Herald’s Paul Hutcheon gives hackery a bad name

by Christian Wrightherald hutcheon

Appalling piece of yellow journalism by Paul Hutcheon in today’s Herald. An entirely unsourced narrative claiming SNP candidate selection discrimination, cronyism and backstabbing, against Vincent Waters, the former agent of East Renfrewshire SNP MP, Kirsten Oswald .

The subject of the article, Mr Waters (who was an applicant for selection as an SNP candidate in the forthcoming Holyrood elections), was never interviewed.

There is not a single source cited. The headline (see photo) is misleading hyperbole. The man was a constituency agent and every candidate thanks their agent and their team in their acceptance speech. There is no evidence he was a “mastermind” yet the description appears in the article as well as in the headline.

The ousting of Jim Murphy was anything but “a shock” by polling day, it was expected. His loss was par for the course on the day. In Hutcheon’s article, Oswald is quoted saying:”… [she had an] exceptional team working incredibly hard on my campaign”, adding: “Their support has been immense“.

Nowhere does she call her agent a mastermind or the mastermind. In fact, on the evidence presented, it’s noticeable she doesn’t seem to mention him by name at all.

If no one did use the term why is it used in the headline and in the article? It seems to be there for one reason: to buttress the otherwise airless, confected narrative of  SNP  favouritism and backstabbing.


Why doesn’t Hutcheon include even a single verifiable source? Who is the complainant? No evidence it’s the agent apparently, since Paul did not even speak to him.

Ms. Oswald’s agent in the Westminster parliamentary elections failed to make the cut for selection as an SNP candidate for the 2016 Holyrood elections. That is the only substantive verifiable fact given in the entire article.

There is absolutely nothing that would separate this article by Hutcheon from a piece of fiction.

Nothing new there, then.


Leave a Reply