Former National editor launches bid for Westminster

Richard Walker has ‘jaw-dropping’ idea for SNP television channel

Editor Richard Walker reads a copy of 'The National' as staff work in the newsroom after its launch on November 25, 2014
Editor Richard Walker reads a copy of ‘The National’ as staff work in the newsroom after its launch on November 25, 2014 

By Bill Heaney

The former editor of Scotland’s only openly pro-independence newspaper is backing the launch of an SNP TV channel if he is elected as an MP for the party next year.

Richard Walker is in a three-way selection battle for the Central Ayrshire seat, where the sitting MP Philippa Whitford is among the eight Nationalists who have announced they will be standing down at the General Election.

“It’s a case of a doctor being replaced by a spin doctor,” said one Labour wage. “He won’t get in, of course, since after this week’s by-election results Labour are a stick on to win in Ayr.”

A source told the Scottish Express the selection panel had been “completely underwhelmed” by his pitch and said: “There was not a lot of talk about tax or drugs or NHS but he did have one big idea. A TV channel run by and dedicated to the SNP. When he left the room there were dropped jaws all round.”

The idea of a dedicated SNP TV channel has long appealed to senior figures in the party, with depute leader Keith Brown announcing a “broadcast platform” – dubbed ‘Natflix’ – at last year’s party conference in Aberdeen.

Despite the blaze of publicity surrounding its launch, the ‘Scotland’s Voices’ platform produced by the SNP has only released a handful of episodes, clips and reels in the past 12 months – and hasn’t released anything at all since August 18.

Walker’s latest attempt at election comes after he quit newspapers in 2020 for an unsuccessful attempt to be selected as the SNP’s Holyrood candidate in Ayr. He is currently teaching journalism at Strathclyde University in Glasgow.

Contacted by the Scottish Express, he said: “A selection hustings to select a candidate for an election is a private event open only to those who actually have a vote, in this case members of SNP branches within the Central Ayrshire constituency.

“It would not be right for me to comment publicly on a private meeting. However, in the interests of accuracy I would say only that your summation of the ‘big idea at the heart” of my pitch is very much wide of the mark.”

Scott McFarlane and Annie McIndoe are also fighting to be the SNP’s candidate for the Central Ayrshire seat, where the SNP are defending a majority of 5,000 over the Tories.

According to the dullards on both sides of the political divide at West Dunbartonshire Council, there is no place for biased journalism in the 21st century – apart from the The National, The Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail and so on.

The Dumbarton Democrat is currently banned from speaking to their spin doctors lest we make their councillors – both SNP and Labour – appear to be worse than they are, which would be extremely difficult.

There is no place here then for democracy or Freedom of the Press at our very own Fawlty Towers in Church Street.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: