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Angry Reaction To Sunday Telegraph's Scottish Independence Headline

Twitter Reacts To Newspaper's Insensitive Front Page

Ahead of Thursday’s vote on Scottish independence, The Sunday Telegraph has drawn criticism from Scottish voters (and non-Scots) over the newspaper’s final front cover before the decision is made over the UK’s future. Social media was, as ever, quick to retort to the incendiary headline; the outcome of Thursday’s vote may still be up in the air, but the general consensus on Twitter in reaction to the front page was one of clear cut disdain.

The headline reads: ‘Scottish soldiers lost their lives trying to preserve the United Kingdom. What will their families say now: ‘Well, it no longer matters?’’ It is accompanied by an image of Highlander Scott McLaren’s repatriation at RAF Lyneham in North Wiltshire, and headshots of Donal McCaughey and brothers Joseph and John McCaig from the Royal Highland Fusiliers who were killed by the Provisional IRA in Belfast during March 1971. The Telegraph has deliberately dug up old ails to provoke a reaction, and social media users certainly gave one.

Social networks are certainly not for the faint hearted, and often show posts containing graphic or unpleasant content – but it seems that when it comes to late servicemen and women, Twitter users draw the line. The reaction online was one of anger and abhorrence. In the article the newspaper tells of the former head of the British Army’s ‘passionate appeal’ for Scots to remain in the UK, to honour and remember the countrymen who ‘fought and died to keep the United Kingdom safe’.

Minutes after the front page went online last night, social media users deemed the cover ‘shameful’, ‘distasteful’, ‘low’, ‘ill-judged’ and ‘offensive’. 


With regard to the independence polls, as they stand there is still a distinct lack of clarity over which way opinion will sway; The Drum reports a muddled climate, as the latest opinion polls have given contradictory information about Thursday’s expected result. One telephone poll of 1,000 Scots gave ‘No’ an eight point lead (although this survey was conducted on behalf of the Better Together campaign), whilst an ICM poll of 700 Scots for the Sunday Telegraph put ‘Yes’ in front, again with an eight point lead.

The Sunday Telegraph’s own long-running sketch series, ‘There’ll always be an England’, seems a little too close to home in light of the headline – for better or worse there will always be a Telegraph and a press willing to publish deliberately sensationalised news. Social media at least offers a way to keep this in check.


Katie Rowley 

Recent graduate and now interning as content editor, when she's not writing articles Katie can quite likely be found festival-ing, holiday-ing or reading a book (dedicated English student that she is). Follow her @KatieAtSMF.

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Angry Reaction To Sunday Telegraph's Scottish Independence Headline Reviewed by Katie Rowley on Monday, September 15, 2014 Rating: 5
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