Feb 052013
 

In her series of articles on The Menie Estate and Donald Trump’s planned resort. Suzanne Kelly has documented part of the course being eroded by the North Sea. She has documented the draconian security activities on the site, and the construction of huge earth bunds blocking existing residents’ access to sea views and sunlight. She has also documented deteriorating road surfaces.  Further articles will focus on key players in the Menie story, but a recent development has led her to write this supplementary article for Aberdeen Voice.

A wedding was solemnised this past weekend: Miss Sarah Malone married Mr Damian Bates. There are a few points which make this wedding of interest and importance to a wider circle than their family and friends.
Ms Malone was selected in the Evening Express’s beauty contest as the ‘face of Aberdeen’.  That was in 2007. Mr Bates was editing the paper from 2006, having started there in 2003; he is now the editor of sister paper, The Press & Journal.

Ms Malone was plucked from the relative obscurity of the Gordon Highlanders’ museum by Donald Trump to serve as a Vice-President for his controversial golf development on Aberdeen’s coastal Menie Estate. She has no previous experience of real estate developments, or of golf.

It’s wonderful when two people meet and fall in love.

It is not quite so wonderful when there seems to be a whiff of bias in favour of an editor’s wife’s business interests.

For those who don’t know, the DC Thomson papers in Aberdeen, the Evening Express and the Press and Journal have given a huge amount of positive press to Donald Trump and the real estate development of which Sarah is in charge. When Trump or relatives flew in or out of Aberdeen, front pages were decked with positive stories and large photos. The paper has supported the development from the start.

In doing so, it printed not only positive, glowing Trump articles. It also vilified Aberdeenshire councillors who voted against the scheme, which went against existing planning guidelines and meant the destruction of a Site of Special Scientific Interest, the highest kind of environmental protection there is.  Andy Wightman puts it best in his excellent report:-

“Perhaps the most notorious example of this was following the planning decision on 29 November 2009 to reject the planning application. The Evening Express published the pictures of all seven councillors who had voted against the application under the headline ‘You traitors’.

“The paper’s editorial, ‘Betrayed by stupidity of seven’, described the councillors as ‘small-minded numpties’, ‘misfits’, ‘buffoons in woolly jumpers’, ‘traitors to the North-east’ and ‘no-hopers’.  …Furthermore, Aberdeen Journals have taken a conscious editorial decision to exclude critical voices from being heard in the Press and Journal and Evening Express.

“On 12 December 2009, the Press and Journal ran what it called an ‘Exclusive Report’  which alleged that the main critics of the development, a pressure group called Tripping Up Trump (TUT), consisted of many people with ‘tenuous or no connections with the Aberdeenshire coastline they claim to want to protect.’ Martin Glegg, one of the TUT campaigners, was alleged to be co-ordinating the campaign from Glasgow. And, in a bizarre interpretation of what makes a news story, the paper revealed that TUT’s legal adviser was based in Paisley.  [Note – Trump’s lawyers are in Edinburgh, but that was not deemed newsworthy]

“The Press and Journal editorial then went on to make the remarkable announcement that it would no longer be reporting what TUT might care to say.”
http://www.andywightman.com/docs/trumpreport_v1a.pdf

Wightman’s report also covers the planning aspects, boundary disputes and how the residents were treated; it makes for excellent factual reading.

For reasons of journalistic integrity, some might find this pro-Trump editorial policy a touch unseemly. 

There are some basic, albeit not legally binding principles of journalism which include accuracy, objectivity, truthfulness and the like. Can you be objective where your wife is concerned?

If a newspaper editor had been someone’s partner for months, perhaps years, and intended to form a marriage with their partner, would any financial gain their betrothed stood to make, such as having a highly-paid job on a multi-million pound project, also in effect be to the editor’s financial gain?

Bates, it should be added, is on the Press Complaints Commission’s Editors’ Code of Practice Committee.

Sarah and Damian Bates might have tied the knot legally, but many of the other players on the board are also interrelated. Here is a brief listing of how some of the players are coincidentally linked together.

