The Daily Record carries the results of an interesting poll today. Carried out by the paper itself among its own readers, it shows conclusive support for a range of SNP policies. For example, 79% of Record readers want to retain Sterling should Scotland become independent, in line with the Nats’ position. They want Scotland to remain a member of the EU by a ratio of almost two to one (55% to 29%). They want to stay in NATO by an overwhelming margin of 68% to 13%. And abolishing Trident is backed by more than three-to-two (47% vs 31%) among the poll’s respondents.
You’d imagine that Scotland’s second-biggest-selling newspaper might be pleased that the country’s government so comprehensively reflects the desires of its own readers, wouldn’t you? And yet unaccountably, the Record appears to be furious about it.
“Our poll shows voters back the SNP’s blueprint for independence – and that’s exactly how Alex Salmond planned it”, the Record froths, as if putting forward a manifesto that people like and support was some kind of dishonourable, underhand tactic. “The SNP have thrown political beliefs out of their window in a desperate attempt to convince Scots to put a cross beside the Yes box in 2014”, it continues, seemingly in the belief that listening to the electorate is the most dastardly crime in the government playbook.
Much of the piece is of course given over to angry reactions from Labour and Unionist spokespersons, who we commend the Record on getting to actually turn up. And it ends rather abruptly, as if the Record’s exasperation at the sheer effrontery of the SNP in continuing to be popular has rendered it speechless. But ultimately, even Labour’s most loyal propaganda organ reluctantly faces the basic fact that the SNP can legitimately claim to be speaking for the people of Scotland, while Scottish Labour can’t even speak for itself. We suspect the Record has more such dark days ahead.