Musician’s anger at newspaper ‘Swastika Revenge’ smear


  By a Newsnet reporter
Musician Eddi Reader has accused the Scotsman newspaper of attempting to smear her after she complained to the PCC about an image published by the paper which superimposed the swastika symbol on the Scottish flag.
Ms Reader released a statement responding to the Scotsman’s article (‘Eddi Reader reveals great uncle’s life as IRA chief’ published on 29 September), which revealed details of the contents of a book she is writing about her great uncle, Seamus Reader.

The newspaper article, written by Tom Peterkin, laid out Mr Reader’s link with Scottish nationalism and the IRA during the Irish struggle for independence.   The Scotsman journalist wrote about claims that Mr Reader, who died in 1969, was a founder of the Scottish Republican Army and described a man who “spent his youth ferrying munitions from Scotland to Ireland for the Irish Republican cause during the First World War”.

But Ms Reader’s stern reply claimed Peterkin’s article was misleading and said the Scotsman’s “hatchet job” had led to hateful comments and threats toward her family.

“I did no interview with the Scotsman.  The Scotsman did a hatchet job on me, and in regards to my ancestor, they were very slack with the truth,” she explained.

“Their motive was as follows.  I complained to the Press Complaints Commission a few months back because The Scotsman printed the Scottish Saltire with a Nazi sign superimposed upon it insulting ALL Scots.

“The article was trying to portray ALL people wanting to have Scots running Scotland and independence voters as having links with the early Fascists.

“The journalist scrapped around and tried to attach my great uncle, who supported independence, to a ‘Nazi’ group and a terrorist organisation, creating hateful responses and threats to my family.”

Ms Reader complained to the PCC following the controversial Scotsman front page in April but the PCC ruled in May that the image, which was accompanied by the headline ‘Klan Alba’, did not breach the Editor’s Code of Practice.

In her response to the latest Scotsman article, Ms Reader said she believed the paper had targeted her because of her public support for Scottish independence.

She continued:  “[This is] ALL because I have I have declared an intention to vote ‘yes’ to Scotland managing its own funds from its own parliament.

“The Scotsman journalist Tom Peterkin was asked to wait until I have collated and finished the book.  He ignored me and wrote an article with a headline encouraging those who do not think straight to believe I sanctioned it.

“They did this because they want to put Scots off the peaceful democratic choice that they face in the referendum.  I will never forgive them.”

Ms Reader added that she had plans to arrange interviews about the incident in which “all the facts will surface with clarity and truth”.


Related Article – Musician’s anger after newspaper is cleared in Saltire Swastika row