Sarah Malone Bates – married Press & Journal editor Damian Bates February 2013

“[Resident David] Milne’s allegations of harassment are baseless and untrue …  His views are not representative of the ‘community’ … The course opened this summer with phenomenal success and glowing international reviews. It has enhanced the area and the environment immeasurably, and brought thousands of visitors from around the world to the north-east.”
http://local.stv.tv/aberdeen/news/196354-trump-opponent-pressing-for-fresh-inquiry-into-golf-course-handling/

Donald Trump“Sarah, I want to get rid of that house [David Milne’s home].”
Malone  Bates replies: “It’s going to create a bit of a stir but if we’re up for it let’s do it.”
http://www.andywightman.com/docs/trumpreport_v1a.pdf

  • face of Aberdeen for Evening Express beauty contest;
  • rumoured to be dating Damian Bates, formerly of Evening Express, now Press & Journal editor;
  • recruited from her job at Gordon Highlanders’ museum to be a Vice-President for Trump despite having no knowledge of golf;
  • was on a panel for Visit Scotland, a quango, and partner of Scottish Enterprise.

Damian Bates – married Trump Int, Golf Links’ Executive Vice President Sarah Malone in February 2013

“This newspaper has given a voice to all those who have wished to become involved in the debate about Donald Trump’s plans. That courtesy was extended to Tripping Up Trump in the belief that it was a bona fide group of local environmentalists. Today, it has been withdrawn.”   – Press and Journal 12 December 2009

“Newspapers like the Press and Journal….provide one of the few platforms for the little man to take on the big institutions”
http://www.kaimhill.net/?p=2729

  • Editor Press & Journal, formerly Evening Express editor;
  • his papers published only two articles on ‘You’ve Been Trumped’, both after the BBC screening, but nothing when it was first shown in Aberdeen nor when it won awards around the world;
  • the first of these articles, by David Ewen said that Anthony Baxter was not available for comment, when in fact he had spoken to the author on the same day the article came out. No subsequent correction was made in later editions;
  • the Press & Journal accepted a controversial full-page ad from Trump linking Salmond, windfarms, and Salmond’s attempt at recruiting Trump to support the release of convicted Lockerbie bomber, Al-Megrahi. Yet it rejected advertising, before any referendum was announced, by local group ‘Friends of  Union Terrace Gardens’, for being ‘too political’;
  • David Ewen, who had reported that Baxter was not available for comment in his first article on the subject, has authored a book with a foreword by Trump. Entitled ‘Chasing Paradise: Donald Trump and the Battle for the World’s Greatest Golf Course’, the book was available for sale in the Press & Journal shops and advertised in the paper;

Donald Trump

“I do play with the bankruptcy laws — they’re very good for me” http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/04/24/the-trump-backlash.html

  • real estate developer with a past history including controversial developments,incomplete developments, litigation, and bankruptcy;
  • purchaser of Menie estate and developer of Trump International courses at Menie;
  • former alliance with Alex Salmond while the project was still in planning;
  • awarded an honorary degree from RobertGordonUniversity, amidst a high private security presence. RGU has Sir Ian Wood as its Chancellor.

Sir Ian Wood

“We are very pleased to honour you today in recognition of the significant contribution the Scottish Trump International golf resort will make to diversify the economy of the North East of Scotland.”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-11493040

  • chancellor of RobertGordonUniversity, which saw fit to give Trump an honorary degree;
  • Former Chairman of Scottish Enterprise, board member of Scottish Enterprise;
  • Wood added Jennifer Craw, formerly of Scottish Enterprise, to the Wood Family Trust. Craw appeared in the Trump Organisation’s pro-development film in her Scottish Enterprise role, which also used the SE logo. SE never gave permission for this implied support for Trump and yet no formal complaint of this misuse seems to have been made. There will be more on this in a subsequent article.

Alex Salmond:

I believe that the economic and social benefits for the North-east of Scotland substantially outweigh any environmental impact”
http://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/Article.aspx/919658

  • His government took the unprecedented step of calling in the Trump planning application;
  • Met with Trump representatives just before it was announced Scottish Government would have the final say on the billionaire’s plans for a golf resort;
  • Controversially wined and dined Trump on both sides of the Atlantic while the course controversy raged;
  • Asked Trump to back his government’s stance on Lockerbie bomber Al-Megrahi’s release;
  • Has a close relationship with Sir Ian Wood, rector of RobertGordonUniversity, and ex-Scottish Enterprise.

Image Credits:

The Ring © Andrei Mihalcea | Dreamstime.com 
Marriage For Money © Vangelis | Dreamstime.com
A Pair Of Padlocks © Ragne Kabanova | Dreamstime.com

  • Comments enabled – see comments box below. Note, all comments will be moderated.

