By a Newsnet reporter
A London based newspaper has been ridiculed by independence supporters after it published contradictory front page headlines on different sides of the border.
The Daily Express has been widely lampooned after its Scottish publication ran with a front page headline which claimed pensions north of the border would only be secure if Scotland remained inside the UK. In Scotland, readers of the newspaper were presented with a headline that said: “Pensions Safer Within The UK”.
The story was based on a speech by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown in which the former Chancellor questioned the affordability of pensions following a Yes vote in the independence referendum.
However eagle-eyed Yes supporters noticed that the front page story in editions of the newspaper south of the border revealed that warnings had been issued over the value of pensions in the UK.
In southern editions the front page headline read: “Pension Shock For Millions”. According to the article: “Millions of retirees face a pensions shock with most having to live on less than the minimum wage.”
Images of the contradictory headlines have been posted on social media sites by pro-independence supporters with the newspaper becoming the target of ridicule.
Incredulous Yes supporters retweeted the image of the dual-headlines, with some expressing disbelief at the brazen nature of the news manipulation.
“I think we can safely say we are being lied to. Black propaganda more akin to a dictatorship.” said one Twitter user, “Funny how so called news gets special ‘IndyRef Spin’ from MSM” said another.
It also later emerged that BBC Scotland had themselves published a review of the newspaper’s Scottish edition which clearly showed the anti-independence headline.
The broadcaster has come under fire over the practice of covering news stories exclusively from traditional news vendors, none of which back independence.
Reporting of the independence referendum has become a central issue of the debate with the standard of journalism across Scotland being questioned. It is widely acceped that no newspaper north or south of the border backs independence, resulting in articles reporting the debate being overwhelmingly pro-Union in nature.