Tory Councillor pretends to be Scotsman journalist to deliver sneak propaganda attack on Independence


John McLellan, Conservative councillor from 2017, Director of Communications for the Conservative branch in Scotland, 2012-2013, and adviser to Ruth Davidson, tries to tell us that the Scottish Conservatives are in good health but Labour are not, so if you want to fight against those Indy-obsessed Nats, you know who to support.


It’s only in the 7th paragraph that McLellan uses the word ‘our’ and many readers realise this is not even attempted impartial journalism. The article is just an extended and deceitful propaganda pamphlet.

McLellan writes:

As Conservatives in England feel the wrath of their supporters over Brexit, the party’s situation in Scotland is different as it prepares to welcome back Ruth Davidson from maternity leave….In many ways, it confirmed what most observers already suspected, that the SNP is holding steady but the slide of Scottish Labour is continuing unabated. Its vote share was down to 15.5 per cent from 22.4 per cent in 2017 despite fielding a very experienced campaigner in Nick Gardner but compare it to a total share for its two candidates in 2012 of 33.2 and the collapse in a traditional Labour seat is undeniable..The Scottish party has remained remarkably united and focused through all the chaos, largely because the SNP cannot accept the independence question has been settled.’

Now McLellan is correct in saying Labour is in trouble but he’s either out of touch or dishonest in his appraisal of the situation for the Scottish Tories. See this Scotland sub-poll for YouGov/Times with 158 adult Scots on 10th – 11th April 2019:

  • Conservatives 22%
  • Labour 16%
  • Lib Dems 7%
  • SNP 48%

Yes, ahead of Labour in Scotland but remember the UK Tories are considered to be in crisis at 32% and the SNP is ahead of all three of the above, put together. For the EU elections, it’s even worse for them:

  • Conservatives 12%
  • Labour 11%
  • Lib Dems 7%
  • SNP 49%

It gets even better for ‘us’ with the most recent Westminster Voting Intentions, Scotland sub-poll, from Opinium for 9-12 April:

  • Conservatives 16%
  • Labour 19%
  • Lib Dem 4%
  • SNP 51%

Here, no different from the UK Conservatives, they have fallen, with a nosebleed, below Labour!

Embedded politicians are not new of course:

Scottish Labour speech-writer pretends to be just a Scotsman journalist to blame SNP for Brexit

Late Edition: Should the Scotsman consider a new title something like this?





3 thoughts on “Tory Councillor pretends to be Scotsman journalist to deliver sneak propaganda attack on Independence

  1. gavin April 15, 2019 / 7:50 am

    Alas, this is not the paper of yesteryear–a “newspaper of record”–a bastion of Liberal, Home Rule values–the paper I bought for two decades (from the late 60’s) for the quality of its journalism, its pride in Scotland, its wonderful letters page ( I recall one letter where a senior retired army officer wrote to say “Scotland should not be independent because Russia could then invade England through us”).
    Every new owner has stripped it of assets, revenue, property and, most importantly, its honesty.

    It should hang its head in yellow-page, Ruthie suck-up shame, and change its name to *The NorthBritman*.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Jim Coll April 15, 2019 / 11:02 am

    I favour referring to this once useful and informative pare as “The Hootsmon”, following Alan Taylor’s practice.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Alasdair Macdonald April 15, 2019 / 1:09 pm

    The Colonel is about to re-enter the political arena after her maternity leave and what we are getting with articles like this and in the Herald and in the New Statesman, by Mr Chris Deerin, and by the overwhelmingly anti SG GMS today is a bit of preparing the way for the triumphal re-entry of the HERO. She will, of course, not be questioned closely about, say, the dark money or the No-Surrender Boys in the Scottish Fisherman’s Federation, or anything serious. She will grant audiences to Nomedia ‘journalists’.

    Liked by 1 person

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