  43 Responses to “Trump Vice President Weds Journals Ed – Joining The Dots”

  1. Excellent honest reporting, it’s time Aberdeen Journals closed up shop, disgusting misuse of media powers once again from this Editor.

  2. Any newspaper in the land – given the state of print advertising revenues – would have bitten the Trump organisations’ hand off at the prospect of a full page advert. 2 people have met, fallen in love, got married. Surely some congratulations might have been more appropriate rather than another article criticising the local press. I also feel that the comments about financial gain of the people involved is very cynical, and quite crass to be frank.
    The paper can choose their editorial policy – it is up to them what they choose to report & what to support It would be financial suicide in the current climate – indeed any climate – to jeopardise potential revenue through additional paper sales / ad revenues by standing against something potentially lucrative for them. If they felt that this was in the best interests of the area and – ultimately – sells papers and generates ad revenues then fair play to them. I worked at Aberdeen Journals when the story broke and it did sell a large number of extra papers – throughout the varying twists and turns of the story.
    It should also be mentioned that Derek Tucker – former p&J editor – was also on the PCC, so perhaps Mr Bates is solely taking on the role which he had. And really, the PCC is a toothless brigade anyway, so they hardly merit a mention.
    On a final note, it’s DC Thomson, not DC Thompson – apologies for being pedantic, but i’ve seen this mis spelled on a number of your articles.

    • Thanks for typo correction re. ‘DC Thomson’

    • Bob, no paper with integrity would have accepted that advert. Not one. It was in horrendously bad taste. Rather than blaming the “current climate” for every piece of selling-out, perhaps it would be better to change tact and try and attract more readers?

      There is nothing crass about pointing out a conflict of interest. In fact it should have been done by the paper/editor it/himself, that way people would have more trust in the reporting.

      [blockquote cite=”Bob Smith”]It would be financial suicide in the current climate – indeed any climate – to jeopardise potential revenue through additional paper sales / ad revenues by standing against something potentially lucrative for them[/blockquote]

      Wow. That expresses perfectly why I don’t read the P&J. I can’t think of anything redeeming in that attitude.

      • “In fact it should have been done by the paper/editor it/himself, that way people would have more trust in the reporting.”

        I couldn’t disagree more – this is their personal lives and should be set aside from their working lives. I’ve do doubt they are trying to attract more readers, but in the current marketplace, where digital is king (and the environment that Aberdeen Voice operates in), they have to look to maximise every single sales opportunity.Ultimately, it is a business.
        Every penny is a prisoner in the printed media at the moment so they have to look at the top line (although evidently this isn’t making much difference giving the payoffs that are going on, but thats another story.)

    • Bob Smith seems to thjink that taking the ‘Devils Shilling’ is ok as long as it sells newspapers. shame on you

      • Not exactly. What I am saying is, if you are running a business that depends to a great extent on advertising revenues – be these print or digital – then you would be foolish to turn down the opportunity to take advantage of one off sales. Put yourself in this situation – if your business was of this nature and and an opportunity made itself available, would you turn it down on moral grounds and potentially jeopardise the employment of your members of staff? Or would you take the moral high ground and potentially damage your business? There is a big difference between “selling your soul” (i’m paraphrasing), and keeping your revenue / turnover / etc up.
        Sorry if this isn’t a standpoint that you agree with, but this is reality.

  3. I should like to point out to Suzanne and others that the views expressed by Bob Smith ( above ) are not those of Bob Smith “The Poetry Mannie”

  4. Excellent article. These connections between people who side with the ‘elites’ are not uncommon. It is the old power corrupts adage. Many of these individuals get on in life by being ‘plucked’ from relative obscurity.
    What is the threshold for refusing/questioning advertising revenue?

  5. With many other Aberdonians, I stopped buying the Press and Journal and Evening Express, when they attacked the councillors who questioned Donald Trump’s development. And, I would love to see legal action and or an enquiry being made against the P&J and EE, failing that all of us have a duty to boycott these papers, discourage others from buying them and stop shopping and paying for services with those who advertise within their pages.

    I have wondered why compaints about the Press and Journal have not been upheld by the Press Complaints Commission, now I know the reason why.

