A WEEK is a long time in politics. Six weeks can feel like an absolute aeon. It certainly seems like an age since the last Scottish Parliament rose. Remember those harassment inquiry reports, votes of no confidence, the stushie over the Hate Crime Bill?

The campaign officially began on March 25. On that day in The Herald, Steve Clarke was being linked with the Celtic job. John Lewis announced eight store closures. The Ever Given had just become stuck in the Suez Canal. If you’ll pardon the terrible link, a lot of water has flown under the bridge since then.
The US political activist Marian Wright Edeleman once insisted: “Democracy is not a spectator sport.” In that regard, Herald readers have certainly got stuck in, having their say on our Letters Pages. By my reckoning there were 36 Monday-Saturday editions of The Herald during the election campaign; so that’s 72 Letters Pages.
It will come as no surprise to regular readers that the vast majority of the letters we receive on a daily basis are on the subject of politics. As a general rule, I tend to allocate the left-hand page to political discussion. The right-hand page, to employ terrible industry jargon, is used as a change of pace. There we have a more general discourse; that’s where, as well as issues such as Covid and climate change – and everything else under the sun – you’ll find the letters on the lighter side of life.
My rough calculations on the back of an envelope – ok, that’s a lie, a mobile phone calculator – show that means we published around 51,500 words from our readers on issues surrounding the election; surely an unrivalled forum for the discussion and dissection of the issues that mattered during the campaign.
As has been the trend in the last decade or so, this was not a multi-faceted campaign. It was not, by and large, about supporters of Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, Greens, the SNP and Alba taking a nuanced stance on their parties’ policy manifestos: it was independence versus Union.
The Herald, as you’ll see printed on this page, is committed to fair and impartial coverage of Scotland’s affairs, a principle that is strictly adhered to on the Letters Pages. This cannot be stressed enough. When we lead on one side of the debate one day, the chances are the other side is to the fore the next.
I have said this before, but we get complaints from both sides of the constitutional debate alleging bias; that convinces me we are getting the balance right.
So, yes, it was a long campaign, but we played our part in getting the issues fully debated. Thanks to all who contributed. To those yet to join in, please do. There’s a lot more to discuss.