Meanwhile, the Scott Allan saga goes on. Remember how, just a few weeks ago, the Record was banging on about Dundee Utd being 'bullied' by Celtic into selling Ciftci? United accepted an offer from Wigan but the player turned it down, while his agent, Pierre van Hooijdonk, let it be known that Ciftci quite fancied moving to Celtic. The DR came away with this: "MailSport understands United have not been impressed by van Hooijdonk’s comments and won’t be pressurised into a deal." So Big Pierre saying that Ciftci would prefer to go to Glasgow rather than Wigan was applying undue pressure and Celtic putting in bids to try to match what United was looking for was 'bullying'! In the end Celtic stumped up £1.5m and everybody was happy.
Quite a different story when it comes to Scott Allan, eh? This time we've got the player putting in transfer requests and telling all and sundry how going to Sevco would be his 'dream move'. Apparently he's supported them his whole life, which just goes to show how talented he actually is; not many three-year-olds make it into the professional game. And yet there's not been one word about 'bullying' in this instance. Sevco are trying to get Allan on the cheap and have unsettled both the player and the Hibs team in the process. And how do our agnivores react? They're piling the pressure on Hibs to let him go and are constantly going on about how unfair it all is on the player. He should be allowed to play for his 'childhood heroes' and he will be hated by the Hibs supporters for putting in that transfer request; in fact, he's already been the subject of 'death threats'. It's quite pathetic really when you look at it.
All this got me wondering about who the Daily Record's demographic is these days; who, exactly, is it aimed at? The terrible headlines, like, "Gunbelievable" and "So Far So Food" show that, these days, it's a distinctly down-market operation, trying to compete with the Sun. And there's certainly been a drop in writing standards; spelling mistakes, using singular verbs with plural nouns, mixing up words like 'flout' and 'flaunt' etc etc. So, straightaway, we can see that the Record is looking to appeal to those that sat in school picking their nose from the ages of 5 to 16.
We've already noticed that the paper is distinctly anti-Celtic; a point proven by the ridiculous lengths it goes to in order to get a negative story, like the 'pishing in Iraq' fiasco. So that whittles things down a bit. It's aimed at folk that hate Celtic, which you might expect from a lot of fans of other teams. So hating Celtic is almost a sine qua non for buying the Record. It also helps if you support one particular team.
The Record's fawning over Rangers and then Sevco is a thing of legend. Every Ibrox player is referred to as a 'star', everybody's always 'jetting in' and just pulling on a blue jersey with those kid-on stars makes you a 'legend'. A lot of sports journalists in this country are of the 'succulent lamb' variety but the Daily Record has always been way out in front in this respect; in fact this is the paper that gave us the phrase in the first place! You'll very rarely read a negative report about the Ibrox team; especially now. The club/company, however, is another matter.
Ever since the new club started, the Record has been in the vanguard of those wanting King and his ilk in the Blue Room to help propagate the Big Lie. Negative stories about the Ibrox board were de rigeur until Honest Dave took over. So now we've narrowed things down a bit further; the paper is aimed at Rangers supporters that can't accept that their club died and that see 'Real Rangers Men' as providing some kind of continuity from the old club. But we can narrow it down even more than that.
The other day there was an article about Scottish Labour somehow regaining its lost ground; a massive task considering the scale of its defeat. The main point was that Scottish Labour is going to have to 'rise above the Cybernats'; as if the party had been bullied and beaten into its current irrelevance. This touches on the next point of the intended readership: you should hate the SNP. Practically every day there's something negative about the SNP or the Scottish Government. For example, a couple of days ago the paper was lambasting the Scottish Government for allegedly letting fracking in through the back door. And yet, this self-same organ spent weeks publishing propaganda for Ineos, telling us how safe, clean and environmentally friendly fracking is. The DR also takes every opportunity to blame the current Scottish Government for problems in the NHS, even though it was its friends in the Labour Party that left hospitals with massive debts with its stupid PPI schemes.
So the intended Daily Record reader should be thick, hate Celtic and hate the SNP. What else? How about a bit of racism? There was a story earlier in the week about a fight in a French park, involving a girl wearing a bikini. The local police were at pains to point out that it had been a gang thing, with no other motive for the fight or the fact that the girl had been told to 'put some clothes on'. So what was the DR headline? They followed right-wing tabloids like the Mail and Express by shouting, "Woman sunbathing in bikini beaten up by girl gang over 'immoral' outfit - sparks social media trend". So the Record is now reduced to Muslim baiting; about as low as you can get. But, the Record being the Record, it managed to sink even lower!
The headline certainly seems to condemn the incident: "Race probe: Police investigate after youngsters black up as Golliwogs for Caithness gala day". At the Wick gala day some folk thought it would be a jolly jape to 'black up' and go round dressed as golliwogs and the Jackson 5. Despite the 'Shock! Horror!' tone of the headline, the article itself goes in a completely different direction. Prominence in the article is given to a Mrs Plowman, who is on the gala committee. She said, "Wick Gala is a charity fundraising event and if we start dictating to people what they can and can’t go out as it could lead to the end of the gala completely." She expanded on and repeated this claim throughout the article:
"If we said to people they can’t go out as famous characters such as the Jackson Five, it will be difficult to know where you stop dictating.
If we start dictating what people can come and dress as, it could make things even worse.
I don’t know if it will get to the point if people would have to produce a picture of what they are coming as before they take part.
How we would be able to tell people what they can and can’t go as? I am not sure how it would work."
Now that, quite frankly, is a load of pish. Just about every university in the UK has a 'rag week' and the population at quite a few of these universities is a lot larger than that of Wick. And yet every university makes sure that events are properly stewarded and anyone not adhering to the code of not being offensive will have their collections tins and official ID removed. They will also be banned from taking part in future. So, really, this woman is just using the time-worn excuse of bigots everywhere: it's a free country. Notice how many times she uses the word 'dictate'. That's the usual Daily Mail attitude; telling people not to offend others or making laws to that effect is 'dictating' to folk about what they can and cannot do. It's essentially a middle finger to anyone with a modicum of decency. And the Daily Record is providing a platform for these views. So never mind targeting the Sun's readership; the DR seems to want to capture that of the Daily Mail and the Express as well!
So let's recap. The kind of reader the Daily Record is looking for is thick, hates Celtic, is a Sevco supporter that fawns over Honest Dave, hates the SNP and the Scottish Government and is a bigoted racist. That must be a very hidden demographic. After all, you wouldn't get somebody like that marching about the streets bragging about it, would you?
Remember to get your copy!
Get it here.