  6. Ex D C Thomson employee Bob Smith sums up the myopic complacency of his ilk when he states that he considers Ms Kelly’s thoughtful and well referenced critique to be “crass” but thinks that bullying, intimidation, vitriolic personal abuse and character assassination, not to mention factually inaccurate reporting by journalists to be acceptable on the basis that it leads to additional revenue. Talk about missing the point!!!!

    • No, not missing the point. Nor myopic , though i do have a bit of a googly eye! Could you elaborate on my “ilk”? And, I also don’t recall stating that “bullying, intimidation, vitriolic personal abuse and character assassination, not to mention factually inaccurate reporting by journalists to be acceptable on the basis that it leads to additional revenue.” You have paraphrased this wholly incorrectly.

      • I don’t really think there is any need to elaborate Bob. Your praise for Dan’s contribution does that for me. I have read your comments again and believe that I have paraphrased them accurately. Should you really be unable to understand what you, yourself, have written then it may be time for you to think of alternative methods of expressing your views or, perhaps, of asking a friend to help you.

      • If you don’t want to elaborate, thats fine. I’m just interested as to what my “ilk” are like and why my views are myopic – you’ve decided to not answer my direct question. I like how you’ve singled out my praise for the only other contributor on this page who does not agree with anyone else. I understand exactly what I’ve written, but you have taken to misinterpreting this. I’m not advocating bullying, intimidation, etc. I’m impressed with your recommendation of looking at an alternative method of expressing my views – does this mean you feel that my contributions are not welcome on this partiuclar forum as they do not agree with yours? Perhaps I am paraphrasing this incorrectly 😉 (seems to be a common theme!). Your hilarious aside at the end about getting someone to help me was excellent as well and partiuclarly well thought out.

  7. YAAAAAWN!!! For a place criticises the standard of news in the local press, this sure is a classic case of pot calling the kettle black. I’ve known they were seeing each other for ages. I thought it was common knowledge. The fact they’re married now is a bit more current, but how come you never revealed their relationship before? And if you did, how does is the fact they’re now married change anything?
    Look, I this website carries hugely biased anti-Trump news and the P&J carries hugely biased news that’s pro-Trump. They point to surveys that claim the majority of the North-east public backs the development, you point to surveys that says the North-east public are against the development.
    Who cares? Just as your website is entitled to take a stand on an issue it believes in, our Press are allowed to do exactly the same.
    Believe it or not, A LOT of the public either support or don’t give two hoots what Donald Trump does. I’m sorry that hard for you to comprehend, but outside of you “lefties” – just as sweeping a generalisation as calling those in favour of the development “elites” – NO ONE CARES ANY MORE! It’s built! The local press like the idea of the course. Whether that’s for its own selfish reasons or because it believes the public in general also support it, WE WILL NEVER KNOW.
    The idea of wishing the newspaper be prosecuted for holding views you don’t agree with is such a right wing, bordering on Nazi mindset, is frankly bizarre and an embarrassment to your cause.

    • #Dan –“No one cares any more” Ye wint tae git oot mair afen min. Try tellin the Forbes, Milne and Munro faimilies aat naebody cares onymair The support they git in their fecht agin the
      hassle an intimidation they still experience is conseederable. Its only the local paper scribes an Trumpie’s “forelock touchin serfs” that wint fowk tae think naebody cares onymair. I bliddy care an I ken a helluva lot mair fowk faa care. O aye an a’m nae a ” leftie” jist a mannie faa’s bin aroon fer a fyow decades an faa cares aboot democracy. Somethin fit his bin missin in N.E Scotland fer a fair fylie.
      “The Poetry Mannie”

    • Hear hear!

      • i meant to say the hear hear was for Dan’s comment.

  8. Very Interesting.
    Hope the travellers set up camp at or very close to the trump course when its an important game on.
    i guess that malone woman must be good at something lol

  9. Dan, Dan, Dan, if you don’t like what is printed in AV, why do you read it? Perhaps you are yet another lackey of thatched heid?
    I care a lot about this whole saga. It is shocking from start to finish and there should have been an independent inquiry into Trump, ACC, Grampian Police, Aberdeen Journals and the Scottish governments handling of this affair.
    When the little man is bullied by some rich oxygen thief like Trump and the aforementioned sit idly by and ignore, or in some cases, help, we have major issues.

    • Iggy: “Dan, Dan, Dan, if you don’t like what is printed in AV, why do you read it?”

