Power of protest: Scotsman reinstates classical reviews

Power of protest: Scotsman reinstates classical reviews


norman lebrecht

January 28, 2014

Following the outcry generated by our posting at the weekend, the newspaper has undergone a change of heart. Here’s a letter from protestor Tommy Smith:

“Dear Supporters of ‘Review all Genres of Music’,

“When I departed home this morning the petition was quiescent at 442 and my bones were unsettled. Having just returned from teaching at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland it’s now ascending at an active 832. I’ve taken time to dutifully read everything everyone has written and I’d like to take this humble opportunity to thank you all; this grand list of individuals from 21 countries, for your time, resolve, passion and creativity. For without whom, this entire petition would not have had the effect to cause such a swift wave in the corridors of power.

“Waiting in my inbox, was an email from the Deputy Arts Editor of The Scotsman, who, this morning brought it to the attention of his management, who, in turned, quickly made money available for the continuation of World, classical and jazz CDs reviews; Weekend Life magazine is also going to thrive.

“There will be no reviews this weekend but the three journalists involved are firmly reinstated, ready to listen, reflect and review World, classical and jazz music for all of us on February 8th. This is especially important to all the homegrown talent in Scotland, as it is a platform to the world stage.

“For me, this, my first petition, was worth the sacrifice of besmirching my name against my hometown newspaper, who I’ve supported all my life, but the principle of injustice outweighed any personal loss to me.

“I ended my petition with the 3rd line in the first stanza of Burn’s ‘Auld Lang Syne’. I will conclude this notification to you all with the 3rd line in the last stanza of the same song. ‘And we’ll take a rich guid-willy waught’; a draught of good fellowship.

“Best wishes from the bottom of my heart.

“Tommy Smith”

tommy smith



  • Eleanor says:

    Many congratulations! And bravo to The Scotsman too!

  • That’s great news. I think it possible the Scotsman didn’t anticipate the size of the readership of that column and the response from readers. With 834 petitioners they’ve probably done the sums and figured that keeping it going was the best option for all concerned.

  • Bravo! Well done and THANK YOU, Mr. Lebrecht for allowing us access to the world around us, and giving us the opportunity to do something about it.

    Thank you.

  • paulkelly20 says:

    I like the tenor of this result.