Tory Councillor McLellan pops up unannounced all over the place. Seeing him given space to write an extended piece, advertising his new book on the Scottish Tories (he’ll sell dozens), in the ‘leftist’ Independent, reminds me of the time the New Statesman published an article by post-Iraq Tony Blair then let Alistair Campbell edit an issue! The team there didn’t seem to understand why some readers were a bit upset. Do English liberals think Scots are lucky to have such nice Tories, like Ruth (!) and then fall for McLellan by association?
To be fair, as the Independent must imagine it is being, we do get to see who he is, at the very bottom, but long after you’ve given up reading what one commentator described as:
McLellan, as you know, often pops up in Scottish ‘organs’ untainted. See this only two weeks ago:
No doubt the book does dwell on the Tories, but its message is clear if utterly wrong in the final paragraph (I leaped there) of the Independent piece:
‘In a country where most economic indicators continue to lag behind the rest of the UK and the burden of taxation is only upwards – higher income tax, higher property transaction tax, and more taxes on tourists and cars on the way – the idea that more of this and breaking up Britain at the same time will somehow make us all better off is what really keeps Scottish Conservatives awake in the middle of the night.’
McLellan is a real establishment figure:
‘John McLellan has been a City of Edinburgh Conservative councillor since 2017 and was director of communications for the Scottish Conservatives in 2012-13. He has edited The Scotsman, the Edinburgh Evening News and Scotland on Sunday and is currently director of the Scottish Newspaper Society’
Perhaps too scary to mention to the Independent, he has also served as a member of the Government’s Defence, Press and Broadcasting Committee (https://www.scotns.org.uk/about/).
Clearly a champion of press freedom? What’ the UK has a free press? See this:
‘The UK has one of the worst environments for press freedom in western Europe, according to a global ranking that places Britain below the likes of Uruguay, Samoa, and Chile for restrictions on reporters as they seek to hold power to account. Reporters Without Borders, which campaigns for journalistic freedoms, said the UK ranked 40th out of 180 countries on its annual World Press Freedom Index, leaving it ranked between Trinidad & Tobago and Burkina Faso.’
Readers have a right to be made aware of this before reading on, or not.