      The same goes for you and the P&J. Why don’t YOU stop reading it? I presume you’re going to come back and say “But I already have stopped reading it” – in which case I don’t consider you a reliable person to be calling for an inquiry into its handling of the affair, given you haven’t even been reading the paper and therefore have no way of knowing what it’s being doing.

      It’s like complaining about a TV show and then admitting you haven’t actually watched it.

      Poetry mannie:

      When I said “nobody cares” of course I didn’t mean the people whose homes were threatened by the course. They have every right to hate what he’s done. I just meant, in the grand scheme of things, most of the people of the North-east would rather worry about more important things than a stupid golf course, which has already been built.

  10. You forgot to put in your article that Sarahs father Councillor Tom Malone gave away the bride and that he has also been sitting on the committee regarding the windfarm project, but they say there is no conflict of interest as he doesn’t work for Trump, no he doesn’t but his daughter does.

    • Hello Minime – thanks indeed. Have also looked at his register of interests, doesn’t say anything about a family interest in this massive development/environmental problem. Of course, the rules don’t say you have to disclose interests related to an immediate family member (but some feel ethically it would be better to do so). Don’t worry though, we’re having a good look at voting / other involvements. A very valid point indeed. PS – I believe the mother is also involved with Aberdeenshire Council.

    • Thta is interesting. Come on Aberdeen Voice, you might be ahead as far as reporting on a wedding is concerned, but you appear to be falling behind a Joe Punter select.

      Minime is a bit off track as well. Tom malone might sit on a windfarm committee, but he has refused a evry application so far. http://www.cawt.co.uk/index.php?page=voting-records

      • Dear Gary thanks very much; I’ll certainly be looking into whether or not Tom Malone, whose daughter’s employer is against wind farms, has refused every application so far – that would be extremely interesting. Cheers!

      • I am not off track Gary, yes look at his voting and that of his cronies Cllrs Gardiner & Buchan suprise they will vote the same as him. He should not be allowed to sit on any committee that has dealings with Mr Trump there is a conflict of interests indirect or not. Yes I believe his wife does work for the council in housings or social work.

  11. If anyone needs unequivocal evidence of the P&J acting as a mouthpiece for Trump’s lies, look no further than their front page spread of 3rd November 2010. Here they published Trump’s vitriolic outburst against Mollie Forbes, calling her home ‘a trailer’, ‘an eyesore’ and ‘an environmental hazard’, and calling for it to be demolished. To publish this unprovoked and completely unfounded personal attack on a pensioner’s home, without challenge and without a shred of evidence or a grain of truth, was a disgraceful attempt to misuse a newspaper’s influence, to mis-inform their readers, and a great discredit to journalism. The P&J was once a fine newspaper. Sadly, with the coming of Trump, it sold its soul to the devil and lost all credibility.

    • It should also be pointed out that that P&J article was published long before Bates was editor.

      And why can’t we have some restrained, non-hyperbolic debate here? The P&J “sold its soul to the devil”?! You people need to calm down. As I said earlier – it’s only a golf course.

      Some people were for it, some people were against it. That’s the same with every planning issue. Nobody has sold their soul to the devil. Saying stuff like that undermines your argument and makes you sound like a reactionary loon.

  12. Just for accuracy’s sake, the vote to turn down the application took place in late November 2007, not 2009 as written.

  13. I’ve just done a search on the Press and Journal’s online wedding announcement section, nothing has come up for “Bates” or “Malone”, if the editior did not want to announce this in his own paper, is that not a bit strange?

    Also, as I refuse to buy the above mentioned tabloid rag, can someone tell me please if there was even an article about the wedding within it.

  14. There is always and has always been opposition to things. We had tremendous opposition to the building of canals, railways with land owners refusing to sell their land so huge extra costs were incurred a too expensive parliament ,by -passes, Union street the Marischal college. I could go on but you get the drift. Life is too short for this petty provincial squabble, to all concerned in the hot air comments grow up it’s not important get over it things will never be as we would wish them to be.

    • by far the best comment made on this page to date. Well said.

  15. #History repeat so itself”

    “Life is too short for this petty provincial squabble” —–If it wis jist a petty provincial squabble fit wye did thon mannie John Swinney stick his beak in and declare the development wis o national importance? An I dinna think Trumpie himsel thinks it a petty provincial squabble fin he keeps haein a go at “Wee Eck” ower the biggin o a wind fairm near his placie Bit fit IS at stake here is democracy an the richt o fowk tae lead their lives as they see fit withoot haein tae pit up wi aa the harassment an intimidation, the Menie faimilies hiv tae pit up wi.

