Publisher says SNP failed to keep promises

The
founder and publisher of the proindependence Scottish Standard weekly,
which folded after seven issues, has blamed the Scottish National Party
for its downfall, writes Hamish Mackay.

Derek Carstairs, managing director of Flagship Media Group, closed the paper after circulation plunged to 5,500.

He
said: “From day one I encountered a lot of problems with the SNP. Eight
hundred people said they would take subscriptions from us but only 16
(out of 600 conference delegates) did so. We were relying on them and
they failed to make good on their promises.”

He claimed that
party leader Alex Salmond and chief executive Peter Murrell frustrated
his attempts to build support for the paper, which needed 18,000 sales
to break even.

“When we asked for permission to access the SNP
supporters’ database we were refused. During the paper’s short life we
have been subjected to the sneers of senior SNP office-bearers,
smirking refusals of support from its fulltime employees and apathy
from many of its elected representatives. After spending £500,000 on a
pro-independence paper I was not prepared to spend another penny on
people like that.”

An SNP spokesman said: “Alex Salmond did everything he could to help the paper, including writing for it.

But a new newspaper needs a big marketing budget and promotion.

“It
is unfortunate that in the fallout from this closure people decided to
take a swipe at the SNP, but our view is that there is a market for
such a publication.”

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