Letter: Edinburgh march was huge

Lochaber independence campaigners gathered in Kilmallie Community Centre in Corpach for the Aye2Aye Lochaber conference, "A Better SCotland". IF F16 Better Scotland 01. Photo: Iain Ferguson, the Write Image.

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We are fortunate that, despite the difficulties our traditional printed media is experiencing, in Argyll, a large number of local newspapers are weathering the storm.

This may be because they carry news that interests people locally and are better balanced, carrying a wide range of views on lots of issues.

I despair of our ‘national’ media.

On the issue of Scotland’s future it has become almost single dimensional, heavily supporting one side of this critical debate despite nearly a half, or perhaps more, of our population supporting the other option.

At best the case for normal independence is ignored in news.

At worst it is distorted and undermined by inaccuracies and facts and figures supplied exclusively by those opposed to the idea.

A case in point is the astounding and entirely deliberate misreporting of the huge independence march in Edinburgh on October 6.

We took a full bus from Cowal to this event. There were buses crawling into Edinburgh from across Scotland.

We  couldn’t get near the end of the march so we joined near the front at the top of the Royal Mile at just before 1pm.

We arrived at Holyrood Park just before 1.30pm and left after some speeches and music at 3.30pm.

The march was still coming in at that point. Those at the back of the march behind the castle had not even been able to start moving till after 2.30pm and others had joined along the route.

We met other folk from Cowal and from Kintyre and Mid Argyll and Oban and Bute and Helensburgh and from across our country and much further afield.

This was by far the biggest demonstration in all of Scotland’s history.

The first police estimate at the rally was announced as 100,000 plus. But someone in the media came up with 20,000. This was repeated in all the media, print and broadcast.

It gravitated in some of the media to the status of the ‘police estimate.’ Thus by far the biggest demonstration Scotland had ever seen got relegated to the middle pages of our so called ‘newspapers’.

This reported ‘estimate’ was patently untrue and those repeating it knew it to be untrue.  A deliberate lie, easily exposed as such.

120,000 people have friends, family and work mates and will tell them all the truth. And thus trust and respect in our media drains away.

On their own heads be it.

David McEwan Hill,