    A’m an avid gowfer, bit the wye aathing wis processed bi the local cooncil an the Scottish Government efter the “EE” managed tae instigate the seckin o Martin Ford fair stuck in ma craw. Aa fer the sake o protectin the future advertisin revenue they thocht micht cum their wye fae The Donald and his local business cronies Democracy rules in the N.E?

    Dinna mak me bliddy laach!!!! Fit rules in the N.E nooadays is foo muckle siller can be made at the expense o some ither puir bugger.
    The Poetry Mannie

  16. Naively, I thought the press were there to report in an unbiased way on issues. Giving both sides of any story is surely the best way to inform the public? In all honesty, the P&J/Evening Express have not a got a good track record on this. Taking just two issues, The Union Terrace Garden project and Trumps golf course are glaring examples of biased reporting. Well said Suzanne.

  17. Well written piece Suzanne. Apart from the A.V. the P&J/E.E are the only journals that provide local news.
    Their biased reporting on both the Trump project and the City Gardens project was appalling. Many years ago they had a balanced policy on reporting which gained them respect but now all that has gone. I complained to the PCC about this but got nowhere, now I know why. I feel sorry for the 40+ printing employees who will be made redundant soon as they are moving their printing operations to Dundee. I stopped buying the P & J after the Trump project reporting and will do likewise to the E.E shortly. The A V and the neighbor’s bin will be my local news supply!

    • The PCC is a hopeless, pointless organisation regardless of who is on it – look at what self regulation did to the NOTW and every other paper involved in the phone hacking scandal. I actually cancelled my EE delivery after i got a letter saying it was going up to £13 a month. I get The Times ipad edition for £8.50 a month, and the difference is chalk and cheese.

  18. PS – The latest issue of Private Eye Magazine, No. 1334, covers this story on Page 7.

  19. Well if the seven councilors who rejected the original proposal were called ‘traitors’ on the fron t page by this disgusting sell-out rag what does this make them?

    It is only fair the P&J is called what she really is and always has been, a vile money grabbing whore.

    Why Aberdonians continue to support this grotesque foreign owned company I will never know. Time and time again it has been shown to be in the pocket of any lowlife willing to flash them a little cash.

    Prostitute & Journal would be a much more accurate name. Shameful rag.

  20. Having worked as a reporter at Aberdeen Journals for a number of years, I can confirm the place is a cesspit of bullying and misery.
    Theres no such thing as honest journalism there. Everything published must meet with the agenda.
    Kudos to Aberdeen Voice and outlets such as Twitter, which simply highlight how miserably these local newspapers are serving their communities. Do they hold power to account? No. Not if it conflicts with their interests. They are failing us completely.

    • Hello Kelvin – I appreciate the view from inside. I’m also very happy that my favourite publication Private Eye has taken up this story and agrees that this Bates/Malone relationship is a remarkable conflict of interest.

      As to comments their relationship doesn’t matter – if that were true, they’d have been open about it. And yes, Aberdeen Voice did know they were involved, but this passed from rumour to fact when the marriage certificate was issued.

      It’s not only a golf course. It’s an erosion of what was the highest designation of protection land can be given (SSSI status). It’s peoples’ lives.

      As to the sweeping arguments that people in the past objected to progress, very true. We are now in the 21st century and are seeing the effects of long term loss of greenbelt and long term pollution. We know why we should be saving wildlife and our environment.

      To all who’ve weighed in, thanks for keeping the debate lively – and live. Cheerio! Suzanne

  21. I stopped buying Aberdeen Journals “newspapers” in the seventies because of their disgraceful role in the process that led to the sacking of Summerhill School head teacher R.F. Mackenzie in 1974.
    The story was the subject of at least two Open University TV programmes. One pointed out that the fuss was dying down and the local newspapers decided to stir it up again.
    No doubt good for sales.
    In my view, the school never really recovered and is now a pile of dust.
    I’m afraid to admit that newspapers are purveyors of newspapers and not purveyors of truth.
    They each have an agenda. There is a very good living to be made by promoting an agenda. They are really propaganda sheets.
    Is the Aberdeen Journals/DC Thomson agenda a force for good or ill?
    You decide.

    “Scotland will be free, said the historian Tom Nairn, when the last minister is strangled by the last copy of the Sunday Post.”

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