A LONG time ago I was asked to write a composition entitled: “Does the press rule public opinion, or does public opinion rule the press?” That was in 1959.

The teacher commented, when I’d finished, that I didn’t seem to have made up my mind. Here I am, a lot of years later, and I’m still no nearer to answering the question. Then something happens, like it did on Channel 4 news tonight.

Jon Snow, Cathy Newman and Michael Crick were all working hard to point out the folly of their ways to Nicola Sturgeon and anyone else connected with the SNP, or who thought Scotland should be independent, that given what had happened in Barcelona to the people who thought Catalonia should be independent.

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As I watch these sort of programmes, I am constantly thinking: are the questions, their comments, written on the bits of paper they have beside them, or are they transmitted to them through their wired-up earplugs? Or are they prompted beforehand and given a free hand once on air?

I am also reminded of the saying: “It’s not what you say, it’s the way you say it.” Or am I one of these too-sensitive Scots who don’t know their place?

TP McCluskey, Address Supplied