempt, and only one newsagent was prepared to order it for me.
    Having said that I still have reservations about what’s going on here with the owners of the Sunday Herald who also own Herald Scotland. Why don’t they just get rid of Magnus whatshisname (and also David Torrance) and make The Herald pro indy instead of a new paper (and then we still get to read Robert McNeil) or are they just trying to generate some additional income on the backs of us poor “consumer units” (as Tony Blair would have us)?

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