Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Got to Get the Readers in Somehow


Hang on to that title its relevance will become clear.


Earlier today I wrote about Jeremy Warner’s article in the Telegraph here - Definite Indefinite Article! No SurprisesWingsoverScotland picked up on this too.

The issue was that the headline was definite: a Yes vote would lead to fiscal austerity.  There was no doubt.  The article did not match this.  Fiscal austerity and a prosperous Scotland were, according to Warner, ‘equally plausible.’ 

So what was Warner’s view; the headline or that stated in his article?

I both emailed and tweeted Warner and the one response I received was shocking.  I don’t think my contact with Warner could be described as anything other than reasonable and moderate.  My unopened email is appended.  The tweets in order are,





[the highlighting is mine]


Warner’s reply to a reasonable question: the incompatibility of the headline and his article is,

Got to get the readers in somehow


Now there are three possibilities. 

Firstly, Warner is being honest and the headline is an attempt to get the ‘click’ rate up by using a headline which is untrue, doesn’t reflect the article but is guaranteed to cause a reaction.  Sales trump truth – shocking!

Secondly, Warner is being flippant.  My question is unimportant to him, there is no need to answer honestly.  The incompatibility is irrelevant to him.  He treats a serious question on a serious issue as if it means nothing to him – shocking! 

The third option is that the headline is designed to influence those who see the headline but no more.  Lies and influence over truth – shocking!


Shocking but not surprising!




My email sent to Jeremy Warner at 14.00 today and still unopened

Dear Mr Warner

I hope it's OK to contact you.

I'm interested in your article, 'Scotland is voting for fiscal austerity, it just doesn't know it', but I am confused.  Can you help me?

The headline,

Telegraph1 20140428

and your tweet, 'My column on why a vote for Scottish independence is a vote for fiscal austerity http://fw.to/kGi1CrZ ', state categorically that a YES vote will lead to fiscal austerity with the stated outcomes.  Your article, however, says that Salmond's vision of Scotland becoming 'a prosperous, high-income, high public expenditure, social democracy on the Nordic model, fully at ease with its position in the European Union, and possibly even a signed up member of the euro' is equally plausible.

The headline/tweet are incompatible with your first paragraph, a short extract of which is highlighted above.

Which do you stand by, the headline and tweet or your first paragraph?

I look forward to hearing from you.  Much is made in the media about the vitriol directed from Yes supporters to those who don't support their view.  I trust this message does not fall into that category.

Kindest regards


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